19 Replies
Steve Flowers

We target to fit into the lowest reasonable common display resolution for our org. That's 1024x768. If it fits within this, we tend not to complain much about proportions. That said, for my own work, I tend towards a wider ratio than 4:3 but not as wide as 16:9. Either way you go, 16:9 or 4:3, it's not going to squarely fit within one screen or another. Wide screens will have broad gaps on either side or to one side with 4:3. Square screens will have space at the top or bottom or both with a 16:9. I don't quite split the difference. My dimensions are closer to 16:9 than 4:3. I don't recall off the top of my head exactly which I've used. Pretty sure it's 960 x 600 or so. This provides for chrome of the browser without hugging the edges of the lowest screen resolution and a bit of navigation panel room at the bottom of the activity area. It's also wide but not awkwardly wide.

4:3 = 1.33 times as wide as high

16:9 = 1.78 times as wide as high

8:5 = 1.6 times as wide as high (<< this is about where I aim)

3:2 = 1.5 times as wide as high 

The wider setup leaves more horizontal space for comparisons and a bit more whitespace across the horizontal plane. This tends to make layouts look cleaner since you aren't tempted to stack high in a narrower space. I think there's some science to the aesthetic but I'm drawing a blank as to where I saw the calculation and rationale.

At any rate, part of my rationale is splitting the difference between the wide and narrow monitors. The rest is a bit of aesthetic and a little bit gestalt.

This is one of many illustrations of the problem with the tendency we have in eLearning to build strict proportioned slideshows

Rich Johnstun

We have pretty much made the complete jump to 16:9 because our content is typically very video heavy. It can be a challenge at first when you are used to having more vertical space. The biggest issue I have is people providing me content in a 4:3 format and needing to convert it. This can involve a lot of time, but as of late we've been successful in getting more of our SME's to convert to a 16:9 format by providing them some templates making it more intuitive for them. 

Rich Johnstun

I usually do have to do some heavy filtering and clean up, but I often end up with these crazy graphs and graphics that they have created, that is where the headaches come in. They are often overly complex with too much information in a single image or slide. Giving them the 16:9 templates has given them a better visual on scale content. It's still far from perfect, but it's better. 

Chris Wall

I just ran into an issue with this... I developed my content in a 16:9 presentation format, but, when I loaded the content into my player, all sorts of weird stuff happened. In particular, the Menu on the left side of the screen covers up most of the logo, and the logo spills over onto the actual content area of the slide.

It looks pretty awful.

Is there anything I need to do in my player design to let it know to adjust things like the menu and the logo so it will fit on a 16:9 layout.

Like I said, what's really weird is the content is already in a 16:9 layout.


Skip Hagan

I'm with you, Chris! ALL of our monitors and video projectors are 16:9 format. I can build PPTX files in this way, but, Articulate doesn't like them. I use a lot of animation features with text AND photos to help maintain interest and keep the students' attention. Publishing the file in Articulate '09 (and I always maintain the current updates) some of these features come through in rather bizarre ways.

16:9 is now pretty much a standard; at least a HUGE share of the monitor market. Can Articulate be configured to handle this format, as well as the legacy 4:3? If so, what is today's best approach. (I see that some of these remarks are somewhat aged.)

Chris Wall

You know, Bruce is right! That course I was working on that I talked about above, actually shaped up really nicely once I installed the latest version of Storyline. Weird that I didn't even notice.

Actually, now I know why... I built the original course with a menu slide, but my customer, while wanting the menu slide, also wanted the course menu on the left edge of the screen along with the notes so it could be 508-compliant.

Once I put the notes and menu tabs back in, all my logo issues resolved themselves.

@Skip (and this is an unpaid plug!!!)... if you haven't worked in Storyline yet, you don't know what you're missing. It's 10 times the program that Presenter is for one simple reason: you can use variables in your courses!!! OK, and states. OK, and layers.

Definitely worth the price of admission to get Storyline, and even more so to get some professional training in it.

Skip Hagan

Thanx, guys!

I actually do have Storyline and Articulate Studio '09. They are licensed to me (a one-person LLC). Unfortunately, my client (I have a full-time contract) only has Articulate Studio '09 and wants me to use that, for their material. So, for now, I am restricted to that environment for their "official" work.

Having said that, I have taken every opportunity to show my manager the advantages of Storyline, and he's got three copied in the next budget. I've also shown it to their HR folks and they will be getting Storyline, too. I can hardly wait. Meanwhile, I'm developing some Storyline modules (freebies) to help encourage them.

Chris Wall

Yeah, I'm totally having a ball with Storyline. For me, the real thing that sets Storyline apart from any other rapid development tool is its ability to use variables. I've done a lot of work in PowerPoint in which I've used VBA to control events in the presentation (one, which seems to be a favorite with everybody I use it with, is a Jeopardy game that keeps track of each player's - or, more likely, team's - score as well as using VBA to manipulate some 3-state indicator lamps).

Unfortunately, stuff like that doesn't import into Articulate Presenter, and without injecting a bunch of Flash ActionScript, I don't think you can do that sort of stuff in Presenter (I'm willing to be corrected by folks who know more than me - in other words, I'm not talking absolutes here!).

Skip Hagan

OK! I've built a story in 16X9 format. The preview works great! Now, for the rest of the story....

When I publish (CD) and run it on a 16X9 monitor, it is waaaay too large, and it is not adjustable, even though I set the player for:

  • Resize browser to optimal size
  • Scale player to fill browser window

What dimension is the player adjusting for; the presentation size (inside the player) or the overall size of the player window????

Using 1366 X 768, my monitor resolution, results in the oversized display. I'm fiddling with the story size settings, to find the "magic" numbers, but I just don't understand the resize/rescale settings...

Anyone got a clue????

Merry Christmas to all and a happy and prosperous new year, too.

Steve Flowers

Hey Skip - 

Do you have a screenshot that illustrates what's going on?

I'm guessing that the CD publish is grabbing your publish dimensions and locking the window to those proportions. I haven't played with the CD player in awhile but I remember there being some options in the configuration. 

Sid Apolinario

My Share: The last project I created is using the company's standard which is 1024 by 768. Development went fine, including QA. Alas, the client tested the device on a new iPad mini, and even saying that most viewers might be using iPad mini. So ended up resizing the course to the standard 4:3 (760 x 540) to make the "menu" in the player (moved in the upper left) easier to click because the size of the text will be larger.

Skip Hagan

Well, it turns out that there is a "Story Size" option on the Design tab. THAT'S where you setup the page. I reset the story size to 1024 X 576 and all my slides were resized to "widescreen." I got froggy and jumped up to 1200 X 675, and that worked, too.

When launching the published project, I get the proper proportions and clicking on the maximize button gets me full screen. It looks GREAT!

Next step is publishing to the corporate LMS.  Wish me luck...