If you are currently searching for an eLearning authoring tool to use for your next instructional design project, consider Adobe Captive, Lectora Publisher, or Camtasia. After a review of some of the most popular authoring tools on the market, I found that these tools offer some of the most beneficial features for any instructional designer. Check out the review below to help you decide which will best bring your course to life.


Adobe Captive

Adobe Captivate software is well-known among instructional designers, and for good reason. This authoring software offers a wide range of features for creating high-quality eLearning courses. The Adobe Captivate software has an interface very similar to the other popular products in the Adobe software suite. The familiar layout of tools were a plus for me, while designing my course. Users that are not familiar with Adobe products, may experience initial difficulties, an extensive knowledge base hub has been provided, including webinars and blog posts to help learn the software.


Pros/Cons of using Adobe Captive
Pros Cons
  • Newly released Virtual Reality content builder
  • Offers Screen/Webcam recordings
  • Easily export courses to a mobile app for iOS/Android
  • Low monthly subscription cost at $33.99
  • Steep learning curve with overwhelming interface
  • Courses do not easily connect with Powerpoint presentations


Lectora Publisher

Lectora Publisher, is an intuitive authoring tool that holds great promise to satisfy all of your course creation needs. I enjoy Lectora’s ease of use and explored many of the on-screen tools tips to better design my course. Though this software is a bit expensive, instructional designers are sure to find value after exploring some of its features. 


Pros/Cons of using Lectora Publisher
Pros Cons
  • Easy-to-use
  • Create mobile-friendly courses
  • Screen/Webcam recording
  • Large category of animated characters
  • Translation Tool XLIFF Support
  • Expensive – starting at $1,299/year



Camtasia is a powerful, yet, simple course creation tool. Camtasia is the perfect tool for beginning designers, offering pre-built templates and example courses. Novice designers will also find delight in the straightforward interface, reducing the amount of time required to create beautiful courses. I found Camtasia to be most enjoyable and would consider this tool first when designing other courses.


Pros/Cons of using Camtasia
Pros Cons
  • Catalog of pre-built video templates
  • Screen recording
  • Quality video editing features: Animations, Annotations, Transitions, etc.
  • Supports media platforms: Youtube, Google Drive
  • Expensive – Individual + Business for 1-4 licenses $249


If you are currently in the market for a new eLearning tool, I recommend that you begin your research on the the three reviewed above, as they all offer robust features with promises of creating dynamic instructional design courses that your learners will enjoy.

Jasmine Patterson

Jasmine Patterson began her career in Eastern, North Carolina, teaching grades 4th and 5th. During her time as educator, she discovered a passion for leveraging technology to improve learning experiences. This new passion led her into exploring a career in instructional technology.  

“I am grateful for the opportunity that I had to work with my mentor, Landra Cunningham. Landra was just as invested in my learning during the Mentorship Program as I was. We spent some time exploring the different interests that I had and she helped me focus on identifying how my strengths may be used for a career change into Technical Communication.”