Being a localization engineer feels like being a magician. You try to make foreign characters display properly, convert images so they feel “native,” and come up with creative ideas to make products functional with languages that are not supported. In fact, the main challenge for many localization engineers is to work with technologies that don’t fully support localization. Our job is to just make things happen. I love it.
On my latest adventure, I was on a mission to build 14 eLearning modules in Chinese using Articulate Storline 2013. Our client decided to use a new version of Articulate as it has the ability to display courses on iPad. Publishing in new 2014 versions also helped address previous compatibility issues with IE.
During the process, problems started coming up like little white bunnies jumping out of a magician’s hat. While describing them all would take pages, the two below are worth the attention.
Common Examples of Articulate Storyline Publishing Problems
After hours of work on one of the modules, it is a bit of a shock to the system when an error message pops up and says “Something went wrong and the program might close”.
We have published many Chinese courses in Articulate Storyline 2009 and never had any problems with it. Suddenly, after doing some linguistic updates to the text, we started getting error messages that prevented us from publishing the modules. Was it caused by certain Chinese characters? The Articulate team unfortunately was not able to help us, although they recognized the problem with the current patch and promised an update on the next patch. We did not have time to wait,however. All 14 courses had be finalized within a month.
While restarting the computer sometimes fixed the problem, it was just a temporary solution. After experimenting with several options, the one described below was the most successful in fixing the publishing issue.
Step 1: Find out which slide has the problem. You can address the problematic slide by watching the progress bar of the publishing window.
Additional Time Savings Tip Publish on a secondary computer and use a screen recording software. Then fast forward on the recording to see where the crash occurred. This way you won’t have the need to stare at the screen to catch that very moment.
Converting Text to Image
Now that you know which slide is problematic, you can consider converting text boxes to images. This is quite easy to do if you only have a few text boxes, but it may take many hours on more sophisticated slides with layers of text and animation. Also, keep in mind, converting the slides into images means that you will need to do more work if the text needs an update in the future.
Luckily, there’s an easier work around…
- Select all text boxes and right click to display the menu.
- Click Format Shape → 3-D Rotation
- Set “Z:” to “0.1”
- Check “Keep Text Flat” to avoid blurry text
This allows you to keep your original text, instead of transforming it into an image to solving the problem.
Step 3: Preview the slides.If there are any publishing issues, you will be able to discover them during the preview. So if you cold preview a slide without any problems, you will be able to publish that particular slide successfully.
Garbage Characters on the Browser Title – More Articulate Chinese Character Support Issues…
After testing and finalizing the courses, another problem that I came across was the display of Chinese characters on LMS.
As you know, LMS uses the “index_lms.html” to pull the training pages, depending on the platform. The reason I had garbage characters was because Articulate couldn’t push the correct Chinese characters and because the index file was missing the meta declaration for “Unicode.” I could see that other languages (e.g. French, and Spanish) had correct titles under “index_lms.html,” but, in the case of Chinese, it displayed as set of question marks “?????????”.
What we needed to do was simply add the meta tag and the correct Chinese title. This might be necessary for all languages outside of the 1252 character set such as Japanese, Korean, Turkish, Polish and Russian.
Put this code right above the title line and correct your title to a correct one. Easy?
Bonus Tips for Note Tab
1) Update to the latest version of Articulate Storyline – update 2 as of this writing. This update provides fixes that will help you use note master to adjust the size and font and it also allows you to style your notes. Looking for Update 2? Click here.
2) If you have quizzes in your trainings- don’t forget to change the layer names. They show up on the note tab.
3) Font quality issue – The font quality on notes is not great. You can improve that by selecting “Lock Player at Optimal Size” in the “Player Size:” drop-down menu. But be aware that as of today, the notes are not supported on iPad.
Do you have Articulate update tips to share? Please do so in the comments below.