How to Import Closed Captions into Storyline 360

Closed captioning displays a text transcription of the audio portion of a video or audio file while the audio is playing, making it easy for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to follow along with multimedia content.

Adding accessibility features such as closed captioning unlocks your e-learning for learners with different kinds of needs and abilities. That’s something many of your learners require—and for some situations, it’s even a legal requirement.

In addition to improving accessibility, there are learning benefits to using closed captions. For example:

  • Captions appeal to learners who prefer to read information. They might also improve comprehension and retention of media content by helping the learner maintain concentration on the screen.
  • Captions ensure learners can access their e-learning anywhere, even without headphones (in a noisy environment, in an open-plan workspace, etc.).
  • Captions are helpful for people for whom English is a second language. They help with comprehension of fast speech, accents, mumbling, brand names, and more.

As you can see, there are many benefits to adding closed captions to your e-learning courses. And thanks to Storyline 360, it’s super-easy to do. Let’s walk through the process.

Importing Existing Captions

If you already have closed caption files for your audio or video files, you can simply import them. Storyline 360 supports SRT, VTT, SBV, and SUB caption files. For a step-by-step tutorial on importing caption files, head on over here: Importing Closed Captions for Narration and Videos.

Creating Captions From Scratch

If not, you can easily create closed caption files directly in Storyline 360 thanks to our built-in editor. To find out how that works, check out this tutorial: Creating and Editing Closed Captions with the Built-In Editor.

Formatting Captions

Once you’ve added your closed captions, you might want to adjust their font style, colors, and placement to suit your brand guidelines and slide layouts. To do that, simply open the Player Properties, click on Colors & Effects, and adjust the options in the Closed Captions area. For example, you can:

  • Change the text color and background color using the dropdowns. Don’t forget to make sure your color choices are accessible by double-checking them in a color contrast checker like this one by WebAIM.
  • Choose your font from the font dropdown. 
  • Increase or decrease your caption font size by changing the player text size percentage.
  • Select where on your slides to display your closed captions using the position dropdown.

Enabling Captions

When captions are present, the Closed Captions (CC) button will appear in the Storyline 360 player on slides or layers where captions are used, allowing learners to toggle the captions on and off.

If you’re not using Storyline 360’s default player, you’ll be pleased to know you can create your own custom CC button with triggers to turn the closed captions on and off. Just add a trigger to a button with these settings to create a toggle:

  • Action: Adjust Variable
  • Variable: Player.DisplayCaptions
  • Operator: = NOT Assignment
  • When: User clicks
  • Object: Select your custom button from the drop-down list. 


Now that you know how to add closed captions in Storyline 360, you can improve accessibility and the overall learning experience in your next projects.

Want to try working with closed captions, but don’t have Articulate 360? Start a free 30-day trial. And subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest product updates, e-learning examples, and expert advice sent directly to your inbox. If you have questions, please share them in the comments.

Diana Myers

Very excited about the options to import CC files to use in Storyline 360! We did a test run, but in ours, the captions box "flashes" in and out instead of remaining on the screen while the text fades nicely from caption one to another (as I've seen in several demo/examples posted with the announcement). We use SRT files for caption. If we set the end time of the previous caption to match the start time of the next caption, will that prevent the "flashing" gray caption boxes? For example, Caption 1 text 00:00.00 to 00:05.26 Caption 2 text 00:05.26 to 00:07.19 Caption 3 text 00:07.19 to 00:10.05 Lastly, can you be specific down to the hundredth of a second, or should you round to tenths or the whole second? (This has been an issue in using SRT captions in a previ... Expand

mat corrado
mat corrado
mat corrado
Diana Myers

Thanks again, Mat! You. Are. Awesome. After reviewing your set of triggers, I was able to create a multi-caption project with buttons to play/pause the video and toggle the captions on/off. I used public domain audio and video, and you can see it here: Unfortunately, after all of these efforts I'm not any closer to finding a solution or workaround for my ultimate issue: producing Storyline projects that have videos that support closed captions in multiple languages. Our projects include video with narration, and I associate the English version of the .srt file for the first set of captions. But we'd like to give viewers the ability to switch to closed captions in another language. Sadly, when... Expand

mat corrado
Rajendra Suryawanshi