Wow what a great Articulate Users Conference at the University of Leeds! I’m still buzzing from all the ideas, conversations and enthusiasm. This has to be my favourite conference by far… and thanks to one of the other participants I have finally learned about one of the remaining mysteries of Articulate Presenter skinning (well it had been a mystery to me anyway). I really hadn’t thought it was possible to move or resize the presentation slides displayed beneath your articulate skin and so all my skin designs were based on fitting around or overlapping the slide content where necessary. But I was wrong. As detailed in this forum post you can refer to the slides (and also to the other elements added on top of slides such as Engage and Quizmaker interactions) by their levels in the root articulate movie and so amend their scaling and position properties. Hat’s off to the detective work that was necessary to work this out as it certainly isn’t mentioned in the SDK.
So for example if I want to re-size and re-position the presentation slides I need to add the following code to the actionscript in my skin (probably inside an appropriately named function):
_level22._yscale = 80; //reduce slide height to 80% of original height
_level22._xscale = 80; //reduce slide width to 80% of original width
_level22._y = 100; //reposition slide on y axis
_level22._x = 200; //reposition slide on x axis
The levels you use to refer to the other types of elements displayed on top of slides are (these are drawn from this forum post):
_level22 PPT slide loaded into in Articulate
_level33 Flash embedded in PPT slide
_level33 container for swf and flv
_level44 Side panel
_level57 Toolbar items
_level58 ast_notes.swf and navicons
Knowing this opens the door to much more flexible skin design as I can now increase the space available for the skin above and below the presentation slides and not have to overlap the slide content. However if you are designing skins to be compatible with embedded Engage interactions, Quizmaker quizzes, SWF and FLV files etc you will need to ensure you are also re-sizing and re-positioning each of these elements as well, so there will probably be lots of testing involved to get this right!