Lectora Snap Highlights:
- Download and Install: Process takes less than 5 minutes. It’s a very easy installation.
- Documentation/Help: “Getting Started with Snap Video” is decent.
- Portability: It exports to SCORM, web, CD, and free Snap content hosting.
- Support: It offers an active community forum and $99 unlimited support calls for a year.
- PowerPoint Integration: AThe add-in functions as an Office Ribbon (like Articulate).
- SNAP Upside: It seems to be lighter, faster, and less buggy, and to produce smaller packages (smaller file sizes) than Articulate.
- SNAP Downside: Audio synching with graphics seems to take longer and be less intuitive/easy to do than Articulate.
I always enjoy experimenting with new e-Learning authoring tools. So when I saw an advertisement for Snap on Linkedin, I had to give it a shot right away. The download and installation appeared to go very smoothly, but when I launched PowerPoint from within the Snap tool, PowerPoint crashed. I restarted PowerPoint, saw the customary “PowerPoint recovered for a severe failure due to the Snap plug-in” message, told PowerPoint it was OK to load, and bingo–I was back in business. I also was presented with a message confirming that I was using a trial version, which I did not see on my first launch attempt, so it is possible that the installation and first-time launch routine for Snap might need a little fine tuning. Snap is essentially a value-priced competitor to Articulate Presenter. So the first thing I did was familiarize myself with the Ribbon. The buttons are all fairly intuitive, so if you have used Articulate in the past, you should have no trouble with Snap. For example, Articulate’s “Slide Properties” becomes Snap’s “Slide Explorer.” Just like Articulate, you can preview and publish courses, set slides to advance automatically or by user intervention, record or import audio, plus edit the audio you do have. You can create quizzes and surveys, etc. Clearly the Lectora guys know they can’t expect to compete with Articulate on price alone, so they came out of the gate with some extra cool features that look to me as if they listened to the complaints and suggestions from the Articulate community and built solutions into their version. For example, the Slide Explorer makes it easier to set a per-slide default runtime for those slides that do not include audio. You can also embed YouTube videos. What’s more, Snap appears to run faster than Articulate. Articulate Presenter and its companions Engage and Quizmaker still offer a wider range of functionality and options. For example, while Snap puts the slide time right into the Slide Explorer, the following are missing from this Snap tool: Level, Change View, Branching, and Lock. I’ll be digging deeper into Snap to determine if these features are simply placed elsewhere, but for the time being, Snap appears to be a lightweight version of Articulate.
Bottom Line: If you already have Articulate, there may not be a compelling reason for a wholesale switch to Snap. However, Snap is so inexpensive that you may just want to pick up a copy and add it to your e-Learning authoring tool collection. At first blush, Snap appears to be a solid entry into the PowerPoint-to-LMS software market and the price is compelling. If you don’t really make full use of Articulate’s features and Snap does everything you need, then you may enjoy the added benefit of simply a faster tool. If you do not yet have a tool for converting PowerPoint decks into SCORM-wrapped eLearning, then Snap is a great way to get your feet wet. Good luck, and best wishes. –Magic