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Authorware Professional, formerly Best Course of Action, was the flagship product of Authorware Inc. before it merged with MacroMind-Paracomp to become Macromedia.[1]


Dr. Michael W. Allen of Control Data Corporation (CDC) developed a visual version of PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automatic Teaching Operations). When CDC expressed little interest in the project, Allen was permitted to to make a bid for the technology.[2] He then founded the Authorware company in 1984, which was incorporated the following year.[3]

The project was first released as Best Course of Action for Macintosh before being renamed to Authorware Professional.[4][5] The filetype of early versions was COA. The Windows version had been scheduled for 1990, but was finally released in 1992.[1] The Authorware company also provided consulting services for commercial users.[6]


  • Authorware Professional 1.0, for commercial use, with a list price of US$8,000.[7] A 50% discount was offered to developers who participated in its Creative Partners program.[8]
  • Authorware Star, an entry level version at lower cost,[9] sometimes bundled with other products.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 An Overview of Authorware 7 — and Its Evolution by Joseph Ganci, The eLearning Developer's Journal, p.1-3. 2003-09-22.
  2. An Overview of Authorware 7 — and Its Evolution by Joseph Ganci, The eLearning Developer's Journal, p.4-5. 2003-09-22.
  3. Definition of: Macromedia, PC Magazine. Accessed 2019-11-03.
  4. 'Interactive Multimedia' bringing it all together by Tony Bove and Cheryl Rhodes, Chicago Tribune. 1989-03-19.
  5. Computing Calendar: Using Multimedia with the Best Course of Action (Authorware Professional), U-M Computing News vol.5 no.11 p.22, University of Michigan. 1990-06-18.
  6. Authorware Fulfills Multimedia's Promise With Product and Direction by Ruthann Quindlen, InfoWorld, p.98. 1990-05-07.
  7. Authorware Professional for Windows by Alfred Poor, PC Magazine p.227-232. 1992-03-31.
  8. Top Notch, Top Dollar, Authorware Is a Serious Multimedia Tool by Paul Murphy, PC Magazine. 1992-01-14.
  9. A Multimedia Authoring System for Crafting Topic Hierarchy, Learning Strategies, and Intelligent Models (PDF) by Wing-Kwong Wong and Tak-Wai Chan, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education (1997), 8, p.76-77.
  10. Authoring Software: Author! Author! by Alfred Poor, PC Magazine p.227. 1992-03-31.

External links[]

Macromedia Authorware
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Discontinued in August 2007