Five Storyline workflow tips and tricks!


Five Storyline workflow tips and tricks!

June 22, 2021

Articulate Storyline 360 is packed full of features, some less known than others. Here are some of our favourite tips and tricks in Articulate Storyline to help you create great elearning!


Tip #1 – Speed up your workflow and create your own shortcuts!

Building in Storyline can be time-consuming, but there are a variety of little tips you can do to speed the process up. Did you know you can create your own shortcuts?

Shortcuts in Articulate Storyline

At the very top of Storyline, you’ll see the Quick Access Toolbar but did you know that these are not just buttons you can click? They’re also keyboard shortcuts. What this means that the save icon can also be used by clicking ALT + 1, Undo is ALT + 2, and Redo is ALT + 3.

The best part is that you can also add things to this toolbar. All you need to do is right-click any of the tools in the ribbon and click Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

Adding function to Quick Access Toolbar in Storyline

Here I am adding some of the alignment tools to the toolbar.

Updated Quick access toolbar when functions have been added

Now you can see that as shortcut 4 I have assigned the left-align tool and shortcut 5 I have assigned the top-align tool and shortcut 6 I have assigned the Arrange tool. This means that I can align my objects using ALT + 4 and ALT + 5. I can also bring them to the front or send them back by pressing ALT + 6. You can assign these shortcuts however you want, to whatever suits you best.


Tip #2 – Keyboard shortcuts

Following on from my first tip, another great way to improve your workflow is using the built-in keyboard shortcuts.

Do you ever find designing your master slides and feedback slides a ‘pain in the bottom’? Having to switch between each view can be annoying. You click VIEW and then Slide Master, or Slide View, then you realise you’ve clicked the wrong one and have to do it all over again! I do this all the time… But did you know you can swap between them by clicking F3 for Slide View, F4 for Slide Master and F5 for Feedback Master? This is a favourite of mine as I find it’s a huge timesaver. But the shortcuts don’t stop there. There are a plethora of keyboard shortcuts you can learn to speed up your workflow dramatically! Check out some of them here on the Articulate website.


Tip #3 – Easy Placeholder Text

It’s common when designing in Storyline to use placeholder/dummy text, you know the usual Lorem Ipsum… paragraph. So, you visit your favourite search engine, and you type in Lorem Ipsum then you copy and paste it into whatever it is you’re designing, only to realise you didn’t copy enough and you need a little more… It’s tedious. But did you know Storyline has a built-in method of achieving this?

  1. Place a text box on the slide.
  2. Type =lorem().
  3. Press Enter.

You’ll automatically be given dummy text, you can also customise how much text you get by adding numbers in the brackets. If you type =lorem(1,1) you’ll end up with 1 paragraph consisting of 1 sentence of dummy text. The first number in the brackets is the number of paragraphs you want. The second number is how many sentences you want. So =lorem(3,5) is 3 paragraphs of text each with 5 sentences.

Dummy text generated in Storyline


Tip #4 – Importing multiple states

At LMP, we often create custom progress bars in our modules built in Storyline. If you’ve ever made one then you’ll know how time-consuming they can be. Especially if you have 100 states! However, Storyline now allows you to import many states from images automatically. When editing the state of an image, you can press insert pictures as states.

Insert Pictures as States in Storyline

Here I have an empty progress bar that is a PNG and is placed in Storyline, by clicking Edit State, you can see the option Insert Pictures as States. Clicking this will bring up the file explorer, navigate to the folder that contains all the images you want to import as states.

File explorer importing all images in as states

Here I have highlighted all of the images I want to import, I then click Open. This might take a moment, depending on how many states you are importing, but Storyline will automatically bring them all in! Nifty, right?

All of the images imported into Storyline

Here you can see that Storyline 360 has automatically brought in all one hundred frames that I need to build my progress bar. Now all I have to do is add the triggers… 100 of them… Yes, OK so this may still take some time, but it’s a lot quicker than before!

Bonus Tip:

Use short names when creating your images, as the states name will be created based on the file name. Lots of long names can make it troublesome to manage when/if you are adding your triggers.

If you’re interested in seeing how a custom progress bar is made, drop us a message!


Tip #5 – Make use of the media library

Storyline now has a media library, which has a variety of functions that you may or may not know about. You can open the library by clicking VIEW > Media library OR by right-clicking any media in your project then Show in Media Library.


Replacing media

For example, you can replace images in the library and this will replace every instance where that image has been used. If you have used the same image repeatedly throughout your course, and you now need to replace it, going through each one to replace it can be tedious. But now you can open the media library, click Replace, and this will replace ALL of those images for the new one.

Replacing image in the media library

Bonus Tip:

Click the Video tab inside the media library and check the sizes of any video you are including. Often video can take up large amounts of space, this will make Storyline run a lot slower than usual especially when loading/saving.

Video of large file size

These files will also need to be uploaded to your LMS or Website, so a lot of videos will take up huge amounts of webspace, so if they are big files, it may be worth finding ways to make them smaller (Like an online video compression tool). Otherwise use other tools like YouTube and Vimeo to host your videos, as they’re purpose-built for hosting videos. Then embed the video from the website using the embed code and remove it from your project altogether!

Add a video from a website

This reduces file size and webspace usage.


Editing media

You can also edit your images in the media library. Sometimes, this may not be the best solution, especially if you have the source file the image was created in. If you don’t you can click Edit, and open up one of the editing applications on your computer.

Editing media in Storyline

This is great for quick edits, as it doesn’t affect the source file, only the image in Storyline. Make the change you want, click Save, and it will automatically update the images in Storyline. You can also undo/redo these changes if you are not happy with the result!

Bonus tip:

Sometimes you may notice when you save your image, it tries to save this as a new file. This won’t update the image in Storyline. It may be that you’ve created multiple layers! Merge the layers or paint/edit the base layer before saving!


Adding alt text

You may have seen some of our accessibility blogs in previous posts (if not feel free to check out our other posts here). The media library presents a great way to add alt text to all of the instances of a particular image/video to make them more accessible.

Adding alt text to media in the library

Here you can see this video has been used 10 times, and I can apply the same alt text to every instance without having to search for each one.


Feel free to get in touch with us

If you made it this far, I hope that you found some of these tips helpful. What’s your favourite tip or trick that helped you out when building in Storyline? Tweet us @littlemanproj, or drop us a message, we’d love to hear from you!


About the author

Jamie Laurence is a storyline developer at Little Man Project. Jamie is passionate about turning our ideas into fun, creative and engaging solutions that meet high expectations. He loves consistency, structure and a pixel-perfect finish.

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