Help! Mix of 2009 and 2013 installs.

Jun 24, 2014

Has anyone developed a good workflow for moving back and forth between 2009 and 2013? I can re-add all of the 2013 specific interactions (quizzes, flash videos, etc...) but I can't seem to force powerpoint to allow it back to 2009 format to record audio.

We have multiple installs, unfortunately our budget only allowed us to upgrade 2 licenses to 2013, and those are on a desktop for me, and a laptop for our lead web developer (for publishing SCORM's). The rest of our staff that create content are still on 2009 until we can finish upgrading. I wish it was possible to save to 2009 format in 2013, and disable the 2013 improvements until the final save, so 2009 versions could still edit the content.

We only bought 2013 so we could do HTML5 compatible exports for iPad/iPhone compatibility, and now I'm regretting the upgrade.


8 Replies
Scott McLeod

Update: I can delete the Articulate 2013 project file and then open in 2009 and record audio, but when I save in 2009, for some reason when you re-open in 2009, it says it was created in 2013. The entire audio narration needs to be recorded in one shot then saved and closed, otherwise you can't go back and edit in 2009, even though you're saving in 2009.

Can someone tell me (devs / hackers) what 2013 is doing to the powerpoint file and how I can remove/undo it? It's leaving something behind in the powerpoint that can't be cleared. Everything is supposed to be contained in the Articulate Project file.

Does anyone know of any tools that will let you dig into the XML for a powerpoint file without damaging it?

Scott McLeod

Update again:

It's adding the following to a file called "Custom.xml" inside the pptx container.

(?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="true"?)
-(Properties xmlns:vt="" xmlns="")

-(property name="ArticulateUseProject" pid="2" fmtid="{D5CDD505-2E9C-101B-9397-08002B2CF9AE}")(vt:lpwstr)1(/vt:lpwstr)(/property)

-(property name="ArticulatePath" pid="3" fmtid="{D5CDD505-2E9C-101B-9397-08002B2CF9AE}")(vt:lpwstr)ECG01 - Calibration of the Heart(/vt:lpwstr)(/property)

-(property name="ArticulateGUID" pid="4" fmtid="{D5CDD505-2E9C-101B-9397-08002B2CF9AE}")(vt:lpwstr)8266C415-D2BF-424B-91A4-074D95AA2333(/vt:lpwstr)(/property)

-(property name="ArticulateProjectVersion" pid="5" fmtid="{D5CDD505-2E9C-101B-9397-08002B2CF9AE}")(vt:lpwstr)7(/vt:lpwstr)(/property)

-(property name="ArticulateProjectFull" pid="6" fmtid="{D5CDD505-2E9C-101B-9397-08002B2CF9AE}")(vt:lpwstr)V:\Education\10 - Core CME\2014\Cycle 2 - Fall\Online Content\STEMI01 - Valuing STEMI.ppta(/vt:lpwstr)



(Replaced all <'s with ('s, etc...)

The other files (app.xml and core.xml) appear to be untouched.

Scott McLeod

This is an example of a 2009 "Custom.xml" file:

(?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="true"?)
-(Properties xmlns:vt="" xmlns="")
-(property name="ArticulateUseProject" pid="2" fmtid="{D5CDD505-2E9C-101B-9397-08002B2CF9AE}")(vt:lpwstr)1(/vt:lpwstr)(/property)
-(property name="ArticulateGUID" pid="3" fmtid="{D5CDD505-2E9C-101B-9397-08002B2CF9AE}")(vt:lpwstr)B69FFA67-5AE3-4626-AD02-C18A08778AE3(/vt:lpwstr)(/property)
-(property name="ArticulatePath" pid="4" fmtid="{D5CDD505-2E9C-101B-9397-08002B2CF9AE}")(vt:lpwstr)Blah(/vt:lpwstr)(/property)
-(property name="ArticulateProjectFull" pid="5" fmtid="{D5CDD505-2E9C-101B-9397-08002B2CF9AE}")(vt:lpwstr)V:\Education\10 - Core CME\2014\Cycle 2 - Fall\Online Content\Blah.ppta(/vt:lpwstr)



Looks like the "ProjectVersion" property is the one that might hold the key... If you remove it though you have to change the pid #'s for all of the following XML entries.

Scott McLeod

For anyone wondering, this is the workflow that's causing the problem:

Laptop A is our audio recording laptop
Desktop B is our multimedia / video editing machine

Create powerpoint in 2009 on Laptop A
Edit powerpoint in 2013 on Desktop B
Create quizzes, video, etc... on 2013 on Desktop B, save them along side the project file in the same folder (Upgrade happens here)
Continue editing slides, making tweaks, etc... on DesktopB (so the PPTX (2013) and PPTX (2009 in the backup folder) no longer match, so I can't use the backup anymore)
Delete 2013 project file and slide interactions so I can go back to Laptop A
Record audio in 2009 on Laptop A. (Works fine when you open it the first time)
Save file in 2009 on Laptop A. (Success!)
Try to preview file in 2009 on Laptop A -- FAILED: File was created in newer version of Articulate studio
Close file in 2009 on Laptop A.
Try to re-open file in 2009 on Laptop A -- FAILED: File was created in newer version of Articulate studio.

Trying the XML tweak now, crossing my fingers...

Scott McLeod

Another difference...

GUID for 2009 - F351223F-CE40-4579-A972-299A2348BCE5

GUID for 2013 - 8266C415-D2BF-424B-91A4-074D95AA2333

Does anyone know how these GUID's are generated, or do I need to go find the GUID for every one of our installs of 2009 and 2013?

EDIT: Well, this theory was blown out of the water. Just tested with 2013 trying to open a file that had the Custom.xml removed, and using the recovery feature, and it generated a GUID of 96829515-5E38-41E6-8C87-E6576D330BEA

There must be something in there that tells it what version saved the document...

Scott McLeod

Final update: Looks like you can get ONE session of editing in in 2009 if you delete everything after the

(?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes" ?)

- (Properties xmlns="" xmlns:vt="")

in the custom.xml file in the docProps folder of the .pptx, but the second you preview, or edit or save, you have to close, delete the lines, and re-open the file to be able to edit it in 2009. Not a single crash so far from using this method, but it's time consuming.

I think I'm done with this for the day. My brain hurts. Maybe one of the Devs from Articulate will see this and can shed some light on what's going on...
Christine Hendrickson

Hi there Scott,

Thanks for all of the information on the issue. 

I see that Rowie is currently working with you on this in a support case (#00407507 for my reference). 

I do apologize for the trouble and frustration. I see that the last response from you was received today, in the support case. You should receive a response from Rowie soon. 

Again, sorry for the trouble, Scott! Hopefully this issue will be resolved soon.



Scott McLeod


Rowie's doing a great job of dealing with this as far as a CSR is concerned, but this needs to be looked at by one of the developers that understands how Articulate interacts with the XML files contained within the .pptx container.

Something is causing 2009 to think that the file has been edited in 2013, even after I've removed all of the 2013 content, AND edited the custom.xml file in the docProps folder to remove the entries added by 2013.

It would be beneficial for your company to release a tool to "scrub" or "clean" a powerpoint file of any Articulate modifications in case someone was left with an articulate file that they could not edit, and needed to preserve the content within it... (ie; start from a clean slate, with powerpoint slides only, and be able to re-add the interactive content, quizzes, videos, etc...)

EDIT: Note, my coworker has had good luck by going through and deleting the 2013 project file, opening in 2009, recording her audio all in one take, then saving & closing. She can no longer edit the file after closing, but at least the audio is recording and saving properly.

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