Publishing to ONE Executable File

Mar 27, 2015


 I am using a trial of Storyline and need help and I don’t have a week to figure this out as we are trying to decide whether or not to purchase.

 I am trying to publish the created project. It publishes fine, however, am I a fool to expect that I would only need one executable file? I get a folder with almost 100 files! Am I supposed to upload all that somewhere for a user to be able to see the final learning module? It seems all I should need is one file. I’m a little more than frustrated and very confused by the output of publishing.

Thank you in advance for help.~ Ang


12 Replies
Michael Hinze

That's how Storyline publishes content. Instead of one file, Storyline creates a number of folders and files. Upload this published content folder to some server and provide the URL of your story.html to learners. Here is some info on publishing for Web. You can also publish to CD, which allows you to run content locally. 

Sarah Ednay

Hi Angela

One possible option is to use another utility to 'box up' all those files after publishing, a bit like a zip file but one that then runs the course when you click it. We use something called "Enigma Virtual Box"   which creates a .exe file. I think there are various other utilities like it, so someone else more technical than me here may have other advice for you.
We are a small training company, not a large organisation using SL to train our own staff, so we used it when we wanted to give extra e-learning resources out on a USB stick to delegates on a live course, but didn't want them to have easy access to all the raw graphic and animation assets. 


Sarah Ednay

Hi Paul

Eeek, it's a long time since I used that as we, sadly, gave up on Storyline when 360 was priced so far out of our reach. Haven't touched it for a year/s. But I've just dug out an email I sent to someone asking about it in August 2015 in case that helps you...

We use the "boxed up" version of our storyline files when we hand out supplementary resources to trainees that are attending live courses, mainly because we don't want them to have access to all the graphics files etc separately. The link below is to the software we use (our tech person, sadly no longer with the company, found it originally and set up the process ), it's a free download and seems ok.

But it's an odd little utility and isn't very user friendly, so here's our crib sheet for the process:

1. Install and open Enigma Virtual Box

2. On ‘Enter Input File Name’ click ‘Browse’ and navigate to the output exe file of the e-resources you would like to box up. i.e. Launch_Story.exe

3. on ‘Enter Output File Name’ click ‘Browse’ and navigate to the directory where you would like the boxed up version to be saved and enter the desired filename

4. Click the ‘Add’ button (bottom left)

5. Click the ‘Add folder recursive’ and navigate to the folder where both the original exe file is and the content folder e.g. Storyline file output

6. Click ‘OK’ – ‘Add folder’ should be ticked

7. A ‘DEFAULT FOLDER’ should appear in the window

8. Click ‘File Options’ (bottom right)

9. Tick all boxes (enable files virtualization, compress files, delete extracted on exit)

10. Click ‘OK’

11. Click ‘Process’

12. Once finished you can either ‘Run’ to check the output or ‘Close’

13. Exit Enigma Virtual Box

Hope that helps and makes sense when you see the software. I must admit it feels great to turn all those files into one simple exe one. Only thing that I've found is that then the file runs at the standard size and can't be enlarged to the size of the web browser. 

To be honest I can't remember which version of exported files it worked on but these notes show the flash version. And I still think the .exe file uses flash in some way... so I'm not sure it is  good way forward really these days..... sorry. 

best of luck

Walt Hamilton

If it matters:

From Sarah's description, it sounds like a zipping software. I've know of others (before Win 7) that zipped content, and packaged it as an .exe. that when double clicked extracted the files.

It sounds like this just adds the extra steps of executing one of the extracted files, and deleting them on completion. So in reality, nothing is converted; whatever you publish is extracted to the learner's computer and executed exactly the same. All that is gained is a simple method of installing the published output. It doesn't do much to make it more difficult for learners to access assets, like the graphics and animations Sarah mentioned in her original post. (By the way the graphics are already pretty difficult to access, and the animations nearly impossible in flash.) About all you gain is that the end users can get by with less computer sophistication to install and run your files if they are zipped in one package like this.

Short answer: I don't think it sounds like any file is converted.

Sarah Ednay

Hi Walt

It does/did produce one .exe file, which did not extract anything onto the users' PC when run (or at least if it does, it is so hidden away as to not be noticeable and it just looks like exe, run software aok, no evidence of anything else, close file..)

But I'd agree, it's not something to chase these days! Hosted is better obviously. But there are times and places in the world where internet access is still not reliable or even possible ... which was an important consideration when we were doing it as well as simplicity and protection.

Walt Hamilton

Not to argue, but for the sake of technical accuracy, this option makes me think it extracted then deleted:

"9. Tick all boxes (enable files virtualization, compress files, delete extracted on exit)"

Not that there is anything wrong with that approach, but it's is technologically nearly impossible to take a bunch of diverse files of unknown content and make them one executable file.

The bottom line is that the result does look to the end-user like one exe file that doesn't install anything. After all, that is the basis of this entire field: creating things that look to the user like what we want them to see.

I think you're right, it is viable only as a last resort.

Tom Lund

You cannot do it from Articulate, you have to use a third party software. You can check out HTML Executable, it works great for this purpose and gives you a ton of options for customizing your project, including copy protection, licensing and other stuff. The new version (2022) is the one to use, it's still in beta but seems to work well.