How can I reduce size of quiz files?

I have 3 quiz files (in the same Presenter project), each of which are >7 MB in size, yet 1 of them has only 1 question in it. The smallest file actually has the most questions (8 of them). They make the package file pretty big and unwieldy to keep uploading and downloading from our SharePoint team site.

Using the 8-question file as a "guinea pig", I've tried doing Save As (to .QUIZ and .QUIZTEMPLATE), deleting all but one master slide, and moving reused graphics to the remaining master slide, but it's reduced the size by only about 100 KB.

7 MB for a 1-question quiz seems ridiculous. The only media in the 1-question quiz is a graphic, and when I right-click on that and choose Save As Picture, it creates a 17 KB graphic, so it's tiny.

Any ideas on how to find out why the files are so big, and how to shrink them? (I've used 7-Zip to diagnose similar problems with PPTA files thanks to a tip on the community site, so I'm hoping there's a similar treatment for quiz files.)

Thanks all.

3 Replies
Christine Hendrickson

Welcome to E-Learning Heroes, Craig!

I have to say that I don't think that's normal behavior. For example, I have a quiz with about 4 slides/questions that I use regularly for testing. It's about 207KB. 

If you have a quiz with only one graphic and not a lot of other content, I don't see why the file size would shoot up to 7MB. So, I agree, that's a little crazy!

Curious, how are you working with the files? Are you working on  your local hard drive? I wonder if working from or publishing/saving to an external source might be causing issues with the files and the size updates.

  • Work on your local drive (your C: drive). Working on a network drive or a USB drive can cause erratic behavior, including file corruption, loss of audio, and other unexpected behavior. 
  • You should also make sure the directory path to your project files and your published output is less than 260 characters (for example C:\Articulate).
  • Avoid using special characters, accents or symbols in your file names (this includes spaces and underscores).

Additional information regarding "Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces" in Windows operating systems can be found in the following Microsoft article.

Thanks!

Craig Hadden - Remote Possiblities

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Thanks for your reply Christine.

To answer your question, yes we work with the files stored locally on (and published to) the hard drive. (We just use SharePoint to back up packages, and to share them if more than 1 person works on the project.)

I checked the length of the path to the source and output files and it’s never more than about 130 characters. I’ve just renamed the folder where the project’s stored because it had an apostrophe and ampersand in it. However, some of the file names have spaces and underscores in them, and we won’t be able to completely get rid of those from the full path names because (for instance) the published output automatically contains folders called things like quizmaker_607.

I also found this old thread which talks about the same issue (but a far bigger file):
http://community.articulate.com/forums/p/6716/38352.aspx#38352

As Brian Batt suggested in that post, I tried publishing my 7MB file for Web and then closing QM, and the file shrank to about 6½MB.

I’ve tried importing all my 8 questions to a new quiz, and that made a file that’s only about 1½MB, so that’s good. However, I have to recreate the pass and fail slides (and the question groups). Is there a tip you can share for copying pass and fail slides between files?

I’d really appreciate any more help you can offer for why files (sometimes with only 1 question) can become 7MB or more, as often happens for me. Thanks

Christine Hendrickson

Hi Craig!

In theory, you should be able to copy and paste the content over, but I have seen some issues arise using that method. I would suggest saving a back up first, then trying it. If that new version gets too big, or you see issues, you'll have the original version. 

Though it may take more time and work, it might be best to rebuild the pass and fail slides. Simply because it's the safer approach and pasting between multiple files can cause some really odd behavior. Having said that, though, creating the back up I mentioned earlier may help you avoid those problems. 

If you continue to see really strange file sizes for your projects, it really might be best to find out the main cause for the issue. Please feel free to contact our support if you continue to see this type of behavior. We'd be happy to take a closer look and see why this is happening.

Thanks very much!