Flash, HTML5, and Lectora

This topic could probably fit into a couple of other areas. I tried searching for an answer on the web, but was unsuccessful. Please forgive me if this is too novice. I am fairly sure that everyone at my job is in the same boat; searching for a direct answer.


We use SumTotal (Pathlore) as the LMS. We primarily use Internet Explorer 11 and Chrome. When a Lectora course is published as Scorm is it Flash based or not? I am reading the web is beginning to move away from Flash. All browsers sound as though they are dropping support for Flash.


I have been using Lectora since version 11 (now 17). Has it always been HTML? When I read Lectora publishes course to HTML5, it just states HTML as an option. So when those HTML5 files are read by the browser does it see them as HTML5?


I have an understanding of the differences between Flash and HTML5. Articles make it sound like HTML5 is a new thing. There does not seem to be much of a difference when looking at the published file from 4 years ago to now. The Web design department states they must have a Scorm file.


Another designer here uses Captivate. When they are done with a course there are 2 options to publish: SWF file or HTML5. It automatically communicates with the LMS. One of my concerns is errors which are starting to pop up. The errors are linked to SWF files I have put into the courses.


Troubleshooting becomes problematic when the files work on one employees computer and not the other. This all started happening about 2 months ago. All class created using any of the Ebrothers Flash games are intermittently not working.


Is it even wise to include any swf files at this point? Can anyone provide any info or a link to an article explaining this as it relates to Lectora. I hope I explained it effectively. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Discussion (13)

All Wendy says is true. Flash/swf is just an extra media asset you can add to a course. The output Lectora publishes always has been HTML. If you add a swf to the Lectora project, well then that page uses the flashplayer to display that content on publish. Thats probably also your problem with other peoples browsers and computers. When on some other computer the course doesnot function probably, my first guess would be that the flashplayer installed on that computer is an old one, not compatible with the published content.

So as Wendy says, dont use Flash or SWF, its bound to give problems.

You indeed can use tools to convert SWF to HTML5. If you create however new content that needs to animate you should try to find a solution with which you can immediately animate/create Flash-like content. Two paths to go i can think of now. Either use Javascript to create animated content. Greensocks GSAP library excels at that, and you can do anything you think/wish of. In fact its origins are in the Flash-world but they evolved to HTML5/Javascript.

For just plain animations you can offcourse always use GIF. Another approach on animated content might be SVG animation. Has great possibilities due to being vector and you can include interactions, but can only be used in an external HTML element in Lectora. @Lectora development team: Make SVG directly usable in Lectora including animation and interactivity possibilities, then you have a really BIG PLUS on all the competition!

At the moment i am working on courses aimed at both beginners and more advanced users in the use of Javascript and animation in Lectora. When thats available i for sure will let it know here.


Hi Gary,

Lectora publishes as HTML/HTML5. HTML and HTML5 are really the same thing. It's just that HTML has evolved over the last few decades and more capabilities have been added, so a version number has been tacked on along the way. But it's all still HTML markup language however you look at it. It's up to the browser as to whether or not it can handle the newer additions to the HTML language. And yes, Lectora has always published as HTML and never as Flash.

Having said that, you already seem to know that you can include Flash pieces in a Lectora title, even though it is published to HTML. The Flash player plugin is required to be installed on a browser for Flash content to play. However, most people are avoiding using any Flash these days for a number of reasons, including the spotty performance issues you mentioned. Flash is prone to security issues. Therefore, browser developers are taking steps to prevent their users from being victims of malicious code embedded in Flash files. This is likely what is causing the spotty performance issues you're seeing. You can try to update the Flash plugin on each person's browser to the very latest to see if that will help. But I can tell you from experience that it doesn't always help. :\

So my advice would be to avoid using any swf files going forward. If you need to update older swf content to HTML, there are converters available. However, the one free one that I used to use (Swiffy, by Google) is no longer available. There are still a number of commercial converters out there, but since I stopped using any Flash some time ago, I don't know much about them. If you happen to have Adobe Animate (formerly Adobe Flash), you could use a swf decompiler, like SoThink, to convert a swf back into a fla file and then output that from Animate as HTML. But depending on the complexity of the file, it could turn out like Frankenstein! In any case, old swf files are quite a gamble anymore.

Hopefully someone with a lot of experience moving from swf to html will chime in here.

As for the eLearning Brother's content that you've used, some of the content available in their library has been updated to HTML5. So you might check to see if there is an HTML5 equivalent to the items you've used in the past.

I found this topic in a Google search - I'm completely perplexed. I'm getting an error in Chrome when I attempt to run my Lectora-authored courses. It says Flash is blocked. Why would it even give that error if it publishes to HTML5? This doesn't happen for courses published from another authoring tool to HTML5 and it doesn't happen to all users on our LMS. My machine happens to be one of them and there are a few others. There doesn't seem to be any correlation with Windows 10 version/build (1803; 17134.81), Chrome version (67) or Flash version (30.0). I've tried "Ask First," "Allow," and "Block" and I've seen the courses run fine on other machines with any of these settings. Do Lectora and Chrome not play well together on Windows 10? Why only some machines?

Allthough this is a very old thread...well... what version of Lectora you are publishing from ? ... if its pre-17 and you have video or audio inside it, it might use some old player method using Flash to play that video/audio. Then you need a flash player to show/play that. Publishing the same title in Lectora 17 or Lectora Online should fix that.

Well, this is very timely because I’m pulling my hair out with this issue right now.

I’m not sure I understand your comment, Math. Are you saying that if I publish with Lectora 17, it will eliminate the need for a Flash player? And all our issues with videos not playing will be resolved?

I have several courses created in Lectora 11 or 12 that use .flv files. Some learners can play them on our Cornerstone LMS; some cannot. I re-published one of the courses with V17.1.1. (using the same .flv files) a couple of months ago. But, our poor LMS administrator is still getting a lot of complaints from people that can’t play the videos. Most (but not all) are using IE. I can play them from our LMS with IE and Microsoft Edge, but not with Google Chrome.

I tried converting the .flv files to .mp4, linking them to YouTube, and publishing the course with V17.1.3. I posted it on our pilot LMS for testing, and I can view the videos with Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, but not with Internet Explorer. In IE, the videos show as a black box. This won’t work because most of our learners are using IE.

What else can I try? Like Kathryn above, I am completely perplexed.

I'm using Lectora 17 and have the same issue - never had before though.

All videos are showing to the end user as a black box and not playing? I am using a asp non JRE server but just doesn't want to work no matter what I try. Ive tried different formats, compression, sizes - all error on a black box.


FLV files are just video, like MP4 or MOV files. Lectora might convert them to MP4 but it should be able to play them without using the Macromedia/Adobe Flash Player. And yes, older versions of Lectora used a Flash Player-based audio/video player, while reasonably current ones use "pure" HTML with no plugin required.

Now, if you or a previous developer explicitly added a SWF file to a course, then Flash Player will always be needed to view it. SWF files are specifically Flash Player files. (There are little-used alternatives to Adobe Flash Player, but what I've written is nearly true.)

I just wanted to let everyone know that the issues I was having with videos not playing in Internet Explorer in our Cornerstone LMS resolved when I changed the compatibility view in the LMS to "None." I also converted all Flash videos to mp4 format.

I hope this is helpful to others.

Thanks to all who have contributed to this conversation. I am using Lectora 18.0.1 (will download the latest update soon). We just ran a report of every course in our LMS that has flash files. I wasn't expecting any since I don't have any swf content, but every one of my current courses is on the list. The only swf files I found were the flashmediaelement.swf in the MediaPlayer folder and player.swf in the Media folder. My media files are all mp3 or mp4. Does Lectora include a flash player just in case? Should I be concerned that my content will no longer work properly once Flash has breathed its last?

@Carol Dawson, your surmise is correct: Lectora currently includes a SWF player even though it isn't needed by much of anyone any more. They have added removing that to their list for future development. Actually that was a bit ago, it could be removed in the latest release--you could check the release notes on the site.


You should be ok here. Older versions of Lectora have a “flash fallback” for videos. I can’t remember the exact version this occurred in but basically it checks if your browser is capable of playing HTML5 video first and if capable will play it in that first.

If it determines HTML5 video playback is not possible in the browser it will “fallback” to playing them in flash.

Hence the files you are seeing flashmediaelement.swf and player.swf these to my understanding allow the fallback to work.

Given flash is being depreciated L18 has a new option to publish to HTML5 only which would not include the fallback files.

So, as long as your users all have browsers capable of playing HTML5 video your older content will still work fine without you having to to anything; assuming you have no other flash files in your content like you stated.

Thank you, Carl and Mark! You made my day.

Hey Janet.


I am currently runninginto this problem with Cornerstone as well. I am in the process of redoing a bunch of our eLearnings. I am still very new to this.... When I insert a video into Lectora that is an MP4 format, does it automatically work or do I need to do something so it doesn't look for flash?

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