Ever notice that item with a .ppta file extension in the same folder as your PowerPoint file and wondered, “What in the world is that thing?” You’re not alone! But the explanation is actually pretty simple. The .ppta file is where Articulate Presenter stores the resources it needs to publish your courses.

The first time you use any functions from the Articulate tab in PowerPoint, an Articulate Presenter project file (.ppta) is automatically created with the same name and in the same folder as your PowerPoint file (.pptx).

As you add and configure non-PowerPoint items via the Articulate tab, this .ppta file updates continually to compile a copy of all of your project’s Presenter-related assets, including:

  • Audio files
  • Videos
  • Resource attachments and links
  • Web objects
  • Quizmaker quizzes
  • Engage interactions
  • Characters
  • Presenter information and logos
  • Player template and slide property settings

Since your published output is a combination of elements from your PowerPoint file (.ppt or .pptx) and your .ppta file, you should always keep these two files together.

What the heck is the PPTA file?

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Backup and Share Your Projects as an Articulate Package

While you can recover Presenter assets from the .ppta file format, a better, more user-friendly way to create a copy of your project for backups, versioning, and sharing with other developers is to create an Articulate Package.

An Articulate Package is a compressed zip file that contains a copy of your entire Articulate Presenter project, including the PowerPoint file, the corresponding Articulate Presenter project (*.ppta) file with audio/video resources, quiz files, and interaction files.

How to Create an Articulate Package

The steps to creating an Articulate Package vary slightly depending on which version of PowerPoint you have.

  • PowerPoint 2013: 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.

  • PowerPoint 2007:  Click the round Microsoft Office button in the upper left corner, scroll to Send, and choose Articulate Package.

Once you create the Articulate Package, the resulting zip file is easy to copy and store as a backup, to capture as a version, or to share with another developer. Then, when you need to edit or publish a project from an Articulate Package, simply save it to your local hard drive and fully extract it before opening the presentation.

You can learn even more about managing your project files here.

Post by Mike Taylor


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