Tips for Upgrading Older Articulate Presenter Courses in Articulate Presenter ’13

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m working on a gig where I’m editing and updating existing courses for a client. The courses were developed originally in older versions of Adobe Captivate and Articulate Studio . I’m working in the latest versions of both softwares: Captivate 8 and Articulate Studio ’13 both are backwards compatible. This means that I can edit courses that were created in previous versions of the software. (FYI: if you are trying to edit a course created in Articulate Presenter 13 or Captivate 8 using older versions, i.e. Presenter ’09 or Captivate 6 it won’t work).

In this post, I’m going to cover some quirks you should know about when editing older Articulate Presenter courses in Articulate Presenter ’13.

One of the issues that a lot of my clients encounter is that overtime they tend to lose track of the original source files (and collateral assets) for their courses. So before you get started, make sure you have at least the original PPT(X) and PPTA files for the course (the PPTA file will contain the audio, Engage, and Quizmaker file history). I also ask my client to provide me with a zip of the original published course files (I’ll explain why later in this post).

When you open the PPT(X) file, you will see the placeholder slides for any Engage and Quizmaker files that were incorporated into the course. You can edit text and swap out images with no issue.  However, in order to publish the course you will be forced to upgrade the course files to Presenter 13, so I recommend doing this before you begin making edits to the course.

To upgrade an existing course to Presenter ’13 just click on the Presenter tab and click any of the Presenter tools.


The program will take a few seconds to think and then a small pop-up window will appear asking you if you want to upgrade the file to Presenter ’13.


Click Yes to upgrade the existing PPT(X) and PPTA file. The software will create a backup of the original files – this is great because if the upgraded file becomes corrupted you don’t lose the original course file.

If you click No, you will not be able to publish the course with your updates, however, you can still save the PPT(X) file with your changes.

Here are a few things you need to be aware of when upgrading your course to Presenter ’13:

  1. When you upgrade your files to Presenter ’13 any audio that was associated with the course will be stripped from the PPTA file.


    (1)Ask your client to provide you a zip of the course audio files.
    (2)If your client does not have the original audio file, you can use the original version of Articulate Presenter in which the course was created to export the audio.
    (2)If you don’t have access to an older version of Articulate Presenter, you can pull the audio from the Published course files (the ones I always ask my clients for) – the audio is located in the data folder; you’ll have to listen to the audio and rename the files.
  2. You will need to have the original Engage and Quizmaker files for the course.  During the upgrade, Presenter will ask you to locate or delete the Engage and Quizmaker files. engage-quizmakerSOLUTIONS: If you don’t have the original files you will either need to cancel the upgrade and ask the client for the assets or remove the assets from the course and reinsert them later.  Unfortunately, you cannot pull these files from the original published course because they are converted into *.swf files when the course is published.  In the event you don’t have the original Engage and Quizmaker files, just jot down the names of the Engage and Quizmaker files and the slide numbers they are associated with then delete the asset and continue the upgrade process.
  3. Video files are not upgraded and will not play. By this I mean that if there are any embedded videos or flash files, you will need the original files so you can re-embed them in the course.
  4. Attachments are not upgraded and will be stripped.  If the course contains attachments, these will be removed from the course. You will need the original attachments. If you have access tot he published course you can play the published course, click the attachments link and download the attachments. You can also find attachments in the zipped published course file in downloads folder (in the data folder).

There fours issues are major issues when upgrading a course that was created in an older version of Articulate Presenter. So it’s best to be prepared.




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