Directory Structure

Written by Gabe Anderson — Posted in Articulate Presenter

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.

Next, we’ll record some narration. Now take a look at the directory where I saved my PowerPoint file:


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.

31 responses to “Directory Structure”


Could you add on to this blog WHERE the Engage items “go” when saved, and help me figure out why I can’t always edit Engage items from my PowerPoint slide where I have created them?

Margi Miller // Posted at 9:30 am on April 13th, 2007

Hi Margi-

You can edit Engage interactions that you’ve published to Presenter/PowerPoint by visiting the PowerPoint slide where the interaction is and clicking “Edit in Engage,” or going to Articulate -> Engage Interactions if it’s an interaction tab. This will open the source .intr file from your original location for you to edit, then you’ll be able to press the “Save and Return to Presenter” button. Your .intr will be saved in its original location.

The published content of your interaction is saved in your Presenter project folder, but the source .intr remains in its original location.

More in the documentation.

gabe // Posted at 1:43 pm on April 25th, 2007

Where should imported audio files be kept within this file structure?

I have been importing .wav files as audio tracks for each of my PPT slides.

I have created a folder for these one level up from where I keep my PPT file. Unfortunately, sometimes when I republish my PPT file, the audio doesn’t come through, even though I can see it linked in the “import audio” dialogue box.

Any thoughts?

Thank you,

Diane Jones // Posted at 2:15 pm on May 15th, 2007

Hi Diane- Articulate Presenter will automatically copy your imported audio into the correct location (inside the narration folder of your project folder). If you’re having difficulty getting the audio to playback, I’d encourage you to submit a support case.

gabe // Posted at 2:27 pm on May 15th, 2007

I gather from this article that I’ve disconnected the imported audio in my project by having renamed it. I’m used to using authoring tools that allow me to rename the project for versioning control and history.

The Support page that brought me to this article said, that detailed instructions for correcting this audio issue were provided in this article.

But, I followed the minimal information in the text of Figure 5 and I’m still not able to reconnect the audio to my project.
The Name needs to be ArticulatePath, I’m guessing that the Value is the PPT file name, but the Link to content isn’t available. Can you provide step-by-step instructions for the complete process for reconnecting the audio?

I’ve looked at my PowerPoint references, etc. and haven’t found anything about these Property settings.

My directory structure differs from the one mentioned in this article. Mine is .. My Documents-> Northwestern Project-> this folder contains the Audio, and Images folder and the PPT file. The Articulate Presenter folder is also under My Documents.

Charlotte C // Posted at 3:50 pm on July 5th, 2007

I’m with Charlotte! I apparently screwed up my directory structure by relocating files and folders and need to “reconnect” my audio to my original PowerPoint so I can make some changes in the presentation. Thanks.

Stephen DOone // Posted at 3:02 pm on August 1st, 2007

I have a question about finding lost audio files. I published files for SCORM by using the Zip option. After doing that I can no longer find the original “narration” folder with the audio files and they do not seem to be in the Zip file. I need to edit the audio – can you tell me where I can recover the audio files? Note: I had to uninstall Articulate from the computer after creating the Zip. Would this have erased the Narration folder?


Dan // Posted at 12:46 am on November 15th, 2007

Hi Dan-

Uninstalling the app should not impact your project content, assuming your content is stored somewhere in your “My Documents” folder.

Take a look at Figure 5 in this post – that’s key to locating your “narration” folder, which should be inside a folder with the same name as your PowerPoint file.

gabe // Posted at 4:27 pm on November 15th, 2007

What about moving all the folders in this example in their entirety to a shared network folder? This is what I do when I finish a project so that it gets backed up and so that it will be available in case someone else needs to make edits/updates.

If I copy the “PowerPoint Files” folder and everything contained within it will a coworker be able to copy all of this locally to make edits and republish it successfully?

Do you have any recommendations for a scenario like this?


Mike Taylor // Posted at 11:26 pm on January 9th, 2008

Hi Mike- Yes, that should work fine. I also have another blog entry with recommendations on collaborating with others.

gabe // Posted at 9:31 am on January 10th, 2008

Thanks Gabe! This is a nice and easy way to do this.

Mike Taylor // Posted at 11:49 am on January 11th, 2008

I’ve just posted on the forum about this and continued searching found this article.

I am having just the problems described here. Audio disconnected and Engage interactions that I edit thinking I am editing V2 but find that I am editing V1.

Mark Cornwell // Posted at 6:50 am on May 23rd, 2008

Can anyone tell me where Engage saves the audio files recorded within the interactions?

I need to edit the files and remove lots of ambient sound but I simply cannot find any audio files other than the ones recorded in Articulate proper.

This is urgent! Thanks in advance.


Babak Motamed // Posted at 2:10 am on August 25th, 2008

I am having the same problem publishing. However, the narration file seems to be in the right place because the7y play correctly when I go into the Articulate > Record Narration feature in PowerPoint and select Play. So I would think that Articulate knows where to find the appropriate files. But I still get the “slide 100 to 160 Presentation Complete” problem when I publish it.

I have to get this published within the hour, any suggestions?


Gerry Caesar // Posted at 5:18 pm on November 11th, 2008

Hi Gerry- It sounds like you’re running into the Flash Player 10 issue.

gabe // Posted at 5:27 pm on November 11th, 2008

Yep, that fixed it!!!

Thanks so much, Gabe.

Gerry Caesar // Posted at 5:55 pm on November 11th, 2008

Great! Glad to hear it, Gerry.

gabe // Posted at 6:03 pm on November 11th, 2008

Anyone have a good file structure for Studio ’09. The ppta is awesome but still wondering how to best manage raw/original/imported media files.

Here is our situation. We have 2-3developers sharing development files. Usually have our audio recorded outside the program and we import them in. Our visual media is also done outside the program and then is imported it in.

I love how the ppta keeps things together so you can share b/w developers more easily. I think the question is what kind of file structure is a best practice in ’09 so that developers can edit the original media (mp3, jpg, flv, swfs)? A screen shot of a solid structure that has worked with multiple developers in ’09 would be most appreciated!

Andre Walter // Posted at 1:55 pm on November 24th, 2008

We also have this issue of sharing Articulate files. We upgraded to the 09 Suite. A team of writers share work on publications. We would appreciate suggestions on directory structure for working folders and published folders.

We also need to publish to CD. I read numerous postings that Articulate cannot publish to CD without relying on third party tools. Our content consists of several individual lessons, each of which must be in a separate directory. But Articulate cannot navigate unless it has a flat structure – all files at the same level. This cannot work for us. We are looking into Server2Go, which Articulate suggests can manage this. Any updates on this?

Diana // Posted at 5:58 pm on February 9th, 2009

Hi Diana- In Presenter ’09, you project files are stored in the .PPTA project file, which should always be alongside your PowerPoint file (and have the same name). To package your project to share with someone else, we recommend using the Send to Articulate Presenter Package feature.

Publish to CD is completely revamped in Presenter ’09 and no longer has the same issues that previous versions experienced, as your content is contained in a single EXE now.

gabe // Posted at 8:36 am on February 11th, 2009

Hi Gabe,

How does this work when a project has several individual sections, each with its own EXE?

Our content consists of multiple sections, each published to its own folder with the all the output files that Articulate generates. One launch page has links to all the sections. This works fine publishing to Web. But the links do not work when I publish to CD.

Diana // Posted at 2:47 pm on February 11th, 2009

Hello – In response to some of the above posts, I work in collaboration with a team. We do not send presentations to each other, but would rather use the network shared drive so we can access from any computer. Now I am just placing all files into one folder and hoping for the best, is there a better way to get this done to make sure it is safe but also modifiable?

Jennifer // Posted at 11:02 am on May 19th, 2009

Hi Jennifer- FolderShare (now known as Windows LiveSync) is a great way to safely share files across machines without using a network drive. Here’s a blog post I wrote on the topic.

gabe // Posted at 2:15 pm on May 19th, 2009

Hi Gabe, I have an Articulate Presenter project consisting of multiple PowerPoints. This project is contained to a Dell laptop running Windows XP, PowerPoint 2003 and Articulate Presenter. We have been adding narration with Articulate > Record Narration using a previous version of Articulate Presenter and PowerPoint 2003. None of the Articulate Presentations have been published. I did backup the folder with the PPT and PPTA files to another computer. In March, I upgraded to Articulate Presenter 09 Update 4. Now when I preview the presentations, the player plays as if it is reading the audio file, but there is no sound. When I open Articulate >Record Narration, no previous recordings are available. Articulate > Audio Editor flatlines (sigh). I have sets of matching PPT and PPTA files, but no audio.

I’ve read articles on “narration” and “audio” in the Knowledge Base, Help Docs, Community Forums, and your Word of Mouth Blog. Following recommendations in these articles, I’ve searched my entire hard drive (including hidden folders) but have not found any ae.ini files. The few MP3 files I’ve found are from a discarded PPT (I only have the PPTA file, not the PPT file for that set. Perhaps this is why these MP3 files are still present?)

Can you help me find the missing audio? Any clues to follow will be most appreciated!

Silent, but hopeful!

Cathi // Posted at 6:00 pm on June 2nd, 2009

Hi Cathi- Sorry to hear you’re having trouble with lost audio. I’ve submitted a support case on your behalf so that we can assist you in more detail.

gabe // Posted at 9:18 am on June 3rd, 2009

Hi Gabe, Thanks so much for submitting my case to the Customer Support Team at Articulate! I received quick, professional responses that ultimately resulted in recovery of most of my audio files. Special thanks to Brian Batt, Customer Support Engineer, who works magic and shares his extensive knowledge!

Back in the groove!

Cathi // Posted at 10:45 am on June 8th, 2009

Hi Gabe,

I am curious as to the answer to a posting above:
How does this (publish to CD) work when a project has several individual sections, each with its own EXE?

Our content consists of multiple sections, each published to its own folder with the all the output files that Articulate generates. Is there a way to create an index of the .exe files for someone using a CD?


Catherine // Posted at 8:01 pm on August 26th, 2009

On my first poor attempt with audio, it appears that I’ve disconnected it. In this blog I see that Charlotte and Stephen had similar issues but I don’t see a reply on how to reconnect the audio. Is there a step-by-step instructions for reconnecting audio located somewhere? Thanks.

Colleen // Posted at 3:20 pm on September 23rd, 2009

Hi Colleen- are you using Presenter ’09? Please take a look at this Knowledge Base entry.

gabe // Posted at 3:00 pm on September 24th, 2009

Please explain how to publish to a CD when your project consists of multiple PPT files. We have the 09 software.

This is the same question Catherine posted on 8/26/2009
Hi Gabe,

I am curious as to the answer to a posting above:
How does this (publish to CD) work when a project has several individual sections, each with its own EXE?

Our content consists of multiple sections, each published to its own folder with the all the output files that Articulate generates. Is there a way to create an index of the .exe files for someone using a CD?


Catherine | Posted at 08:01 pm on August 26th, 2009 | #

Diana Leavesley // Posted at 11:24 am on October 7th, 2009

Hi Catherine & Diana- If you’re publishing multiple projects to CD, just publish each separately. With any CD, you can only have autorun launch one file or presentation, so you can pick one to go at the top level of the CD, or embed each project in sub-folders on the CD and create an HTML index that will autorun with links to the player.html file in each of the sub-folders.

I hope this helps!

gabe // Posted at 2:43 pm on October 7th, 2009

Comments are closed on this post. Need more help? Post your question in the E-Learning Heroes Discussions.

Recent Comments