Summary: Use the Articulate Presenter web object to group presentations.
Difficulty: Easy/Medium

If popularity is to be judged by the number of comments an article has, then the article Create A Menu For Multiple Presentations has to be near the top of the most read posts on the blog. It answers a need that many of us have on how to publish and distribute groups of presentations easily. It works well but it can be a little complicated to set up.

So in this article we look at a simpler idea for a menu which fulfils the main critieria for a menu-type solution:

  • You build and publish the menu in Articulate Presenter
  • The new module/presentation does not open in a new window but replaces the current window

This simpler method has a couple of other benefits too:

  1. You can publish all your presentations into a single Articulate presentation.
  2. You can publish the entire multi-presentation module to an LMS, Articulate Online or to your server.

 

Demo 1

Let us being by looking at a demo where I have grouped a number of French tutorials for Articulate Presenter into one main menu-driven presentation. Even if you don’t understand French, you’ll see how each box on the menu links to a separate Articulate Presenter tutorial, and that you can get back to the main menu by clicking the arrow at the extreme bottom right of the screen:

View Demo

Demo 2

In this second demo, I have used exactly the same content but this time leveraging the inbuilt menu of the navigation menu in Articulate Presenter and not placing menu objects on the main slide. The first page is in Standard View. Clicking on a menu item on the left links to a separate Articulate presentation displayed in Slide Only view as a web object:

View Demo

How Do You Do it?

The process is very easy. As you have seen, the main menu is in the first Articulate Presentation, and the actual content is embedded in secondary Articulate Presenter presentations in the form of web objects. It is a simple matter to have the web object display in Slide Only view to maximize the playback area of the embedded presentation.

What is a web object?

Just by way of a reminder, the Articulate Presenter web object is a unique and clever way of embedding any content that can be displayed in an HTML page. While many use it to include external web sites in their courses, it is a great way of adding anything that can’t be easily slipped into a regular PowerPoint page.

If you want to insert a learning object that is on your computer into your Articulate presentation, you just need to make sure that the launch HTML page is named index.html (change the name manually if it isn’t) and that all the files needed to make your object work, are also located in the same folder. Articulate Presenter will pull in the index.html plus all the other files and folders in that same folder.

You’ll want to make sure you have nothing else in there or that will get pulled in too

Embedding Articulate into Articulate

When you embed an Articulate Presenter presentation, you need to change the launch HTML file name from player.html to index.html. Articulate will automatically pull in the associated data and player folders. And you can do that for as many presentations as you like.

What is great is that all you can bundle all your content presentations into just one main presentation and upload it to your server or LMS.

Step By Step

In the above examples, there are five embedded presentations.

  1. Publish your content presentations to the Web.
  2. Rename the player.html to index.html for each content presentation.
  3. Prepare a menu presentation.
  4. Embed each of your content presentations into the main presentation using the web object. Your menu presentation might look something like this:

    Notice the main title page and the five web object pages after each web object embeds one of my content presentations.

  5. Hyperlink or create invisible hotspots which link from the menu items to each of the pages in your presentation.
  6. Use branching in Slide Properties such that when people click on the next page arrow when viewing a web object, you take them back to the menu page.
  7. If you have the menu in the slide, then clear the Change View column. Your Slide Properties box will look something like this:

    (Click on image to enlarge)

  8. If you are using the Articulate navigation panel for your menu, then your Slide Properties might look something like this:


    (Click on image to enlarge)
  9. Make sure that your presentation fills up the screen when it is launched, both for the menu presentation and the content presentations or things might look too small for comfort. I used these settings in Player Templates to maximize real estate:

    (Click on image to enlarge).

  10. Finally publish your menu presentation to whatever format you like it, be it to the Web, to your LMS, to Articulate Online, or to CD. Articulate will embed all your content presentations so you can distribute it wherever you like.

 

Notes:

  • You can also embed Engage and Quizmaker in the web objects or have them included in your Articulate presentations. Everything will be uploaded to your server or LMS if it is going online.
  • If this is going on an LMS, you wil not be able to track individual quizzes within each content presentation but it could track to see if all web objects have been viewed, or you could have a final quiz at the back of your menu presentation.

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21 Responses

  1. kathy says:

    This is very clever! I would like to see a way though of having the menu always “present” if you will so they don’t have to click somewhere to take them somewhere else to access the menu. I haven’t figured out yet how to have small buttons on the screen link directly to the other presentation without having to go to a “menu page”…. or that there be a dropdown menu that helps you jump to another presentation within the presenter screen.

  2. Sean Bengry says:

    Very cool idea Dave… especially for a custom request that doesn’t have to track the individual slides of the “child” courses/objects.

  3. Kevin says:

    Nifty idea, Dave! This reminds me of a course with Multiple SCO’s. It just so happens we were presented with just such a case where this approach will work perfectly!

  4. Clear View Box…

    [...] Presentation, and the actual content is embedded in secondary Articulate Present [...]…

  5. Greg Pettys says:

    Hi Dave, I like it very much. How could you do a similar thing with a CD where all the files are on the CD? I have one I will have to build coming up. I’m guessing but it would have to be an auto run or maybe build it as an engage interaction? Any Thoughts?
    Thanks
    Greg

    • daveperso says:

      Hi Greg, thanks for your comments. You can do exactly the same as here except that you publish your menu presentation to CD in Articulate Presenter. That will create automatically create an autorun and an executable to launch the presentation. The web object content presentations will play just fine on the CD. Obviously you need to copy all the published files when you publish the final menu presentation onto your CD Rom.

  6. vtlau says:

    Great idea. It is like a DVD menu and we seldom apply such concept to presentation. How neat it is! thanks!

  7. Jodie says:

    Good afternoon,

    I have beent trying to follow these instructions without success. I am assuming that after I have puclished the presentation to the web I then go into the folder where I find the data and player folders and then the player icon. I have been changing the name of this player icon to index.html. Is that correct? when I insert the web object into my menu I cannot point to the index.html to launch the application. I must be missing something somewhere. Can you point me in the right direction?

  8. Jodie says:

    All cool – worked it out!

    • Dave says:

      Jody,

      I think I am having the same problem as you. I changed the name to index.html as instructed. But it is not embedding into the presentation. When I look at the folder to see if articulate “sucked” in all the sub-presentation files, there was nothing there. So I copied them over but still nothing shows up in the master presentation.

      What did you do to get it to work?

  9. Rick says:

    I may have missed it somewhere within the series of comments re: menus and tracking within Articulate – but I am looking for a way to track the completion of a module then have a check mark show up along side of the main menu module button upon returning to the main menu.

  10. Kathy says:

    What screen capture tool did you use to create the presentation? I love this and think it is perfect for what we need. Very timely. It would be great if we could capture a quiz score at the end of each section or even like Rick suggested, a checkmark when each section is completed.

    Thank you.

    • daveperso says:

      Hi Kathy, I used Camtasia Studio to record existing Articulate videos but I could also have used Screenr. The audio was recorded in Presenter on top of the videos. If you wanted to capture scores and have a checkmark when each section is completed, I would consider packing the courses into a single SCORM as explained here and then using your LMS to handle that.

  11. Bob Heller says:

    Help Dave!!!
    I’ve created a linked course as discussed in the original post – a menu package with 8 linked tutorials. My problem is this: All works well & as expected on my hard drive. When I upload to my web server, only one of the 8 linked tutorials opens properly. For the other 7, I get a “can’t find web page” message. If you want to take a look at it, here’s a link http://outcomestoday.com/Mod%201%20Reesearch%20Review/0.0%20Adherence%20Research%20Menu/player.html
    All the linked packages were published the same way – any ideas where I may have screwed up? This is a big part of a bigger project for an important new client and I need to find out what’s wrong ASAP.

    Thanks, any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
    Bob Heller

  12. marta says:

    hi
    great solution
    but I have a question when I build the content presentations (to be embedded) should I resize ppt slide dimensions to 980×560 as this presentation will play in no sidebar view? what happens if I keep standard slide size? will it distort the output?
    thanks for help
    marta

    • daveperso says:

      Hi Marta, No you cannot resize the PPT slides. Your embedded presentation must remain just like a standard Articulate presentation. If you show the embedded one in no sidebar view, then you will get the blank area to either side of the slide. In my example, the first slide of each embedded presentation is a standard PowerPoint slide. They then run into Flash videos which CAN be stretched to 980 x 560 if you wish. Only imported Flash movies (from the Articulate menu) can be stretched to fill the slide like this. Hope that answers your question.

  13. Great resource here, Dave. Hoping you can tell me if progress tracking/bookmarking would work in the embedded presentations. If I resume the course, will it pick up inside the web object I left off at the appropriate slide?

  14. Dave – is it possible you could send me a small sample of this example above!

  15. Hey,
    I am having the same problem as others where when I play the presentation and click on my link and it goes to the slide with the web object, i either get a blank screen or just a list of the folder contents. My page has been renamed index. When I check the data folder, nothing has been “sucked in”.

    HELP

  16. Laura Spitz says:

    Great tutorial!! I cannot get my ‘destination’ file to fill the entire browser window. I checked and double-checked the settings in the Player Template and it matches what you show in your steps: Display at Users current browser size / scale presentation to fill window.

    Advice? Thanks!

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