eLearning Authoring Tools - What & Why?

Authoring Tool is a term used quite pervasively in eLearning industry these days. Popular names like Captivate, Articulate, and Camtasia etc. are constantly discussed about, and many organizations even have an in-house authoring tool for content development. But, do you really know what an eLearning Authoring Tool is, how it helps and why it is so popular these days?

What are eLearning Authoring Tools?

'Appearances can often be deceptive', however, in this case, it's the nomenclature that often tends to confuse people. To begin with, we need to get this straight - eLearning authoring tools have nothing to do with storyboarding or content generation. Wikipedia describes authoring tools as, "a software application used to create multimedia content typically for delivery on the World Wide Web. Content-authoring tools may also create content in other file formats so the training can be delivered on a CD (compact disc) or in other formats for various different uses. The category of content-authoring tools includes HTML, Flash, and various types of eLearning Authoring Tools."

These days we use many editing tools for everything from voice clipping to image editing. In simpler terms, an eLearning Authoring Tool is just like that. It has frameworks, image, button pre-sets and lot more that can be easily used by anyone with just basic understanding and an explorative/curious mind to figure out the rest. The content development tool as it should really be called, helps in creating a designed and functional version of the content by integrating the text, images and adding interactions within.

Though there are many authoring tools available in the market not all of them create courses compliant to SCORM, AICC, xAPI etc. Authoring tools have great potential however, not many know the real benefits/reasons for opting for these. Many a times it is more of a market trend rather that an actual need driven choice.

Authoring Tool - But why?

Why have authoring tools become so popular?

With Authoring tools content development becomes quite easier. Using it doesn't require much prior knowledge or skillsets. Adding to this are various other reasons that include:

  • Increased demand- With more and more eLearning requirements it's easier to go for rapid development using authoring tools rather than custom development.
  • Faster-time to market- the presence of presets makes the output comparatively faster, which is reason enough for organizations to opt for learning development using authoring tools.
  • Control- in situations where the data/content may be sensitive which is where in-house development using authoring tools comes handy.
  • Cost Reduction-an essential perk. Buying an authoring tool is a one-time investment. Once purchased and installed content development using authoring tools is often much cheaper and less time consuming than custom development and it also content modification in future.

Each authoring tool in the market offers at least one special feature which makes it stand apart. Today there are authoring tools for creating simple power point based courses like- Articulate Presenter, Adobe Presenter, iSpring Presenter etc. and other tools/frameworks like Articulate, Adobe Captivate, Rapid Intake, Elucidat, Camtasia Studio etc. that can design multi device/responsive eLearning with the required amount of interactions, video inserts as and where required and much more.

If you plan on using an authoring tool for your next eLearning development understand and analyze your requirement well and confirm that an authoring tool is best fit for the kind of solution you plan on designing before getting started. We hope this post assists you in doing so. In case if you need any assistance on authoring tool, our highly expert authoring tool consultant will be happy to help you in selecting best of the authoring tool based on your requirement. Please feel free to contact us at We look forward for your comments and suggestions. Happy reading.

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