Blurring text for privacy

Jul 07, 2017

I'm building courses for the staff at a college and it is sometimes necessary to display personal information on students in screenshots.  Is there a way to blur this information to keep it private?  I can do it in my photo editing software before importing the picture but was wondering if there is a way to do it after bringing the picture into Storyline 360.  

44 Replies
Alyssa Gomez

Hi Steve! If you're looking to avoid using an image editor prior to importing the image into Storyline, you could try inserting a semi-transparent rectangle over the personal information.

I'm sure a built-in blur tool would be really helpful for lots of folks, so that would make an excellent feature request! Thanks for letting us know what you'd like to see. ☺️

Katie Riggio

Greetings, Tommy!

Storyline won't be able to blur areas of a video apart from adding shapes to the slide on top of it.  

Here is another discussion where folks are brainstorming on how to achieve this—and I hope the community can weigh in on their experience with video editing software that censors private information!

Christiana Awojinrin

Hi Tommy,  when not using Articulate step by step video facilities for interactive simulations, I use the Davinci Resolve 16 tool to edit my videos.  It's a bit daunting at first as it's a top end tool used by professional videographers - but I have muddled my way through to great effect with about 0.001% of its functionality!  

If you have used a tool like Adobe Premier Pro, this is very similar - with the main difference being that it is FREE.     

There are many training videos on YouTube for Davinci Resolve (including several "Getting Started with …") and an excellent (though sizable) online user manual. And just this week I successfully followed and made notes from a video (see below) that showed me how to blur any areas for any duration of time - critical for my training videos which often feature patient sensitive details.  You can, of course, import your edited videos into Articulate Storyline.

I hope this helps. The final effect is professional looking and far more polished than using PowerPoint/Storyline shapes etc. 


Madison Jurgens

I am using a step-by-step recording done within Storyline, so it wasn't imported. There is sensitive information on-screen that I would like to blur. I've tried using a semi-transparent shape, and not only does it look like trash, you can clearly read the text underneath. Does anyone have any new solutions for this?

Joseph Francis

Not a total solution, but when I was doing software recording/simulations where there was the possibility of PII being displayed, I would be working in the QA environment (never Production) and using one of the test "dummy" profiles, never an actual employee or patient. Then I didn't have to worry about trying to "fix it in post."

Madison Jurgens

Update: I found this tutorial that will work for me for the slides that don't include scrolling

However, for the slides that do include scrolling, I still need a solution.

Tommy, I saw that solution, and it seems to help a lot of people! However, my company is very particular about the software we can use. Articulate and TechSmith are approved, so if there's a solution within them, I would definitely like to explore that. Otherwise, a new software request will take months (and quite a few irrate emails). 

John DiFrancesco

Madison, TechSmith SnagIt does have an excellent blur tool.  While it won't work for a video, for a screen recording converted to view, try, or test mode, each slide's screenshot could be copied into SnagIt, the PII blurred out, and then copied back to the slide.  It would be a lot of tedious work for a large project, but it would definitely work.

Maura Sullivan

For software simulations, due to PHI/PII in medical data, I've had the best success with mocking up entire screens using Illustrator and then importing the images for the background. It's time consuming but the advantage is that I can then create customize interactions and feedback that more closely mimics the software.

Leslie McKerchie

Hello Hannah, and welcome to E-Learning Heroes. 😊

We do not have an update on this feature, but it is one that we are continuing to track. This conversation is linked so that we can provide any updates with you here in the future.

I wanted to share some information about how we manage these feature requests, which may be helpful. 

Eric Zenor

I'll add my upvote for the feature request. I believe adding a blur feature would be a fantastic and very useful addition to Storyline. I work with a lot of systems for which a scrubbed training environment does not exist. Consequently, I spend a lot of time blurring data on simulation screens. Depending on how the sim is built, I either scrub static screens in Photoshop or use Camtasia to blur video. It would be great to have the feature in Storyline.