December 31, 2020
How to view Flash content after December 31, 2020 (and January 12, 2021)
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December 31, 2020
How to view Flash content after December 31, 2020 (and January 12, 2021)
eLearning developer using Captivate and JavaScript to build engaging (and fun!) interactive learning experiences.
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If you are working on converting or rebuilding Flash e-learning modules, then you know that today, December 31, 2020, is the end of life for support for Adobe Flash Player. While this work has kept me quite busy this year, I know that there is still old Flash content out there that has yet to be converted. So what do you do when a client asks you to take a look at a module, but you can’t find a browser to view it on?

This is a concern for me, because when I’m working on updating or rebuilding modules, I like to take a look at what was done in the past as part of my analysis. Sure, some clients may want to update some content or graphics, while others want a complete overhaul. In either case, having the ‘old’ module gives me a better idea of my clients’ perspective.

And in the case of one client, who didn’t have any of the original graphics or build files for their Flash module, I relied heavily on the SWF file (which only played in IE11) as a model for rebuilding complicated graphics and arcade-style learning games.

If you’ve read the full announcement from Adobe, you know that although support for Flash ends after today (December 31, 2020), another important date is just around the corner. On January 12, 2021, Adobe will block Flash content from running Flash Player.

So what happens if you need to view a SWF after January 12? 

I’ve downloaded Adobe Flash Player Projector, which enables me play Flash content on my computer (by entering the URL where the SWF file is located, or browsing to a SWF file on my computer). Since the January 12 plan to block Flash content seems to pertain to the Flash Player plugin (for web browsers), the Flash Player Projector shouldn’t be affected – although it will no longer be supported. Still, the Projector may give you a little extra time to view SWF files, especially if you want to implement a conversion plan like the one described by Paul Wilson.

If you are still working on converting or rebuilding Flash modules, hopefully this will give you a little more time to view those Flash files. For now!

5 Comments
2021-01-05 22:53:04
2021-01-05 22:53:04

I think there is some confusion; this was never meant to be a ‘question.’ I published this as an informational blog post but I guess the Adobe folks felt it was a more appropriate discussion post.

So really, I’m just sharing my knowledge of the EOL for Flash Player, as I know it affects many of us who have been developing learning modules (with Captivate or other authoring tools).

Since Adobe made the announcement several years ago, every institution I work with has been aware of the change, but have not all moved quickly to update old Flash modules. I know many assume that by using an older browser we can still “view” SWF files, but my warning here is that after January 12, Adobe will be blocking the Player plug in. If you need to view the SWF files after that, Adobe Projector seems like the only solution.

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Kim Price
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2021-01-06 16:21:47
2021-01-06 16:21:47
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Kim Price
's comment

Ohhhhh, well in that case, please forgive me Kim and thank you for reminding folks of this important update. I know a lot of people and organizations that seemingly didn’t take the urgency of this soon enough and are now left to scramble for a viable solution with little time. Thank you!

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2021-01-04 18:17:16
2021-01-04 18:17:16

Please note, this is my understanding, so you’ll want to confirm how accurate and aligned to your question and needs the following response.

Though support is ending…and some programs and browsers will soon restrict Flash all together, browsers that currently have Flash capabilities should still allow you to run it IF YOU DO NOT UPDATE (the update may disable Flash…assuming that support means allowing access altogether).

If users keep their current browser versions and avoid updating, Flash should run.

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InstructionalRy
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2021-01-04 18:52:05
2021-01-04 18:52:05
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InstructionalRy
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Hello InstructionalRy! Based on the announcement from Adobe, it would appear Adobe itself will be blocking flash content from running in the Flash Player browser plug-in after January 12, 2021, regardless of what browser is being used.

Keeping this in mind, if anyone is still working on converting Flash-based modules to HTML5 and needs a way to view those modules, the Adobe Flash Player Projector is a tool available to download for free (Adobe Flash Player Projector) and will allow you to run Flash (SWF) files located on your computer *AND* it will also allow you to enter the URL of an SWF file, and will play the SWF file in the projector (not in a browser). I’ve been using Projector on my current conversion project, by simply entering the URL where the SWF files are located, to view the old modules.

I don’t know if Adobe’s action on Jan 12 would apply to earlier versions of the Flash Player plug-in (or if it is even possible to download and install those earlier versions). However, given the security risks associated with Flash files, I would strongly advise against skipping any OS or browser updates. The stand-alone Projector would seem to be a safer way to review old Flash modules, and even then, this is not a solution I would present to my clients who are dragging their heels on any Flash conversion projects. It’s a short-term fix, not a long-term solution.

 

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Kim Price
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2021-01-05 16:14:36
2021-01-05 16:14:36
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Kim Price
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I would strongly advise against skipping any OS or browser updates.

Agreed. Were the older courses by any chances published with both SWF and HTML? Just curious to know if they might be impacted in the same way. I hate to think that after that date all courses are just obsolete (but again the update to end support was given 2017).

Maybe it’s time the organization consider outsourcing to ensure all courses are converted and meanwhile they reach out to Adobe to confirm how their courses are impacted. I know the verbiage is out there, but it can certainly be clearer.

But I assumed you had access to the source files this whole time…are you viewing the course (from SCORM on LMS for example) and looking to make a HTML version?

Note, I’m don’t know the answer to your question, was just hoping to help lead you to a valid solution/resource that can address it. 🙂

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