Can HTML5 output be delivered without any use of Flash?

Jul 07, 2014

I am working on an e-learning project that is to be delivered on the LMS platform, EdX (  According to the lead programmers working on my project, EdX's platform does not allow any Flash content to be uploaded onto their platform at all (apparently it is more secure this way).  Although Storyline delivers content in HTML5, we conducted a few tests to remove any Flash (.swf) files from the content folders, then attempted to play the course from the HTML5 link, and the result was that the courses played correctly except that there was no audio, despite the fact that there were .mp3 files still present in the folder.  As a result of this, we have come to the conclusion that the HTML5 content is still drawing on the .swf files to some degree in order to deliver HTML5 content.

Is there any way of removing all Flash content from the Storyline output so that the HTML5 content plays correctly without utilizing any Flash files whatsoever?

Thank you in advance for any assistance!

22 Replies
Harri S

Hi Mel,

I've tried HTML5 content on an ipad and it worked (aside from a few SL glitches)

As far as I understand ipads do not support flash at all so this would suggest that SL outputs are capable of working without flash.

Sorry I can't be of any particular help, but I am keen to know what response you get from the more techy guys among us.


Mel Ruth

Hi Harri,

Thank you for your reply. You can export content from Storyline as HTML5 but the problem is that the HTML5 content still appears to utilize some of the Flash files in this process.

It may be easiest to explain this way: Storyline exports Flash content by default. In addition to that, you can choose to ALSO export content for HTML5 and/or the Articulate iPad app. Looking at it that way, if you export just the default content, you are getting only the Flash content. If you export the default plus HTML5, you get the Flash content AND the HTML5 content. If you don't include HTML5 content but you want to include content for the iPad app, you get the Flash content, PLUS the iPad app content. No matter how you export it, you cannot export ONLY the HTML5 content.

In my first experiment, I exported the content for web only as Flash. I then exported the content the same way but included the HTML5 option, as well. I then compared the output from the two and deleted any identical content from the Flash+HTML5 folder, presuming that this was the Flash content and what was left would be the HTML5 content. When I tried to play this content, however, my player would open but no content would play at all, showing that the HTML5 content is not stand-alone.

In my second experiment, I went back to the Flash+HTML5 folder and selectively deleted only the files that I knew to be Flash - the .swf files. When I tried playing the HTML5 content in this case, everything played correctly, including my interactive elements, except that there was no audio. I was confused by this because there were .mp3 files within the folders, which are audio files, yet no audio would play. As a result of this, I came to the conclusion that the HTML5 content still draws some content and/or instructions from the .swf files, even when the HTML5 content is playing. I am not a programmer, however, so I may be missing something in my conclusions, including the possibility that the player may have held some content in cache, allowing it to play when the source files were no longer present, or some other reason entirely.

So, my question to anyone who is more technically knowledgeable about these things is: is there any way to isolate only the HTML5 content without any Flash files whatsoever so that everything will play correctly?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Mel,

I took a look at the FAQ link for your LMS and I didn't see anything that mentioned not using Flash. I specifically read there "Before the contributions are officially incorporated within the primary source code, an oversight body typically ensures additions meet a certain standard of quality and usefulness." and I would think with Flash being a primary way in which users access multimedia content on the web that Flash would meet that standard of quality and usefulness.

In regards to trying to only publish to HTML5, it is not an option within Storyline. HTML5 is a huge area of focus for us, and of course we want the entire world to move away from Flash so that we can produce only one set of output. However, if we were to publish to solely HTML5 today, based on how the world's current browsers would render that content, it would not work in a number of environments. You can view how different browsers handle HTML5 content here:

You may also want to review the articles here on how to optimize your content for HTML5.

Sam Carter

EdX is the LMS that Mel Ruth references at the start of this thread.  EdX has traction in higher-education but what little I know about it is that it doesn't support scorm, favoring self-contained authoring tools.

If there is a way to upload HTML5 successfully to EdX, I'd like to hear about it or any success stories getting Storyline into EdX.

Prashanth Godrehal

Restarting this thread. We are planning to choose OpenEDX LMS platform for our courses and want to know if the issue mentioned above still exists?

Can the HTML5 content created be used for OpenEDX platform? 

All EDX wants is to post the video to Youtube.

Can the HTML5 content created be posted to Youtube?


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Prashanth,

We don't have an option to publish to a single video file, although I know a number of users look at recording the Storyline preview/publish using another instance of Storyline and exporting to an MP4, or recording with Replay as that will allow you to publish to an MP4 and then you could place those on Youtube. 

Tim Robinson

Hi Mel,

Thanks for this thread.

I have 2 questions that I'm hoping you'll have a solution for:

Did you solve your flash audio problem?

We're about to take on a big client project and it'll mean saving from Storyline for use in Edx but struggling to find an efficient way to bring the content into Edx. Scorm is not properly supported and I can't find any decent tutorials on an HTML/ BTLI route.
Any advice?


Jane Hall


Our CIO has ordered flash to be removed systems. I was experimenting on our web page with removing all swf files. I then pointed the browser to the HTML5 file  I expected the thing to blow up or loose the audio, but it appears to be working fine.  I'm not sure how well it will work in the LMS, which we hope to install in early February. 

In your letter, you said Storyline does not support an HTML5 only option (I know there is one in 365), but it seems to be working on our web site. Does Articulate still plan to decline support for HTML5 only options.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Jane,

I'm glad to hear it's working well for you - and hopefully that continues in the LMS as well. The HTML5 support in Storyline 2 is currently limited in terms of browsers and the fact that it's going to have the Flash files by default. I've heard of other users removing them as you've done and so far not a major issue that they've shared here - but since it's not something we've tested ourselves I can't say what will happen or how it would behave. 

Articulate 360 does include an option for an HTML5 only publish which came about from the number of discussions here in the forums to be able to remove Flash completely from the published output. Based on how Storyline 2 was initially designed, it was not an item that our team could look at implementing backwards. 

Nate Aune

We have built a plugin for Open edX (which could be installed on that provides the capability to upload SCORM content (exported by Articulate Storyline or any other SCORM-compliant authoring tool).

You can read more info about it here:

Happy to answer any questions here or in the comments section of the above blog post.

Michelle Vilamaa

We use an LMS that does allow Flash files, but the reason I want HTML5 only is for the convenience to users (and me!).  Daily, I receive calls telling me that my course "is broken".  I have to walk them through enabling Flash on their computer for them to review content.  

I read an article recently that suggested that Flash will not be supported in 2020.  Does anyone have suggestions?  I currently use Storyline 2.

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