Presenter 360: Tips for Managing Project Files
The following tips will help you avoid unexpected results when creating, sharing, and publishing Presenter 360 projects.
- Create, Edit, and Publish Projects on Your Local Hard Drive
- Save, Version, and Back Up Projects Frequently
- Send Projects to Other Developers When You Need to Collaborate
- Host Published Courses Online
- Optimize File Paths and Naming Conventions
Create, Edit, and Publish Projects on Your Local Hard Drive
Working with Project Files
Always save and publish Presenter projects on your local hard drive (typically your C: drive). Working on a network drive or an external USB drive can cause erratic behavior due to latency. For example, it could cause file corruption or prevent you from saving changes.
You can place a copy of your project on a network drive or a USB drive for backup purposes, but avoid reopening the file until you've moved it back to your local hard drive. And before moving a Presenter project to a network drive or USB drive, create an Articulate Package, as described below.
Creating an Articulate Package
An Articulate Package is a zip file that contains a copy of an entire Presenter project, including the PowerPoint file, the Presenter file with audio/video resources, quiz files, and interaction files. Here's how to create an Articulate Package:
- Do one of the following, depending on your version of PowerPoint:
- PowerPoint 2013 or Later: Go to the File tab on the PowerPoint ribbon, click Share, and choose Articulate Package.
- PowerPoint 2010: Go to the File tab on the PowerPoint ribbon, click Save & Send, and choose Articulate Package.
- When the Articulate Presenter Package window appears, choose a package location (i.e., where you want to save it). By default, the zip file will be created in the same location where your PowerPoint file is stored, but you can change it. Just click the ellipsis (...) and browse to a different folder.
- Modify the optional package notes, then click Create Package.
- When the Publish Successful window appears, you'll have an option to open the folder where the zip file was created. Click Close when you're done.
Developers often keep course assets (pictures, videos, audio files, documents, etc.) on a network drive or USB drive. And in most cases, that's fine. However, if you see unusual behavior after importing an asset from a network drive or USB drive, it's possible the asset became corrupt as it transferred to your computer. If that happens, delete the asset from your course, copy the original asset to your local computer, then import it again.
Here are some examples of strange behavior that can occur when an asset is corrupt:
- The asset is blank, distorted, or unresponsive. For example, a video refuses to play.
- Presenter says the file format isn't supported even though it is.
- The preview feature doesn't work. It loads a blank slide or doesn't load at all.
- Resources that you attach to your player are missing when you publish.
Save, Version, and Back Up Projects Frequently
Save your work often. The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+S is the fastest way to save. Do it so often that it becomes muscle memory. You’ll be glad you did.
Create versions of your project during its development cycle so you can go back to earlier versions when necessary. Just create an Articulate Package, as described above, then give the resulting zip file a slightly different file name. For example, you might make a new version at the end of each workday and add the date to the file name so you can identify it.
Versioning is also a good way to back up your work. Save earlier versions to the cloud, a network drive, or an external hard drive for safekeeping. (But always save the current version on your local hard drive.)
Send Projects to Other Developers When You Need to Collaborate
If you need to share a Presenter project with another developer, create an Articulate Package, as described above. Then share the zipped file via email, external drive, network drive, etc. Recipients should save it to their local hard drives and fully extract it before opening the project.
Host Published Courses Online
Viewing published courses on your local hard drive or a network drive isn't supported. Security restrictions in these environments can cause various features in your courses to fail.
To avoid unexpected behavior during playback, upload your courses to a web server or LMS.
The published output for a Presenter course includes multiple files and folders. For your published course to work properly, these files and folders must remain in the same organizational structure when you upload them to a server.
Here's a pro tip: When you need to test a published course or share it with stakeholders, publish it to Articulate 360, then view it in Articulate Review.
Optimize File Paths and Naming Conventions
Be sure the file paths to your projects and published output are well under the 260-character limit imposed by Microsoft Windows. (The publishing process adds characters to the file path you selected. If it exceeds 260 characters, your published output will be incomplete.)
Avoid using special characters, accents, or symbols in your file paths and file names. Learn more about naming conventions in this Microsoft article.