Introduction Image showing a transition metaphor of arrows

Let’s admit it: at some time or another, we’ve all been dazzled by animations. The darlings of the motion world, they captivate us as they bound effortlessly across the screen. But there’s another star lurking in the wings, waiting quietly for the limelight: transitions. Often overlooked, transitions can play a vital role in adding a professional polish to your projects.

Maybe you don’t realize how easy it is to add transitions to both slides and slide layers. Simply select the slide (or slide layer) that you’d like to add a transition to, click the Transitions tab, and choose your transition. You can also fine-tune your transition by adjusting the duration and effect options.

To save time, you can also add transitions via the slide master. Just click the View tab and choose Slide Master or Feedback Master. Select the master slide layout to which you want to change and add your transition.

Now that you see how easy transitions are, maybe you’re wondering when you should use them instead of animations. It’s a good question because, in many cases, you can accomplish a similar result with animations. However, here are three reasons to go with transitions in Articulate Storyline 2:

Reason #1: Entire Slide or Layer Fades

Let’s say you’ve created a tabs interaction and you’d like each layer to have a fade effect.  Rather than adding fade animations to multiple items on your layer, you can achieve this in one fell swoop by adding the transition.

However, if you want items to appear at different times, then individual animations are the way to go. But if you’re after a simple fade effect for all your elements, then a transition is a big timesaver.

Reason #2: Slide Transitions Can’t Be Accomplished with Animations

One big difference between animations and transitions is that animations are limited to the elements on the slide. On the other hand, transitions can provide pizzazz to the entire slide. For example, take a look at the cover transition where the upcoming slide enters and “covers” the previous slide.

While you could use animations to have all items on the slide appear from the right, it will only be the slide elements and not the slide itself (items, background, etc.) that move. So, transitions are a great way to add visual interest to your project while achieving some really nice effects.


Reason #3: Cross-Fades for Extra Elegance

Speaking of effects, transitions can give your project a polished look that animations might not be able to match. Take, for example, a media gallery that you’ve built using slide layers in Storyline. Each layer contains an image and the learner navigates through the images via simple buttons on the slide. Because you’re a professional, you want to have a smooth transition between the images. So, you could apply a simple fade animation to each image … but, between each image there would be a flicker of the slide background. Not elegant!

On the other hand, by adding a fade transition to each layer, you’ll achieve a beautiful and sophisticated cross-fade effect. In the following video, I’ll show you a quick example of this:

If you’d like to give transitions a try, but don’t have Articulate software, go ahead and download a free 30-day trial. And don’t forget to come back to E-learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. Questions? Comments? Please share them below!


Emalyn Lim
Mike Enders