Apps Show and Tell Well

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2006-11-13 Print this article Print

Review: Adobe's Captivate 2 and Techsmith's Camtasia Studio have demo focus.

Two new versions of popular software simulation products focus heavily on providing easy-to-use yet powerful demonstration tools.

Adobe Systems Captivate 2 and TechSmiths Camtasia Studio 4 make it very simple to record any action from an application, a presentation or a Web site. Users also can add quizzes, directional aids and learning tools and deliver it all in Flash or digital video format. Neither product qualifies as a high-end software simulation tool for learning management, but both support common standards such as SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) and have decent quizzing and testing features.

We would recommend either application to a business looking to easily and quickly create software or Web application demos, but Adobes Captivate 2 has a slight edge in both usability and capability.

When it comes to authoring demos, Captivate 2 and Camtasia Studio 4 support only Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP. However, if demos are output as Flash or digital video, they will play on most end-user systems. Evaluation versions of Captivate 2 and Camtasia Studio 4 can be downloaded from and, respectively.

Click here to read a review of Adobe Captivate 2.

Click here to read a review of Camtasia Studio 4.

Labs Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr Rapoza's current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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