17 Best Authoring Tools For Beginners And Experienced Authors

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In this post, I will walk you through the best authoring tools on the market for your needs. These top-rated tools will allow you to create a variety of digital content. Some of them offer more flexibility while some are extremely easy to use.

Choosing an authoring tool can be difficult, as the market is crowded with a range of choices. To help you make the right choice, let’s take a look at some reliable options and analyze their strengths and weaknesses.

Whatever you’re looking for in an authoring tool, here are the best authoring tools and software you should consider:

1. Adobe Captivate

Overall best authoring tool

Adobe Captivate makes it easier to build, deliver, and assess engaging eLearning courses. This robust learning authoring tool also includes built-in templates you can use as a starting point for authoring courses with compelling interactivity.

And because it’s mobile-ready, you can reach learners on whatever device they prefer – from desktop computers to tablets and smartphones. With rich, text-to-speech interaction controls, Captivate enables you to prompt your users with questions or instructions

This is one of the best authoring tools that’s most popular. What’s more? This all-in-one authoring tool also provides real-time feedback on correct answers or selections. Therefore, you can have more interactive courses without extra scripting.

Finally, your courses can seamlessly integrate video and incorporate quizzes and assessments to capture and track learner progress.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • User-friendly interface
  • Also upports HTML5, SCORM, AICC, and xAPI (TinCan)
  • Work on both Windows and Mac OS
  • Suitable for experienced authors
  • Different themes available
  • You also produce complex interactions
  • Create localized elearning
  • Produce mobile-ready elearning content 
  • Perfect for screen recording and simulations
  • Also offer easy publishing options
  • Create virtual reality (VR) learning experiences

Cons

  • Limited desktop tool
  • Limited user support

2. Articulate Rise 360

Best authoring tool for individual users who prefer PowerPoint

Still the tool of choice for creating high-quality learning content, Rise 360 is Articulate’s responsive authoring tool for creating mobile courses. Effortlessly create multimedia courses that are compatible with any device, using templates, dynamic texts, and other features.

As with all Articulate authoring tools, you have 100% freedom over the way the contents are presented to your learners. You’ll find it easy to build your storyboard and then move into creating your course.

In short, Articulate Rise 360 will get you up and running quickly so you can focus on your content.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • User-friendly interface
  • Screencasting available
  • Supports AICC, SCORM, and xAPI (TinCan)
  • You can also easily to update, collaborate and review

Cons

  • Limited customization
  • Lack translation management

3. iSpring Suite

Best authoring tool for Windows users

If you’ve been wondering why PowerPoint is so popular when it comes to creating instructor-led training content, it’s because of its simplicity.

PowerPoint is a go-to authoring tool for SCORM 1.2-compliant eLearning courses, and with iSpring Suite, you can create standards-compliant eLearning courses with that same power and ease.

iSpring lets you go from PowerPoint to SCORM with ease, making it easy for you to create engaging eLearning courses.

Among its other benefits, iSpring’s got a really user-friendly interface and offers support throughout the eLearning community on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Intuitive interface
  • Greate video editing tool
  • Seamless PowerPoint integration
  • Supports HTML5, Video, SCORM, and cmi5

Cons

  • Only work on Windows
  • Requires installation

4. Gomo

Best authoring tool for experienced learning designers

Gomo is one of the best authoring tools with a drag and drop editor that lets you create fully responsive content. It’s mobile-first, so it makes your content look good on any device, and the big bonus: the content it creates for you are pretty and engaging.

Gomo automatically resizes your text, images, videos, and other media so your website looks great on any screen, big or small.

If you’re new to web publishing, you’ll appreciate how easy Gomo is to use. It has more media assets on offer that are visually attractive and help you make your content more engaging.

If you’re looking to create mobile-responsive content quickly, but don’t want to learn how to code, this simple-to-use authoring tool has you covered.

Pros

  • Support HTML5, xAPI (TinCan), and SCORM
  • Work on both Windows and MAC OS
  • Cloud-based authoring tool
  • Responsive elearning output
  • Offline mobile app available
  • Create multi-language courses

Cons

  • Layout restrictions
  • Interface is not user-friendly

5. Lectora

Sure you understand that the creation of great eLearning courses is just as important as the design. Lectora provides an exceptional authoring experience for creating content and then immediately taking it to market.

I know it can be annoying when you’re switching tools and not be to use your ideas and efforts in a different application. That is why I have included Lectora in this, which offers great capability and flexibility.

Lectora is a world-renowned authoring tool created specifically for eLearning developers. It was built to empower creators with the ability: to focus on design and story, to engage and differentiate any audience, to be responsive and adaptive, and much more.

With Lectora from eLearning Brothers, you can create engaging courses that capture attention, differentiate learning objectives, and measure performance.

Pros

  • Own by a reputable company
  • Elearning Brothers graphics libraries
  • Support HTML5, xAPI (TinCan), SCORM, and AICC
  • Work on both Windows and MAC OS
  • Excellent tool for screen capture and simulations
  • Import Powerpoint with ease

Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Limited user support

6. Elucidat

Best authoring tool for large learning teams

Light your way to success with Elucidat: the award-winning authoring platform. Designed to enable anyone to create sustainable scalable training faster, it’s ideal for ambitious large organizations looking to create high-quality training for complex global audiences and achieve business impacts quicker.

It’s used by thousands of content creators every day. Trusted by companies big and small, innovative and traditional, world’s leading universities, professional imagery projects, museums, global non-profits, and government agencies.

Elucidat shocks users in a good way with stunning design capabilities and ease of use. And it’s flexible with a wide range of capabilities to deliver the right training at the right time in the right place.

Pros

  • Easy to use interface
  • Comprehensive template library
  • A suite of interactions
  • Also has brand importer tool
  • Sophisticated translation process 
  • Offer ability to apply existing styles to new projects
  • Helpful support team

Cons

  • It’s a bit expensive
  • Some interactive functions have limitations

7. Absorb Create

Best authoring tool for organizations providing employee training

Simple and yet incredibly powerful, this all-in-one tool combines the power of a high-end creative suite with the ease and accessibility of tools so simple anyone can get started right away.

Designed for drawing, illustrating, and creating beautiful work quickly and affordably, Absorb Create is an innovative solution that increases your productivity and creativity. It’s simple, so non-technical users can focus on design, not toolbars. Fast, so you don’t spend hours creating your content.

Furthermore, no stress, no headache. With Absorb Create, you are completely in charge. It’s easy to use. Just click on the text box to enter your own content, then choose from a variety of stylish formatting options that can be changed easily.

SEE: Effective Employee Training Methods

Pros

  • Provide built-in LMS
  • You can also share content easily
  • Excellent content management
  • Course tracting tools
  • Also offer eclectronic forms and signature

Cons

  • Difficult to manage blended learning
  • Limited assessment options

8. knowbly

Best authoring tool for real-time collaboration

If you’re looking for a no-frills authoring tool that’s fun to use, you should consider Knowbly. With an intuitive interface and easy-to-use features, it’s a great choice for non-techy individuals looking for a simple, yet powerful way to create courses.

Whether you’re an eLearning newbie or veteran, knowbly gives you the tools to create beautiful solutions to deliver world-class training.

With a simple drag and drop content creation, customizability options that let you personalize every screen of your course, and mobile responsiveness.

Knowbly is a perfect fit for professionals in any field who want to create and build their own courses in a matter of hours.

Pros

  • Create responsive content
  • If also offer excellent user support
  • Customize and configure themes
  • Cloud-based software
  • Also rovides great intuitive tools
  • You can also ollaborate easily

Cons

  • Limited templates

9. Easy Generator

Best authoring tool for producing courses in multiple languages

Easy Generator is an ‘all-in-one’ eLearning authoring software with many built-in features and tools. It also allows users to quickly create engaging and interactive eLearning content without having any technical knowledge.

No programming experience is needed, just drag and drop images, videos, audios, or text into storyboards, then fill in the blanks with simulation activities. It will help you make engaging eLearning courses much faster.

Easy Generator LMS authoring tool supports SCORM, AICC, xAPI, and other Learning Management systems. Enjoy the power of hundreds of apps, all under one platform. With a variety of eLearning authoring features, social sharing capabilities, and more, you get all that you need in one place.

Pros

  • Award-winning cloud based authoring tool
  • Mobile-friendly responsive design features
  • User-friendly interface
  • Supports SCORM, xAPI (TinCan), LTI 
  • Work on both Windows and Mac OS
  • Offer personalized support services

Cons

  • Limited question types
  • Voiceover cannot be added without a play bar

10. Composica

Best HTML5 based authoring solution for interactive e-Learning 

Composica allows you to create and manage your content in one place. Instead of sending your content back and forth via emails and discussions, you can access and edit it from any device, thanks to its mobile app.

The tool also has a strong focus on smooth collaboration, using the powerful Composica Cloud platform, which allows you to contact your collaborators directly. It’s a relatively affordable option for small teams.

In addition help you create your content, Composica gives you the important features you need to get the job done. These include collaboration features that let you work with your colleagues easily, multi-lingual capabilities, built-in LMS features, and more.

Pros

  • Asynchronous learning features
  • You can also manage templates easily
  • Built-in course authoring
  • Good gamification features
  • Also has a built-in LMS
  • SCORM Compliance
  • It also has tests/sssessment tools

Cons

  • Pricing is very steep
  • Poor customer support

11. DominKnow ONE

Best Cloud-based authoring tool

DominKnow ONE is an authoring tool that allows you to instruct, train and manage your users via mobile, desktop, or web. It offers a complete mobile learning experience with no additional software to download and no cumbersome apps to navigate.

DominKnow ONE has what you need to create great-looking documents, including bright colorful templates (themes) and dazzling fonts. Packed with attractive features you get better processing speed and high stability.

Create, modify, and deliver any type of content in minutes and access it instantly on any device with full control. Users need no special powers to generate stunning and engaging content. You can do everything by yourself: you need only several mouse clicks, dragging and dropping.

Pros

  • Has many beautiful templates
  • Flexibility to customize your content
  • Create accessible courses
  • Translate and localize content
  • It also offer real-time collaboration tools
  • Create responsive content
  • Support SCORM, xAPI, and AICC

Cons

  • Require strong stable internet connection
  • Has a little steep leaning curve

12. Adapt Builder

Best authoring tool for flexible, creative, responsive authoring

Adapt Builder is a multi-device compatible authoring tool designed for creating responsive web content for any screen size.

Available as an open-source authoring tool, it has been designed to take the pain out of creating content that adapts quickly and responsively across multiple screen sizes.

Furthermore, with a library of reusable components, a visual workflow, and a responsive preview, adapting your content has never been easier.

You’ll love the way Adapt Builder makes content creation simple, connecting people, places, and experiences effectively across all devices in just three clicks. And with features that do more than just shine in your campaign, you can connect with audiences where they are in any channel across the web.

Pros

  • Use scenario-based storytelling
  • SCORM and xAPI compliant
  • Gamification features are available
  • Offer over 25 learning interactions
  • It offer branching and interactive components
  • Multi-language capability
  • Excellent cloud hosted tool

Cons

  • Overpriced compared to it’s competitors
  • Poor customer support

13. Raptivity

Raptivity is a destination without parallel, providing the authoring tools you need to bring your creative vision to life. Tools for all learning styles make it easy to teach safely and effectively across devices, while integrated video editing tools mean students can bring their visions to life with no extra effort.

Developing interactive learning content is easier than ever with Raptivity by Harbinger Knowledge Products. You can create SCORM compliant learning interactions without any programming, so you can spend more time on course design and education content.

Also, this tool enables corporate trainers to create effective workplace training experiences without writing code.

With a unique rapid-interactivity building approach, it allows non-technical users to create engaging interactive experiences without programming expertise.

Pros

  • Has a free trial
  • Goal setting / tracking tools
  • Engaging microlearning experiences
  • Create SCORM compliant content
  • Reporting/analytics
  • It also has Gamification features

Cons

  • Games are limited
  • No results of the student’s attempts

14. Netex contentCloud

Netex Content Cloud is one of the best authoring tools in the web content management industry, offering you more control over your content creation and usage to facilitate greater productivity and efficiency.

You may feel that content is king, but there’s one more powerful thing: knowing how to manage it. And managing large amounts of content takes more than a hammer and a saw. It takes a particular set of tools–some tools that work together.

ContentCloud is a platform for creating, storing, and accessing your content from anywhere, anytime, on all devices. It lets you create interactive content in a matter of minutes, without having to write a single line of code. And it offers all the features an interactive content designer needs.

Pros

  • Simplifies content management
  • You can also create shared spaces
  • Upload content created with 3rd-party tools
  • Organise all of your content by themes, provider, etc.
  • Project management tools
  • HTML5-responsive templates
  • Create responsive and accessible content
  • Also support industry languages (SCORM and xAPI)

Cons

  • Has no multimedia library of it’s own

15. Coassemble

Coassemble is an authoring tool for creating rich, interactive e-learning courses that can be easily deployed across multiple devices and platforms. Share knowledge with your team anytime, anyplace.

With the ability to manage all of your training programs in a single platform, Coassemble also gives you the tools you need to create effective, mobile learning experiences. And by helping you create, manage, deliver and measure training, you can focus on your end learner.

Authors can easily make fully interactive lessons, quizzes, and videos without any programming. Coassemble offers robust reporting and one of the most engaging ways for students to track their progress towards mastery.

What’s more? With just a few clicks, your team can also view training together on their own schedule.

Pros

  • Offer different types of lesson templates
  • It also offer excellent user support
  • Live edit and update
  • Also it is mobile-responsive
  • Cloud-based software
  • Insert media and iframe content

Cons

  • Limited reporting options
  • Limited third party integrations

16. Camtasia

Whether you need to create videos for training, software demos, or any other learning activities, Camtasia meets your professional video creation needs.

Camtasia is often used in conjunction with other eLearning authoring platforms because of its primary focus on video. Through animation and effects, you can use the software to create more compelling video tutorials, lessons, or product demos.

I include it in this list because of the amazing set of features it offers for creating visually engaging content to make your courses or online training more appealing to your students.

With a presentation mode where your video looks like a PowerPoint slide show, Camtasia is the best authoring tool for creating and promoting your ideas.

SEE: Best Screen Recording Software

Pros

  • Capture screen and edit videos with ease
  • Quick and easy authoring
  • You can also save and re-use presets and templates
  • Seamless integration with PowerPoint
  • Perfect for creating oline course vidoes

Cons

  • Requires installation
  • Only work on Windows

17. Evolve

Best authoring tool for novice authors

Evolve is an online authoring tool that helps you create eLearning content in minutes, not days. Quickly bring your ideas to life by adding text captions, interactive exercises, quizzes, and more. You can make your courses work on any device, platform, or system by using Evolve.

If you’re just starting out as an author, this is the perfect authoring tool for you. Evolve’s intuitive “drag-and-drop” interface makes authoring simple. Great content can be created by anyone with no coding experience. All you need is an internet connection.

It’s fast and takes no time to learn – even if you’ve never created eLearning content before. With a few clicks, you can quickly become productive and publish engaging courses.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Also has user-friendly interface
  • Create content with consistent branding
  • Affordable time-based pricing
  • Supports HTML5, SCORM 1.2/2004, Web, and
  • Offline

Cons

  • Variation of courses cannot be managed

What Is An eLearning Authoring Tool?

A learning authoring tool is a software program that enables you to create and edit instructional content and author eLearning courses. Furthermore, it allows you access to structure your course, create quizzes, write objectives, assessments, and more.

SEE: Best Learning Management Platforms

What Are The Benefits of Using An Authoring Tool?

Below are some of the reasons authoring tools are important.

  • Increased efficiency
  • Save time
  • No learning curve
  • Build an audience
  • Stand out from the crowd
  • Collaboration features
  • Distribution enhancements
  • It helps you create responsive content
  • Improves readability and accessibility
  • Industry standard for online publishing

SEE: Digital Education Tools For Teachers And Students

What Should You Consider When Choosing The Best Authoring Tool?

Ease of use

Software, no matter how good, is useless if it is hard to use. This applies to authoring tools too.

An authoring tool that makes it easy for a user to format a document accurately and quickly will lead to higher productivity, fewer errors, and quality output.

Functionality

Functionality is a top priority when choosing the best authoring tool. Make sure that the software you select has the functions that meet your customization needs—and don’t forget to shop around before making a final decision.

Cost

No matter how good the software is, the price of the software determines if it is affordable or too expensive for your needs.

The correct tool should not cost much considering the services it provides. The costs should be reasonable and provide high-quality outcomes without hurting the project.

Analytics

Even the best content needs some form of analytics and optimization to improve and further develop its online presence and customer acquisition opportunities.

When choosing an authoring tool, it would be worth spending some time looking at what kind of analytics are built-in to the tool.

Output quality

The output quality of the tool determines how readable and navigable your content will be for your target audience and this is determined by the source file format and the output device.

Scalability

By scalability, I mean the ability to increase the capability of the tool over time with minimal expenses. Many mid-range products are great for basic needs but are not easily scalable for more advanced needs.

What Are The Types of eLearning Authoring Tools Available?

  • Desktop Authoring Tool
  • Cloud-Based Authoring Tool
  • Open Source Authoring Tool

FAQs

Which is the best free authoring tool?

iSpring Suite is the best free authoring tool you can count on. However, you must know, it only offers a 30-day free trial (no credit card required) rather than a completely free experience.

What can designers use multimedia authoring tools for?

Designers use multimedia authoring tools to create graphics, animation, movies, music, and other media files. They can further use these files as a container for their designs or as an end product.

Conclusion

While all of the best authoring tools listed above are reliable to meet your authoring needs, the overall best authoring tool is Abobe Captivate.

Adobe Captivate is the all-in-one authoring tool when you need to cook up engaging, interactive, and memorable eLearning content in no time. From professional courses to employee onboarding programs, thousands of people have created hundreds of projects using Captivate to convey important information.

However, if you’re a beginner looking for an easy-to-use authoring tool with basic features, I will advise you to start with Evolve or Articulate Rise 360.

Finally, since you are here trying to choose the right authoring tools, it may interest you to know I have written a post for you on the best whiteboard animation software. You should check it out.

Also, here is a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to create and sell profitable online courses to help you prosper in your online course business.

I hope you found this post helpful. Thanks for reading.

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