Storyline: Create, Edit, and Publish Courses on Your Local Hard Drive

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The following tips will help you avoid unexpected behavior when creating, sharing, and publishing Storyline projects.

Create, Edit, and Publish Projects on Your Local Hard Drive

Working with Project Files

Always save and publish Storyline projects on your local hard drive (typically your C: drive). The default save location for Storyline project files and published output is the Documents\My Articulate Projects directory on your computer unless you change it. Working on a network drive or an external USB drive can cause erratic behavior due to latency. For example, it could cause file corruption or prevent you from saving changes.

You can back up your projects to a network drive or a USB drive, but you'll want to avoid reopening the files until you've moved them back to your local hard drive. If you're using Storyline 360, backing up your project files to Review 360 or uploading content to a library of shared team slides are better options.

Working with Course Assets

Developers often keep course assets (pictures, videos, audio files, documents, etc.) on a network drive or USB drive. And in most cases, that's fine. However, if you see unusual behavior after importing an asset from a network drive or USB drive,  the asset may have corrupted as it transferred to your computer. If that happens, delete the asset from your course, copy the original asset to your local computer, then import it again.

Here are some examples of strange behavior that can occur when an asset is corrupt:

  • The asset is blank, distorted, or unresponsive. For example, an image looks like an empty box, or a video refuses to play.
  • Storyline says the file format isn't supported even though it is.
  • The preview feature doesn't work. It loads a blank slide or doesn't load at all.
  • Resources that you attach to your player are missing when you publish.

Save, Version, and Back Up Projects Frequently

Save your work often. The keyboard shortcut Ctrl+S is the fastest way to save. Do it so often that it becomes muscle memory. You’ll be glad you did.

Create versions of each project during its development cycle so you can go back to earlier versions if necessary. Just go to the File tab on the Storyline ribbon and choose Save As, then give your project a slightly different file name. For example, you might make a new version at the end of each workday and add the date to the file name so you can identify it.

Versioning is also a good way to back up your work. Save earlier versions to Review 360, the cloud, a network drive, or an external hard drive for safekeeping—but always save the current version on your local hard drive.

Click here for more tips to avoid corrupting or losing project files.

Send Projects to Other Developers When You Need to Collaborate

If you need to share a project file with another developer, we recommend zipping it first. Then you can share the zipped file via email, external drive, network drive, etc. Remind your collaborators to save the zipped file to their local hard drives and fully extract it before opening the project.

If you're using Storyline 360, backing up your project files to Review 360 or uploading content to a library of shared team slides are great options.

Host Published Courses Online

Viewing published courses on your local hard drive or a network drive isn't supported. Security restrictions in these environments can cause various features in your courses to fail.

To avoid unexpected behavior during playback, upload your courses to a web server or LMS.

The published output for a Storyline project includes multiple files and folders. For your published course to work properly, these files and folders must remain in the same organizational structure when you upload them to a server.

Here's a pro tip for Articulate 360 subscribers: When you need to test a published course or share it with stakeholders, publish it to Review 360.

Optimize File Paths and Naming Conventions

Be sure the file paths to your projects and published output are well under the 260-character limit imposed by Microsoft Windows. (The publishing process adds characters to the file path you selected. If it exceeds 260 characters, your published output will be incomplete.)

Avoid using special characters, accents, or symbols in your file paths and file names. Learn more about naming conventions in this Microsoft article.