10 ways to simplify your work with Articulate Storyline 360 – Part 2
The creation of goal-oriented interactive e-learnings becomes a comfortable process with the authoring software Articulate Storyline 360. The software, which has been under constant development since 2012, offers some hidden functions that make the creation process more effective. This requires know-how but makes the designer’s heart beat faster.
If you don’t know the tips from the first part of this series yet, you can read them here. There you can also download a compact PDF document with the most important keyboard shortcuts for Articulate Storyline 360 for free.
- How to enlarge the working stage even more
- Use the program interface in another language
- Set cue points when playing the timeline
- Lock video playback with protective film
- Restrict menu and navigation buttons of the player
- Animation transfer
- Exact timing in the timeline
- Replace missing fonts
- Use alternative method for exporting translation documents
- Animated state of a button on mouse touch / hover
- Bonus: Enable saving of auto-recover information
1. How to enlarge the working stage even more
In part 1 of this series, you already learned how to expand the design stage. Do you need even more space? No problem, you can additionally collapse the various panels. To do this, you only need to pull the edge of the respective panel outwards, as demonstrated below. By clicking, the panel expands again:
2. Use the program interface in another language
Articulate Storyline 360 öffnet sich standardmäßig in der jeweiligen Systemsprache. Sie können es jedoch aArticulate Storyline 360 opens in the system language by default. However, it can also be used in another language. There are currently five languages available (Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish):
- Make sure Storyline 360 is closed.
- Now open the Articulate 360 Desktop App (press
WINkey and type the search term ‘Articulate 360’ + press
ENTERkey or click the small “a” icon with the horizontal line in the right notification area of the taskbar).
- Click on the user icon in the upper right corner and on the submenu item ‘Preferences …’.
- Now select the desired language from the drop-down menu under the ‘Language’ section.
- Now restart Storyline 360.
3. Set cue points when playing the timeline
For animation sequences the right timing is crucial. To mark important points during playback of the timeline, you can set so-called cue points in the editor view using the
C key. These markers are used for orientation during creation, but can also be recognized and targeted by triggers or initiate motion sequences.
4. Lock video playback with protective film
Embedded videos start automatically by default, when clicked or triggered. However, if you want to prevent the video from being accidentally clicked by the user during an animation sequence and thus being caused to stop, you can position a transparent image (PNG file format) over the video. This transparent image can be as small as 1×1 pixels when created and later scaled to the size of the video.
5. Restrict menu and navigation buttons of the player
The modern Storyline 360 player can indicate to the user if a slide should be viewed until the end of the timeline. This is signaled with a lock icon. This optional setting can be accessed via the player settings:
- Open the Player Properties via the Player button and then click the gear icon below the menu listing.
- In the dialog box, use the Navigation Restrictions drop-down list to select restricted or locked.
- Restricted means that users can view the current slide and any previously viewed slide, but cannot jump to subsequent slides or skip slides.
- Locked means that users can view the slides only in the order you specify. They cannot jump to subsequent slides or skip slides. They also cannot return to previously viewed slides.
- Select the Restrict Next/Back Buttons or Lock Next/Back Buttons checkbox.
- Click OK twice to close the menu options and player properties.
6. Animation transfer
Similar to Format Transfer (see Part 1 of this series), Animation Transfer allows you to transfer animation effects and motion paths across slides:
- Select the object whose animation and/or motion path is to be transferred.
- Single-click the Animation Transfer button in the Ribbon (Animations tab) or double-click it (transfer on multiple slides).
- Switch to the desired slide and select a desired object.
- Done. Both the animation effect (recognizable by the star symbol to the left of the object) and the motion path have been transferred.
7. Exact timing in the timeline
If precise appearance and departure of an object on the stage is required, the following function can be used:
- Right-click on the object in the Timeline bar and select the “Timing …” submenu item.
- Specify start and end time in the dialog box (can be set up to a tenth of a second).
- Optionally, checkboxes can be used to select whether the object is automatically displayed until the end or permanently (these two options are also directly available after right-clicking on the object in the timeline).
8. Replace missing fonts
Occasionally, a Storyline 360 project requires fonts that have not yet been installed in the executing system. In this case, a corresponding message is displayed. The project can still be opened, but incorrect representations are pointed out when editing and exporting the project (when exporting, the existing fonts are converted to system-independent paths).
Im folgendeIn the following example, the “Roboto Slab” font used for the headline is missing. You could now close Storyline 360 and make up for the installation of the corresponding font, or you could replace this missing font with the following function:
- In the “Home” tab, click the arrow to the right of the “Find/Replace” button and select “Replace Font”.
- Select the missing font marked in red in the first drop-down menu of the dialog box.
- In the second drop-down menu, select a desired replacement font and click the “Replace” button. The missing font has now been replaced globally on all slides.
9. Use alternative method for exporting translation documents
If a web-based training is to be translated into another language, a translation document with a tabular overview can be exported from Storyline 360. This document can be passed on to a translation agency and later imported back into the Storyline 360 project with the translated text sections. The function is available in two variants. The older method has the advantage that the formatting is retained even over several paragraphs and is displayed together in one cell in the translation column.
Here you can see the result of the older (left) and new method (right) compared in a simple example:
How you can activate and use the older method, I describe in the following:
- In the main menu “File” open the storyline options.
- In the dialog box under “Functions” remove the corresponding check mark:
- Now start the export as usual:
- In the Export dialog box, check the following box:
10. Animated state of a button on mouse touch / hover
To give buttons an interesting feedback effect as soon as the user touches a button with the mouse, you can use another state and an animated overlay object:
Bonus: Enable saving of auto-recover information
You’ve been working on an important project for hours and suddenly your operating system freezes or there’s even a power outage? To make sure you haven’t invested precious time in vain, Storyline 360 offers a useful feature that will save your nerves for good:
- Open the “Storyline Options” via the “File” main menu.
- In the dialog window, activate the checkbox “Save auto-recovery information every X minutes” and also enter the desired time interval (1 to 120 minutes are possible).
- Confirm the dialog window with OK.
Important: For this function to work, always save your Storyline 360 project at least once!
If Storyline 360 unfortunately refuses its faithful service, you can now – before you open it again – open the following directory path with the Windows file explorer:
There you will now find a number of files that contain the familiar project name and end with the file extension *.tmp. Now copy the newest file to a desired location and rename the file from “Project_name.tmp” to “Project_name.story”. You can then open this project file as usual.
Note: In the Articulate Storyline 360 help pages it is described that after an unexpected crash you can simply restart Storyline 360 and then be asked if you want to restore the project. In my experience, however, this is not always reliable. Therefore, I recommend to choose the manual way.
Hopefully, this article has helped you discover new methods that you can use for your future projects. Please contact us to get to know our way of working better. If you know any interesting tricks yourself, feel free to add them in the comments section.
Would you like to receive more helpful tips on working with Storyline 360? Feel free to contact us. And check back here, because there might be a third article on this topic soon.