In order to choose the best authoring tool software, it is imperative to understand what authoring tools are.
Authoring tools, commonly referred to as eLearning authoring tools, are used to create, collaborate, integrate and publish engaging and interactive content meant mostly for trainings and educational purposes.
The best authoring tool software lets you work with digitized elements, and/or learning objects to use in your trainings. However, they take on more functions as you will discover while checking out our top picks for authoring tools.
Authoring tools are important because content really is king, more so in the eLearning space.
To this end, trainers are constantly looking for creative and innovative ways of creating and publishing custom content that can be used on the Internet, in companies, or in CD-ROMs. In other cases, there is need for doing ‘crash courses’ or rapid eLearning, like in organizations where information needs to be deployed, and thereby reducing training costs.
Authoring tool software can therefore be applied when you have large teams with varying skill sets, or for trainers who prefer blended training solutions that use a combination of both classroom and eLearning material, thus killing two birds with one stone.
If this sounds like what you’re looking for, here are our top picks for the best authoring tool software you can use in 2017, and beyond.
What are the best authoring tools for Windows 10?
As its name rightly suggests, Easygenerator is an authoring tool software that is simple, easy to use and generate custom content as it is cloud-based.
This tool is classified as a SaaS solution, and lets instructional designers, or trainers in different subject matters to create engaging and interactive content with high impact.
It is affordable, future proof, simple to use when creating, designing and publishing your custom content, and is used in more than 120 countries globally.
You can try Easygenerator for free, and create beautiful courses fast, and easily, without the need for coding or installation. It is also fully responsive, plus you don’t have to worry about hassles of the past like design, optimization, measuring results or publishing to the correct standards.
All you need to do is focus on creating your custom content, and Easygenerator does the footwork for you. At its core is a strong instructive framework that ensures learners get the best results through a standard objective setting and success measuring approach that uses assessments.
Its intuitive interface delivers a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) output, and there’s no need for scripting or programming with this software.
Other features include TinCan and SCORM-compliant content integrated in the tool, and conversion to mobile devices as it works in the cloud thus is responsive. More benefits include content repurposing or reusing, predesigned smart templates, one-click publishing, advanced cloud infrastructure, a smart delivery team, and tracking learning progress.
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This authoring tool software is described as the next generation learning system. With Geenio, you can create, organize and improve your learning processes, whether corporate or professional, without using additional tools or needing any extra technical skills.
Choose your industry, be it business, recruitment or education, and Geenio will take care of the rest. Some of its advantages include increasing customer satisfaction and engagement, business scalability to meet market demand, educating and certifying business partners on your products, increase hiring efficiency using the online assessment tool, assess team competencies by finding strengths and identifying knowledge gaps, encourage knowledge sharing, increase learning process efficiency, promote your competencies, and grow student bases across the world.
In just a few clicks, Geenio gets your content to users on any device as it is also a Saas solution, cloud-based with full HTML5 support, and you can use it easily on a full scale. It is available for free, with no long term contracts involved.
This is a simple, intuitive authoring tool software designed to deliver high quality learning with a faster response time. With this tool, you can control the look and feel of your brand and content by creating templates and other material aligned to your brand guidelines, design unique and engaging content using the Layout Designer feature, speed up and simplify content creation using the Team collaboration feature such that your team can comment and leave feedback within projects.
You can also create and update multiple versions of your content with the Variations Manager feature, translate content to multiple languages and track user data globally, plus analyze and improve your content using the Analytics feature that captures detailed information about your content’s users such as their location, devices, time spent on the content and how they answer questions.
Other features include simple editing, HTML5 output which is modern and loads fast, browser support as far back as Internet Explorer 7, full responsiveness, future proof meaning your content is safe and any changes are automatically updated, an Asset Library, Gamification and branching, superfast hosting, and free reviewing options.
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4. Articulate 360
This authoring tool software comes with the right apps and resources for you to create engaging and interactive content with high impact. Its award winning authoring apps include the Storyline 360 and Rise, among a slew of other apps. Features include over 2 million course assets such as templates, photos, videos, icons and characters.
With Articulate’s Storyline 360, you can develop custom engaging, high learning impact and interactive courses that can work on any device, plus novices and experts alike can use it too. Articulate Rise app is useful for building responsive courses in the shortest time possible, but you need a web browser only and you’re well on your way to create the most beautiful courses for any screen.
Other features include the Articulate Review which hastens the project review process with feedback provided in a browser, live training online using live webinars, no coding required, and a user friendly interface.
Some of the benefits you get with Articulate include an active online community where you can get tips, tricks and share information, flexibility, and run your content on all devices. You can get it for $1398 or a 30-day free trial to test run it.
This is an affordable, but powerful cloud-based SaaS authoring tool software which you can collaborate with anywhere, and at any time, plus it works with all browsers and operating systems.
Lectora offers benefits such as an intuitive interface, automatic file backup, zero installation, publishing to any learning management system (LMS), and it is easy to learn. Features include a quiz builder, collaborative review tools, pre-made actions to create animations, flexible scripting, access to eLearning Brothers graphics and template library, and a 30 day free trial.
You can also get Lectora paid version for $1595 per year.
This authoring tool software lets you create your own online course with benefits such as simplicity, security, and it is fully available for free…forever.
You can instantly create online courses, quizzes and forums then share or embed them to your course. It is truly mobile so you can access your content from any modern device online, including your tablet or smartphone, meaning you can even create a cours
e on these devices and preview in a browser. Other features include an educational calendar where students can find all the courses, quizzes and deadlines as assigned so they’ll not miss any updates, plus you can own your LMS and upload your contact list then everyone in it will join you on your LMS, which you’re fully in control of.
7. CD2 Learning
If you need to build content faster and easier, then this is your best bet for an authoring tool software.
With this tool, you can take advantage of features such as a drag and drop interface, capability to construct real world simulations, games, assessments, and other online activities, plus get analytics all in one tool.
You can also leverage its mobile capability to create content wherever you are and at any time, build content visually with the tool’s responsive styles, import bulk content or elements, add tags and keywords, and automatically upload your items to a content delivery network with multiple points of presence worldwide.
Standard features include HTML5, change management, track changes for each content and recall when needed, easy upload of images, video, text, documents, simulations, multi-language support, and content listing.
8. Adobe Captivate
This authoring tool software helps you author batches of content rapidly on a HTML5 based platform. It is a desktop app available for Windows operating system and is touted as the most powerful authoring tool software in the industry, but it needs a lot of understanding to work with it.
However, you don’t need much technical ability to create interactive content as it uses wizards to guide you as you create and publish your content. Its features include color palettes, slide master, responsive and interactive output, geolocation capability, powerful scripting functionality, and you can define group actions when working on multiple projects.
You can get the 30-day free trial or buy the paid version at $1099.
9. Shift Learning
This authoring tool software offers a single workspace with all the tools you need to work smarter what with its simple, intuitive platform that delivers high performance and gives you full control.
Features include an extensive template builder and library, built-in audio recording studio, easy to use interface with no coding requirements, drag and drop builder for custom designing, interactive templates where you can add videos, quizzes, images or audio, a resource library, plus responsive design for mobile and desktop, and built-in review system.
You can buy it for $1200 per year, or get the 15-day free trial version and test run it.
This is another powerful and rapid authoring tool software with a unique feature called ActivePresenter. This feature includes all tools you need to record, edit and create your custom content.
Other features include Smart Capture that lets you capture the screen with a mouse click or key press, full motion recording, software simulation, quiz building, mic and speaker recording, audio and video editing without quality loss, a variety of shapes to choose from, colors and effects, interactivity, video and HTML5 export, as well as SCORM-compliant content which is widely supported by most LMS.
This authoring tool software prides itself in being the fastest, easiest and most effective on the market. With this tool, you can create SCORM/AICC-compliant courses with audio, video and animations, update your courses, teach evolving subjects to any audience size, and get crucial feedback reporting through a variety of ways.
It is fast, easy to use, doesn’t need programming knowledge, and lets you tailor the design of your content, convert courses at once or by lesson, display course download sizes, add navigation controls and bookmarking for pages, built-in course structures, and automatically builds pre-test, post-test and lesson feedback sections.
Once you create your content and finish writing it, SyberWorks automatically converts it into an online training in 60 seconds.
This is a social e-learning authoring tool software with real time collaboration capability, and a powerful environment free of programming so you can create your high quality, interactive content with embedded social media. it is fully responsive, and you can create courses, quizzes or games using your browser, or collaborate with your team to share ideas, assign tasks, and reuse content, then finally publish your creations to your LMS, HTML5, PDF or desktop.
Other features include interactivity, real feedback, social embedding, assessments divided into sections or categories with unparalleled feedback options, multi-language options, importing to existing PowerPoint presentations, gamification of quizzes or questions, teamwork, version control for your courses, reuse, review and assign tasks, among others.
CourseArc authoring tool software transforms the learning experience both in an educational set up or in your organization by making the learning process count. It also transforms how you deliver trainings and other professional development, streamlines onboarding process, plus it is so efficient, saves you money, and increases engagement because it is interactive.
It is a digital content creation tool whose benefits include accessibility, ease of content creation, affordability, and transformation of your training activities.
This is a simple authoring software tool with fast and responsive features such as adaptive output, HTML5 authoring, reuse and sharing of content, real time collaboration, plus you can publish to your LMS, or apps and also print the content. If you need to create responsive content or simulations at the click of a button, this is your tool.
It has three authoring modes: Responsive, Tradition eLearning, and Software simulations, which let you deliver content anywhere, and any time. It is cloud-based and accessible on any device whether it’s a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
You can quickly publish whatever you create as a web app, as a desktop package, document or to the dominKNOW mobile player to use it as a performance support tool.
Content can be reused so you don’t have to keep creating more versions.
Gomo is a really interesting elearning authoring software that packs a series of additional features, including hosting, analytics and apps. If you need a tool that can help you to create content within minutes, then Gomo Learning Suite is the right choice for you.
There are many content templates that you can choose from so we’re sure you’ll find one that meets your content creation needs. The tool allows multiple authors to work on the same content which is perfect for collaboration purposes.
Another advantage is that this is a cloud based tool and there’s also a free trial available. So, go ahead and test Gomo to see if this tool can cover all your authoring and content creation needs.
Have you settled on an authoring tool software you want to use? let us know your favorite and if you’ve used any before, share with us your experience in the comments section below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.