What we’re doing about Flash (updated 01/16/2020)

Aug 04, 2017

NOTE:  The discussion below is now outdated.  For the most updated information on how the end of Flash affects Articulate apps and courses, please click here.

You may have heard that Adobe is phasing out support for Flash in 2020. We’ve known that Flash has been on its way out for some time. To make sure we’re ready, we’ve been working hard to build tools that’ll fit your needs today and in the future.

We’ve been shifting to HTML5 for several years. That’s why Articulate 360 and Storyline 3 have HTML5-first or HTML5-only publishing options, making it easy for you to create e-learning that relies only on HTML5. You can read a bit more about our shift towards HTML5 here.

For your existing courses, you have a couple of options:

  • If you included HTML5 as a part of the published output, you can point to that directly over the Flash version and make sure your users are viewing the course in a supported HTML5 browser. Here’s how.
  • You can update your courses using Articulate 360 or Storyline 3, and publish for HTML5 only.

Articulate 360 is officially Flash-free, so the Flash Player isn’t required to use any Articulate 360 apps.  The same is true for Storyline 3.

Storyline 2 and Studio '13 rely on Flash for authoring.  We recommend that you upgrade to Storyline 3 or Articulate 360 since these applications do not have any Flash dependencies.

UPDATE (01/16/2020): Edited to link to this article.

238 Replies
Stephen OHearn

Hi Justin, 

Thanks for the update. When you say "Currently, Articulate 360, Storyline 3, and Studio ‘13 rely on Flash for authoring. " Does that mean the programs rely on Flash internally to operate, not just publish to a swf based output? 

Subtle differences but technically very different. 


Dave Neuweiler

While this is still three years out, I think it would be wise for everyone who has published content in Articulate '09 to start planning for transitioning that content to HTML5. That would also include features that were available in '09 (Learning Games, for example) that are not supported by the current Articulate product offerings.

Christopher Danello

I have seen issues associated with html5.

Chief among them, the Resources button does not open. This is when using the tag "story_html5.html" in our URL.

When in our LMS (SumTotal), we use the tag, "index_lms.html". (The Resource button works fine with that). 

I just tried using "index_lms_html5.html" as the tag.  The course did not open.

Am I writing the URL incorrectly?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Anna,

Which version do you mean when you say Articulate 1? Articulate 360 and Storyline 3 are the only versions we have currently which allow you to author courses and publish to HTML5 only.

I know there are some folks in the community who have edited the published output in earlier versions to remove flash files, but that's not something I can help with. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Christopher, 

Those URL endings sound right - if you've published for LMS and you're using the latest versions of Storyline. I haven't seen the error you mentioned with the resource tab yet, but I'd be happy to take a look. Share your .story file here using the "add attachment" button. 

Also, you could look at testing it within SCORM Cloud, which is an industry standard for LMS testing. Take a look at the article here to get started! 

Christopher Danello

I think I identified the issue. HTML5 does not seem to be compatible with Internet Explorer. I tried the "HTML5" URL in Chrome and it worked just fine (the Resource Button worked fine as well).

The problem with that is that Chrome is not compatible with the SumTotal LMS.

Any idea how to bridge the gap?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Christopher,

What version of Storyline are you using? Storyline 2 didn't support HTML5 output in IE, it was limited to Chrome and Safari.

Storyline 3 and Storyline 360 have broader support for HTML5 in the browsers listed here based on the rewrite to our HTML5 publishing engine and the ever increasing support within the browsers themselves for HTML5 output. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Kenneth,

Yes, Storyline 2 will publish as Flash, and include HTML5 if you selected that. If Flash is not available in the browser, Storyline will detect that and present the HTML5 output - keeping in mind that certain browsers perform better with HTML5 than others.

With Storyline 2, Chrome and Safari are the best options (and the ones we support for SL2). I have heard some folks share that Firefox does well, so you may want to test the content there to see if it meets your needs.

June Dunlap

This is a concern for me as well especially since Articulate Presenter '13 relies on Flash to even open and use. If you do not have the latest version, you get an error message. How are you addressing this issue?

I am worried because it seems like there is a big push for everyone to move to 360, which for someone working for the government is not an option at all. I have noticed this when it comes to content available for desktop versions of Articulate products, for example, the character packs. The only way I can get more to use in my most recent versions of Storyline and Studio is to move to 360 to have access to the content library.


Carolyn Stoll

I was about to post this question to another thread, but I suspect that this is where it belongs.  We're suddenly having problems playing Articulate 09 content on any browser.  What happens is the file opens, but we can't get audio to play at all.  Is this a flash issue?  Am I correct that this content would need to be republished in HTML 5?



Miri Iritz

Hi Justin,

What about embedded flash animations inside the course. I republished the animation in Adobe Animate as HTML5. I got 2 files a js file and an HTML file that runs it. I tried to upload it as a Web Object. the animation runs but I can't get it to have a transparent background, even tough the animation is transparent. I think this is something to do with the HTML file.

I didn't use an index.html file. If I need to create one, I need an example that shows how it should look and it's content.

I need support for that so we won't loose all of our animation embedded inside the courses




Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Carolyn,

Does the original Presenter/powerpoint file no longer open, or it's the published output that is having difficulty?

If it's the published output, do you know what browsers you're viewing the course in, and if they still have Flash enabled? Studio '09 doesn't support HTML5 output, so you may want to look at upgrading to Studio 360 (as a part of the Articulate 360 suite) to ensure you're ready if your users no longer have access to flash. That way you'd be able to publish with an HTML5 fallback, or HTML5 only depending on your needs. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Miri, 

Where are you hosting the Adobe Animate files to link as a web object?  I found a much older discussions about Animate files as HTML5

Could you tell us more about the set up you've used, and the transparency of the videos? I know most folks in the community ask about alpha transparency which is supported in the Flash/Articulate Mobile player output for FLV video files.

Miri Iritz

Hi Ashley,

Thanks a lot for your answer. I see now that when running the story_html5.html, I get the animation with transparent background. The problem is that when I run the story.html file I get it with a white background. 

 We have customers that have different platforms setups and we need to be able to publish course that will run on both types of platforms: with flash and without flash. 



Miri Iritz

Hi Ashley,

I looked into the problem that I have (embedded HTML5 animation transparency in SL2) the animation comes with white background only when I run story.html in Explorer. Is there any knowledge about browser differences regard adding web objects?

How can I get ride of the white background (it doesn't come from the animation, the animation RGBA is 68,68,68,0.00).

Attach: the js and story.html files of the animation



Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Kathy, 

Yes, it would be a new version of the course with new files. So the course wouldn't bookmark back to where they left off.

Your LMS may keep all the tracking and data associated with the course if they are published with the same name though! So definitely reach out toyour LMS admin for confirmation. 

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