How To Link From Engage To Presenter

Summary: Add code to a hyperlink in Engage to link the interaction to a slide in PowerPoint.
Difficulty: Medium

It is not every day that you come across a new “hack” that you know is somehow bound to make it into the annals of Articulate development. Well, we are going to look at one which lets you link from any step in an Engage interaction embedded in your PowerPoint presentation to any other slide in the same PowerPoint presentation.

First, have a look at an example I put together showing how a labeled graphic can link to different slides in a presentation and be then linked back to the Engage interaction.

View Demo

I didn’t do the whole map – just the orange markers link to other slides, plus the Exit link.

As you can see, the Engage interaction is used as a menu to other pages. You can therefore use any Engage interaction as a menu or sub-menu to your presentation. You can also link directly from one Engage interaction to another and back again.

How Do You Do It?

First some history.

A post on our forums caught the eye of one our developers. It was a plea to be able to link from Engage to a particular slide in PowerPoint.

Well, as easy as that might sound, this had not been possible without going into some considerable effort to create specially prepared SWF files containing Actionscript code. The code told the Articulate player to go to one slide or another. Here is an example I did some eighteen months ago. There was an easier solution, but the drawback was that the player had to restart before the slide was loaded as you can see in this example. This looked messy.

With this “hack”, we can now link to whatever slide we like from Engage without the player restarting and without having to write Flash. Here’s what you need to do:

 

Step By Step

 

  • 1. Create your Engage interaction and add a hyperlink on a word. You’ll need to select some text and press the Hyperlink button:
  •  

     

  • 2. Add this code as an http hyperlink with the last number indicating which slide in PowerPoint you want to link to:

    asfunction:_level44.playSlide,5

  •  

     

    This hyperlink is linking to slide 5. If you want the link to go to slide 4, then replace the 5 at the end with a 4. Note too that the http:// we have at the beginning of a regular link is not used here. Then click OK.

     

  • 3. Publish your interaction to PowerPoint.
  •  

  • 4. Allow the user to leave the interaction at any time:
  •  

     

  • 5. Now publish your PowerPoint presentation with Articulate Presenter and the hyperlinks in Engage will link to slides in your presentation (in this example to slide 5).

IMPORTANT NOTES

 

  • Please note that this is completely unsupported by Articulate so please do not write to Articulate Support about this. Write to me instead and I will try my best to help. This “hack” may one day become a supported feature, but at the moment it is definitely unsupported. As such, I cannot guarantee this will work with future updates to the software.
  •  

  • Your link will NOT change automatically if you add extra slides to PowerPoint and the slide you want to link to is no longer slide 5. You will need to edit the hyperlink by opening the interaction again in Engage and then republishing to PowerPoint/Articulate Presenter. Because you may want to add slides to your presentation before it is definitively finished, it might be a good idea to create your links from Engage to PowerPoint at the very end of the process, just before publishing.
  •  

  • If you are linking from one Engage interaction to another, you cannot link to a particular step in an interaction, only to the slide.
  •  

  • This “hack” does not work with Quizmaker ’09.
  •  

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    How To Add Quizmaker ’09 to Engage ’09

     

    Summary: You can add a Quizmaker ’09 to an Engage ’09 by manually changing the published files.
    Difficulty: Medium

     

     

    One of the great things about the Articulate products is how you can bring together different types of content into one single presentation. Earlier this year we looked at how we can add a Quizmaker 2 quiz to Engage 1. The process how now become a lot cleaner with the new suite of Studio ’09 products and the method has changed. So if you are looking for a way to spice your interactions with an embedded quiz, look no further.

    First, let us look at what you can do:

     

     

    View Demo

    The example shows how you can make Quizmaker ’09 appear in a new window but you can also have it embedded within Engage. The example below Quizmaker ’09 embedded within Engage ’09 which in turn has been published in Presenter ’09.

     

     

    See Demo

    How do you do it?

    • Well we are going to look at the first example in this article which is publishing Engage as a standalone. As before, create your quiz first and publish to the Web. Your published files will look something like this.

     

     

    • Now open your Engage interaction and decide where you want to place your quiz.
    • Select the Add Media button.

     

     

    • Point to the quiz.swf file in the Quizmaker ’09 published files we saw above and click Open.

     

     

    • In the Multimedia Properties box, decide if you want the quiz to open in a new window, have it embedded or Full size (as in the picture below). Unlike with Quizmaker 2, all three options are possible with Quizmaker ’09 and Engage ’09.

     

     

    • If you are going to show in Full size, you’ll probably want to choose a custom image to launch your quiz. This is what you will see in the Engage interaction and what users will click on to see the quiz.
      You can also decide where you want your image to appear.

      If you are embedding, you’ll probably want to choose as large an area as possible to make your quiz readable.

    • When you have finished your interaction, publish it to the Web. (for a standalone Engage interaction).

     

    Changing your published files

    To finish your project you need to manually change the Engage published files.

    • Locate your Engage project files.

     

     

    • Open the engage_content folder in the Engage project files and notice the swf1.swf which corresponds to the quiz.swf which we imported earlier.

      NOTE: The name of this file will depend on how many other Flash movies you may have inserted in your Engage interaction. Make sure you find the one which corresponds to your quiz. Opening in Swiff Player or Internet Explorer should bring up the swirling logo.

     

     

    • Unusually, we need to change the name of this file back to what it was before, namely quiz.swf.

      So your files will look like this:

     

     

    • Now, open the data.xml file in Wordpad. (right-click -> Open with Wordpad)
    • In the top menu of Word, select Edit -> Replace

     

     

    • Now replace all instances of swf1.swf with quiz.swf. Depending on how you have inserted your quiz (embedded, new window, full size), you should find one or two instances.

     

     

    • Save the edited data.xml.
    • Finally go back to your original Quizmaker ’09 published files and copy the quiz_content folder and the state.xml file.

     

     

    • Paste the folder and the file into your Engage engage_content folder. The contents of the engage_content folder should now look something like this:

     

     

    Your Engage interaction is now ready to be viewed. Double-click engage.html to launch your interaction in your browser.

    NOTES

  • You can have your quiz embedded or open as Full size. Opening in Full size slightly clips the submit button of your quiz. Embedding works fine but you need to make sure your quiz is large enough to be readable.
  • The main limitation with this method is that you can only insert ONE quiz per interaction.
  • Print Results will not work.
  • As the second example at the beginning showed, you can also embed a quiz in Engage and then embed the interaction in Presenter. You will need to publish from Engage to Presenter, and then embed the Quizmaker files in the engage_content folder of the Presenter ’09 project files, making the same adjustments as above.
  • Controlling Audio In Engage

    Summary: Convert your audio files to FLV to create playbars.
    Difficulty: Easy

     

    As a qualified English teacher myself, I know the utility of allowing my students to play, pause and generally control an audio file they are listening to. This could be a listening comprehension exercise where they have to try and understand some basic elements, and being able to go back and listen to a critical point in the audio to check their understanding is obviously a welcome feature.

    The same could be said for a speech or lecture. You might not choose to show the text of the speech and if the listener was distracted or simply did not understand what was said, they’ll want to be able to go back and listen again, without necessarily having to go back to the beginning.

    Well all of that is fairly obvious. The problem arises when we try and insert audio into Engage. As many of you will have noticed, while Engage allows you to insert audio or even record your own voice directly into the interaction with just a press of a button, the user is not able to pause or control that audio file within the interaction. Check this example to see what I mean:

    Demo


    View Demo

    There is no need to listen to the whole audio files of course. The point is that we can’t stop the audio at any point or go back and forth.

    If the interaction is then embedded into Articulate Presenter, there is no problem since the Presenter player will control the audio in Engage. But if your Engage interaction is standalone ie. is published by itself either on the web or on CD, then the user has no way to control the audio. And if your Engage IS in Presenter and you wanted to hide your player controls in the Presenter player (for design purposes) then you are also stuck….

    Unless you do something like this:

    Demo

    View Demo

    There is now a controller for each audio file which the user can click on to listen and repeat as they choose.

    Controller

    How do we do it?

    Well, as you will see, there is no option in Engage to create playback controls for audio files. But there is for FLV video files. When you insert an FLV video file, you have the option to include a playbar and for the file to start automatically or not. So the solution to our problem is to convert our audio files to Flash Video or FLV format.

    Once they are in FLV format:

    • Click on the Add Media button in one of your steps of your Engage interaction:

     

    Add Media

     

    • Navigate to your selected FLV file and click OK:

     

    Navigate

     

    • Select playbar and decide if you want the file to start automatically or not and click OK:

     

    Playbar

     

    And that’s it. Your audio files will now have player controls attached to them.

    Notes

  • Bear in mind that since you are using the Add Media function to add your audio, you will not necessarily be able to add images to go with your audio. It will depend on the interaction you are using. On the Process interaction, for example, you will only be able to have text on the steps you include the audio FLV file.
  •  

  • It is not very easy to find an audio to FLV converter, and when you do, you might find that Engage is not recognizing the correct length of the audio file.

    I have checked a lot of programs to find those that worked well and I found only two, one which is no longer available but which I bought a few years back, and Replay Converter by Applian Technologies. It is possible that Adobe Flash will do the necessary but I didn’t find how to do this in Sorensen Squeeze, nor in much other software. Either the possibility to convert from audio to FLV did not exist, or if it did, the length of the file would appear wrong and the scrub bar would not work.

    There is a free trial for Replay Converter which last indefinitely but is limited to 90 seconds audio conversion at a time. To convert your audio file in Replay Converter, add your WAV file (or mp3), and then choose to Convert to Video File (even though this is audio). Select “Add more video formats” in the drop-down menu and choose an FLV format (I chose the smallest file size 100 kps which is sufficient for audio only conversion). Then click on the Go button and your file is converted. You should find that Engage correctly recognizes the length of any file converted with Replay Converter.

  • Changing Default Timings In Engage

    Summary: Changing the autoplayduration value in the data.xml file of the Engage published files allows you to change default timings in Engage.
    Difficulty: Medium

    Introduction

    Engage is a great product to make your PowerPoint slides look super interactive plus it adds that ‘Flash’ factor with the proverbial stroke of a brush or mouse. There are one or two tweaks you can apply to make them do just what you want them to do. I wrote a post about how to resize a FLV or SWF in the Media Tour interaction.

     

    Engage timings

     

    This post today looks at how to change default timings when viewing an Engage interaction which may allow us to make things work better and can also be used to workaround an issue with the Labeled Graphic interaction. It is a post about making certain tweaks to make things happen as we want.

    “Click next to continue”

    First let’s have a look at one of the issues on hand: Here is a simple Timeline Engage Interaction. Notice how the user needs to wait for five seconds or more before the message “Click next to continue” appears.

     

    Example

    See example

    Five seconds is fine sometimes, but you may have an interaction where 5 seconds on the first slide is simply too long. Well, you can’t change this from Engage itself, but you can change it by editing the data.xml file in the published files. If you make those changes, then you can get your interaction to behave like this:

     

    Edited interaction


    See example

    How do you do it?

    • Create your Engage interaction and publish it either either as Standalone or to Articulate Presenter.
    •  

    • Locate the published files. If this is a standalone interaction, you will find these by default in My Documents\My Articulate Projects. If you are publishing to Articulate Presenter, then you will find these in the Presenter published files, a folder in the same location and with the same name as your PowerPoint file. By default, this will be My Documents\Articulate Presenter\myprojectnamefolder\engage_257 (the number of the Engage folder will change).
    •  

    • Locate and open the engage_content folder within the Engage published files:
    •  

      5files.png

       

    • Open the data.xml file in an editor like Notepad. You will see a file like this:
    •  

      Original data xml file

       

    • Find the autoplayduration tag and change the value from 5 to something smaller. In the example above, I changed it to 0.1 (it will not take 0 as a valid figure):
    •  

      5seconddatafinal2.png

       

      5dataxml233.png

       

    • Save and close the data.xml file.
    •  

    • Play your standalone Engage interaction (without republishing) or publish your Articulate Presenter presentation (without republishing Engage to Presenter) and you should find that the message appears quicker than before.

    Note

    Another instance where this technique is useful is specifically when you have inserted an Engage interaction into Presenter.

    Imagine that you have set your Engage interaction to be played in Linear viewing (Engage interaction properties) and you want the next slide button to appear immediately on the last step rather than have the user wait for five seconds for this to appear.

    Again, changing the autoplayduration figure will vary the delay the user must wait. Making the value 0.1 will effectively make the “Next Slide” button appear immediately.

     

  • Here is an example of the issue:
  •  

    Next Slide Demo

    View example

     

  • and here it is resolved having changed the autoplayduration value to 0.1.
  •  


    Next Slide Resolved


    View resolved demo

    Labeled Graphic Issue

    This brings us to a final and more serious issue with certain Engage interactions including the Labeled Graphic Interaction when embedded in Presenter. If your Articulate Presenter presentation is running in Restricted mode and the audio of the last step is LONGER than the autoplayduration value in the data.xml file, then the interaction gets stuck and the user cannot move on.

    This is known issue by the Articulate developers but one which continues to cause headaches for some designers.

     

  • Here is an example:
  •  


    Labeled Graphic Issue

    View issue

     

    By changing the autoplayduration value to a greater number than the length of the audio file on the last step, we can workaround this problem. The audio length of the file is 7.3 seconds. So I am going to make the autoplayduration value 7.5 seconds.

     

  • Here is the same file with the issue resolved:
  •  


    Labeled Issue Resolved

    View issue resolved

     

    The drawback with this workaround is that it automatically makes all steps default to the autodurationplay value you choose. So if you have shorter audio in the earlier steps, your users will have to wait before being able to move on. Similarly, steps without audio, will take this new viewing time value.

    The secret is therefore to make your final audio piece shorter than the others in the preceeding steps (if they have audio). If you don’t want to change the autodurationplay value manually, just make sure that your final step contains less than 5 seconds of audio or none at all!

    Happy hacking !

    Viewing Presentations Locally

     

    Summary: Use Server2Go micro package to workaround Flash and browser security issues when viewing Articulate presentations.

    Difficulty: Easy

     

    Many users are still coming across issues when trying to view their published content locally due to increased security features in both Internet browsers and Flash.

    This article takes another look at a solution to this problem that was written up by Gabe Anderson on his Word of Mouth blog last year following a post by a user on the Articulate forums. This second look at this solution is partly justified by the fact that a new smaller version of Server2Go has been released which now makes it feasible to use when sending presentations by email and not just when publishing to CD.

     

    Splash

     

    Typically the issues that are being met are the following:

    • Adobe flash security message
    • Adobe Flash Player has stopped a potentiall unsafe operation.
      The following local application on your computer or network:

      C:\….\…\…..\stealthray.swf

      Is trying to communicate with this Internet-enable location:

      C:\… \player.html

      To let this application comminucate with the Internet, click Settings.
      You must restart the application after changing your settings.

      *******************************************************************

    • Attachments will not open. Clicking on a link in the Attachments tab does nothing at all or brings up an error message.

    Attachment error

    • Links will not work. Clicking on a link does nothing.

     

    All of these issues may occur if:

    • You are viewing your presentation off a CD Rom. ie. you have copied the published files to CD and you are trying to view your presentation on another computer.
    • You have sent your presentation by mail in the form of a zip file. The user unzips the file and tries to view the presentation on their computer.
    • You are trying to view a presentation off a zip drive or a USB drive on another computer.

     

    Using Server2Go

    One solution is to use an application called Server2Go which emulates an online server and so prevents the security issues from happening. Originally, Gabe’s article was more focussed on creating a workaround for CD productions as the application was well over 40 Mb in size but Server2Go have since released a “Micro” version of their software which is significantly smaller than the full version at about 5 Mb and which therefore allows it to be used for sending presentations by mail.

    I have taken that smaller version, changed the splash screen and removed some unnecessary files to make it as small as possible to make it that much easier to publish using Server2Go.

     

    How do we do it?

    Using Server2Go might sound horrendously complicated but in fact it is extremely easy, almost childsplay. The application is basically ready for immediate use. You simply need to copy the files that have already been prepared for you on to a CD or into your file to be mailed and you are away. You should think of it as a container for your presentation. The container is ready for use, you just need to put something in it.

    • 1) First, you need to make sure your presentation is ready. You don’t need to publish to CD, just publish to the WEB in Articulate. Let us take an Articulate Presenter presentation as an example. Here are our files.
    • Standard files

    • 2) Now comes the only change you need to make to your files. Change the name of the player.html file to index.html. This will make it readable by Server2Go. Your files will look like this:
    • Changed file name

    • 3) Now download the Server2Go files. I have prepared a special version of the files which you can download here:
    • Download adapted Server2Go files

       

    • 4) Unzip the package. This unzipped package contains all the elements for your new format presentation. It is the container that will need to be copied “as is” to your CD or into your mail. You package should look like this:
    • Server2Go package

    • 5) Now comes the second manual operation by you to get this to work. You need to put your presentation files (with the changed player.html to index.html file) INTO the htdocs folder as shown by the arrow below.
    • htdocs folder

    • 6) You’ll just find a readme.txt file initially. You can delete that once you have read it and replace it with your presentation files. So your htdocs folder should contain the following files:
    • Changed file name

    And that is all you have to do.

    If you are going to publish to CD, you need to copy all of the Server2Go package including the newly filled htdocs folder to your CD Rom. Make sure you just copy those files and not a folder containing the files. When you open your CD and view the files on the CD you should see the following files that we saw earlier:

    Server2Go package

    The presentation should launch automatically but if it doesn’t, clicking on Server2Go.exe will lauch it.

     

    Sending by mail

    Because the package is so small, you can easily send your entire presentation by mail, provided of course that your presentation itself is not too large. If you want to send your presentation by mail, you can zip up the package again (this time it will contain your presentation in the htdocs folder), and send it to your correspondent. They will unzip and double-click on the Server2Go.exe file to launch it.

    Here is a simple example of a packaged presentation that I prepared to show you the file structure. Download it, unzip and play it on your computer by double-clicking on the Server2Go.exe file. Notice the Articulate published files in the htdocs folder.

    Example

    Download example presentation

    Notice too how the attachments button works and you are able to view the readme text.

    Now download the presentation outside of Server2Go and you’ll get the attachments error message. Unzip and double-click the player.html file to run.

    Download standalone Articulate presentation.

     

    Notes:

  • Server2Go is donation software. If you are using the software commercially, then the author asks that you make a small donation (anything from $15). although of course that might not be easy in a corporate environment.
  • You can change the splash screen which the user gets on launching the course as I did in the specially prepared package. Simply locate the splash.png file and change it as required.
  • There are other alternatives to Server2Go which may work as well including HTML Executable.
  • Adding A Sound Logo To Your Presentation

     

    Summary: You can add a sound logo by adding some javascript to the launching html file.
    Difficulty: Medium

     

    Branding is important for many companies, so important indeed, that in some companies there are special departments whose sole function is to verify that all products including training (internal or otherwise) complies with strict rules governing the appearance of a logo, its position, coloring, and anything else which helps to create an identify for the product or the company. One aspect of branding which is becoming more and more important is sound branding, which could be seen as the acoustic equivalent of a visual logo.

    Sound Logo Title

    For example, most of us know the sound logo (sometimes called the sonic logo) of Intel: Click here to listen.

    So the question of course is how we can add our sound logo to the Articulate player be it Presenter, Quizmaker or Engage.  
     
    Adding the sound logo to the loading page

    Well one way to add a sound logo is to have it right at the beginning of your presentation, before it has even started. While it is busy loading the first few pages, and while we see the loading bar completing, why not have a little sound logo to get your users on the right track and tell them that what they are about to see if from this identifiable company? Of course, there is nothing to stop you from adding any sound jingle or message you want although you don’t want to make the audio file too large or you will have a significant impact on the loading delay before your main presentation.

    Here’s a small example with Presenter.

    Sound Logo Example

    View Demo
     

    So how do you do it?

    Well, one way to do this is to add your sound logo to the html file which launches your presentation, which for Presenter is player.html, for Engage, engage.html and for Quizmaker, quizmaker.html. When your user launches the presentation via one of these files, they will also play your sound logo and launch the loader.

    It is easy enough to add sound to an html file using the tag bgsound such as:

    <bgsound src="soundfile.mp3">

    However this does not work in Firefox.

     

    Code for Internet Explorer and Firefox

    So along comes some code in Javascript which generally does the trick:

    Sound Audio Logo Code

    Download code in text file

    If you place the script above at line 319 of the player.html (after the bgcolor script) and then place your audio file (myfile.mp3 is the name of the audio file in this example) at the root level, that's to say at the same level as player.html. you should find that your loader now plays an audio file.

    Presenter code position

     

    Things to remember:

     

    • Use an mp3 file rather than a WAV file. Mp3 files are compressed, smaller in size and so quicker to download meaning that your sound logo will play almost immediately.
    •  

    • Notice that the audio file is references twice in the above code so be sure to change the code twice when you change the name of the audio file.
    •  

    • This change to the script must be done AFTER you have published. Republishing will delete this code so you'll just have to start again.
    •  

    • Remember to also manually add your audio file. You can add it to the root of your presentation (ie. at the same level as player.html) or you can place it in a folder. If you place it in a folder, be sure to link accordingly in the code.

    This will also work in both Quizmaker and Engage.

    Quizmaker

    In Quizmaker, place the code above in quizmaker.html after the body bgcolor tag:

    Place code in Quizmaker

    Place your audio file (myfile.mp3 is the name of the audio file in this example) at the root level, that's to say at the same level as quizmaker.html.

    Quizmaker Sound Logo Demo

    View Demo

    Engage

    In Engage, place the code after the body tag:

    Engage Sound Logo

    Place your audio file (myfile.mp3 is the name of the audio file in this example) at the root level, that's to say at the same level as engage.html.

    Engage Sound Logo Demo

    View Demo

    How to add a Quizmaker Quiz to Engage

    Summary: You can add a Quizmaker quiz to Articulate Engage by adding the quiz via the New Media tool in Engage and opening it in a new window.

    Difficulty: Medium

    A customer asked me yesterday if it was possible to insert a Quizmaker quiz into Engage. She referred me to this article on the forums and said that she could not follow what to do. Well, if you read the forum thread, you will see that Phil (Spectre) gave instructions to insert the quiz into a Media Tour Engage interaction but somehow the resulting interaction was not working. If you clicked on the submit button, then the whole screen faded dark and you were stuck.

    I experimented with this a little yesterday and found that getting the quiz to open in a new window in Engage can work as this demo shows:

    Quiz in Engage

    View Demo

    How do you do it?

      1. First create your Quiz.
      1. Edit the Player Text labels in Quizmaker for your quiz and change the Finish button label (Number 14: Summary Button Bye) to something like “Click X at top to close”.
    • Change the Finish label

      1. Publish to the WEB.
      1. Second, create your Engage interaction, choosing any interaction type you like EXCEPT the Media Tour interaction.
      1. Choose the step where you want to link or insert your Quiz and choose Add Media as you would normally when inserting an image or media file.
    • Add the quiz via Add Media

      1. Navigate to the assessment.swf in the output published files of your quiz which you created earlier.
    • Point to assessment

      1. Insert and choose to play the file in a new window and select a custom image to display your Quiz link. You can create any simple image like the one in the demo above.
    • Choose New Window in Display Type

      1. Publish your Engage interaction to the WEB.
      1. Now go to the Quizmaker published files folder and copy all the files EXCEPT the assessment.swf file AND the zoom.html file

        Copy the selected files

        into the Engage published files folder placing them INSIDE the engage_content folder

    • Place inside folder

      giving you something like this inside the engage_content folder:

      Combined files

      1. Launch your Engage interaction WITHOUT republishing. Your quiz will appear in a new window once you have clicked on the Flash link.

    Note: The zoom function will not work in Quizmaker nor will the Finish button (which is why we changed the label before inserting it in Engage). I have not found a way of embedding the quiz in Engage. Opening the quiz in a new window seems to circumvent any interference between the two scripts.

    Flash 9 and Full Screen in Articulate?

    Summary: General article discussing possibilities for full screen viewing in Articulate software. Reference only. By adapting the Actionscript of Flash movies and inserting code in the hosting HTML file, the user can right-click to view a Flash movie full screen.

    Difficulty: Medium to Advanced

    Note: This article is more for information and reflection. No specific steps are provided to produce the results seen in the demos below.

    Flash 9 has been around for a few weeks and already we are seeing some significant changes in the way it is acting with our movies. HD is on its way real quick. Look at these examples to see what your videos will be like very shortly. Isn’t that definition fantasic? Gone are the days when we were squinting at the screen , trying to make out what was happening amongst all those blurry pixels.

    Download Flash 9

    Another interesting new feature of the Flash Player is the Full Screen mode. With some Actionscript 3 in the movie and a few changes to the HTML of the launch page (or via a dedicated player), you can now right-click on your video and view it full screen. How many times was I frustrated by the lack of a full screen mode in Flash ! While Windows Media Player has been playing in full screen for a long time and Quicktime too (if you had the Pro version), with Flash you had to content yourself with a mini-screen. Today, if you have an appropriatedly coded Flash file, that is over.

    This article on the Flash Developer Connection site explains in detail how it works.

    So I tried to figure how I could get this to work in Articulate. The Actionscript in the Articulate components is pretty complex so I looked for roundabout ways of doing this.

    Web Object in Presenter

    One way of doing this is to import your Flash file via an HTML page as a web object. First you need to mess about with the Actionscript or find an encoder that does this automatically for you (I did the latter) and then change the HTML page with an editor or get that same encoder to do that for you too. Change the html file name to index.html and you’re away. One drawback as always, with the web object, is that annoying white line you get around the object. However, there are ways to get rid of it in Internet Explorer if not in Firefox, and the result looks quite good.

    Here is a demo I did with the trailer of a British film “Brideshead Revisited”. Remember it looks better with IE. Also, note that this was encoded at a high bitrate of about 1000 kps so it may stop and start if you are on a slow connection.

    Presenter Full Slide Demo

    View Demo

    Engage

    We don’t have a web object in Engage, so we can’t do the same as we do in Presenter. One thing about the Full Screen feature is that it only works (at present) when the movie is in a dedicated player or an HTML page, so embedding is not possible just yet. When you import an Engage movie, you have three choices and generally when references are made to the _root level, as this kind of movie does, then Engage will force you to use the “In a new window” mode. Now it so happens that if you do this, AND make the appropriate changes to the zoom.html in the engage_content folder (which basically involves pasting code and renaming), it does work. So Full screen presentations within Engage are now possible.

    Here is an example with the same trailer.

    Full Screen Engage Demo

    View Demo

    If you have access to the SDK forum, then clicking this link will send you to a thread where Flávio Fusuma showed how one could adapt the Presenter interface to get it showing in full screen, a kind of variation on a theme. (You need to be a Platinum member to have the SDK and gain access to the forum).

    Of course, in time, we would hope to be able to get a Full Screen mode with a click of a button, for both the developer and the user, so if you think this would make a neat extra to the Articulate software, make sure you make that feature request ! Meanwhile, we go on hacking!

    Embedding Camtasia in Engage in Presenter

    With all this embedding of one interaction within another, things can quickly get confusing but not necessarily so. A recent post I did looked at embedding a Camtasia quiz within Engage, and another post looked at embedding Camtasia in Presenter.

    But what if you want to embed your ‘Camtasia in Engage’ into Presenter? This post looks at how you do this. As you’ll see, the procedure is similar and pretty straightforward. The only thing that changes is the location of the files. First let’s have a look at what we are trying to achieve:

    View Demo

    View Demo

    This demo was made with Camtasia 5.1 embedded in Engage which was in turn published to Presenter.

    How do you do it?

    1 Create your Camtasia production and publish in Camtasia avoiding the ExpressShow template format as this conflicts with Articulate Presenter. I chose Custom Production Settings -> Adobe Flash output ->Template: One video and Theme: Onyx. In Flash options, I chose FLV and a rate of 300 kps and quite low quality for this demo. I also took off the loader and the about box in the Controls tab.

    Your published files will look like this:

    Camtasia published files

    (Forgive the French. I am working off a French Vista)

    2 Create your Engage interaction and use the “Add Media” tool to select the control SWF that is part of the Camtasia project.

    Select the Camtasia controller in Engage

    3 Publish your Engage interaction to Articulate Presenter.

    4 Publish Articulate Presenter once you have finished your other slides.

    5 Copy and paste the Camtasia published files (as shown in 1 above) into the published files folder of your Articulate Presenter presentation at the same level as player.html like this:

    Camtasia and Presenter published files

    6 Delete the controller SWF (if you like) and move the FLV file into the player folder so that the top level looks like this:

    Move the FLV into the player folder

    and your player folder looks like this inside:

    Contents of player folder

    And you’re done. Don’t publish your presentation again in Articulate Presenter. Just double-click the player.html file in the root of your Articulate Presenter presentation and you should see what you were after.

    My next ‘Camtasia post’ will look at the other way (Method 2) of inserting Camtasia directly into Presenter without going through Engage.

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