Closed Captions Max Characters

Feb 06, 2020

What is the recommend max characters per line in closed captions? Does the learner's screen size (desktop vs phone) have an effect?  How about the story size (720 x 405)?

To test how the different options looked, I put together a quick file with caption boxes of different lengths (23, 32, 45, 100 characters) for the same audio (see attached).  The issue is when I preview the entire project or publish it, the captions on each slide default to the 100 character length.  If I preview each slide individually they use their respective caption files.  What's up with this?

6 Replies
Kimberly Fields, CPACC

I'd love to know what others think about Dave's first question regarding the recommended number of characters per line. Different sources recommend 30-40 characters, but that is such a small snippet that you end up having to break up sentence clauses. What are others using as rules of thumb for how much text to include in a single line of captioning in Storyline?

Dave Shapiro


Storyline will not allow me to upload the copied audio files.  I copied the audio, renamed each for the length of captions associated with it, and even saved each pair (audio and .srt) in separate folders.  Each time I uploaded an audio file, Storyline just used the audio that was uploaded the initial time with the associated .srt file.  Is Storyline analyzing the audio, deciding that they are the same, and reusing the original to save space or something?  I tried the same within the Media Library with the same result; copies of the audio are associated to a single file. 

Overall this generally shouldn't be an issue apart from this test I am attempting.  Recommendations for caption length based on Story Size and learner device, etc. is more important.

Lauren Connelly

Hi Dave!

Thank you for these extra details! Our team has confirmed this issue is a bug so I've logged a report with your comments and file! This definitely is a wild outcome when updating the Closed Captions and having all the captions updated with the recent change.

We've seen this only happening when importing one audio file on multiple slides. In the meantime, while our team investigates this bug, I'd recommend duplicating the audio file so there is a separate file in each slide. This way each file has its own captions. 

When I hear of an update, I'll report back to this discussion. Thank you so much for bringing this error to our attention!

Ren Gomez
Hi Everyone,
Great news! We just released another update for Articulate 360 and included a few important fixes for Storyline 360 that you'll see in the release notes.
The issue you were running into where Incorrect Closed Captions don't update when using the same audio file on multiple slides has been fixed.
Just launch the Articulate 360 desktop app on your computer and click the Update button for Storyline 360. Details here.

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