Editing Articulate presentations without republishing

My first post on my brand spanky new blog is nothing new, as I wrote a post on the University of Leeds Articulate blog with all of this information. Still, even Shakespeare had to start somewhere…

If you want to edit some text on one of your slides within a published presentation without having to republish the whole thing, you can! Very useful if you’ve spent half an hour waiting for something to publish, only to discover a typo.

Open up your content folders, and within the data folder there will be a file called presentation.xml. Open this up with Wordpad or Notepad, and you can make certain edits to the file which will be reflected in your presentation.

All of these methods also work for Engage interactions – just open the engage.xml file to make your changes.

REMEMBER – When making changes to your presentation.xml file, it’s always a good idea to edit the PowerPoint file also; this way the changes will still apply if you republish in future.

1. Editing Slide Titles

You can use this method to edit the titles of your slides within the Articulate menu to the left of the presentation. Each slide’s title will appear as follows :

<!–[CDATA[Slide 1]]–>

Where [Slide 1] is the name which appears in the menu. Simply edit this and it’ll change, without having to republish.

Using ctrl+F allows you to easily find the text which you want to edit.

**Update – thanks to @onEnterFrame for pointing out that you can also add font tags to these CDTA tags – see here for a demo of how you can do this**

2. Changing colour schemes

In the “data” output folder of your published presentation, you will find a file called playerproperties.xml. This file contains information about any player template which is applied to the presentation. If you wish to apply another template to a published presentation, simply remove this file and replace it with the playerproperties.xml file for the template you wish to apply.

Similarly in published Engage output, in the engage_content folder there is a file called scheme.xml. You can use the same method as above to change the colour scheme of a published Engage interaction.

3. Swapping Engage interactions

If you have inserted an Engage interaction into a presentation, you can change it for another interaction without having to republish. In the data/swf folder of your output, there will be a folder called engage_XX, where XX is the number Articulate has given to the interaction. To switch the interaction for another, publish your second interaction as a standalone, then simply copy all the files from the published output into the engage_XX folder of your Presenter presentation.

4. Changing individual slides

You can edit slide titles without republishing by changing the presentation.xml file. However, you can’t use this method to make changes the slide content itself; i.e. things like the slide text, layout or custom animations, but there is another way. Create a one-slide presentation in PowerPoint and copy the slide you wish to change over to this new PowerPoint. Make any changes you want and then publish this presentation (don’t worry about the player template or anything like that). In the data/swf output folder, you’ll find a file called slide1.swf. Rename this file to match its slide number from your original presentation, then copy it over into the data/swf folder of the original presentation.

This method can be used if you want to apply a different audio to a slide; just copy the slide onto a new presentation, import a new audio, publish and follow the rest of the steps above. This method may be a bit convoluted for most situations – sometimes it is easier to just republish, but this is worth bearing in mind if you no longer have access to the PP source files for your presentation.
You can download a Swiff Player for free which enables you to view .swf files:

5. Swapping video clips

If you have a video clip inserted into a presentation which you wish to change, you can also do this without republishing. In the data/swf folder of the published output you will find any video clips  you have inserted. All you need to do in order to swap a video clip for another is to make sure the new one has the same name as that which was inserted, and then copy the new one into the data/swf folder, overwriting the old one.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the edits you can make to Articulate projects without republishing, I’m sure there are many more applications of this technique that you can use if you need to.

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10 Responses to “Editing Articulate presentations without republishing”

  1. Jim Bergman Says:

    I hope this is a simple question and answer…

    How do I republish a presentation in Articulate Presenter?

    I originally saved the first draft of the presentation to CD format and now I need to save the same session to LMS format. It would surprise me if I needed to renarrate each slide and go through the whole process all over. Yet, I am really hard pressed to find any instructions on how to re-record a session. Any insights would be much appreciated!

  2. Jade Says:

    Hi Jim,

    You can republish your presentation in the same way that you published it the first time. Click on the “publish” button on the Articulate tab (or Articulate menu, if you are using a version of PowerPoint ealier that ’07).

    On the Publish dialogue box, the publish format options will appear on the left – just select “LMS” from these options, set your properties as appropriate and click “publish”.

    I hope this solves your problem – let me know if it doesn’t.

    Cheers
    Jade

    • Jim Bergman Says:

      Jade – thanks for the reply. The challenge I am facing is how to find the presentation with the audio narration recorded. I can find the Power Point 07 presentation that contains the slides and speaker notes, but I cannot find a file with the audio narration. Do these files have a suffix, or are the of a certain file type other than a “.ppt” file?

      Best Regards,

      Jim

      • Jade Says:

        Hi Jim,

        You should have a .ppta file which corresponds to your .ppt file, with the same name. This is the Articulate project file, and contains all the information about the Articulate project.

        See this video for more information about the .ppta:
        http://screenr.com/KA2

  3. John M Says:

    Is there a way to change the http links on a slide on an existing project without going into the articulate system? I have one simple URL to change associated with text on a slide and would really like to just modify the http text.

    Thanks

  4. Carmen Says:

    Where do I find my presenter that I originally published the presentation with? When I click Add to add a new presenter it doesn’t give me the option to load an existing one like it does with player templates.

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