Adding SVG Images Via PowerPoint

I see SVG images can now be added via PowerPoint and they become native shapes when you import the slides into Storyline 360.   And we can resize the shapes without diminishing quality and can customize their fills, outlines, and effects using Storyline’s drawing tools.

Two questions:

1. Can we also add text directly to these shapes?

2. Has anyone been able to do this successfully?   I did some quick tests this AM and couldn't do it.  The SVG objects from my PPTX just came in as small, "invisible" shapes.  Any tips or tricks or best practices on doing this successfully?

TIA! :)


12 Replies
Alyssa Gomez

Hi there, Gerry!

First, let's tackle why those SVG images are coming in as small, invisible shapes. 

  1. Are you able to see the SVG image correctly in PowerPoint? If not, it could be that you're running a non-subscription version of PowerPoint. This Microsoft forum thread explains. 
  2. Have you already updated Storyline 360 to build 3.27.18751.0 or later?
  3. Can you share a screenshot of what you see in Storyline 360?
Gerry Wasiluk

Hi, Alyssa! Thanks for the offer of help! :)

Yes, I have an up-to-date subscription of Office 365.

Yes, I have the latest versions of SL360.

I was able to make it work with a SVG graphic that I found.  The one that I created does not work, so it may be something in how the original SVG was created.

Here is what I see in a one-slide PowerPoint after importing two SVG graphics.  The heart is the SVG graphic I found.  The blue one is the SVG I created.

After importing the slide in SL360, this is what I see.  Only the heart came through.  And, yeah, I can change it in SL360 and add text.  Happy, happy, happy, happy! :)

If a create and save a new PPTX with just the blue shape (again, the one I created), I see this when importing into SL360:

Are there certain programs you recommend for creating SVG's and any special export/save options?



Gerry Wasiluk

Hi, Leslie! :)

No problem sharing the PPTX.  Just one slide with a couple of images. You can download it zipped up from here.

I've done a couple of other tests since and am getting middling results.  If I use Inkscape and draw the image natively there, I can get that image into SL360 just fine via PowerPoint.

But if I do something like export an EMF image from PowerPoint (say, one of their insert shape figures that SL360 doesn't have yet) and open that in Inkscape and export out as a SVG for PowerPoint, it doesn't work when imported into SL360..

If I use my fave drawing program, Xara Designer Pro X,  and save out as SVG.  That doesn't work.

What I ultimately want to do is create a SL360 resource file of many of the shapes that PowerPoint has but SL360 doesn't(something many of us have asked since the first beta for SL1) --and also of some common Viso shapes used in simple flowcharts and process drawing.  I'd like to have that for use in SL projects going forward whenever I need a special shape. 

Gerry Wasiluk

One comment, though.  This is got to be of the slowest processes I've ever seen.  Not sure why, obviously.


For SL360 to read a one-slide PPTX with a single SVG graphic sometimes takes minutes on my Win10 PC.  Same with the import of the slide into SL360.  And I have a very powerful PC with plenty of storage, a great processor and lots of RAM.  So I'm prone to think it might be SL360--or is something weird going on with my PC.

Gerry Wasiluk

Hi, Alyssa! :)

Yup--I think I'm set.  (For now, at least. :)  )  Knowing that Visio can do this for me is a big win because all so often I have to create flow charts and process diagrams in my SL courses for certain clients and maybe apply some effects.  Having the shapes as native SL shapes opens up a nice mess of possibilities. :)

It'd be kind of nice if the folks who created some generic shapes in SVG and brought them into SL as editable objects would share them with the community.  No need for multiple people reinventing the wheel.

Gerry Wasiluk

Update:  Spent sometime this weekend creating some 44 images in Visio, exporting to SVG, importing into PPT, and then importing the slides into SL360 to get the objects.

I'll post my story file shortly for folks to use the images if they wish.  Here's a sample slide.

Still kind of a funky, slow process at times and weird things happen every now and then (had one SL360 freeze) but overall worked very well. 

Some images came in as grouped objects, unfortunately--but looking at the images it's easy to see why.

For that, it'd might be nice if grouped objects could have states.

My sincere "thanks" to the wizards of Articulate for this.  Been wanting more editable shapes available from the Insert > Shape command since the very first SL1 beta.

Direct import of SVG would obviously be better but I'll gladly take this as a first step any old day.  :)