Articulate Storyline 360 vs. Storyline 3

Apr 05, 2017

Hello everybody,

Tell my, please, are there any differences between SL360 and SL3? Now I am thinking about the purchase Articulate 360 or SL3. I don't need some programs that are part of Articulate 360, I need mostly SL.

52 Replies
Doug McCormick

Perhaps a little harsh Kurt?  Software development has a price and when users stretch the boundaries requiring developers to respond, there is a cost and that comes in the form of SL3.  I have noticed a number of performance improvements plus some new features over SL2.  I would also like to see some new features that would enhance my project deployment but accept that not all can be done!  A road map would be nice but commercially, road maps are not always a wise way to go.


Hi Doug,

I respectfully disagree.

" Software development has a price and when users stretch the boundaries requiring developers to respond, there is a cost and that comes in the form of SL3."

True, however, If you look at the cost of Lectora for example, it's twice as powerful as SL3, more stable and just slightly more expensive. The simple fact that SL3 can't even copy and paste multiple actions is just a shocker....This is a basic function for most coding platforms.

SL2, at the time, WAS the best product out there (and I tried Captivate 8, Lectora 11 and Toolbook). But since then, SL has not really stayed ahead of the game. 

Obviously, not all can be done but looking at the things that need improvement (as the competition is looking at these things), you'd think it would be addressed slightly quicker.

"I have noticed a number of performance improvements"

This should be standard, and not marketed as "new" feature. It's needed if they want to compete. It feels like SL has just become a super version of PowerPoint.

The eLearning industry is tough, clients want more and more engaging courses, so it's only natural that developers, like myself, will stretch software to see how powerful it really is.

Patrick Jaranowski

Hello - Like most folks on this thread, I have reached a point where I am on the fence and there are a few deciding factors that I must consider before going from SL2 to SL3 (or 360).

Can someone help me understand Ryan's comments:

StoryLine 3 addresses the two most serious shortcomings that SL2 had. The first was to publish HTML5 only or first. Where I use other development software (games, quizzes, apps), I have already switched to HTML5 only. So SL3 now enables me to publish our SL video presentations and games in this format.

I always thought that publishing as HTLM5 was always an option for me with SL2...what is "only" vs. "only or first"?

Thanks in advance for anyone's expert input.

Terry Brown

Hi All,

I seem to be having the same deliberations as most of you. We currently have Adobe CC subscription which works out about £600 a year per seat approx and we use a lot of the included software so its great value.

I've had a quote of 1200 a year per seat for A360 and I only really want storyline, so this in my opinion seems expensive.

So S3 looks like the only option for the short term.

I would really like Omniplex to relook at their subscription model and costs.


Shamil Velhal

A big difference I found is Storyline 360 uses HTML5 for Preview where as Storyline 3 uses Flash. So for example, a Drag and Drop wont work in Preview mode in 360 but will work when previewed in 3 - which is a pain if you are using 360. And there are other features that wont work in Preview - you'll only discover as you use it.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Shamil,

Both Storyline 3 and Storyline 360 preview in HTML5, and the drag and drop should work the same. I recorded a quick Peek demonstrating this on a super easy drag and drop. Take a look at it here.

If you've got a course that isn't working between the two versions, can you share an example of it here with us? 

Let me know if you need anything else! 

Shamil Velhal

Hi Ashley, I could also replicate the issue in the published version where it worked in the Flash output but not in HTML5 output.

There was a 360 update available today and that has fixed the issue. I've not made any change to the slide - but the Drag and Drop is now working in preview after the update.



Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Sarah, 

For the most part, Storyline 360 and Storyline 3 project files can be opened interchangeably. There are a few exceptions, though. If a Storyline 360 project file has features that are exclusive to Storyline 360, you won't be able to open it with Storyline 3. 

Take a look at more details here. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Terry,

Are you looking to use the Articulate Mobile player or the new responsive player created for Storyline 3 (and 360)? Javascript isn't supported in the Articulate Mobile player (the version you'd download from the Apple or Android App stores) but it's supported in the Flash and HTML5 output, the latter which you could playback on mobile devices using our responsive player.

Take a look at the best practices and examples for working with Javascript here! 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Terry,

No worries - you may have also disabled the email notifications from your Articulate ID profile? You can go to your profile and make sure you've selected the auto subscribe:

The responsive player is what we built to help with HTML5 content on mobile devices! It's no longer an app so it'll play directly in the browser with content from Storyline 3, Storyline 360 or Studio 360. 

The all-new responsive player will automatically display when you view Storyline 360 and Studio 360 HTML5 courses on tablets and smartphones. It adapts to the screen size and orientation of any mobile device for the best viewing experience—no extra work required. Just publish your course and let the player do all the work for you.

When you view the same courses on desktop and laptop computers, the standard player will be used. Take a look at some more details in our FAQs here. 

Ashok Pillai


We have a 360 licence as well as multiple SL3 licences. 

A peculiar phenomenon I have been facing recently is that modules designed in SL3, when opened in SL360 and subsequently published are rendering differently. Specifically, font colours have been changed and in some instances even the back ground colour has been changed to appear darker than the original rendition. 


Katie Riggio

Hi, Ashok. Really sorry that you're seeing these inconsistencies when upgrading your project – I'd love to investigate this for you!

  • Are you noticing a difference in the text and background colors in Edit/Preview mode as well?
  • Can I confirm what version of Storyline 360 you're using? You can find that by simply going to Help > About Storyline
  • Would you mind sharing one of those Storyline 3 files here, so I can test upgrading it to Storyline 360 on my end? You can use the Add Attachment  button at the bottom of the reply window.

I'll be standing by!

Karen Marsh

I know I'm late to the party, and I appreciate all of the conversation - but would someone please just tell me which to buy?  I'm an independent ID and occasionally use this for client work.  I've been using SL2 for several years & am very nervous about the phrase (on the purchase page) that states that 360 is $599 *1st Year* - vs. $699 to purchase SL3 and keep it forever.  Does "first year" mean that as soon as I get used to using 360, they will double the price?

Elizabeth Pawlicki

Hi Karen!  Deciding which to buy really depends on what your individual needs are!  Storyline 3 is similar to Storyline 2 in that it is a single application that lets you create custom, interactive courses. You won't get Rise, the Content Library, review app, or the online training that come with Articulate 360. Because Storyline 3 is a perpetual license we send you a link, you download it, and that's it. You won't get any new features until we release a new version of the software.  To see a comparison of the current features in each version of Storyline, check out this chart.

As for pricing, our standard pricing for Articulate 360 Teams is $1299 per user per year.  If your Storyline 2 license was purchased with a Platinum Membership Plan (PMP), the first year discounted price is $599.  Subsequent renewal years will be the standard $1299 price.  There is also a freelancer (personal) plan if you are purchasing by credit card for yourself and your company/organization does not need to own the license.  Personal plans are $999 per year and are not transferable.  If your Storyline 2 license was purchased with PMP, the first year price would be $299, with renewal years at the standard rate of $999.  If you're not sure if your Storyline 2 license has a PMP associated with it, feel free to email us at and we can take a look for you!

Karen Marsh

Thank you.  I don't believe I have PMP, but when I upgraded from SL to SL2 several years ago, there was - I believe - a discount for upgrades vs. new purchases.    It sounds like you don't have that anymore, the 360 price is $999 for individuals, and the price for SL3 is $1398 - regardless whether it is for an individual or team.  Is that correct?

Elizabeth Pawlicki

Hi Karen! This might help, but let me know if I am just muddying the waters more!: 

Storyline 1, Storyline 2, and Storyline 3 are all perpetual licenses, so there is a discounted upgrade from Storyline 2 to Storyline 3 if you'd like to go that route.

Because Storyline perpetual licenses and Articulate 360 are considered two separate product lines, there isn't an upgrade path from one to the other, except in the case of unredeemed PMP.  Articulate 360 is $999 for a personal plan, and $1299 per user for a Teams plan.

Anyone here on the sales team would be happy to speak with you more if you'd like to discuss further or have us take a look at your Storyline 2 serial number! The sales team can be reached at 800-861-4880, ext. 1, M - F, 8 am - 8 pm ET.

Pierre Jouan


Regarding SL3, could the Articulate Team be clear about its features.

At first, SL3 was supposed to be a frozen version of SL360 (minus "online" features) and would not evolve.

Then SL3 got new features from SL360 (Closed Captions editor, for example). It looked like SL3 was going to evolve as Sl360, albeit with some delay.

Now I see some features exclusive to SL360 (Publish to Video, Text To Speech, Random variables). Will they be included in Sl3 some time?

There's even a keyboard shortcut that's exclusive to SL360 (Ctrl + Shift + D)! Seriously?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Pierre,

I'm sorry for any unnecessary confusion here - I know there have been a lot of questions about the differences between Storyline 3 and Storyline 360. 

Storyline 3 will always be behind Storyline 360 in terms of features and fixes, but it was not ever designed to be frozen. There were a handful of features that were planned to be released to Storyline 3, such as the closed captions. 

Storyline 360 continues to see new features since it's a subscription model, and the connection to Articulate 360 and the cloud services allows for access to things like Text to Speech, increased Characters and Content Library assets, etc. There isn't a plan to add those additional features to Storyline 3, but if that changes we'll let folks know as soon as possible. 

Let me know if you have any other questions - happy to help!