5 Best Improvements in Articulate Presenter 09

I’ve been using Articulate Presenter 09 for a couple of months now and have come up with the five things I like best about the new version. If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen my posts about having problems with the new version. Articulate has released two updates to Presenter 09 and most of the problems I had have been cleared up, or I’ve found workarounds.  Even with the issues, I wouldn’t go back to the previous version.

So, my top 5 improvements:

1. Articulate Tab – Easily the best thing about the new version, Articulate integrates Presenter into PowerPoint 2007’s ribbon bar. All the functions are in a tab on the ribbon, making them easy to find. The button are grouped logically to improve your work flow so you don’t have to hunt around for menu options.

2. Improved Quizmaker Integration – I was never happy with the integration of Quizmaker and Presenter, but Articulate has fixed the issues. Now you can seamlessly jump from Presenter into Quizmaker and back with no errors. You also see a thumbnail of the first question (or instruction) and the quiz options on the placeholder slide. Thank you, Articulate.

3. Video – I’ve only used this for one project so far, but it was completely painless. Video needs to be in the FLV format, but Articulate supplies a conversion tool just in case your video editing software doesn’t convert to FLV. Inserting video uses the Insert Flash tool and has the same options as SWF files.

4. Improved Previewing – Now you can preview the current slide, the next three slides, or a range of slides. I use this feature a lot. It comes in handy for seeing how well a series of slides flow without having to publish the entire course.

5. Articulate Branding Removed – This is actually an option in the presentation template; the Articulate logo is still there by default. You just have to un-check the box to remove the branding. Obviously this has nothing to do with improved functionality, but the forced branding in the old version drove me crazy. No other development tool does that, nor should they.

Presenter 09 has several other features that have been improved, but I wanted to highlight the five that I like best. It’s a good tool and has definitely sped up development for me. You do need to plan carefully and make sure you don’t just put up a bunch of text slides that will put you learners to sleep. Remember, rapid development is not necessarily good development.