Crashing during publish

I have a 165 slide powerpoint that I've been progressively building the past few weeks and within the last five days its started crashing when I attempt to publish. It gets to about 120-130 slides finished and suddenly powerpoint chokes. Are there any tips/solutions on this?

I was able to publish just fine previously; and the preview feature still works. I'm at a loss right now how to proceed.

42 Replies
Shawn Cantu

Specifically when I encountered the crash that caused me the start this topic, what would happen is that publishing would get to about 140 slides of 160. Then suddenly the slide panel on the left side of the PowerPoint would would become garbled, and start being polluted with junk from other parts of the screen. Oddly, the items that appeared to be polluting the slide panel were things from other windows and programs I had open, like Firefox web pages and other oddments. I would occasionally see the 120 error code while cleaning all the programs up; but mostly I just used Task Manager to end everything once it crashed.

The response I got from support was that PowerPoint uses an 'automation reference' during special publishing sequences like this; and that under certain conditions, like a long publish, that reference will be reset. When you consider that Articulate uses the clipboard for publishing (try doing Ctrl+C/V while publishing ), once that reference gets reset, I believe PowerPoint is trying to publish whatever active windows you are in or something similarly screwy; hence the random pollution of the slides pane in PowerPoint.

I was told it is a limitation of PowerPoint 2007. I'm not all that happy with the answer, but I must grudgingly admit that I can see how this could be true.

I do agree with Stephanie that a partial publishing process would be ideal for these sorts of scenarios.

Stephanie Harnett

Renaming is likely to cause probelms too. I use the send to package to create backups and have avoided using the file save as.. or renaming the files in windows. You may want to open a new presentation and copy all of the slides into that new presenation then save that file. Sometimes this works to fix errors that are impossible to locate or to fix any other way. For example, if I have a file where one slide is not publishing correctly I will often take just that one slide, put it in a new document  with original formatting and publish it by iteself. 100% of the time it publishes the single slide corrrectly where as if that same slide, untouched, is in the orignail larger file it won't. No logic here - just workarounds (smile).

I record and save outside of articulate for audio - saving in .wav format. I turn off audio optimization because it does things I don't like and makes it difficult to match audio from other programs. With optimization off, when I add in other objects the sound is consistently levelled across all slides no matter where the audio on the slide is coming from (presenter, externally imported audio clip, flash object, camtasia, etc.

Shawn Cantu

+1 on using another program for audio. I am not judging Articulate on this at all, I just prefer to use an independent program (WavePad Sound Editor in my case) to do all my audio recording. I write all my scripts and do the audio on this program which allows me to easily clean up speaking gaffes without restarting, add a high filter, range compression and noise reduction to create a solid level sound. Whatever you use I recommend saving all raw audio as high-quality WAVs and using whatever batch processing mode is has to convert them all to .mp3s of the appropriate quality when you are ready to import.

I then import the audio into both PowerPoint/AP and also Camtasia when required. I know some people prefer to do audio simultaneously with video recording (especially if you're recording desktop activity) but I prefer independent audio since it lets you focus on maintaining a natural flow instead of trying to juggle presentation manner, the recording software, following the script and not being to careless.

Sasha Scott

Some tips for avoiding these PowerPoint / VBScript issues from my experience:

- don't do anything else while it's publishing - including surfing the internet or even just having programs open

- think carefully about chart objects etc. as these take a lot of processing and can usually be saved off as a PNG - this also eliminates the slight position shifting issues you might experience

- get a 4-chip machine with plenty of RAM - seriously - I found upgrading to a better computer (Windows 7 64-bit from Vista) cut my publishing times by something like 80%. As far as I understand it, the only way Articulate can convert PowerPoint stuff is to use VBScript which is an ancient and clunky thing indeed, so very very processor-hungry

Dwayne Schamp

One other thing to try that sounds a bit silly is to copy your slides and paste into a new file. publish out as is, and see what happens. if that works, then go in and update to match the first file. Do a publish after each major change, and see where, if at all, it crashes again. Sometimes, trial and error are the best tools, and as Bill Cosby said, "You may learn something before it's done!" Hey Hey Hey...

Brian Batt

Michael Rayment said:

I'm trying to load 26 slides and it crashes on the 26th. I have tried most of the suggestions here but with little luck.


Hi Michael and welcome to Heroes,

If you continue to have issues, please submit a support case to us by using the link below:

Jez Coates

Justin Wilcox said:

Please follow the steps below to generate for us a trace log of what's happening:

1) Download, extract, and double-click the below trace tool (keep the window open):
2) Launch PowerPoint. PowerPoint should be launched only after the trace window is open.
3) Follow the steps you normally take to reproduce your issue.
4) When you are finished reproducing your issue, in the Trace window copy the text and paste it into Notepad.
5) Attach the log file to your reply to us for review.

I would also suggest you submit a case by following the steps below.

Please create an Articulate Presenter package, then upload the zip file to our server. You can review how to do this here:

Upload the resulting zip file from your computer to our server using this upload form: 

Please be sure to include a description of your issue, your version of PowerPoint, version of Windows and version of Presenter '09 which you can find in Help and Support -> About Articulate Presenter. Please also include the URL for this thread so we can follow up with you in the forums.

Do you have a revised link for this trace program please?


I am also experiencing issues when publishing.  My PPT only has 32 slides with narration but crashes at different slides each time I try to publish.  I have tried:

  • Uninstalling and reinstalling the software
  • Using a brand new slide deck and re-recording
  • Changing each slide into an image
  • Changing the file name and location
  • Downloading and running the trace tool
  • Deleting the slides where it appears to fall over - however this changes each time I publish
  • Increasing the computers resources
  • Tried publishing different PPT's

None of the above have helped and I have logged a ticket with the support team but no response so far.  I have over 220 courses which contain at least 8 PPT's per course of between 20-40 slides.  I am now in the position that I cannot work as I unable to publish.  I would prefer not to stop using Articulate in favour of moving to a different product but I am at a loss of what else I can do.

Does anyone have any other suggestions I can try?  Please help!

Crystal Horn

Hi there, TW.  It sounds like you're really stuck.  I tried to look for a support case for you with the email affiliated with your T W profile, but I didn't see one.  😕

No worries -- I'm going to turn this into a case for you and escalate it to the right team for some fast help.  Be on the lookout for an email from our support engineers!

Katie Riggio

Welcome to the community, Debbie! 🌟

While I don't have a solution to share from Jessica's case at this time, we're happy to look into what's causing the crashing and share our up-to-date findings with you!

To help us dig deeper, we'll need to start fresh and gather these key details: