Articulate Storyline 360 is a great tool for producing interactive eLearning content. A particularly useful feature allows you to import your pre-designed slides, so that you can convert PowerPoint to Storyline and turn your presentations into beautiful eLearning, saving you time and effort. Well, that’s the theory. In practice, there can be a few glitches along the way, especially if you are unfamiliar with Storyline’s capabilities. To make sure your import experience is as smooth as possible, we’ve put together our top five tips for importing PowerPoint slides into Storyline.

1. Get the slide size right

Make sure your Storyline slide size is the same as your PowerPoint slide size. Otherwise, when you do the import, things won’t appear in the right place.

 convert powerpoint to storyline Figure 1: Changing slide size in PPT

convert powerpoint to storyline

Figure 2: Changing slide size in Storyline 360

One thing that makes this tricky is that PowerPoint measures slide size in centimeters or inches, and Storyline in pixels. So, you’re going to have to do some maths!

It’s important to note that your conversion from cm/in to pixels should be done at 96 dpi. If you do it at 75 dpi the slide size will be wrong, and objects may not appear in the correct place on the slides. There’s a number of online converters you can use to do this calculation, such as the ones available at Pixel Converter.

2. Program the theme colours in both files

In both PowerPoint and Storyline you can choose your “Theme Colors” – we’ve got a blog post here if you don’t know how to do that (often these might be set up for you already to conform to your branding).

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Figure 3: The Theme Colors in PowerPoint

When you are using PowerPoint, if you copy slides from one presentation with one set of theme colours into a presentation with different theme colours, the colours of your slides will update by themselves. The same is true if you import PowerPoint slides into Storyline – both themes need to be the same or the colours on your slides will change.

NB: The colours must be set in the same order in both PowerPoint and in Storyline.  

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Figure 4: Customising colours in PPT

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Figure 5: Customising colours in Storyline

3. Avoid groups within groups

PowerPoint lets you group several objects together, and it also allows you to group those groups together to create a supergroup! But if you want to import the slide into Storyline, don’t use groups within groups – they will be converted to a single image if you import them like that. Single groups are fine, so if you have a group within a group, just ungroup everything, and then regroup them as a single group before you import your slides.

convert powerpoint to storyline

Figure 6: Don’t use groups of groups in your PowerPoint

4. Check your entrance and exit animations

Storyline has a smaller animation range than PowerPoint and doesn’t have emphasis effects. You need to make sure you only use entrance and exit effects that are also available in Storyline (see screenshots below) otherwise Storyline will convert them to fade in/out.

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Figure 7: Storyline entrance animations

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Figure 8: Storyline exit animations

5. Use motion paths sparingly

When motion paths are imported from PowerPoint into Storyline they will automatically trigger when the timeline starts. If multiple motion paths are applied to an object in PowerPoint, they will all be triggered to play when the timeline starts and only the final motion path will play.

convert powerpoint to storyline

Figure 9: Circle with 3 motion paths in PowerPoint

convert powerpoint to storyline

Figure 10: Once imported in Storyline all 3 motion paths are present

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Figure 11: All 3 paths are triggered to play when the timeline starts, so Storyline will only play the final one

Although it is possible to adjust these motion paths in Storyline (see below), if your slide contains a lot of objects with multiple paths, this could potentially become confusing, so our recommendation would be to apply a maximum of one motion path per object in PowerPoint and set up the rest manually, after you have imported the slides.

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Figure 12: To play them one after another the triggers need to be adjusted

So, there you have it, our top 5 tips on how to convert PowerPoint to Storyline!

You probably noticed that all our tips are about things you need to do before the actual slide import – and that’s the key. This slide import feature is very powerful and useful, but only if you get the set-up right first. Get these few checks right and importing your slides and getting them to function in Storyline will be a dream!

(And of course, if you feel your slides aren’t quite polished enough and want some help with them, do reach out to us.)

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Written by

Emma Trantham

Principal consultant

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