In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to record screencasts and turn them into interactive software simulations that span a series of step-by-step slides in Storyline 360 and Storyline 3.

You can also record screencasts and insert them into your courses as videos. We covered screencast videos in the previous tutorial.

The power of screencasts in Storyline is that you only have to record your screen once, then you can reuse the same recording again and again—either as a video on a single slide or as a series of interactive step-by-step slides.

Watch this video to learn about creating interactive simulations, then follow the activities below to practice.

Practice Activities:

  1. Prepare to Record a Screencast
  2. Record Your Screen
  3. Preview the Screencast and Insert It into Your Course as Step-by-Step Slides
  4. Preview Your Interactive Simulation

Practice Activity: Prepare to Record a Screencast

First, we need to prepare to record by launching the recorder, choosing our recording options, and selecting the recording area.

If you’d prefer to reuse the screencast you recorded in the previous tutorial, open that project file in Storyline, go to the Slides tab on the ribbon, click the Record Screen drop-down arrow, and select your existing screencast. Then jump to the preview activity below.

  1. Launch Storyline and start a new project.
  2. Go to the Slides tab on the ribbon and click the top half of the Record Screen button. Storyline will temporarily hide, and a recording window will appear.
  3. The default recording size matches your slide size in Storyline, but you can change it. Just use the sizing handles to resize the recording area or choose a standard size from the recording control bar.
  4. Next, place the recording window where you need it on the screen. You can drag it by its bounding box or the “how to record” box in the middle of the window.
  5. If your recording will include audio, use the control bar to select a microphone. If you don’t need audio, select No Audio.

    Note: Recorded audio won’t be used in step-by-step simulations. Step-by-step slides display only the action-related video clips from your screencast. However, your narration will still be available in the original screen recording in case you want to insert it as a video on a single slide later (Storyline 360, Storyline 3).

Now you’re ready to record. Proceed to the next activity.

Practice Activity: Record the Screencast

In this activity, you’ll record yourself performing a simple task. For example, you might add an animated shape to a PowerPoint slide.

  1. Open PowerPoint or the program you want to record. Make sure the Storyline recording window is positioned over it correctly.
  2. When you’re ready, click the red Record button on the recording control bar.
  3. Record yourself performing a simple task, such as inserting a shape in PowerPoint and animating it. If you have a microphone, narrate your steps along the way.
  4. When you’re finished, click Done on the control bar. (If you need to start over, click the trash icon instead.)

When you click Done, a preview of your recording will appear. Proceed to the next activity.

Practice Activity: Preview the Screencast and Insert It into Your Course as Step-by-Step Slides

  1. When the preview window appears, use the video controls to preview your recording.
  2. Use the Name field to give your recording a recognizable name so you can identify it later. (If you’re reusing a screencast you previously recorded, you won’t be able to rename it, so you can skip this step.)
  3. Next, you can choose to insert the screencast into your course as a video on a single slide or interactive step-by-step slides. For this tutorial, choose Step-by-step slides. (You can learn about screencast videos in the previous tutorial.)
  4. There are three types of step-by-step simulations (defined below). For this activity, choose Try mode steps.
    • View Mode: Use View Mode to demonstrate a process with mouse movements and captions.
    • Try Mode: Use Try Mode to give learners the opportunity to practice a series of steps. Try Mode functions as an ungraded assessment—i.e., a practice test.
    • Test Mode: Use Test Mode to test learners' knowledge of a process. Test Mode functions as a graded exam.
  5. Insert your step-by-step slides in a new scene and give the scene a name in the field provided.
  6. Click Insert.

Notice that Storyline creates a new scene with a series of slides for your interactive simulation. You can edit anything on these slides just as you would edit standard slides. You can even add and delete slides.

Practice Activity: Preview Your Interactive Simulation

Click the Preview drop-down arrow on the ribbon and choose This Scene to test your interactive simulation.

Notice that each slide in the interaction is listed in the sidebar menu by default. Sometimes that’s helpful, but sometimes you may not want learners to see the individual slides in the menu. No problem. You can hide the slide titles from the menu.

Be sure to save your project file so you can reuse it in the next tutorial on editing simulations.


You've learned how to record a screencast and turn it into a series of interactive slides. To learn more about software simulations, see these user guides:

In the next tutorial, you’ll learn how to use the action fine-tuning editor to edit interactive simulations.