Google Chrome moving to HTML5 by default. Flash to be hidden on browser by end of the year.

May 25, 2016

Google recently announced that they will be killing/eliminating Adobe Flash within the year. I am wondering what Articulate is doing to prepare for this change that may have a major effect on so many e-learning courses designed and developed in Storyline. Will Storyline courses accessed using HTML5 soon look and behave the same way the Flash version does? When this change does happen within Google Chrome, will users be prompted to to use the Flash version OR will Chrome see that there is an HTML5 version and just auto load that version instead?

I have seen the "Comparing Flash, HTML5, and Articulate Mobile Player Output for Articulate Storyline 2" page, but I have found many of my Storyline projects do not look or behave the same in HTML5 as it does in Flash. For instance, the images (both created images and images from a screen capture) look fuzzy in the HTML5 output. Font titles and buttons in the Player look distorted. Videos inserted from a screen capture get distorted in HTML5. Features such as rollover hyperlinks, text interactions, previous/next buttons within a lightbox, ect. all do not work or do not work as they are designed when using the HTML5 output. 

The company I work for currently has 9 Storyline 1 and 9 Storyline 2 licenses. We have produced literally hundreds of e-learning content in Storyline for customer consumption.  Please let me know what we can expect as a response from Articulate due to this change within Google Chrome.

I can offer screen shots of the differences and can go into further detail on the issues I experience from the HTML5 output versus the Flash output if someone would like to talk to me about it. 

Per the System Requirements, HTML5 currently does not work in Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, or Firefox. Soon HTML5 is likely all that will be supported by Chrome. Please let the Articulate Storyline community know what the company is doing to ensure compatibility among both browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome, etc) and publishing outputs (Flash, HTML5). 

Thank you.

19 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Jeremy,

As you can imagine and have pointed out the topic of HTML5 being the standard in the future (perhaps now the present) has come up here previously in the forums. I wanted to point you to some of the answers shared previously by myself and Brian Gil whose the head of Product Operations at Articulate. 

Currently on a desktop/laptop PC, Chrome is the browser that is supported for HTML5. What will happen as I understand it from the Chrome announcement is that they technically aren't removing flash, just the ability to display flash websites without a one time permission request. Also, since Storyline and Studio have the option to include HTML5, we'd recommend doing so and that way when a  user accesses the course on a device or browser that isn't capable of displaying Flash, they'll be shown the HTML5 output (in a browser that we support as you detailed in the system requirements). 

As far as the differences you're seeing in the outputs, I'd want to confirm that you were testing in one of the supported browsers, and then there are some known discrepancies in the Flash vs. HTML5 and you'll see an example here in terms of the images being blurry. If there is a particular issue you'd like to share with our team to determine if it's an expected/by design set up or if it's a bug (reported or new) you are welcome to send you file to our Support engineers by uploading at this link. 

The long and the short of it, is that we have a dedicated team focused on HTML5 as well as dedicated teams focused on playback via the Articulate Mobile Player. While we can't speak to future releases or timelines, we are aware of the decisions being made that impact the ability of web browsers to display Flash content and are actively working to make sure that our content will work on all major web browsers. 

Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions or concerns. 

Jeremy Larson

Hi Ashley,

Thank you for your quick response. I am glad to hear that Articulate is continuing its efforts to make sure all content will work on all major browsers. I am doing my HTML5 testing in Google Chrome (which I believe is the only HTML5 "supported" browser for Storyline right now). I will definitely try locking my course player at optimal size to see if that fixes some of the fuzziness. There are several issues (which I outlined in my original post) of Storyline features that do not work in HTML5 but function fine in the Flash output. I will try sending those issues to your Support engineers. 

Do you know yet what users will encounter when they try to access our Storyline project when the Google Chrome changes happen? Will it just automatically show the HTML5 version of the project because there is one available or will Chrome still prompt users to use the Flash version? 

Thank you. 


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Jeremy,

My guess not knowing how Chrome will implement the change, is that it would be similar to if you disabled the Flash plug in currently. If you do so, the users will see the HTML5 output. I don't know how they'll implement this new set up in terms of disabling Flash as a whole, but my understanding from what I've read is that users will see a prompt if trying to access a web site that is using Flash and if they deny that one time permission they'll see HTML5. 

Peter Zaidel

I know Articulate doesn't like to give ETAs on anything, but it's starting to become a major topic of conversation as Chrome will slowly be chopping away flash support with Chrome 53 and 55.  We're starting to wonder (as many others, undoubtedly) if a switch to another tool is in order.  As discussed above, HTML5 support is so-so with Articulate and we'll need to start to make moves to prepare for supporting our clients (50% of which use Chrome).  Is there anything you can tell us, or should we start looking around?  

At the very least, is there an article for HTML5 publishing best practices that encompasses all of your knowledge base articles into 1 place?  I know some features aren't supported at all with HTML5 output. 

Henrik Clausen

We're following this as well. Ultimately, we want to use HTML5 output (iPad support is a major reason for this), and this already works for us in the productions we do in Adobe Captivate.

But in additition to having met some of the issues mentioned here, the Notes in the Storyline Player didn't format correct last time we looked at it (½ year ago). For the time being, those are showstoppers for us, and we're on Shockwave until the output is consistently good.

Jeremy Larson

For what it is worth Articulate, I am still watching this as well. When this was originally posted (3 months ago) I also contacted your support engineers on three specific HTML5 issues. The issues were distorted images/fonts, using rollover hyperlinks, and problems with text interactions. Thus far, none of the above issues seem to have been addressed. My company currently has 9 Storyline licenses and have produced over 1000 software simulations using Storyline 2. This work will take over year of work to re-create using another tool. We would LOVE to continue using Storyline 2. However, Storyline 2 will need to be 100% compatible with HTML5 across all major browsers in order for us to continue using Storyline 2 long term. Any progress on the above issues would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

For what it is worth, the case number assigned to the above issues was: Case #00803200

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Peter (and others), 

Chrome is the current browser we support for viewing HTML5 content on a PC desktop/laptop and you could also use Safari on a Mac and within a mobile device, Safari in Apple iOS 7 and later, Google Chrome (latest version) in Android OS 4.1 and later.

I've seen other forums member discuss that other browsers such as Firefox perform well with the HTML5 output too, and that they've just fully tested their courses and certain functionality to ensure that it works as they'd like. So you may want to look at how other browsers perform, and just ensure your course works as you'd expect. Our team is continuing to investigate other browsers for future support as well and we'll be certain to let folks know once we're able to share.

In the meantime, you can see a chart here that compares our Flash and HTML5 output  and how to distribute content for HTML5. 

Jeremy, Thanks for sharing your case number and I'll check in on that specifically. 

Peter Zaidel

Thanks for your response Ashley,

I've seen those articles, however they appear to only tell part of the story.  For example, as mentioned just in this thread, "objects aren't vectored in HTML5 output" and "Notes don't format correctly" neither of which is addressed in either of the two articles you attached.  Though our experience while testing in the supported browsers, there are countless artifacts and oddities with the HTML5 experience.  An article with dos and don'ts of the Articulate HTML5 interpretation would be really helpful so that we don't all have to learn by trial and error. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Peter,

A really good point - and I have passed that note along to our team who handles documentation. 

Henrik, it also looks like Peter clarified some of the reasoning behind why IE isn't currently a supported browser. I can certainly understand the predicament that puts  you in in terms of not being able to change what browser all your employees are using. Has the company looked at abandoning Flash completely? Have they tested that in IE to see how it would behave for other sites that may be utilized? Sharing that resource of may be a good way to start the conversation with your team! 

Nicola Fern

I am also watching for developments here. I must come and search for news on HTML 5 support/new release news once every couple of weeks. 

It does feel frustrating to constantly come back to threads, new and old, and read the same tired responses from Articulate about being customer focused and not being able to discuss roadmaps, linking people to the same pages in the knowledgebase.

It does not feel like customers are being listened to given that these conversations have been bubbling up repeatedly over the last year or more and yet we are no closer to resolving them, or a product that is fit to take us into 2017.

Ashley Schwartau
Nicola Fern

It does not feel like customers are being listened to given that these conversations have been bubbling up repeatedly over the last year or more and yet we are no closer to resolving them, or a product that is fit to take us into 2017.


This. Normally it feels like our concerns are addressed and many feature requests have been fulfilled over the years, but we're getting to the edge of Flash no longer being supported and our clients will not accept a decrease in quality when there's been so much warning given to the death of Flash. Really hoping the next release addresses the image and text quality concerns.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Thanks Ashley - the move away from Flash and a focus on HTML5 is something that has been discussed here for some time, and I can assure you it's at the forefront of our Product and Engineering teams mind - so we'll be continuing to keep that focus as we work on future products. Once we're able to share information about what those are, we'll be certain to update folks here. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Vijay,

With the release of Storyline 360 and Storyline 3 we have the option for HTML5 only (or HTML5 first) publish to help if you're using a browser that won't support Flash output. Some browsers have begun disabling Flash by default such as Chrome - but for those users who are viewing older content or if you'd prefer that they view the Flash content they can use the steps here to enable the Flash plugin. 

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