Boost your e-Learning authoring with the intuitive & easy-to-use software

There are not so many fully functional offline course authoring software on the market at the moment: Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, Websoft Courselab, Lectora Inspire. This is essentially not the end of the list.

The above editors are known to many, but today I would like to tell you about the program, undeservedly deprived of the attention of the developers. We will talk about ActivePresenter, which combines many important and useful functions of the aforementioned Storyline, Captivate and Courselab.

So let's get started.


The huge advantage of ActivePresenter is its multi-platform: this is especially appreciated by computer users from Apple, who suffer from the lack of the native Articulate Storyline application for macOS.

ActivePresenter is a multi-platform application and can be easily installed on both Windows and macOS.

If you look closely at the interface of the application, it becomes clear that the developers of ActivePresenter (as well as many others) were inspired by Microsoft PowerPoint. This has its advantages: the ribbon interface is intuitive and will take very little time to master.

Another huge plus of ActivePresenter is that the interface can be Russified. To do this, you just need to go to the settings and select the Russian language.

In addition, the program has extensive instructions in Russian, which is also good news.

And if you have already used Articulate Storyline, then it will be even easier for you, although of course there are differences.

So what can you do with ActivePresenter:

1. Slide courses

You can create slides with a fixed slide size or a responsive design (yes, how do you like Storyline?). In this case, you yourself can choose breakpoints (in portrait and landscape modes).

2. Import PowerPoint presentations in SCORM or xAPI format.

3. Create software simulators.

Use the built-in (and very powerful) editor for this.

4. Interactive elements.

In ActivePresenter, you can add interactivity using buttons, links, active objects with different states (working with states is very similar to Courselab). The program has a bunch of built-in triggers for manipulating objects.

5. Working with variables.

Unlike the Articulate developers, who are reluctant to give access to system variables, in ActivePresenter you can easily find and use built-in variables in your projects or create your own. Variable insertion is the same as in Articulate Storyline, just surround the variable name with a percent sign (% myVar%).

6. Using gestures to create courses for mobile devices.

Of course, the ability to develop courses with responsive design imposes certain obligations - binding course controls to buttons and links worsens the UX. This is why ActivePresenter has added support for gestures: single tap, double, long press, two-finger press, swipe, pinch, zoom - all this will make your course no worse than any native application for a smartphone or tablet.

7. Insert different types of questions.

Of course, any eLearning editor has the ability to create different tests. ActivePresenter is no exception: you can add all standard question types both in the editor itself and import from an external file.

8. Working with JavaScript.

If the built-in functionality is not enough for you, you can use the JavaScript editor with syntax highlighting. To access variables in ActivePresenter, use the variable property of the prez object. Example: prez.variable (‘varName’) - to get the value of the varName variable used in the course; prez.variable (‘varName’, ‘varValue’) - to set the varValue value of the varName variable used in the course.

9. Opportunities for export.

ActivePresenter allows you to publish an e-course in SCORM, xAPI or simply as an HTML5 application.

An interesting feature is that you can add to the export an additional sending of data in XML or JSON formats to any address. This can be very convenient if you need the results of the course not only in SCORM format, but also, say, a detailed report or sending data to another server. These additional reports can be customized when publishing a course in any of the above formats.


The app also has some drawbacks:

 Limited work with layers. ActivePresenter doesn't have layers like Storyline, only layers of feedback. This is not always convenient, especially for those people who are already accustomed to this extremely convenient Articulate feature.   

Otherwise, there are no complaints about the application.


A pleasant surprise was the price - $199 (Standard edition) and $399 (Pro edition) per license. At the time of subscriptions of $ 1000 per year per user, this cost, taking into account the impressive functionality, looks more than acceptable.

So, ActivePresenter can undoubtedly claim to be a replacement for Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, Websoft Courselab or Lectora Inspire. The undoubted advantages include:

     Convenient russified interface
     Availability of all the necessary functionality for the development of e-courses
     SCORM and xAPI support
     Comfortable JavaScript editor
     Powerful video recorder and software simulation
     Acceptable price

By the way, you can always download and test the application for free on the official website.

Tips for creating the perfect eLearning course