If you’ve started researching authoring tools, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed. There are so many options, each with its pros and cons. How can you choose the best e-learning authoring tools for your training business? First, you must determine your basic needs, wants, and budget. Then, use this guide to learn about the top authoring tools and how to decide which one is the best for your training business.

Considerations before Choosing an Authoring Tool

First, think about what kind of learning experience you want to offer your clients. Depending on your industry and content, you may need to provide diverse types of e-learning. For example, do you need asynchronous courses, so students can learn independently, or synchronous courses, where students simultaneously participate in a group course? Will your content be text, video, audio, or a mixture? Perhaps you even want to get into virtual reality. You’ll also want to check the types of assessments that you can build and if the authoring tool offers responsive design capabilities.

Second, consider how you will build the course. Do you need a cloud-based tool that multiple people can work on together from anywhere? Or maybe you want a desktop version with powerful functionality that you don’t need an internet connection to use. Determine what level of design experience you have and whether you will need access to templates and easy design customizations. Finally, don’t forget to consider your budget.

Four Best E-learning Authoring Tools

1. iSpring Suite

This authoring tool is excellent for training providers who are moving to online training and have a large amount of content in PowerPoint. iSpring Suite is a PowerPoint add-in, making it incredibly simple to turn your current materials into engaging, professional courses. This e-learning toolkit has robust features to help you build courses with or without any design experience. It also has responsive design options, a flexible online workspace, and highly rated 24/7 technical support.

Besides turning current PowerPoint presentations into interactive courses, you can access iSpring Suite’s massive library of templates, assets, and characters to build a course from scratch. It also has excellent options for quizzes and assessments, including fourteen question types, branching scenarios, and question pools. You can even add screen recordings or screencasts, build roleplays or simulations, and choose from multiple interaction types. Perhaps most importantly, there are fantastic options for accessibility that don’t require you to make an additional course. Students can simply switch the accessibility mode on or off.

2. Adobe Captivate

Adobe Captivate is one of the most powerful authoring tools available, but it has a much greater learning curve than most other products. That said, if you have the time, Adobe offers a vast learning library with a Learning Hub, webinars, and an e-learning forum to help you out. It’s also recently come out with new Quick-Start Projects, which have “plug and play” capabilities. There are plenty of templates, assets, and premade interactions to choose from too.

Captivate enables you to build mobile-responsive courses and preview content on various devices to ensure that content functions properly before deployment. You can create virtual-reality walkthroughs and make a screencast while also using your webcam—one of the most engaging ways to teach virtually. The extensive interface enables you to manipulate all content features, creating highly engaging and effective learning materials.

3. Articulate 360

Articulate 360 is a suite that includes popular authoring tools Rise and Storyline, along with other useful creator tools. It offers live and on-demand training options and has one of the largest stock asset and course template libraries, with over 9 million assets. It also boasts a special online product review app, so stakeholders can quickly and easily give feedback and approval on courses.

Designers at any level can use Articulate’s tools, but if you need help getting started, there is a training library with videos and webinars and an e-learning community forum for users. The courses that you make will be responsive and optimized for any device without any extra work. You can also easily create any kind of interaction with personalized content, including quizzes and assessments.

4. Lectora

This authoring tool gives you incredible control over responsive/mobile design. Content will automatically adapt, but you can also make adjustments if necessary. It also offers exceptional built-in accessibility options that go beyond what’s required. This tool is highly flexible, with multiple publishing formats available and a collaborative work environment in the online version.

With Lectora, there are many options for course interactivity, including branching scenarios, quizzes and assessments, and feedback popups. You can also build courses from scratch or use the extensive library of assets, characters, videos, and templates to enhance your content. In addition, there are unlimited stakeholder reviews and approvals.


Finding the best e-learning authoring tools is easy when you know your needs as a training provider. First, determine your wants and budget. Decide what’s most important to you and see what tools line up with your priorities. Then, move on to choosing the best authoring tool for your business using this guide. You’ll be creating beautiful, engaging courses in no time!

Here at Firmwater, we don’t just sell an LMS for training providers. We partner with our clients, giving them the tools and insights they need to implement the best practices in e-learning course development, growth, and delivery. We care too much about our customers’ businesses to have them wade through forums and chatbots for help.

Ready to use an LMS that’s designed for the way YOU work, with a team dedicated to YOUR needs? Book a no-obligation consultation directly with our team today!