More Articulate Storyline Development Timesavers

I love sharing the things I do and use to save time in e-learning production. One year ago, I wrote a blog post about Articulate Storyline Development Timesavers. In this post, I’m going to share some more.

Use Publish for QA (Instead of Preview)

When I’m ready to view a course to make edits, I’ve found that the Preview function only goes so far. Previewing inside Storyline allows me to see the course very similar to the published output, but to make edits, I have to close the preview. If there are a lot of edits that need to be made, using the preview can slow the process. Instead, I publish the course and open it on my other monitor. This allows me to view the course AND make edits at the same time. I can make a sweep through the entire course and make as many edits as possible without republishing. Then I republish and repeat.

Click here to read Diane’s post about second monitors. If you don’t have a second monitor, use another computer! Or, check out this post that includes an app to turn your iPad into a second monitor. 

Use the Change Picture Button and Picture Placeholders

The Change Picture function substitutes a photo without affecting other settings such as effects, animations, and timing. It allows me to develop my courses even when I don’t have final images.

Nick 1 9-27-13

Because of the change picture functionality, I create “picture placeholders” to save myself time. By this, I mean I insert a placeholder that is a picture (rather than a textbox or a shape) like the one below, and then change the placeholder out for the final image once I have it.

Nick 2 9-27-13

You can create your own custom photo placeholders if you insert a shape in Storyline, add text, and then right-click and select Save as Picture. Then insert your new, custom-created photo placeholder and add effects, animations, and timing. When you’re ready to insert your image, just use the Change Picture function. 

Or, you’re welcome to use the one I use.  Just right-click the graphic and save it to your computer. 

Use Grids and Guidelines to Align Objects

Aligning multiple objects can become a headache when there is a lot on the screen. I sometimes use grids and guidelines to help with this.

When I need to line up items perfectly on a screen, I use the gridlines. By default, the Snap objects to grid feature is turned on. This means that if an object gets close to the gridline, it snaps to the grid, preventing the object from being a pixel or two off. The grid is not visible in the published course.

When I need to line onscreen items up perfectly across multiple slides, I use guidelines. Guidelines are perfect for setting up quizzes and multi-slide interactions like branching scenarios where there are certain elements that need to appear in the same place on every slide.

Whereas a grid shows across the entire slide at fixed intervals, guidelines are individual lines that I add and place exactly where I want them. Just like the grid, guidelines help line up objects and do not appear in the published course. The difference is that I can place each guideline individually so they are exactly where I need them.

Nick 3 9-27-13 Use AutoCorrect for Frequently Used Phrases

AutoCorrect fixes common spelling mistakes while typing. For example, if I type “teh,” AutoCorrect will change it to “the.” But wait! AutoCorrect can be used for more than just typos! I also use it to automate text I type frequently. For example, I’ve added an entry that changes “sata” to “Select all that apply.”

To change this setting:

  1. Click the Articulate button.
  2. Click the Storyline Options button.
  3. Click the AutoCorrect Options button.
  4. Add any changes.

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Nick 5 9-27-13

Nick 6 9-27-13

Use Format Painter to Format Objects

Format Painter copies and pastes formatting from one object to another. This can be anything from the color of the text to the font, style, and size. It can even copy effects like shape, shadows, and borders. And it gets better! The Format Painter tool works with states! I use this all the time to copy and paste the formatting of an object with states. The states from the copied object get applied to the pasted object.

To do this:

  1. Select the object with the formatting you want to copy.
  2. Click the Format Painter button on the Home tab.
  3. Click the object you want to paste the formatting to.

Note: You can also copy formatting by pressing Shift + Ctrl + C and paste it by pressing Shift + Ctrl + V.

Please feel free to share any of your great Storyline timesavers!

Nick Elkins

2 Responses to “More Articulate Storyline Development Timesavers

  • This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing! I’m notorious for not having the time to look up the more efficient way of doing things, so I end up doing things the hard/old-fashioned way. This will help a lot!!

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