Make your Storyline 360 courses more accessible for learners who are deaf or hard of hearing by importing closed captions and subtitles for narration and videos. Just insert standard SRT, VTT, SBV, or SUB files.

Don’t have caption files to import? No problem. Create closed captions and subtitles from scratch with the built-in editor.

Preparing Your Caption Files

Storyline 360 supports SRT, VTT, SBV, and SUB files generated by third-party captioning services, such as YouTube, Amara, and 3PlayMedia. Here are some tips to make sure your caption files are properly formatted for Storyline 360.

  • Storyline 360 supports bold, italic, and underline formatting in caption files as well as voice tags to indicate which person is speaking. All other formatting tags, such as font and font color, will be ignored. (Use the closed caption settings in the player properties to format your captions.)
  • A caption will automatically wrap if it’s too long to fit on a single line. However, if you need a caption to break at a specific point, add one line break in your caption file in the appropriate place.

    On the other hand, if you need to split a caption into two separate caption boxes that display simultaneously, add two line breaks in your caption file. You might do this when two people are speaking and you want each speaker’s dialogue to display in its own caption box.
  • If some letters or characters in your captions are unexpectedly replaced by symbols in Storyline 360, make sure your caption files are encoded for UTF-8.

Importing Captions

Closed captions are supported for audio tracks and videos. You can import captions simultaneously with your media, or you can import captions separately. We describe both options in the table below.

Import Captions Simultaneously with Media

If your caption files have the same names as your media files and are stored in the same folder with the media, they’ll automatically import into Storyline 360 when you import your media.

For example, if I have a video called MyVideo.mp4 and the corresponding caption file is named and is located in the same folder, I only need to import the video into my Storyline 360 project, and the captions will automatically import and sync with the video.

To learn how to import audio and video files into Storyline 360, see these user guides:

Import Captions After Adding Media

To import captions after adding media to your Storyline 360 project:

  1. Select the audio track or video that you want to caption.
  2. Go to the Options tab on the ribbon and click Import.
  3. Browse to the caption file you want to import, then click Open.

Another way to import captions is to right-click the video placeholder or the speaker icon that represents your audio track, choose Accessibility, then click the Import icon. (View this user guide to learn more about the Size and Position window.)

Note about captions in markers: When you right-click an interactive marker and choose Accessibility, you’ll see closed caption features for audio and video since a marker can have both types of media at the same time.


Pro Tips:

  • You can import closed captions from the ribbon or the Size and Position window, as described above. Even better, you can use the media library to import and manage closed captions for all audio clips and videos in your project. Check it out!
  • You can add captions to all audio clips and videos, except website videos.
  • Storyline 360 automatically generates synchronized video transcripts from closed captions.

Deleting Captions

To delete captions you previously added:

  1. Select the audio track or video that has captions you want to remove.
  2. Go to the Options tab on the ribbon and click Delete. (It will be grayed-out if there aren’t any captions to delete.)

Exporting Captions

Need to export captions from Storyline 360 so you can edit them or use them in another project? Here’s how:

  1. Select the audio track or video that has captions you want to export.
  2. Go to the Options tab on the ribbon and click Export. (It'll be grayed-out if there aren’t any captions to export.)
  3. Choose a location where you want to save your caption file, then click Save. Exported captions always generate a VTT file.

Customizing Your Closed Captions

Choose the foreground and background colors, font, size, and position of your captions. In the player properties window, click Colors & Effects on the ribbon, then use the Closed Captions formatting options. Then, click OK to save and close the player settings.

If you’re using the classic player, you can choose the captions font. You can also set the font size for all player elements and captions as a single unit by adjusting the Player font size percentage.

Showing or Hiding the Closed Captioning Button on the Player

The closed captioning button on the course player is enabled by default, but you can disable it if you plan to build your own custom controls or use accessible video controls.

closed captioning player button

  1. Go to the Home tab on the ribbon and click Player.
  2. When the player properties open, mark the Captions box to show the closed captioning button or uncheck it to hide the closed captioning button.
  3. Click OK to save and close the player settings.

Tips for interacting with the closed captioning button:

  • The closed captioning button may not always be visible throughout your course. It’s only visible when captions are available on the current slide or layer. It’ll disappear for slides and layers that don’t have captions. This gives learners a visual clue when captions are available.
  • When a learner clicks the closed captioning button to turn on captions, the button will remain turned on throughout the course until the learner clicks it again to turn it off.

Using Triggers to Turn Captions On and Off

If the closed captioning button is enabled on your course player (see above), learners can toggle captions on and off whenever they want. However, you can also control captions via triggers. Just adjust the built-in Player.DisplayCaptions variable to either True (on) or False (off).

Here are a couple scenarios where you might control captions via triggers and how to set them up.

Turn Captions On by Default

Captions are turned off by default, but if most of your learners need captions, you might want to turn them on automatically when the course starts. Just add a trigger to the first slide in your course with these trigger wizard parameters:

  • Action: Adjust variable
  • Operator: = Set
  • Variable: Player.DisplayCaptions
  • Value: Value = True
  • When: Timeline starts
  • Object: Select the first slide in your course from the drop-down list.

Build Your Own Custom Navigation Buttons

If you disable the built-in player features and build your own custom navigation buttons, you can use triggers to show and hide captions. Just add a trigger to a button with these trigger wizard parameters to create a toggle:

  • Action: Adjust Variable
  • Operator: Toggle
  • Variable: Player.DisplayCaptions
  • When: User clicks
  • Object: Select your custom button from the drop-down list.