If you want learners to have access to a course via the Internet or an intranet, and if you don't need to track their completion or progress, then web publishing is for you. (If you do need tracking capabilities, you'll want to publish to Articulate Online or an LMS instead.)
In this tutorial, we'll look at how to use Articulate Presenter's web publishing option to turn your project into web-ready content.
Step 1: Enter Title, Description, and Folder Location
- Go to the Articulate tab on the PowerPoint ribbon, and click Publish.
- When the Publish window appears, select the Web tab on the left.
- Check the text that appears in the Title field, and customize it if you like. This text defaults to the name of your PowerPoint file. If you change it, it'll change the title text that Presenter uses in the following places (but it won't change your actual file name):
- The folder that Presenter creates to contain your published output. For example, if the Title field contains the words MSDS Course, Presenter creates a new folder on your hard drive called MSDS Course–Presenter output when you publish.
- The browser title bar, when learners view your published presentation in a browser window.
- The top bar of your course player, if you've opted to include the title as one of the player features.
- If you publish your content for use with the Articulate Mobile Player app, the presentation title is also used on the HTML launch page and the list of content names in the Articulate Mobile Player library.
- In the Description field, enter descriptive text about your presentation. It'll be visible in the Articulate Mobile Player library.
- In the Folder field, indicate where on your computer you want Presenter to create your published output. Click the ellipsis button (...) to browse to a specific location. Presenter will create a new folder in that spot with all the files needed to play your presentation.
- Important! Always publish to your local hard drive. Publishing to a network drive or a USB drive can create problems with your published output. After you publish your presentation to a local folder, upload the output to a web server to test it.
Step 2: Enter Additional Project Info for Articulate Mobile Player (Optional)
If learners use the Articulate Mobile Player, you can add more information by clicking the ellipsis button (...) next to the Title field on the Publish window. The following Project Info window appears:
- The Title and Description are the same as what you entered on the Publish window; you can change the text here if you'd like.
- The thumbnail below the Title field will appear for this presentation when learners browse content in their Articulate Mobile Player library. By default, Presenter uses an image of the first slide in your presentation, but you can choose a different image for the thumbnail. Just click the blue slide title text. Then select a different slide in your presentation, or click Picture from File and choose an image.
- Author, Email, Website, Duration, Date, and Version appear on the content information cards in the Articulate Mobile Player library.
- Identifier applies only to content published for LMS.
- Keywords aren't currently used. They'll be used in a future version of the Articulate Mobile Player app.
When you're finished customizing the Project Info fields, click OK to return to the Publish window.
Step 3: Choose HTML5 and/or Mobile Publishing (Optional)
If learners will view content on a device that doesn't support Flash, use the following options to make your course viewable in HTML5, the Articulate Mobile Player app, or both.
- Include HTML5 output: This prepares your presentation so that it's viewable as HTML5 content if a learner doesn't have the Flash Player and they view your presentation in an HTML5-compatible browser. Keep in mind that not all browsers handle HTML5 content equally. This article identifies which browsers your learners should use if they need to view your presentation as HTML5 content.
- Use Articulate Mobile Player for iOS or Android: This prepares your course so learners have the best viewing experience on iPads and Android tablets, using Articulate's free mobile player app.
- Allow downloading for offline viewing: Mark this box to let learners download your presentation to their Articulate Mobile Player library. Once learners download the presentation, they can view it at any time with or without Internet access, even if you remove the presentation from the web server where you've hosted it. Your presentation stays in the learner's Articulate Mobile Player library until they remove it. (For this reason, you might not want to mark this option if you don't want learners to be able to access the presentation indefinitely or if you plan to update the course and are concerned about learners viewing previously downloaded content that becomes obsolete.)
The Properties section of the Publish window allows you to make last-minute changes to your course player or the compression settings Presenter uses when publishing.
- The Player field shows the name of the player that Presenter will use when you publish. (The player is the interface that learners see when they view the course, and it can include things like player controls, resources, a menu, a glossary, and other features.) Click the player name if you'd like to make some final adjustments or switch to a different player. If you need help choosing your player settings, see this tutorial.
- The Quality field lets you control the compression settings Presenter uses for audio, video, and pictures you've added to your presentation. The settings here default to whatever you used the last time you published a Presenter project. To change the quality settings, click the blue text and change any of the fields as noted below; then click OK.
- Choose Standard if you want to use the default settings. If you mark this option, the values on the window revert back to their defaults (video quality of 5, audio bitrate of 48kbps, and image quality of 80%).
- Choose Custom if you want to define your own quality settings. Then click and drag the slider on any of the three values to change the compression. Using higher values gives you higher-quality output but also larger file sizes (which means longer download times). Lower values give you smaller file sizes and faster download times, but the visual and audio quality will be lower as well.
- The Presenter drop-down lets you choose a presenter bio for this presentation. The presenter bio will appear in the sidebar of your published course. Click the ellipsis (...) button if you need to manage your library of presenter bios. Note: In order for the presenter bio to display in your published presentation, you'll need to enable the Presenter panel in your course player. Click here to learn how.
Step 5: Publish
When you're finished making changes to the options on the Publish window, click the Publish button.
Presenter creates your published output in the location you specified. When publishing is complete, you'll see the following pop-up, and you can choose the option that works for you:
- View Presentation: This launches the presentation in your web browser. Important note about viewing your published content: Since your files have been prepared for deployment over the web, in some situations you might encounter unexpected behavior if you try to view the presentation from your local hard drive. After publishing for the web, it's always best to upload your published output to its final destination and test it there.
- Email: This opens up a new email message with a zipped file of your published output attached. This might be helpful if you need to share your presentation with a subject matter expert (SME) or if you need to send it to your web server administrator for deployment. If your audience is larger than just a few people, it's better to move your files to a web server, and send them the link to the presentation.html file (which is the file that launches your course). This way, you're less likely to burden your email system with attachments, your recipients won't need to fuss with saving and unzipping your file, and you won't have to resend files every time you update the course.
- FTP: This opens a window where you can enter your FTP credentials and transfer your output to your website.
- Zip: This creates a zipped file of your output in the location you specified on the Publish window.
- Open Folder: This opens a file viewer where you can see the files Presenter just created. After you move your files to a web server, send learners a link to the presentation.html file to view the course. Depending on the device and browser learners use, they'll automatically get directed to the appropriate format. (See below for more info on that.)
Step 6: Distribute Your Published Course
Now that you've published, it's time to move your web-ready course to a website or server, give it a test run, and send learners a link to the presentation.html file for viewing.
When learners launch the presentation.html file, they'll see the right type of content based on the device and browser being used.
- Learners will see the Flash version of your course if their browser supports it.
- If learners are using iPads or Android tablets and you selected the Articulate Mobile Player option when you published, the course will launch in the app. (If they don't have the app installed, they'll be prompted to install it.)
- If learners are using iPads and you didn't select the Articulate Mobile Player option when you published, but you did select HTML5, the HTML5 output will launch in mobile Safari.
- If learners are using a browser without Flash and you marked the HTML5 option, they'll see the HTML5 output. (Click here for a list of supported HTML5 browsers.)