This guest blog entry was written by Articulate Quality Assurance Manager Dave Mozealous.
Update: Learn how to create a Articulate Presenter Community Skin in less than an hour.
Back in July we released an update to Articulate Studio ’09 and we added a cool new feature that until now has been undocumented. Today I would like to officially announce the new Articulate Presenter Custom Skins!
What is an Articulate Presenter Custom Skin?
Many of you have seen the SSC: HIPAA Presenter course developed by Articulate 2009 Guru Bronze Award winner SCC. They used a custom skin created by Articulate partner Kineo to give their course a fresh look with a customized skin while still utilizing the rapidness of the Articulate Studio ’09 suite of tools.
You will notice that they added some cool functionality like “help” and “resources” buttons at the bottom:
What was added in Articulate Studio ’09 to support custom skins?
In Articulate Studio ’09 we made it much easier for developers of custom skins to package and deploy custom skins. Prior to the release of Studio ’09 Update 5, users of custom skins would have to manually copy files over to the output folder after publishing. With Update 5 we allow developers to create an .ARTPKG file that contains all the files necessary for their custom skin, and it is super easy to install in Articulate Presenter. Once installed, the skin will appear just like a normal template in the Player Templates drop-down box in the Presenter publishing window:
When a user publishes with the custom skin, selecting it will automatically publish all the files for the skin, making it a very easy process.
We also made some changes to the Articulate SDK to make custom skins work more seamlessly. To find out more, check out the screencast I created below:
Who is currently building Articulate Presenter Community skins?
A number of Articulate partners and customers are already building community Articulate Presenter Community skins, including the following:
And, for a limited time, e-Mersion is offering their Standard player for free — a savings of $299. To learn how to obtain a free player, refer to these instructions (PDF download).
Several pre-made custom skins available for sale. e-Mersion offers the following and many more custom Articulate Presenter ’09 skins available for sale:
Fully customized Articulate Presenter Player service: e-Mersion offers several pre-made skins that are pretty sharp, but maybe you want even more customization or have some ideas for how your player should work, and don’t want to invest the time to develop it yourself. No sweat. e-Mersion can even build a completely customized skin just for your organization.
You can find all about e-Mersion’s services at their website: e-mersion.com.
Articulate MVP James Kingsley
Some of the cool features of his skin include:
- Provides more room for the content
- Outline ‘ticks’ off slides that have been viewed
- Can customize the color
- Creates tabs along the top just like the standard Articulate skins
James also offers his Articulate skin services for custom development. You can find out how to reach him by email in the presentation linked above, or by contacting him via Twitter @onEnterFrame.
As noted above, the skin used in the SSC: HIPAA Presenter course was developed by Kineo. Kineo also offers custom skin development for Articulate Presenter ’09.
Kineo is giving away a free version of their Kineo Articulate skin to anyone who fills out their elearning best practices survey. You can find the survey and find out how to get the free skin here.
How do I develop custom skins myself?
To begin developing custom skins yourself, you need access to the Articulate SDK. You can find out more about the Articulate SDK here. The SDK is available free of charge to any Articulate customers who have joined the Platinum Membership Plan.
For those of you who already have joined the Platinum Membership Plan, you can download the new SDK documentation by requesting the link from Articulate Support, who will verify your eligibility.
If you don’t have the Platinum Membership Plan, you can purchase the SDK for $199 by ordering it at our online store by clicking here.
Get more information and support on community skins
If you want more information or require support on any of the community skins, please contact the skin developer.
Please note that we don’t support custom community skins, but we have a dedicated (and private) Articulate Presenter Player SDK forum available to all Platinum Membership Plan members, which provides a great area to get help when developing custom skins. (Contact Articulate Support to request access if you don’t already have it.)
So get started and go make some skins
If you are a Platinum Membership Plan subscriber, and have developed your own custom skin, we would love to hear about it. Drop us a comment below and show us what you have done.