This article applies to Articulate Presenter 5. See what’s new in Presenter ’09!
Directory structure. File management. These are words that don’t necessarily evoke cheers of joy or feelings of enthusiasm, but it’s important to understand some basic elements of directory structure and the relative path of your PowerPoint file to the output files and folders that are created when you’re working with Articulate Presenter.
In this example, we’re going to use a PowerPoint file called Directory Structure and save it in the following location:
Figure 1: Directory Structure.ppt saved in My Documents / PowerPoint Files.
Note: You can, of course, save your PowerPoint files wherever you’d like. I recommend, however, that you do not save your PowerPoint files in the My Documents / Articulate Presenter directory that is created as the default location for the output of your published content. You can save your files here, but it may result in complications (the details of which I’ll refrain from getting into now).
So far, so good? One file stored in one directory.
Figure 2: Directory Structure folder created in PowerPoint Files.
Notice that the new folder will be given the same name as your PowerPoint file. So what’s up with this new folder? It’s used by Articulate Presenter during the publish process and contains a single folder: narration. Inside this narration folder will be a single MP3 file corresponding to each slide for which you have recorded narration:
Figure 3: narration directory showing a single MP3 file, representing recorded narration for one slide.
The important point here is this: The narration directory and the MP3 files inside it are used by Articulate Presenter when you publish your content. After you’ve published your content and your Flash output has been created, you will need this directory if you wish to (A) review your audio from within your PowerPoint file, or (B) republish your content (in current or edited form) for any reason. For these reasons, I recommend that you leave this directory and the files alone. Deleting or moving this directory can cause complications.
Next, we’ll go ahead and publish for Web. You can choose where you would like your published output to go, but I recommend using the default directory (My Documents / Articulate Presenter):
Figure 4: Published folder Directory Structure containing files necessary to view your new Flash content in the Articulate Player.
Double-clicking index.html will launch your presentation in your Web browser.
The key lesson here is that there will be two directories of the same name created by Articulate Presenter — Directory Structure in my example, which is the name of my PowerPoint file. It’s important to keep these directories in different locations.
Once your output directory is available, it’s time to FTP your files to your Web server.
If you choose to give your published presentation a different name during the publish wizard, only the second directory that is created (containing your published Flash content) will have that name; the first directory that is created automatically during audio recording will always be named after your PowerPoint file.
One final tip: Keep your PowerPoint file and the first directory created by Articulate Presenter (containing the narration folder) in the same place. When Articulate Presenter is publishing, it’s going to look for a directory of the same name. If you happen to have moved or renamed the folder containing your narration needed for publishing, you can verify or change the name of that directory in PowerPoint:
Figure 5: To see the name of the directory Articulate Presenter will use to publish your audio:
In PowerPoint 2003 or earlier: PowerPoint -> File -> Properties -> Custom -> ArticulatePath
In PowerPoint 2007: Click the Microsoft Office Button -> Point to Prepare -> click Properties -> In the Document Information Panel, click the small arrow next to Document Properties to select the Advanced Properties -> Select the custom tab.