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Articulate Presenter '09

Read the Indezine review of Articulate Presenter ’09.

Introduction
About Articulate Presenter '09
Download and Installation
Using Articulate Presenter '09
Pricing and Support
Conclusion


Introduction

Articulate Presenter '09 is the new version of Articulate Presenter, a product that plugs into Microsoft PowerPoint, and allows you to create interactive rich-media content. In addition, Presenter allows you to insert quizzes created in Articulate Quizmaker '09, interactions created in Articulate Engage '09, FLV Flash videos converted in Articulate Video Encoder '09, Flash animations, narrations, and web objects to the presentation. The output is customizable, and reduces the file size compared to the original PowerPoint source so that the content can also be sent by e-mail, or distributed online.

We have reviewed Presenter in the past. This new version adds annotation features, improved implementation for narrations, branching, single-slide or slide range previews, and more.

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About Articulate Presenter '09

Articulate Presenter '09 is from Articulate, a New York based company that also creates the Quizmaker and Engage products. You can learn more about Articulate and download a free trial version of Articulate Presenter '09 from their site.

My contact at Articulate for this review was Gabe Anderson. Thank you, Gabe.

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Download and Installation

You can download the installer for the full or trial version. Run the setup routine and follow the instructions. Once installed, you can access Articulate Presenter '09 from a new Ribbon tab within PowerPoint 2007, as shown in Figure 1.


Figure 1: Articulate Ribbon tab within PowerPoint

For users of previous versions of PowerPoint, you'll find a new Articulate menu that provides the same options.

For the first time when the application is launched, you will be asked to activate the product, or use it in trial mode and activate later.

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Using Articulate Presenter '09

Follow these steps to get started with Articulate Presenter '09:

  1. Open any presentation in PowerPoint, and then choose from the following options from the Articulate tab of the Ribbon.

  2. Figure 2: Articulate tab within PowerPoint
  3. The Articulate tab of the Ribbon comprises four groups: Narration, Insert, Tools, and Publish -- each of these are explained below:
  4. A. Narration

  5. The Narration group has five options:
    1. Record Narration allows to record your narration.
    2. Add Annotations allows you to add annotation to the slides.
    3. Sync Animation: Using this option, you can synchronize the narration with animation.
    4. Import Audio allows you to import any existing audio file into the presentation.
    5. Audio Editor (see Figure 3): This option allows you to edit existing audio files. You can crop unwanted areas, and synchronize your slides and animations with audio cues, etc.

    6. Figure 3: Audio Editor

    B. Insert

  6. The Insert group provides six options:
    1. Quizmaker Quiz allows to add new or already created Quizmaker quizzes. Read more about Quizmaker here.
    2. Engage Interaction allows you to add new or already created Engage interactions. Read more about Engage here.
    3. Attachment (see Figure 4) are resources you want to make available to users during playback of your presentation. These attachments will be accessible to viewers when they click the Attachment button in the final output.

    4. Figure 4: Attachment
    5. Learning Games (see Figure 5) creates interactive and fun Flash-based learning games.

    6. Figure 5: Learning Game Wizard
    7. Flash Movie imports Flash SWF and FLV movies to the slide, presenter panel, or in a new window.
    8. Web Object (see Figure 6) links a live web page to the presentation.

    9. Figure 6: Insert Web Object

    C. Tools

  7. The Tools group has four options
    1. Slide Properties (see Figure 7): Here, you can set properties for individual slides, including set levels and branching. You can also set the slides to advance automatically, or by input from the user. In addition, you can lock individual slides.

    2. Figure 7: Slide Properties
    3. Player Templates (see Figure 8): Set colors, player templates, layout, text labels, and even navigation options, etc.

    4. Figure 8: Player Templates
    5. Presentation Options (see Figure 9): Set various other options for the presentation.

    6. Figure 9: Presentation Options
    7. Help and Support: Choose these options to get help online, check for updates and help document.

    D. Publish

  8. The Publish group has two options
    1. Preview option allows you to preview the entire presentation, a slide range, or single slides before publishing.
    2. Publish opens the Publish dialog box, as shown in Figure 10.

    3. Figure 10: Publish
    4. The Publish
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Pricing and Support

Articulate Presenter '09 is priced at $699, and it's also part of the Articulate Rapid E-Learning Studio '09 Standard and Pro suites of e-learning products.

Support options include e-mail support, an online knowledge base, community forums, and extensive documentation. Articulate also provides custom on-site and web-based training for a fee.

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Conclusion

Articulate Presenter '09 is one of those products that improves all the time. This new version is a compelling upgrade for existing users -- and for new users, this sets the standards as far as creating rich media output from PowerPoint is concerned.

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