Weird issue importing Presenter slides into Storyline

I’ve wasted almost half a workday trying to figure out what is going on with this problem.

I’m using Presenter ’13, as seen here in the attachment. 

In PowerPoint (PPT) I’ve created a slide. The slide contains the following elements:

Title text

·         First text box (FTB) header

o   FTB Item 1

o   FTB Item 2

o   FTB Item 3

·         Second text box (STB) header

o   STB Item 1

o   STB Item 2

o   STB Item 3

o   STB Item 4

I then applied animations as follows:

FTB Item 1 – Appear when clicked

FTB Item 2 – Appear when clicked

FTB Item 3 – Appear when clicked

FTB header – Disappear when clicked

FTB Item 1 – Disappear with previous

FTB Item 2 – Disappear with previous

FTB Item 3 – Disappear with previous

STB header – Appear with previous

STB Item 1 – Appear when clicked

STB Item 2 – Appear when clicked

STB Item 3 – Appear when clicked

STB Item 4 – Appear when clicked

So, the end result is that the Title text and the First text box header appear as soon as the slide does. The three FTB items each appear as they are clicked.

Then, with the next click, all of the FTB components disappear and the STB header appears. Each of the STB child items then appear as they are clicked.

The animation works exactly as designed when I preview the slide in Slide Show – as I click the slide, each of the items appears and disappears as desired.

I then click on Record Narration on the ARTICULRATE tab and, again, everything works as desired. When I play it back, it is synchronized perfectly to the audio.

But when I import the PPT/Presenter slide into Articulate Storyline, the FTB header will not appear when I preview the slide, no matter what. The Slide Title appears as soon as the slide opens, and the FTB child items all appear in synch with the audio. Then, when the audio starts talking about the content in the STB, all of the FTB content disappears and the STB header appears. As the audio continues, the STB child items also appear in synch with the audio.

I can’t think of anything that would cause this text to work fine in PPT, and in the Presenter audio recording tool, but not work in the preview player of either Storyline or Presenter. Has anyone else ever run into anything like this? If so, were you able to determine the cause of the issue?


10 Replies
Alyssa Gomez

Hi there Chris, thanks for sharing those details here. Can you confirm that you're working from your local hard drive with both Presenter and Storyline? If you're working locally and still experiencing these issues, I'd like to take a peek into your files to see how you've set up your triggers and animations. Would it be possible for you to share your Articulate Package and your .story file here? If so, just use the Add Attachment button at the bottom of the reply window.

Chris Janzen

Hi Alyssa. I am indeed working from the local drive only, for both programs. And I did figure out part of the problem, which was that I had the animation for the First Text Box (FTB) header line configured incorrectly, or, to be more accurate, I didn't have any animation configured at all. Since I needed that line to appear as soon as the slide appeared, I thought having appear animation in PPT was not necessary. However, I'm thinking now that, because I had a disappear animation assigned to it, PPT looked at it and figured, hey, if all you want it to do is disappear, then I'll just never display it in the first place. So now the content that I need to appear at the beginning of the slide appears correctly in Presenter when I preview the slide, although I'm still not clear why it worked if I viewed it using the PPT Slide Show tab. Regardless, though, it's still not importing into Storyline properly and, in fact, I'm now seeing different behavior than I saw yesterday. When I went to check out the Storyline file this morning, before I had imported the slide from PPT with the correction described above, the FTB and STB Item lines no longer synched with the audio. Instead, all of the FTB text appeared at the beginning of the slide (header and items both), and when the timing in PPT displayed the STB header, in Storyline all of the STB content (again, header and items both) appeared, instead of the items appearing as each one was called out. I know that's a little hard to follow, hopefully it makes some sense.

Unfortunately, the content I'm working on is proprietary, so I'm not able to share it. What I have done is scrubbed it so it's generic content and audio, and I'm attaching those files here. Hopefully you'll see what I 'm talking about when you compare previewing the slide in PPT versus previewing it in Storyline.


Alyssa Gomez

Hi again Chris - thanks for sending over the files. I am looking into them now. Just to be sure, the PowerPoint file you attached here does not have audio, correct? From your previous comment, it sounded like you had audio synced with animations in PowerPoint, and you wanted to import that into Storyline. 

Chris Janzen

I tried attaching it again, but it still didn't have audio, so I tried something else - I clicked on File, and in the next screen, clicked on the Enable Editing button. I then tried previewing the slide again, and that time it worked.

I tried this with the one I just posted and the one I previously posted, and it worked for both of them. Can you let me know if that works for you?


Chris Janzen

Alyssa, thanks. 

I just have to ask, so I'm not acting on any bad assumptions - did you try to enable editing to see if that worked for you? Regardless, i'm attaching the audio file here - I didn't realize that to export audio from the Audio Editor, you had to click on the articulate logo in the upper left corner, and then select Export from the drop-down menu. Of course, the downside to this is that the animation timing doesn't get saved as part of the MP3 file. The best I could do was take a screenshot with the tmiings labeled, which could be used to manually recreate the synchronization, although that would be a bit tedious. It might be easier to just import the audio into the PPT file and then synchronize the animations using the Presenter Record Narration feature. The script has the click timing included in the content. As you're recording, you just click the Next Animation button every time you get to a {CLICK] in the script.

I tried to open the file today, to see if I couldn't export the audio, and I got the error message you see in the attached file. Whenever I click on either the Details or the Continue button, I get the Windows "Exclamation" tone (you can hear this by going to Control Panel -> Sound -> Change System Sounds, and in the Sound window that pops up, scroll down to Exclamation in the Program Events list, and then double-click on it), which basically tells you your not working in the "active" window. If you look at the left side of the Unhandled exception error message in the attachment, you'll see the left side of another pop-up behind it, and that's the one that I need to be on.

I don't know what that pop-up message said. I couldn't reposition either the Unhandled exception error message or the pop-up message behind it. The only way I was able to close out the error message was to click on the left side of the pop-up behind it, then hit the TAB button, and then hit ENTER. That closed everything out and I was back in PPT/Presenter, but whenever I try to preview the slide, I get a pop-up that tells me something went wrong, and the option to send an error report to Articulate (which I did, so hopefully the support engineer will get it and it will help him or her in troubleshooting).

Given the fact that the behavior is different every day, I'm thinking I may just need to uninstall and re-install Presenter and see if that fixes it.

Anyway, hope all of this helps, let me know if I can provide any more information, and thanks for your assistance and your diligence.

Alyssa Gomez

Hi Chris,

Thanks for sharing that additional information. Yes, I did try Enable Editing, and I still don't see any audio on that slide (but I can see the animation timing, as you can see in the screenshot below). This is definitely a case best suited for our support engineers, especially seeing as you're now getting an error message when you tried to open the file today. I see that Lea has taken your case - you're in good hands there, and she should be in touch with you soon.


Alyssa Gomez

For those who may have trouble with syncing imported animations with audio in the future, take a look at this solution from our support engineers:

The reason why the animation is not happening when importing your Presenter '13 slide into Storyline is because the animation is set to effect option As one object

Follow these steps to sync the animation line-by-line with the audio:

1.) Open the Presenter '13 file, and locate the slide with text needing animation
2.) Choose the effect option by Paragraph 
3.) Import the audio recording 
4.) Sync the animation with the audio 
5.) Save the project 
6.) Import the Presenter '13 project into Storyline 
7.) Tweak the timeline as needed 
8.) Test the animation