Presenter ‘09 has a cool feature that’ll help you worry a lot less about losing your work or misplacing files.

We've all had those experiences when an errant click, a corrupted file, or a hard drive failure results in a lot of lost development time. In those instances, when you don’t have a backup of your project, then after some wild clicking, searching, gasping, and gnashing of teeth, you realize you have no choice but to rebuild.

Fortunately, it's pretty easy to avoid all that. There's a quick and simple way to create a backup in Presenter, called an Articulate Package. The output is a zipped file which contains all the files you need to open, edit, and publish your project — including any quizzes, surveys, or Engage interactions you've inserted in your presentation. Many e-learning developers like to use this feature to create a regular backups or a version history, or to share their files with their colleagues. Let's take a look at how to do it.

  1. In PowerPoint 2010 or 2003, open your presentation and click File. In PowerPoint 2007, click the Microsoft Office button in the upper-left corner instead.
  2. Select Save& Send (or Send, depending on your PowerPoint version).
  3. Select Articulate Package.
  4. In the pop-up that appears, choose a location and file name for your zipped package file. In the Package Notes area, you can also enter any other details that would be helpful to anyone who opens the package in the future. These details will be included in a notes.txt file that will accompany your project files.
  5. Click Create Package.

Presenter creates a zipped package in the location you chose. When you see the pop-up indicating the package has been generated, you can click Open Folder to view its contents. Then you can move the package to a secure location (such as a network, CD, or external drive) for safekeeping. Or, pass the package along to a colleague with whom you want to share your files.

 

Below is an example of the package contents for a presentation I recently created. As you can see, it includes my PowerPoint and .ppta files, as well as a quiz and survey that I inserted in the presentation. The file called notes.txt contains the text that I entered in the Package Notes fields when I created the Articulate Package.

 

If your presentation includes inserted videos or images, or imported audio, these items are embedded in your .ppta file. So, if you ever need to publish using your Articulate Package, you'll be just fine. However, keep in mind that if you need to edit any of the inserted videos, images, or imported audio, you'll need access to your original files. Find out about managing assets like these, and other file-management tips, here.