inserting a pdf

Hi Everyone,

I am looking to streamline my work in the next module, where the idea is to include reading from a manual at the start of the training (yes - highly effective use of online learning capabilities). There are a number of pages in pdf form and previously I have turned them into a web object and inserted them but it would be easier to insert the .pdf file itself into a scrolling panel. The idea being that I would be able to put both the pdf and a button at the end of the pdf (that the person would click to ackonwledge they had read the document)  into the scroll box together.

Does anyone know how to insert a pdf document? I figured it could be inserted as a picture somehow?

45 Replies
James Brandwood

Thanks Bruce,

I just converted a pdf to png using Zamar (online convertin tool). It worked well and I can am able to place a button at the end for the user to click to say they have read the document, which then triggers a variable to enable other parts of the module. So I am very happy with the way it's working but i'm not overly happy with the pixel quality of the document. The regular text is ok enough but pictures haven't come through very well.

Can anyone suggest a better converter?

James Brandwood

Yes Jeff you can do it as a web object by making it a HTML file but you can't add buttons in with WebObjects. I don't know why but they work in scroll panels but not WebObjects and not if you put a WebObject in a scroll panel. 

To save time I'm going to add a link to the PDF document in the resources section. That way if the PDF is modified (and it is often) it will always be up to date. It's not the desired result but it is less maintenance.

John Pieterse

Hi everyone,

To insert a PDF has been troubelling me for some time. I deliver my content on an iPad which is used offline. Converting a PDF document that consists of several pages to png is no option. At the moment I place all the relevant documents under the iBook app. Hyperlinking however is not possible.

Any more suggestions from your side how to cope with this or should i make a new feature request?

Regards, John

Brent deMoville

I may be missing something, but the attached example shows how I would approach the reading of a PDF.  The second slide in the sample Story has a button that launches a PDF in a new window.  After launch, the read and affirm statement is visible with a check button.  Since this is quick and dirty, I didn't build the rest of the logic after the affirm, but I suspect you get the idea.

You can either build a fixed path to the file or drop the PDF in the same directory as the story.html with no path.

Helen Tarbox

Brent deMoville said:

I may be missing something, but the attached example shows how I would approach the reading of a PDF.  The second slide in the sample Story has a button that launches a PDF in a new window.  After launch, the read and affirm statement is visible with a check button.  Since this is quick and dirty, I didn't build the rest of the logic after the affirm, but I suspect you get the idea.

You can either build a fixed path to the file or drop the PDF in the same directory as the story.html with no path.


I've tried to copy this idea as I need to create a package containing a policy Update.  The policy needs to be included in the package and not online (so rules out the Web Object).  I created a button with the Trigger of "Jump to URL/File" and pointed it to the file I wanted to use.

When previewing & publishing the file did not open (Neither did the file in Brent's example).  Can anyone help?

Many thanks in advance.

Helen Tarbox

After doing another search, I have just found the answer to my problem... see Jeanette's post below.  Many thanks Jeanette

Jeanette Brooks said:

Hey Michelle - when you test your project, are you testing it locally (from your computer's hard drive)? If you've published for web (or LMS or Articulate Online) but are testing the output locally instead of from the location from which you'll host the course, this is likely why you're not seeing the expected behavior. Browser issues & security restrictions will often prevent files from opening if you view the course locally. So, best bet would be to upload your published course to its intended location and test from there. If you don't have a place to upload it just yet and need a place to host it temporarily for testing purposes, you could publish for Web and upload it to Tempshare (it's free). Or another alternative, if you must test the output locally, is to choose CD as your publish option, as this prepares the files for local viewing. 

James Brandwood

Thanks everyone for the input.

@Brent - I 'm currently doing much the same thing as you,  Having the .pdf open in a new window and then having an 'yes I did the readings' button on the launch page. This button is linked to a trigger that allows them to view later content, which is important wih compliance training.

What I was hoping to do was try keep all the training in the player and have the .pdf on a slide. I could then relate the "I have read this trigger" to the actual .pdf. Inserting it as a picture isn't an option as it is a live document and is reviewed reasonably often and I just don't want to have to go through and update all the training modules for every change made. It really is a shame you can't have buttons included in your webobject or scroll panel.

I think the only way around this is to get it hosted on the our intranet somewhere, which is ok since all the training is done in the office. 

Gordon Ledbetter

I've been following this string and need to do something similar with our policy manual.  While Studio 9 and Storyline are great at displaying content a'la powerpoint, it does have its limits.  We want to make our policy manual available in its entirety without condensing it to powerpoint. i.e. we want to make it available as a series of read only pdf files.  The objectives are: 1)  Make available the policy manual in pdf form 2) allow the user to acknowledge they viewed and understood the material 3) allow the user to review the material as often they like 4) deliver the material in our LMS 5) deliver the material in html5 for iphone and ipad.   6) from the admin side, be able to run a report on who acknowledged they viewed and understood the material. Has anyone done this successfully in Storyline? and could you send an example.  I have submitted a feature request to Articulate for this very situation and it seems there are many others that need to publish pdf files without condensing them to powerpoint or making them a "resource" attachment. Thank you.

Phil Mayor

Studio and Storyline are great for developing elearning.

A pdf is not elearning, you could insert it as a web object or swf using something like this http://digital.floridadesign.com/i/69318

If all you want the user to do is read it, then print it out and give it to them.  I don't see how the user acknowledgeing they read and understood is any different to me ticking the iTunes terms and conditions, which I might add I never read or understand.

A pdf can be read on any machine, and on iPads and iphones, I cannot see how anything extra can be added here by inserting it into Storyline/Studio in a screen size that makes it difficult to read just to tick a box.

Just because we can doesnt mean that we should

John Pieterse

Hi Phil,

I do not agree. I think that Gordon has got a strong point. To give you an example. We prepare learning programs for the iPad. They are used for training people how to operate machines and installations. After finishing the training and test they use the content for reference. We also include all the factory manuals for the installation which are in pdf format, to the iPad, at the moment by putting them in the iBook app. This is noyt ideal as you can not link to a specific section in the pdf. However, our clients are most satisfied that training and refernence manuals are all together on one carrier, the iPad.

Furthermore, the iPads are used in remote areas where there is no internet access.

I also made this feature request earlier and stil think that it would be a big improvement.

I think that SL is a great piece of software. Specially now the memory bug seems to have been solved after update 2

Leave you by wishing you a happey new year!

Regards,

john

Phil Mayor

Hi John

Storyline with pdf's embedded is not going to be a good experience especially on an iPad.

If you choose the default slide size (most will) you will barely get half a page viewable on a single page, you will not be able to rotate for a better form factor.  It is not possible to zoom in on the iPad.

I can agree to disagree, luckily i cannot choose what feautures are developed

Gordon Ledbetter

Phil, thanks for your input but you may be missing the point.  My request is for viewing pdf files and then returning to Storyline to verify they were viewed.  The pdf would not be embedded in Storyline.  Storyline is, for lack of a better explanation, being used to organize the pdf file and the LMS used to report that it was viewed.  I agree that in the real world the majority don't read the terms and conditions but you can't put training in the same context.  If someone's job is on the line, or the safety of others,  to know task, then I'm guessing when they check that they have read and understood the content of a policy they have actually read and understood it..

Mike Enders

Gordon,

I haven't tested in the iPad via HTML 5, but it's a pretty straightforward process to insert the PDF as, say, a local web object for viewing.

Here's a recent conversation on that:  http://community.articulate.com/forums/p/22744/125445.aspx#125445

From there, you could simply add an acknowledge button that allows them to progress through the course.

Mike

Gordon Ledbetter

Seems to me there are a number of Articulate users out there who are looking for the same thing as I am.  Whether it's considered "e'learning" or not, many of us want to deliver technical info to our workforce that can't be condensed and we want to track that it's been delivered and understood.  I'm hoping Articulate marketing people can see the value in that and urge their developers to think outside the box and give us something other than "work arounds" and "fixes".  I (we) love Articulate and would like to see this feature added at some point in time without having to go to the competition to get it. 

David Anderson

Overall this is a great topic and speaks to many of the challenges in designing corporate elearning. 

Another option would be to copy the text from the .pdf and paste it into Storyline's Scrolling Panel. You can still format the text with headings to make it easier to read and it's all contained in one slide.

Using a simple trigger, you can prevent the learner from continuing until they acknowledge they've read and understood the document.

Here's a quick overview of how that could work:

Phil Mayor

Gordon Ledbetter said:

Phil, thanks for your input but you may be missing the point.  My request is for viewing pdf files and then returning to Storyline to verify they were viewed.  The pdf would not be embedded in Storyline.  Storyline is, for lack of a better explanation, being used to organize the pdf file and the LMS used to report that it was viewed.  I agree that in the real world the majority don't read the terms and conditions but you can't put training in the same context.  If someone's job is on the line, or the safety of others,  to know task, then I'm guessing when they check that they have read and understood the content of a policy they have actually read and understood it..


Hi Gordon

Why not insert it as a resource and add a checkbox for them to say they have read and understood.  At some point you will need to rely on their honesty because you cannot force someone to read it, let alone whether it has been understood (unless of course you create a robust evaluation of learning).

My experience of training is that users will often find the quickest way to complete it, you cannot force someone to learn and I am sure some users will not read the content.

I didn't want this to turn into discussion on what good learning is, and understand the needs in health and safety, I strongly feel that the best way to large documents is in paper or ereader form not on a small screen or window.