Free Materials For Teachers
Image©2009 ABS HyperStudio logo with light beams
HyperStudio 5

I’ve begun to create activities in HyperStudio 5® and find much to like about this new version of an old and beloved multimedia application. For those who have used HyperStudio in the past, it will be very easy to get started, because most of the options and terminology have been preserved. For example, you can still do path animation, drag and drop in resources, and put multiple actions onto a button.

Image©2009 ABS Screen shot of HS5 Interface
Updated HyperStudio 5 Interface

New Features

The biggest difference I saw right away is a modernized interface, making it much faster and easier to build activities. The Page Index supplements the Storyboard by letting you have all the page thumbnails accessible while you are building a stack. There is an Objects Browser that lets you switch easily from one object to another for editing.

Double-clicking anything opens the Inspector to let you easily change actions, layout features, and other settings.  For example, in this screen shot a button has been chosen in the Objects Browser, and the Inspector window shows all the possible settings for that button, including actions, appearance, features such as group object, and the text style. It’s so much easier to change the settings in this new interface!

Art tools, always one of HyperStudio’s strengths, are even better, and there are a new set of fancy effects you can apply to graphic objects.

HyperStudio Activities In The Attic

The first set of HyperStudio 5 stacks on this web site are the Tide Pools activity set. Hopefully, I’ll be adding HyperStudio versions of previous activity sets as well as adding new ones. I’m also beginning to post new HyperStudio tips. I have one quick tip directly from Roger Wagner on how to make a quick backup, and another one on a time-saving option called Group Cards .

Try Out The Players

You can download a player version of HyperStudio 5 in either Mac or Windows version from the Software MacKiev web site and try out the HyperStudio activities you download from this web site. If you have old stacks you made in HyperStudio 3.3 or later using Mac OSX, Windows XP or Vista, you definitely want to make this download! These players will also play the old stacks, a nice bonus. There are even legacy players to let you play stacks from HS 3.3 or later if they were made on Mac OS Classic or on Windows 95!

Special Access

Be sure to look at comments for this page to read Dinell Stuckey’s question about switch access, and the replies I received from MacKiev’s tech team, Roger Wagner, and Bill Lynn. Bill has also created a test stack using the Button Stepper MBA which you can download and try with the particular switch interface you are using. To download this test stack, click here.

Online Links-Freeware

Download the Mac Players here.
Download the Windows Players here.

October 23rd, 2009 at 6:57 pm
3 Responses to “HyperStudio Is Back!”

  1. 1
    Dinell Stuckey Says:

    Ann, I used Hyperstudio back before I learned about IntelloTools Classroom Suite. I can’t say I’ve used it since then. Can you tell me how accessible it is and whether or not it will can be programed easily to work with 2 switch step scanners? You’ve tweaked my curiosity about this new version. Thanks for sharing your wonderful artistic talents with us!

  2. 2
    admin Says:

    Check out the Tide Pools page for a comment from Chris Cramer about the HyperStudio players.

  3. 3
    admin Says:


    I passed your question along to MacKiev tech support, and also to Roger Wagner. I got answers from both, plus some information from Bill Lynn. For those too young to remember, Bill and Ken Kasmareck designed the Button Scanner NBA for the original HyperStudio, and Bill published his own scanning software under the Simtech name until he sold his company to MarbleSoft. So here goes!

    Bottom line is that the Button Stepper MBA and Button Scanner MBA in HS 5 does scan buttons, and this does enable HS5 to be used with adaptive switches that can emulate a mouse click and/or numbers 0-3. However, for now it does not scan anything except buttons, so things like graphic objects with actions would not be scanned. I’ve so far avoided this problem by using transparent buttons over graphics, but do hope in the near future Button Stepper will be extended to include anything that can have actions attached (graphic objects, text objects, etc).

    Bill Lynn’s comments indicate that step scanning is supported. He strongly advocates adding the ability to scan objects other than buttons. He also advises trying out switches, as he does not think all may be compatible. To that end he’s prepared a demo stack, which can be downloaded from this page, to use to test various switch interfaces.

    All comments indicate that further support will be coming as HS5 is updated. What follows are more details from the replies I received.

    First, from tech support:
    The Button Scanner action scans all of the buttons on the current card (as long as they are not locked or hidden), highlighting each one in sequence. When you press the mouse button, the space bar, or one of the number keys 0 – 3, Button Scanner activates the highlighted button. Adaptive switches can be used along with a device that can emulate a mouse click or the number keys 0 – 3. It’s also possible to emulate interaction with graphic and text objects by overlaying them with transparent buttons that will be highlighted.

    Support for multi-button switch access devices is under development at the moment and will be available in future updates of HyperStudio 5 for Windows and for Mac.

    Comment from Roger:
    They didn’t answer whether Button Scanner only scans button objects and not graphic objects, but the answer is “buttons only”.  It would seem to me that a future Button Scanner should be made to scan graphic objects, movies, etc… any object.. that has an action associated with it that could be actuated by clicking on it.

    Comments from Bill:
    Button Scanner NBA provides auto-scan access to the buttons on a card. It scans (points to) these buttons automatically at a delay interval set by the stack creator. The user is required to wait until the scanning highlight (pointer) reaches the target button before pressing a switch to activate it. Once the target button is activated, its actions are performed and scanning typically resumes.

    Students who cannot deal with time intervals and hitting a switch on cue may benefit from step scanning. In this mode of access the user presses one switch to point to (highlight) the buttons on a card one at a time in sequence. If the user stops pressing the switch, the pointer (highlight) stops moving. Once the user has moved the pointer to the target button using one switch s/he presses a second switch to activate the target.

    I’ve attached the demo stack from the last ButtonStepper v2.0 tweaked for HS5.0. One thing I would like to see added is the return/enter key used (along with the mouse click) to activate the highlighted button. Depending on what scripting language may be down the road, I would like to see it be able to call these MBAs directly, like we did in HS 3x.


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