Summary: You can include Captivate movies into Articulate Presenter. This may involve manually copying the Captivate files into the Articulate published files.

Difficulty: Medium

NOTE: For Captivate 5 and later, please see Using Articulate Web Objects And Captivate 5. For Captivate 4, please see Publishing Articulate To Captivate 4. The methods described below will NOT work for Captivate 5.

Articulate Presenter brings everything together

Many course designers don’t like to put all their eggs in one basket and use different tools to get what they are after. One of the great things about Articulate Presenter is that it allows you to put the vast majority of those productions into one shell whether they be created with Camtasia, Flash, Raptivity, Captivate or any other tool out there and this is indeed a unique feature of Presenter.

This post looks at Captivate and basically copies and expands on one of the posts I made on the Articulate forums recently. The demo from this post on the forums shows how you can add Captivate to Presenter and Engage.

Forum Demo

View Demo

It is hosted on Articulate Online showing that you can have embedded Captivate movies in Presenter and still send them to your LMS.

I am not a big user of Captivate but I do know that there are different versions and that most people are using Captivate 2 or Captivate 3. I also know that Captivate can create single SWF movies (ie. the whole movie is contained in a single SWF file) or multiple-file movies (the movie is composed of a player shell, a main SWF file and other files which are important for the interactivity of the movie). Captivate 3 often creates multiple-file movies, for example if you include FLV video in your presentation.


If you use a single-file SWF movie, then the process for adding it to Presenter is much the same as you would follow to add any Flash movie to Articulate Presenter: via the Import Flash Movie tool in the Articulate menu.

Depending on the nature of the movie, you may need to set it to play After the slide has begun. Another issue concerns the inbuilt buffer that you may have in your Captivate movie which might conflict with the default buffer settings in Presenter. You may need to change the buffer to 0 in Presenter via the Insert Flash Movie wizard, for the conflict to disappear.


The ‘fun’ starts when you have a multiple-file Captivate movie on your hands. Actually the process is quite simple, but you do need to do some manual shifting of files.

Let us assume you have your Captivate movie. Here is our Captivate movie as it stands by itself. It is a simple movie containing an FLV video (slideshow).

Captivate Standalone

View movie

And here are the multiple files that make up our Captivate movie:

Captivate Files

The movie is being launched by the file hip.html in our browser.

Now we want to insert this movie into Presenter. How do we do it?

  • 1 Go to PowerPoint and then Articulate -> Insert Flash Movie

    Insert Flash Movie

    Display in Slide, and choose to open the skin SWF file, in the case above hip_skin.swf. It should always contain the word skin in the title.

    Select skin movie

  • 2 Keep the synchronization as default (Play Flash movie and slide in sync) but select Move to next slide when user clicks next. To avoid conflicts, set the buffer to 0 although this should not be an issue with the shell. Click Next and Finish and your Captivate shell is inserted into Presenter.

    Flash wizard settings

  • 3 Now we just need to finish our Articulate Presenter presentation in PowerPoint and publish, either to the WEB or to an LMS or to Articulate Online as normal.
  • 4 When you have published you need to go to the published files and locate the data folder. This image shows published files for loading on a regular web site:

    Open Data folder

    Then open the SWF folder:

    Open SWF folder

    You’ll find files like those below.

    Published files in the SWF folder of Presenter

    This is where your remaining Captivate files need to go (with the exception of the skin file which has already been inserted and which we can see above called fm_hip_skin.swf and the hip.html file which was solely used to launch the Captivate movie directly in the browser and the standard.js file which is also superfluous).

  • 5 Copy the appropriate Captivate files.

    Copy Captivate files

  • 6 Paste the above files into the SWF folder in the Presenter published files. You’ll have something like this:

    Captivate files in Presenter SWF folder

  • 7 You are now ready to launch your Articulate presentation by double-clicking on the player.html file. DO NOT REPUBLISH.

    Launch Articulate presentation

Here is the same Captivate movie inserted into Presenter:

Final version

View Demo

If you are publishing to Articulate Online or an LMS, please see this article on how best to manually move your files.

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62 Responses

  1. Joe Timmy says:

    Hello, I am trying to insert a captivate SWF file into an Articulate course. I would like the user to click on a custom image, and then have the SWF file open in a new window. Does anyone have any ideas how I can do this?

    • daveperso says:

      Hi Joe, you should be able to hyperlink your custom image to the SWF file (just put the name of the Captivate file) and then copy the file to your Articulate published files at the end. Alternatively, hyperlink to a new slide which looks the same as your first slide but insert your Captivate via the Insert Flash tool on your second slide and have it open in a new window. That should create the same effect and you won’t need to do any manually moving of files.

      • Cat says:

        I’ve inserted a Captivate in my Articulate course and set it up to open in a new window.
        Right now, users would have to click the X on the top right of the top window to return to
        the main course window.

        Is there any way to get the new window to close automatically at the end of the demo?

  2. Laurie says:

    I am trying to put a drag and drop activity I made in Captivate 5 into Articulate Presenter 09. I use the insert flash movie option and place it on the slide and when I publish it jumps and flashes and makes a static sound and does not play. It was created using the matching question type.

    Two questions – can this be done?
    If so, how – what am I missing? There are no supplemental files associated with the swf from captivate, so I thought it would be fairly straightforward.


    • Harriet Stroupe says:

      Hi, Laurie,
      I’m having the same problem – just purchased Captivate 5. I created a flash movie as a test and inserted into an Articulate Presenter 09 program, using “insert flash movie”. It works fine in the demo window, but when I run the Articulate program, it goes crazy with static, jumping, flashing, etc.

      Did you ever get an answer to your question above?

  3. James says:

    Great post – I use Captivate and Articulate combined all the time and just figured I couldn’t use the skin.

    However I am having a problem; when I open the published file the video starts but after about 5 seconds it closes down (the video is much longer than that). I’ve tried this on a few videos and it always happens. My flv’s do have interactions, is this a problem?

  4. James says:

    BTW it’s not a problem if I make the slide progress ‘by user’ but I was hoping to have it go back to the title menu automatically and when you do ‘by user’ the little pause/play button flashes the whole time and if yo upress it it leaves the video.

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