Adobe Captivate – Why Pay For It At All?

When I first started using adobe captivate it was purchased for me. I worked as an eLearning designer, developer and of course we used whatever software the company provided. Of course, then the decision isn’t yours to make and you have to use whatever software they give you. But I’ve found myself in different circumstances over the years and perhaps my experience can help you when it comes to making the decision for yourself.

Student Teacher Pricing

In between jobs, I decided to go back to school and get my college certificate for teaching and training adults. While enrolled at the college I found out that I was eligible to purchase the Adobe eLearning Suite at a substantial discount. The eLearning Suite is no longer available, but at the time it was a really great value because it included several of the Creative Suite titles for a very reasonable price.

Adobe and other software developers offer student and teacher discounts because if you can get the next generation of future creative people using your software, you will likely get a surge in corporate sales in the next few years because of it.

The downside of student and teacher pricing is that they are not subscriptions and therefore will become obsolete at some point. Technically I could still use my copy of the Adobe eLearning Suite, however, all the software included is well over half a decade old. Many of the features I use today just aren’t included in the old versions.

Perpetual License

Like the student and teacher pricing, a regular perpetual license is what you get when you pay a single lump sum for a software title. When Adobe Captivate 2017 Release came out, I saw many people on the Adobe eLearning Community and the forums complain that they had just purchased Adobe Captivate 9. These folks felt ripped off and I can’t say I blame them. Adobe and other software developers are between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, they don’t want to reveal that new software is in pre-release because they need sales to continue to support their company. On the other hand, it does lead to disappointment. Adobe does offer complimentary upgrades for users who are usually within the 1 month period but if you fall outside that range you may be disappointed. Of course, this is why subscription can be so appealing.


If price and obsolescence are your concern, the subscription model is really the best bet. Subscription costs you a monthly fee but requires a commitment of time, usually a year. The individual payment is lower and in the case of Adobe Captivate, less expensive than a perpetual license, assuming you will always upgrade to the latest version. I prefer and of course, require the most up to date version. While many people still watch my tutorials on Adobe Captivate 8, the real demand for me is to teach about the new features in 2017 release.

While many believe that subscription is solely a response to piracy, it also makes it easier for a software developer to support the software. For example, the Creative Cloud software is only available on subscription. What this means is that the support team at Adobe really only needs to support one code base. It is doubtful that many users of the Creative Cloud are running anything other than the CC 2017. Besides, why would you not want all the new features?

The real advantage to Adobe Captivate users is that you will never find yourself in the situation where you are the upset customer who just purchased the previous edition two or three months ago.

Why Pay For It At All?

Yes, you read that right. Why pay for it at all? At the present time, I am not paying for my subscription to Adobe Captivate. No I’m not stealing the software, nor have I installed some other software that tricks the activation servers into thinking I’m a paying customer when I’m not. What I’ve done is no different than what any of you can do. I’ll explain.

By participating in the Adobe eLearning Community, we can all accumulate points. You can exchange these points for complimentary licenses of your favorite eLearning software from Adobe. For example, if you downloaded the trial edition of Adobe Captivate, used it for one month and during that time wrote one blog post about your experience and wrote one testimonial about the product you would qualify for three months of complimentary license usage for Adobe Captivate. If you were like me and continued to post blogs and videos and answered people’s questions you might accumulate 1000 points and further extend your Captivate license for up to a year. In addition, you would also start to see other benefits in the form of being invited to various online and live events, get asked to be a speaker at one of the conferenced held by Adobe, and of course, other software would be provided to you as well.

For all the details on this program check out the page below that explains the badges and incentives, score information, and the rules around yearly points accumulation (yes there are some rules).