Since it’s so easy to record video using smartphones, webcams, and video cameras, it seems only natural to include video in your e-learning projects. After all, it’s a clutter-free way to enhance your content, and makes your course feel more interactive to learners. Adding video to your Articulate Storyline project is really simple, too. To get you started, let’s take a look at three important things to know about using video in your next project.

1. You can use just about any type of video file.

Storyline can handle a wide range of video types. When you click Insert > Video from File..., you’ll see this dropdown:

The dialog box shows you the types of videos that you can insert into Storyline. All of the major video formats are covered, so grab your favorite device and record away! 

Video buffs using a higher-end camcorder may notice that the video is stored in an .mts format (AVCHD). This format is not supported in Storyline. However, there are a lot of conversion tools out there (some free) that will help convert your .mts file into a format that you can bring into Storyline.

2. Storyline will convert most videos to .mp4

When you publish your project, Storyline tries to take all of the various video types in your project and convert them to .mp4, which is currently the most universal video type and plays on a variety of devices and browsers. Flash-based videos, however, work a little differently; I’ll tell you more about that below...

3. Check to see if your Flash-based videos will work with Storyline.

Flash used to be the most popular type of video that you’d see on the web. However, now that the HTML5 spec doesn’t support Flash, you’ll probably encounter fewer new videos in Flash than before. So what do you do about your collection of existing Flash videos? You can still use them—sometimes—in your Storyline projects. You’ll just need to check your video file type and output type to know if your video is compatible with your project.

.SWF video

If you have a .swf video file, it will work great in the standard output from Storyline when you’re viewing it on a device that supports Flash, like your desktop. But .swf is not supported in the Articulate Mobile Player and HTML5 output. So if you use a .swf video on a slide and view the HTML5 version of the course, the .swf video won’t be able to play. 

.FLV video: simple or alpha?

Simple .flv video will be converted to .mp4, so your video will play across output types. But what about .flv video with an alpha channel? If you have an .flv video file with an alpha channel, it will work fine without converting to .mp4 in both the normal Storyline output as well as with the Articulate Mobile Player. However, if you plan to use HTML5 output, Storyline will convert your video to an .mp4 format in order to play properly.

For more information on how Storyline encodes your videos, this knowledge-base article is a good resource.


If you want to try these tips for yourself but don't have Storyline, no problem. Just sign up for a fully functional, free trial. And don't forget to post your questions and comments in the forums! We're here to help. For more e-learning tips, examples, and downloads, follow us on Twitter.

Jeff Batt
Fran Sardone
Dana Meyer
Jeff Batt
Mike Enders
James Raynes

Mike... this is in response to a post that is a few months old... I am a "video guy" who migrated into web design and eventually interactive content development. I am a recent convert from Captivate. My company provides leadership training for high school athletes... and relies heavily on video. In captivate everything is Flash based... which actually made working with video easy (even if it wouldn't work across all platforms). I created a shell using a basic flash video player, that would link to a video hosted on Amazon. This allowed us to maintain good quality with videos without crippling our course with extremely heavy files. Another big benefit about linking to content outside the course is that if the video gets updated... as long as I keep the URL and name of the file the same,... Expand

Mike Enders

Hi James, A few thoughts... 1. You could use YouTube and keep the videos unlisted so they're not searched by Google, Youtube, and the like. While they're technically still public (since anyone with the link can view them) you could embed them with a modest branding player and such so the learner wouldn't think to find the video on YouTube and share the link. As a side note, here's a great sandbox area to play with the YouTube player settings. Note: a downside to YouTube is the updating of the video and keeping the same URL. If that is super important then.... 2. You could investigate hosting the videos on Amazon as you did previously and then using a tool such as JWPlayer to serve them up. Here's a thread where folks... Expand

Peter Tranter

Hi Mike, I have placed video in the storyline timeline and then added shapes characters etc to the timeline. Is it normal to have these other objects showing on the main storyline screen for the full duration of the video duration within the timeline even though they are segmented with their own times and durations. When the slides are previewed it works as it should i.e the flow is correct with regards to the timing of the added shapes and characters, though it is frustrating when building the slides due to seeing all times in for the full duration of the timeline. Hope I am explaining myself so that you get the picture of what it is I am endeavouring to get across. Are there any good tutorials that I can view that are focused on the use of video within Storyline. Regards P... Expand

Mike Enders
Judson Singer
Mike Enders
Judson Singer
Mike Enders
Judson Singer

We're still nailing things down with our contract developer. We played around with using the player's embed codes and that was pretty labor intensive. I like the Web Objects option because it allows accurate placement, especially if it keeps the video from floating around, as it currently does. (It also affords keeping the same quality because Storyline really blurs the original in its attempt to decrease video size) During preview, if we back up a slide then move forward, it repositions correctly but this floating around and changing position behavior and covering up other slide content isn't really acceptable. We can't tell if it's the quirk of the chosen player or something Storyline isn't handling the way we need. Has anybody else ever witnessed the video window migrating to other p... Expand