What we’re doing about Flash (updated 10/01/2019)

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! That’ll make 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 Storyline 360 and publish for HTML5 only.

Articulate 360 is officially Flash-free, so the Flash Player isn’t required to use any Articulate 360 apps.  Currently, Storyline 3 and Studio '13 rely on Flash for authoring. We're committed to eliminating our use of Flash from Storyline 3 before 2020, and we'll keep you posted on our new updates in E-Learning Heroes.

UPDATE (10/01/2019): Edited to clarify that Articulate 360 is officially Flash-free.

232 Replies
David Breen

Question about SL360. Apologies if it was answered on another page already.

Currently the only way to set up your course for downloading and viewing offline for tablets (that I know of) is publishing in the Classic Player and turning on the AMP check boxes. Problem with this is it requires Flash.

What is the plan for this when 2020 rolls around? Is this feature being phased out? Is it being updated so Flash is gone?

When looking for products to use for development, this was one of the big reasons our team chose Storyline. I'm hoping it will also be updated and working when Flash is gone?

Thanks,

Dave

Lori Nesbit

We have a big program developed in Storyline 360  and it is absolutely critical that the content can be downloaded onto tablets and used without internet. We need this functionality to work when Flash is gone. We are publishing in HTML5 with Flash back up now as no straight HTML5 option is available presently. Will these work when Flash is gone?

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Alexandra,

Storyline 2 requires Flash to be installed on the authoring computer. 

Upgrading to Storyline 3 would allow you to take advantage of the latest features, especially the option to publish for HTML5 only. As more browsers have prevented Flash from running automatically or being enabled, this would ensure your learners can continue accessing content in all the major browsers. Storyline 2 only supports the HTML5 content in Chrome on Windows and Safari on a Mac. If you have questions on upgrading our Sales team is happy to walk you through it. 

We'll update this discussion as we have more details on the phase-out of Flash from the current Articulate tools (Articulate 360 and Storyline 3).

David Hunt

Hi,

I need some help on this topic.  I have several courses buiult in Storyline 2 and from what I have read by end of this year (2019) they will not run on any browsewr as Flash is decomissioned. My question is that I can publish with the HTML5 option, so does this mean as long as I do that they will still work or do I have to take more steps like deleting the flash.swf file from the publish or direct some how to the HTML5 file?

Will this then work on IE/Edge or is the only option to upgrade them all to 360?

I also have some in Publisher 13 but note there is also the option to publish as html5; would this then work like above or would these also need updateg to 360?

Thanks

David

Becky Lijewski
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi David, 

Flash is being removed from the major browsers currently, although some still allow you to play Flash content when the user explicitly allows it. The end of Flash support from Adobe won't be till the end of 2020, so you've got a bit more time to transition. 

If there is a concern about learners accessing the HTML5 content in a wider variety of browser than Chrome or Safari, I'd look at upgrading to Storyline 3 or Articulate 360 so that you can publish content for HTML5- Only and have a wider array of supported browsers. Here's a handy chart which compares Storyline 3 and Storyline 360.  (Hope that helps you too, Daniel!) 

Let us know if you have any other questions! 

Robert Callan

Question--I'm working on converting a large batch of courses from Flash to HTML5 format. If I'm building a course from scratch in Articulate 360, is there any chance that any of the interactions I include could inadvertently contain Flash elements? Or are all the buttons, sliders, etc., that I could include while building a course in Articulate 360 guaranteed to be Flash-free? Hope that's not an ignorant question! 

Lauren Connelly

Hi Robert!

Great question! Our most recent update, Update 32, made authoring courses in Storyline 360 Flash-free. To ensure your courses are flash-free, we recommend not adding Flash elements such as an SWF file and publishing for HTML5 output only. Our content isn't Flash specific by default, so anything you're adding from within Storyline is flash-free.

And that's the recipe for flash-free courses!

Ryan Brown

Greetings. I have a question concerning SL2/Flash. Our organization has SL360 and we are publishing all courses as HTML5 only moving forward. However, we have many courses that were published in SL2 with the HTML5 box checked. I am trying to better understand how these SL2 courses published with the HTML5 box checked will behave on both Chrome and IE11 browsers once 2021 rolls around. Can you definitively say that they will work (provided the courses do not contain .swf files etc)? Will these courses definitively not work? This seems to be a big gray area and I was really hoping you could help me clear this up.

Lynn Puhr

Ryan - I'll give you some 'boots on the ground' experience - SL2 is a very old version of Storyline. The HTML5 capabilities were very limited - and the newer your browser, the more problems you will have.  For example, the newest Chrome (and depending on how your IT department sets it up) may take a course and display a blank screen -- if you have Flash with HTML5 fallback, it may work... but it may give you odd interactivity or formatting issues.  We have completely shifted to HTML5 with no interactivity issues (we have SL360) and we use IE11, Edge, and Chrome. We have Firefox too, but I don't tend to use it.  The newer releases of SL360 are improving HTML every day.  I do not work for Articulate (LOL) but I would certainly recommend you upgrade this content. . . And that and $5 gets you coffee :D

Kari Bogdan

Hi Ryan,

I agree with Lynn- your best bet is to republish everything in HTML5 only using Storyline 360 or Storyline 3.  Our experience with SL2 courses is they do not play consistently even when they are published with the setting "include HTML5 output".  Its my understanding that the player for SL2 still uses swf files, so perhaps that is why?  The task of republishing all our courses has been quite the undertaking, but we were overdue with updating many of our courses to begin with so it was worth it. 

We still seem to have problems with courses that have video when publishing as HTML5 only using Storyline 3 because our organization uses IE11 as a default.  To solve this problem, we put a slide at the beginning of those courses asking learners to close their browser and login again and reopen the course in Chrome instead.  Its not ideal, but at least we know the videos will work.  Hope this helps...

Logan Stahler

Hi everyone-

Slightly different scenario I'd love some expert opinion on:

We have been publishing courses in SL360 as HTML5/Flash backup for a while now. We have just been told that these modules can be problematic even though HTML5 is the default version. 

Question - if a module (as published above) has a flash backup and flash is officially no longer supported, won't the browser just ignore the flash output anyway? We were told that HTML5 only browsers have experienced some glitchy issues with modules published as HTML5/Flash backup. We haven't seen this firsthand, but are trying to avoid unnecessary conversion to HTML5 only if the above will work just fine once Flash is gone.

Thanks!
Logan 

Justin Grenier

Great question, Logan.

If you are publishing from SL360 as HTML5/Flash fallback and viewing the content in a browser that supports HTML5, the Flash content will never be seen or experienced by the learner.  Therefore, the published output will perform exactly as if you had published to HTML5 only.  There is no opportunity for an HTML5 browser to see this content differently.

One scenario where Flash may be seen in this environment is if learners are using a browser that doesn't fully support HTML5 (think IE 10 or earlier).

Bottom line:  Publishing to HTML5 with Flash fallback is a solid strategy, and if learners run into any trouble, we'd love to help troubleshoot!

Lynn Puhr

Logan, we are travelling down the same path - using HTML5/Flash fallback unless we absolutely have to republish.  Here are my ramblings: 1) It may depend on what version of SL360 was used in the course publish -- Articulate has made so many updates in HTML5 functionality -- older publishes (say if you published it over a year ago or more) may have more issues than those published out today; 2) we have been testing all of our courses in the latest browsers to ensure that we validate our assumptions and the oldest of the courses are indeed causing issues -- republishing seems to resolve issues; 3) We cannot predict what browser updates will cause us to have to publish, but given the volume, we will cross that bridge later for those that are testing out ok today.  

I hope that gives you some insights...

Lynn :)