After years of waiting and hoping for a version of Articulate Presenter that publishes faster, offers more features, and just works better, we’re finally able to download Articulate Presenter’ 13. The promise to publish trainings in html5 and make them available on mobile devices is for many the main reason to consider updating older versions of trainings in Articulate Presenter ‘13.
So as expected, with the beginning of the year and new budgets to play with, we started getting inquiries about updating localized trainings built in the ’09 version with Articulate Presenter ’13. Questions such as “How fast…”, “How much…” and “How easy…” left me with little choice but to spend an afternoon republishing a training built in ‘09 with Articulate Presenter ’13 to find out for myself what to expect. Since the product is rather new, not much information about potential issues with Presenter ’13 is available online.
I’ve decided to share my preliminary findings with everyone so that you know what you are getting yourself into when you consider “the update”. If you find more issues or better solutions to my problems, please share in the comments.
Articulate Presenter ’13 vs. ’09: What to Watch For
1. Some of the engage files will get detached during the update. You will need to attach them again, one by one.
2. The menu may disappear from some of the interaction files. You will need to delete them and then re-attach them again by adding a new slide.
3. The bubbles on navigation slides do not display the text that comes with them. Removing the slide from Articulate tab> Engage Interactions and Player tab and then adding it again fixes the problem.
4. Some of the objects in the presentation get affected (See lack of background color in the boxes) and need to be re-done, or saved as image and then reinserted into the presentation.
5. Animations will be affected. The list of animations that are supported in Presenter ’13 is on the Articulate website. Unfortunately, some that they list as supported are affected and do not display properly. I had to change these animations or even re-do the design on some slides. In presentations with complex design and multilevel animations this is VERY time consuming.
6. Videos do not display and need to be imported again.
7. Synchronization is affected. While it works in some slides, we found out that it gets delayed on others.
8. Templates need to be designed from scratch. You won’t be able to upload them from Presenter ‘09.
9. The menu needs to be fixed. Articulate Presenter ’13 offers extra features. Items under engage files get their own entries in the menu. You will need to modify it to display the way you want after upgrading to the new version.
10. Special characters get corrupted in the menu. In localized versions, some of the characters get corrupted after the upgrade. The only way to fix it is to copy/paste these titles again.
11. Buttons on engage files are missing and need to be added.
12. Translated templates need to be created again. There is an option to export all terms used in a template, but I couldn’t find a way to import it back. I had to do it by copy/pasting.
13. Text from quizzes disappears. If you had customized text displaying under a score, it gets deleted with the new version. You will need to insert it again line by line.
A few words about the html5 version
The html5 file is created at the same time as the standard html file, from the very same PowerPoint slides.
When I launched the training using the html5 file I noticed many more problems related to animation than in standard html. That means that you cannot assume your published presentation will display correctly in html5 if it displays correctly in html.
While Articulate Presenter ’13 supports the majority of animations, trainings published for html5 support very few, which should be a serious concern for designers who love to make use of the variety of animations offered in PowerPoint. Any time you want to insert a new animation, you’d better make sure it’s supported by Articulate.
It’s a similar case with trainings published for Mobile or iPad. Since a training will render differently for all these three outputs, expect your testing hours to triple and development time to increase significantly.
Republishing an Articulate Presenter ’09 training in the new Articulate ’13 requires a serious amount of work – more than your clients are probably hoping for. So it’s smart to evaluate the real benefits from the upgrade first. Depending on the client, the best approach might be to wait for Articulate to fix some of the more obvious problems before jumping into a project.
Look out for a future post that will delve more into the changes made for the 2013 upgrade, and in the meantime, please share your thoughts in the comments!