Authoring Software

This pie chart depicts the different types of authoring software evaluated and the number of people who evaluated each one.
Select a sofware package to view its survey results.
Camtasia

Captivate

Dreamweaver

Frontpage

Viewlet

Wink

Camtasia

Camtasia           Average Rating

How easy was it to learn this product?

4 3 3 3 4 3.4
Comments            

How proficient do you need to be with programming or technical skills in order to learn this program?

3 3 3 4 3 3.2

What are the prerequisites for using this software?

    The more advanced options such as splicing tracks need some technical knowledge. I’m unsure of what prereqs are being referred to here: technical prerequisites or skill prerequesites?I had prior experience with electronic music software, which made the "timeline" concept used in Camtasia somewhat familiar. Intermediate skills involving the use of PowerPoint animations, callouts, and transition effects would also be helpful in using some features of this software. using a computer, mike, editing on a timeline  

Was this a FTE or individual purchase?

Individual FTE Individual   Individual  
How much did you pay for it? $300   N/A   $150  

Based on what you paid for this product how well did it meet your needs?

Very well   Very well   very well  

How would you rate this product in accordance with how well it met your needs?

3 3 4 3 3 3.2

Knowing what you know now about this product would you purchase this product ? Why or why not?

Yes. It was perfect for our specific need. Not sure. I found Captivate much easier to use. I would definitely choose this product again Yes. Once you learn the software, creating tutorials, etc. is quick and relatively easy. Yes, makes it fairly easy to create a video with audio  

How difficult is it to implement a site-wide license?

Don’t Know Not difficult at all. done by another department Our IT department handled this, so I’m not really sure.    
What is the expense of upgrades? Does it automatically upgrade? Don’t Know Not sure about upgrades as we have had it less than a year. do not know There are automatic upgrades within the same version. $150/education price, not an automatic upgrade  

What year did your institute first try using this software?

2006 2006 2007      

What tasks did you want it to perform?

Integration of live action video with screen capture and callouts. I wanted it to create interactive tutorials. tutorial Create web-based tutorials which can be used by patrons accessing library resources from a distance. video tutorials and tours  

Are there maintenance requirements?

  We haven’t had any maintenance as of yet. yes since our website and database selection have changed Not that I’m aware of. no  

Editing: How easy is it to make changes to the product?

Not as easy as we’d hoped, as editing the timeline often requires readjusting all captions and sound. But overall, not bad. Editing has been the biggest challenge. Trying to get the voice over and the video to match has been cumbersome we have to record a new session Upgrades are handled via a wizard accessed from within the product. fairly easy  

Technical considerations Rate the level of problems you or your users have had with this software package.

3 3 4 3 3 3.2
Additional comments: The software sometimes crashes.   none yet. received four months ago      
Does this program require a lot of memory on your computer? Yes Yes, it does – especially if you start saving the files to your computer. yes 500 MB RAM is required. 1 GB RAM is recommended. no  

Does this software work with or is able to create various necessary file formats?

It handles a wide variety of formats, and exports to more formats than I could ever use. Yes, there are lots of different file formats to choose from. Choosing the best format for our students needs has been a big challenge. yes Yes. Camtasia produces videos in a number of formats: Flash, Windows Media, and mp3, just to name a few. yes!  
Can you install program yourself or does it require help of systems admin? Easy to install yourself. Our computer tech person installed the software, but it was easy enough that I could have done it myself if I would have had time. I installed it myself Because it is licensed software, a sysadmin must install it. yes – by yourself  
Overall Pros Easy to use, handles many formats. Great for live action and multimedia integration. – Creates streaming videos- Small learning curve to begin using- Easy to install- Lots of tutorials to view – Lots of file formats to choose from It has fulfilled its purpose. Everything we expected it to be. Easy to learn; Flexible (e.g.,can design custom callouts) easy to use and edit; audio plus video  
Overall Cons Uses a lot of system resources and sometimes crashes when producing the end product. One major drawback is how it handles audio files. When you record narration, each recording is saved separately and, if you choose not to use it, you cannot extract its reference from the project, making your project rather large for no reason. Use for live action and multimedia integration. Would not use for simple screen captures or software demos. Other products (Captivate, ViewletBuilder) excel at this. – Lots of file formats to choose from – knowing which one to pick is a challenge. – Editing is a challenge – trying to match voice over with video has been difficult.- There have been questions on how large a file is and how easy it will be for slo haven’t run into any yet. Only have had four months Audio is difficult to work with in this program    

Final Comments

For its price, a good product   Recommend Camtasia Flexible & easy to learn w/ audio issues    

 

Captivate

Captivate  

Average Rating

How easy was it to learn this product?

3 3.0
Comments Can learn by one’s self  

How proficient do you need to be with programming or technical skills in order to learn this program?

3 3.0

What are the prerequisites for using this software?

   

Was this a FTE or individual purchase?

   

Based on what you paid for this product how well did it meet your needs?

   

How would you rate this product in accordance with how well it met your needs?

4 4.0

Knowing what you know now about this product would you purchase this product ? Why or why not?

Yes, it is relatively simple to use and produces good results.  

How difficult is it to implement a site-wide license?

   
What is the expense of upgrades? Does it automatically upgrade?    

What year did your institute first try using this software?

   

What tasks did you want it to perform?

Tutorials for using the library website, information literacy, and database guides.  

Are there maintenance requirements?

   

Editing: How easy is it to make changes to the product?

Can make global changes. Can be a bit slow to update, since any PDFs must be changed and then reuploaded.  

Technical considerations Rate the level of problems you or your users have had with this software package.

3 3.0
Additional comments:    
Does this program require a lot of memory on your computer?    

Does this software work with or is able to create various necessary file formats?

Had some difficulty getting tutorials up on the web.  
Can you install program yourself or does it require help of systems admin?    
Overall Pros Simple to use and produces an eye-catching project.  
Overall Cons    

Final Comments

   

 

Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver           Average Rating

How easy was it to learn this product?

4 3 3 1 2 2.6
Comments     Received excellent training      

How proficient do you need to be with programming or technical skills in order to learn this program?

3 2 3 2 3 2.6

What are the prerequisites for using this software?

a basic sense of .html helps a lot Knowledge of HTML, CSS, and Web design and layout. Some knowledge of HTML is helpful but not mandatory. An ability to ignore the need for ADA compliant pages and some general good code practices. individual  

Was this a FTE or individual purchase?

      Individual    
How much did you pay for it?       Don’t recall – academic rate from a catalog vendor (answering question how much did you pay)    

Based on what you paid for this product how well did it meet your needs?

     

Not so well.

   

How would you rate this product in accordance with how well it met your needs?

4 4 4 2 4 3.6

Knowing what you know now about this product would you purchase this product ? Why or why not?

Yes. I would purchase updates when needed. I like the clean coding and good interface. State of the art for easy HTML and Web site prodution. Yes, it is excellent! Not without taking a course in how to use it. Probably not at all.    

How difficult is it to implement a site-wide license?

easy Not sure. I don’t know. This was an institutional purchase. Didn’t try. Don’t know.    
What is the expense of upgrades? Does it automatically upgrade? don’t know Varies. You can still use older versions, so you don’t have to upgrade. I don’t know. This was an institutional purchase. No, the version we have doesn’t seem to upgrade automatically. The upgrades we have purchased have had substantially higher learning curves and less standards-compliance than the earlier version. Its default is to change standards compliant code to non-compliant code.    

What year did your institute first try using this software?

2003   1999      

What tasks did you want it to perform?

create simple pages HTML coding, Web page layout, etc. Create web pages. page revisions    

Are there maintenance requirements?

none that I know of Patches and updates. Not that I know of. for the software itself? no.    

Editing: How easy is it to make changes to the product?

don’t know Easy. Very easy. not so easy    

Technical considerations Rate the level of problems you or your users have had with this software package.

4 3 4 1 4 3.20
Additional comments:       Changes relative sizes to absolute ones    
Does this program require a lot of memory on your computer? no yes no no    

Does this software work with or is able to create various necessary file formats?

don’t know yes Yes- I’ve only used it with HTML and image files. yes    
Can you install program yourself or does it require help of systems admin? depends on local setup; It is possible and easy to load oneself if one has the rights to do so; network install at our institution requires sys admin; it is easy to install Needs admin privileges to install. I was able to install it on my PC myself. yourself    
Overall Pros simplicity,accuracy, widely used, you can count on the code being straight forward and clean Good overall tool, but may be too full featured for some novice users. Easy to learn and use. Better than using a granite slate and a chisel    
Overall Cons   Can take a while to get the feel of DreamWeaver. No complaints hard to learn. Changes clean code to complicated, non-compliant code.    

Final Comments

highly recommend it          

 

Frontpage

Frontpage     Average Rating

How easy was it to learn this product?

3 5 4.0
Comments      

How proficient do you need to be with programming or technical skills in order to learn this program?

3 4 3.50

What are the prerequisites for using this software?

None that I am aware of, but having knowledge of basic HTML is very helpful    

Was this a FTE or individual purchase?

     

Based on what you paid for this product how well did it meet your needs?

     

How would you rate this product in accordance with how well it met your needs?

2   2.0

Knowing what you know now about this product would you purchase this product ? Why or why not?

It is a campus license, but I would probably not purchase it for my own use. yes, easy to use and collect data  

How difficult is it to implement a site-wide license?

don’t know    
What is the expense of upgrades? Does it automatically upgrade? don’t know, all is handled through our IITS department    

What year did your institute first try using this software?

4   4.0

What tasks did you want it to perform?

Page edit creating a website  

Are there maintenance requirements?

Only for content updating pages  

Editing: How easy is it to make changes to the product?

easy very easy  

Technical considerations Rate the level of problems you or your users have had with this software package.

4 4 4.0
Additional comments:      
Does this program require a lot of memory on your computer? not that I know of no  

Does this software work with or is able to create various necessary file formats?

some yes  
Can you install program yourself or does it require help of systems admin? yourself Yes, can be install yourself easily, however our ITS department installs all software programs at my institution  
Overall Pros I don’t have to install, upgrade or maintain the software as it is served through our network    
Overall Cons Doesn’t offer everything that I wish it would.    

Final Comments

  Great software for creating websites!  

 

Viewlet

ViewletBuilder     Average Rating

How easy was it to learn this product?

4 4 4.0
Comments with practice    

How proficient do you need to be with programming or technical skills in order to learn this program?

4 3 3.5

What are the prerequisites for using this software?

None. It is extremely easy to use the software. The hard part is getting the hang of developing your timing. This is a bit of an art that the software can’t really help you through.    

Was this a FTE or individual purchase?

Individual Individual  
How much did you pay for it?   Under $200, I think  

Based on what you paid for this product how well did it meet your needs?

 

Quite well. I think Captivate is probably worth the extra money, but ViewletCam (or ViewletBuilder) is adequate.

 

How would you rate this product in accordance with how well it met your needs?

4 3 3.5

Knowing what you know now about this product would you purchase this product ? Why or why not?

Absolutely. I’ve used it for over 3 years for a number of projects, and it is very good. Yes, but would prefer Captivate.  

How difficult is it to implement a site-wide license?

  I don’t think so.  
What is the expense of upgrades? Does it automatically upgrade?   Not sure.  

What year did your institute first try using this software?

2004 2005  

What tasks did you want it to perform?

Screen capture for software demos/tutorials. create screencast/audio tutorials  

Are there maintenance requirements?

no Little  

Editing: How easy is it to make changes to the product?

Fairly easy. It’s a simple slideshow format. You can add and delete slides very easily. n/a  

Technical considerations Rate the level of problems you or your users have had with this software package.

3 4 3.5
Additional comments: Only very slight html issues    
Does this program require a lot of memory on your computer? no Not really, no.  

Does this software work with or is able to create various necessary file formats?

It isn’t meant for integrating multimedia, so there aren’t many import options. It can create Flash and exe. Yes  
Can you install program yourself or does it require help of systems admin? Easy to install yourself. Well, in our institution it requires systems, but that is on our side. It is downloadable pretty easily.  
Overall Pros What’s good about this product is that it is simple to learn and use. Easy to use, inexpensive, effective  
Overall Cons Can’t integrate the product with other products very easily. Less "bells and whistles" than competitors that cost a little more  

Final Comments

A solid product that I recommend.    

 

Wink

Wink   Average Rating

How easy was it to learn this product?

4 4.0
Comments    

How proficient do you need to be with programming or technical skills in order to learn this program?

3 3.0

What are the prerequisites for using this software?

You need to be able to figure out how the icons work, etc., but you do not need programming or technical skills. It is pretty straightforward.  

Was this a FTE or individual purchase?

Individual  
How much did you pay for it? 0  

Based on what you paid for this product how well did it meet your needs?

Very well! It is a product that works, and it is free.

 

How would you rate this product in accordance with how well it met your needs?

3 3.0

Knowing what you know now about this product would you purchase this product ? Why or why not?

I would definitely recommend this product. While it does not have all the bells and whistles of a program that is sold for a profit, it is more than adequate for most tutorials.  

How difficult is it to implement a site-wide license?

Very easy–install on each machine. Because it is free software, you do not need to worry about a license.  
What is the expense of upgrades? Does it automatically upgrade? Upgrades are free. It does not appear that the software automatically upgrades.  

What year did your institute first try using this software?

2007  

What tasks did you want it to perform?

Create tutorials with audio  

Are there maintenance requirements?

no  

Editing: How easy is it to make changes to the product?

Fairly easy to go in and change your tutorials  

Technical considerations Rate the level of problems you or your users have had with this software package.

4 4.0
Additional comments:    
Does this program require a lot of memory on your computer? no  

Does this software work with or is able to create various necessary file formats?

yes  
Can you install program yourself or does it require help of systems admin? Self (unless your machine is locked down and/or you do not have administrative rights to it)  
Overall Pros Ease of use and free  
Overall Cons Not as powerful as expensive programs  

Final Comments

Highly recommend–worth a look!  

 

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