Change file from 360 to Storyline 2?

Nov 29, 2016


When I try to open an e-learning course (created in 360) in Storyline 2 it won't open... How do I fix this? I need it as a Storyline 2 file......

26 Replies
Christophe Jacobs

Hi Monika,

You can't. If you want it as a Storyline 2 project file you need to rebuild it in SL2.


A Storyline 1 file can be opened in a Storyline 2 project. You will notice a backup being created. This is to ensure you always have a backup in the original tool. Similarly, opening a Storyline 2 file in Storyline 360 is possible and a backup will be created.

You can only move forward, never backward (this logic also applies to other e-Learning authoring tools such as Captivate).


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Monika,

Christophe is correct - none of the versions are backwards compatible. With that being said you may have them all installed on the same system - so you could always use Storyline 2 while still being subscribed to Articulate 360. 

If you had opened a Storyline 2 file in Storyline 360, the back up copy would have the works "-Backup" appended to the file title. You'll see that noted in the directions here for upgrading a Storyline course to Storyline 360. 

Peter Kambol

This is awful. I just subscribed to 360 and wasn't offered the option of buying Storyline 2. My most important client has Storyline 2. They need the files delivered in Storyline 2 format. They have no option to upgrade because they are in a tightly regulated medical devices company. I believe you need to take urgent action to solve this problem. It was your decision to change your business model. It is very unprofessional to ignore such an important part of the transition. I can't/wont buy 2 and my client can't use 360. Any suggestions for an immediate work around?

Peter Kambol

Will do Ashley. For your information, I has started using Storyline 2 on a
free trial. When I learned that it would work for my project, I tried to
purchase it. This was after the 360 launch. There was no way that I could
discover to buy Storyline 2 instead of 360.

You might want to let whomever is responsible for that flow on the web that
there should be a hint that Storyline 2 is still available for those who
need it. Also perhaps, some mention that 360 can't produce Storyline 2
compatible files.

I'm a good example. I'm obligated by contract to deliver Storyline 2 source
to my customer. Had I known about the incompatibility I would not have
bought 360. I would have had to figure out that Storyline 2 was still
available and bought it then. As it is I now need to remake the program for
Storyline 2. I charge by the hour, so this is costing me significant money.

I don't know what the technical hurdles are to allowing 360 to produce
Storyline 2 files, but I can't imaging Microsoft launching a new version of
PowerPoint that can't save a file in a format that the previous version
could open (even with limited functionality). I believe your Marketing
people should consider this issue. Especially since right now the big
majority of you customer base is using Storyline 2. Thanks, Peter

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Thanks Peter for that feedback and it's something we did share recently with our team and made a change to the purchase flow of Storyline 2 based on similar sentiments from other users and continuing to refine the process. 

If there is anything else I can do to assist, please let me know - and our Success team will be happy to help with the swap of Articulate 360 for Storyline 2. 

Cathy Conley

Please tell me this is not true! My developer switched to Articulate 360 and now I can't open the files because I only have storyline 2. I can't pay to have her redo the whole project in Storyline 2. I have a minor edit to make and now it looks like I have to re-engage the developer and start all over....Isn't there a way to "save as" so that the file can be read in Storyline 2? Can I get a free copy of Articulate 360 to address this failing? This lack of backwards capability seems absurd. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Cathy,

You could use the trial as Phil mentioned, since there is not a way to do a "save as" or have a backwards compatibility to earlier versions of Storyline. Here is a link to where you can download the trial which you can run simultaneous to Storyline 2, just note that any files created in SL2 that you open into SL360 won't be backwards compatible but we will make a back up copy of the SL2 file so that you can always use that to go back too. 

Neil Middleton

All Microsoft and Adobe software is "backwards compatible". This is pretty hopeless if you don't offer the same feature. I am running a free trial of 360 and it doesn't look that different to Storyline 2. Unfortunately the LMS my client runs won't take zipped 360 modules - and I've just spent days building a trial module in 360 assuming, like all good software, there is a standard "save as" earlier version function. I won't purchase 360 until this is fixed.

Neil Middleton

Additionally, I just tried to get around this issue by opening both SL2 and 360 and copying firstly whole scenes, then sets of slides, and finally individual slides from 360 back into SL2 - nothing.

What's so different in a 360 zipped module that it can't be loaded onto my main client's LMS ? - their website is only 3 years old. I'm going to have to tell them 360 won't work for them. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Neil,

The behavior you're seeing from your LMS is certainly not expected, as Storyline 360 supports the same LMS SCORM Standards so I'd want to know if your LMS team gave you any additional information about what isn't working once uploaded. Did you also give it a try in SCORM Cloud which is an industry standard for LMS testing? 

The copy paste from SL360 and into SL2 or earlier versions is something recently discussed with our QA team so we'll keep you posted about any changes or additional information in regards to that behavior. 

Neil Middleton

Thanks Ashley

The ability to copy and paste across the older and newer platform would go some way to help deal with the transition from SL2 to 360. SL360 is good to use, and the way it automatically interfaces with various tablet devices will be handy. I'll contact the Articulate rep. in Australia directly and see if they can help with the upload issue. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Ashley,

You can copy individual text elements and shapes, out of Storyline 2 to insert them into Storyline 3 or 360 and the same also works in reverse. You'll need to use the "right click" keep source formatting of the copied text. 

With the latest version of Storyline 3 or 360, you can also copy objects or groups of objects from Storyline and paste them into other applications.

  • Shapes, images, text boxes, or selected multiple objects will now copy, as arranged, to your clipboard with bitmap and png data. The program into which you paste the content will determine if the png or bitmap data is used, and will display as follows:

           ◂bitmap: image will display with a white background
           ◂png: image will display the original shape/group of shapes with no background. 
                     (MS Office will read this data).
  • If you have a single audio or video, you can copy and paste those into applications that support media file paths.
  • Highlighting and copying text within a text box will give you .txt or .rtf format for pasting.
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Jeffrey,

If you didn't open them in Storyline 360, they didn't actually convert but the icon may look like they did! The icons will only reflect the latest installation of Storyline (in that the program opens .story files). If you still have Storyline 360 installed, it will also try to open the files first there - but if you open Storyline 2 and Browse for the files that would be a way around it. Also, once you've uninstalled the Articulate 360 application that should prevent files from opening in Storyline 360 directly.

If you did upgrade the files to Storyline 360, they aren't backwards compatible, but there is a back up file created. Look for a file on your system with the same title and the ending of - SL2 Backup.story

Let me know if you need anything else! 

teresa kodie

I'm frustrated that as a developer, that I can't "SAVE AS " and change the file type.  i can do this with Microsoft office products so that when I work with partners who have differing versions of the software they can still view files.  They should really add a "Save down as a prior version" option.  I've been really disappointed since I converted to 360.  I had courses in progress that behaved differently in 360 than in Storyline 2.  Unfortunately my system opened in in 360 (even though I have both programs) and I can't revert back to the version where my course actually behaves the way I intended.  Wipes and moving from from layers to slides have been negatively impacted.


Alyssa Gomez

Sorry you're hitting roadblocks after updating to Storyline 360, Teresa. 

First, you should see a Storyline 2 backup file stored in the same location as the original file. It will have the same title and the ending of - SL2 Backup.story. Do you see that file on your system?

You may encounter some trouble with the Wipe animation when you're viewing the HTML5 output. This is because some web browsers have better HTML5 support than others. The animation should work correctly in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, but you'll see problems in Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge because those browsers don't handle masking animations well.

Can you tell me more about the issues you're seeing when moving from layers to slides? 

Frank Klepper

If I upgrade my SL2 to SL3, then will I have compatibility back and forth between SL3 and SL360.  I currently have a perpetual version of SL2 and I have had the SL360 Subscription for 14 months and just renewed it.  I really don't want to purchase the update to another perpetual version if it is not truly compatible with the work that I do on 360 while travelling. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Frank, 

You can always open Storyline 2 and 3 files into Storyline 360 without problem. If you also have Storyline 3 you can open Storyline 360 files that don't include specific 360 features (such as random number generator). With the next update of Storyline 3, you'll be able to open those files but not make any edits to the SL360 specific features. 

Julie Almeida

I keep seeing the same answer from Articulate about the lack of backward compatibility between SL 2, 3 and 360, which basically is a non-answer. It is industry standard to be able to save a file as legacy.  Articulate wants to force people to buy 360, however, those of us with clients that are not allowed to change because of regulations get in an awful situation due to this bad decision by your business. You need to make it a priority to give people with 360 the ability to save as SL 2 or SL 3. Most eLearning developers are willing to pay for the newest tool, but many of our clients don't see the need, therefore, giving us the option to backward save makes business sense. 

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