Articulate Storyline File Handling: Best practices

Articulate Storyline is the e-learning industry’s most preferred authoring tool. We can develop engaging courses using this tool. It enables e-learning developers to develop engaging interactivities and the ability to customize default assessments. However, many of the developers lose their work due to some incorrect practices, sometimes like working or publishing in network drives, editing published files, and so on. Severe problems such as file crashing or file corruption can be avoided by following some best practices.

In this post, I would like to share few such best practices to handle Articulate Storyline files. We can prevent loss of work and other resources using these tips and techniques.

Publishing: It is not good practice to save or publish your Storyline files on network or external drives, as this may cause your files to behave erratically or you may even lose your work. Publishing or viewing your online courses on network drives may cause some technical issues and output may not be as expected due to certain security restrictions of the network. These issues occur even when there the source file is flawless. These include:

  1. Slide functionality does not work
  2. Navigation of slides becomes impossible.

Hence, it is highly recommended to use local drive either to work or to publish.

Naming files: Before naming your .story files, make sure you do not use any type of special characters or symbols. Also ensure that the directory location given to publish your .story does not exceed 260 characters as suggested by Microsoft. Refer this link to know more about path length limitation.

Reusing files: Most e-learning professionals reuse projects by modifying them to a certain extent instead of beginning from scratch. If you want to share your file with others, zip the files first and then share them in a way that is possible with your system. The recipients should first copy the file to their local system and then unzip the file (to avoid issues, if any).

Editing published files: It is highly recommended not to edit any of the published files. Modifying files in a published folder may lead to abnormal behavior of your output. These include:

  1. Modifying the xml file, which includes interface buttons and colors.
  2. Renaming or deleting files in the external_files
  3. Renaming system-generated files (like images, slides, etc.). Refer the screenshots below for better understanding.

Doing any of the above will affect the internal programming and causes abnormal behavior. Refer screenshot below for example.


Make any modifications only if you are aware of them.

These are some best practices to know while developing e-learning courses using Articulate Storyline.

Have anything to add to the above list? Please do share.

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