Using Lectora to Create iPad-Compatible Content – Results of Our Testing

We are working with a client on a Lectora course that needs to be viewable on an iPad. We did some quick testing to see which Lectora features work properly on an iPad and which ones are best avoided. We thought we’d share the results in case it helps you with your design and testing.





Matching Y Y
Multiple-choice displayed as a drop-down list Y N
*GoodReader allows you to see the options and select one, but the field remains blank.
Drag and drop N N
Form Elements
Multi-select list box Y/N Y/N
Both only allow single select, not multi-select.
Drop-down list Y N
*GoodReader allows you to see the options and select one, but the field remains blank.
On Click/Show Y Y
On Click/Display message/Web 2.0 and non-2.0 Y Y
On Click/Go to Web/Open in new window Y Y
On Click/Go to page/Open in new window Y/N Y/N
*Both Safari and GoodReader opens the page in new window, but not as a pop-up that appears over the main page. This may cause student confusion.
On Mouse Enter/Show Y/N Y/N
*For both Safari and GoodReader, this works like an On Click action.
On Mouse Exit N N
Retained from page to page Y N
Retained from session to session Y N
MP3 audio with default controller Y Y
WMV videoWMV video N N
Drop-down table of contents Y Y
Scrolling text boxes N N
*In both Safari and GoodReader, the scroll bar doesn’t appear.


A few notes:

  • We are not creating a native app but rather HTML content that can be viewed on an iPad.
  • This is not an exhaustive list of features that do/don’t work, but rather the features that we were particularly concerned about (especially those requiring drag actions, mouse-overs, Ctrl key, and other actions that work differently on an iPad vs. a PC.)
  • We posted one version online and viewed it using Safari. We also tested it by loading and viewing it locally on the iPad via the GoodReader app. Other HTML reader apps might have different results.

For more information on using Lectora for mobile development, check out these two resources on the Trivantis website:

Create mobile learning content on an iPad using Lectora

Inspiration Wednesdays: Create mLearning Content – Revisited

The big lessons for us are to test early and often and to know exactly how the students will be viewing the iPad content. What have you tried? What’s working? What isn’t?


Diane Elkins
Diane Elkins is the co-owner of E-Learning Uncovered, as well as Artisan E-Learning, a custom eLearning development company specializing in the use of Storyline, Captivate, and Lectora. Diane has been in the eLearning industry since 2001, speaks regularly at national conferences about eLearning, and is co-author of the popular E-Learning Uncovered book series.

8 Responses to “Using Lectora to Create iPad-Compatible Content – Results of Our Testing

  • Tanya Coomes
    10 years ago

    Diane — I think you’ve hit on something critical here… “know exactly how the students will be viewing the iPad content.” I think it this idea goes even further – know how the students will be viewing the content period. I think most organizations today still assume that students (i.e. employees) will be accessing the training from their company issued PC’s while sitting at their desks. With an increasing mobile society and the increased blurring of “business” and “personal” time I think more and more employees are training from home. According to a recent study, 36.7% of iPad users are between the ages of 35-54, a 2010 study published by Yahoo! put that number at 53%. (This means moms and dads were the earlier adopters!) I extrapolate from this that it is no longer unlikely that an average exempt employee might try to fulfill his/her company’s training requirements by using an iPad while sitting on the coach, or on a train, or while waiting for a child to get out of a athletic practice. I guess the question I now have is how much longer will it take before corporate leadership reaches out and meets the employees where they are…..

    • Diane Elkins
      10 years ago

      Great point, Tanya. I was just on a mission trip to Brazil, and on our team of 18, 3 of us brought our iPads on the trip, and at least one other had one but chose to leave it at home. They are everywhere.

  • Drucilla Owenby
    10 years ago

    Diane, I also noticed, when using the iPad, some of the graphics from the Certificate do not show on the iPad. I am trying to identify if it is a font issue or if Lectora rendors it differently?

    • Judy Unrein
      10 years ago

      Drucilla, did you ever figure out what was the cause? And I’m curious… what was the file format of the graphics?

      • Drucillaowenby
        10 years ago

        It was a font issue – I had to research fonts that work for iPad. Once I changed the font to something like, Bradley Hand ITC, Times New Roman and Baskerville Old Face. Everything worked. The default font for the certificates available in Lectora did not play friendly.

  • Thanks for sharing your results, Diane.

    I use a javascript to detect the browser and then show either an FLV or an MP4. That way, the same course can be distributed to iPads and other devices.

    A problem I find, though, is with graphics. They display on screen, but on the iPad and iPhone they shift post-publish and obscure the nearby text.

  • Hey Diane,

    Thanks for your thorough research results. For a startup thats more than enough info. Just few more questions which I would really appreciate if you could answer/feedback:

    1. What happens when the device is rotated, does content adjust itself ?
    2. Are powerful features of swipe and finger detection used/can be used?

    Thanks in advance for your kind consideration.

  • While the iPad will not run .wmv files, .mov files will work well. There are some tricks to embedding the file in your Lectora content though. After about three weeks, we finally figured out that calling to the video file with an HTML 5 command was the only way to get it to play on the iPad. There may be other ways, but not that we could find. To add the video, follow these steps:
    In the Lectora Title:
    1. Select Add > External HTML
    2. On the General tab in the Properties window, input the Object Name, Object Type and the following code in the Custom HTML window:

    Select Initially Visible, then Apply.
    NOTE: xyz=size of your video

    In the Lectora Output/Content Publish folder:
    1. Add the video source file to the media folder. Be sure not to overwrite it when you republish the files from iteration to iteration.

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