Experiences with Storyline on Mac via Parallels

May 25, 2012

Hi, folks!

So, I once lived in a Linux world in college.  Then, when I started work, I moved to a Windows world.  

I just accepted a new job and the question has arisen: PC or MAC?  I'm tempted to make the move to a Mac world to broaden my skill-set (how hard can it be???!!), but Storyline is going to be a real bread-and-butter app for me, and I'm concerned that it's not natively supported on the Mac.

How have you found working with Storyline on a Mac via parallels?  Is the performance acceptable?  Have you run into any serious productivity log-jams?



62 Replies
Gareth Humphris

One thing you might need to check is whether Parallels is 'scaling' the screen properly as a DPI 96 screen.

My configuration is MacBook Pro, Retina screen, Mavericks, Win7

I noticed that I couldn't update my DPI settings and screen resolutions properly in Win7, it kept reverting to the initial settings on login that lead to the discovery that Parallels can scale as a Retina screen automatically. Even after I adjusted everything as to the notes by everyone, I still had the same issues.

In Parallels Desktop on your Mac, right click the icon in the Dock to get the Preferences to show.

You will need to stop the virtual machine to adjust it - in Actions, choose Shutdown.

Then choose Configure, adjust memory etc here....in Hardware, click on Video and choose Resolution: Scaled 

Now go back to Options, Choose Full Screen and use MacFullScreen

Now, restart your virtual machine and login again

This seemed to fix my problems with DPI and alignments of items

Liz Mok

I posted this issue in another thread too, but I was hoping some experienced parallels users can help me here. 

I'm running Storyline on Parallels 9 (Windows 8) on a 16GB Macbook Pro, just on the trial. I've disabled sharing, and allotted 2 CPUs and up to 3GB to my virtual machine, but Storyline keeps crashing whenever I insert a text box. 

What's happening on my machine is that I will insert a textbox. 

Then I when I release my mouse, this appears. The program will freeze for a while. Then the text box disappears when the program unfreezes itself. I've tried inserting characters, captions, and shapes. This only happens when I insert text boxes...

If I use Ctrl-T to insert the text box, I get this message "It appears memory seems to be running low", and a red cross on my slide. 

How much memory should I be allotting to my VW? More than 3GB and 2CPUs?

Thanks in advance I really want to start actually using Storyline. 


Bill Harnage

Phil Mayor said:

More than 4gb of RAM and most VMs start slowing down, Parallels will warn you not to use more than 4gb of RAM this is regardless of using 32 or 64bit windows.

Phil, is this for macs and/or Parallels?

I use VMware workstation on win7 and each VM machine is allocated 8gb (win x64) and they work without a hiccup.

Lisa Rothrauff

I recently adopted a Mac and am a new Storyline user. I love it and have had no problems working within the Storyline environment. The main complication is that Macs--and my company--are more pre Keynote than PPT. So I have to build in Key, then export to PPT, which has its own issues. Then I'll import my PPT to Storyline, which I have yet to do but anticipate some issues with fonts, colors, etc. Just a heads up.....

Bob Wiker

FWIW, I have used Storyline in these two Mac-centric setups:

VMware Fusion: Using the Vmware-supplied Migration Agent utility I cloned my company-issued Windows XP craptop and ran the image on my iMac within Mac OS X. It worked well for a couple of years, running virtually in a window on my Mac desktop. Cut-and-paste between OS environments, large 27" iMac screen, multiple monitors…heavenly. Then our corporate IT group added more and more security software and hard disk encryption software and it dragged Windows things down to a crawl. (How do Windows people keep their sanity? Get a Mac!) Anyway, that led me to another solution, which has worked fantastically to this day...

VNC software over home LAN: Admittedly, this is not what this thread is talking about. If you guys had BOTH a Mac and a PC there wouldn't be a need for you to use Parallels or Fusion. Nevertheless, this setup offers some real advantages. My company-issued Windows 7 laptop sits on the floor in another room, so it's out of the way and not cluttering up my desk. It's running VNC (virtual network computing) software that allows me to 'remotely' operate the laptop from my iMac in its own window. There are numerous VNC applications out there to choose from. The performance is great, particularly since the PC uses its processor/memory/drive, freeing that burden from my iMac. One keyboard, one mouse, one monitor for both systems. Cut-and-paste between them. I store all my Storyline files on my iMac (in a shared folder that the PC accesses) so that my Mac OS X Time Machine backup software can take care of backups and versioning.

While I'd love to see Storyline natively on Mac OS X, the Windows-VNC-Mac solution is a great one if you can swing it.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Thanks Bob for sharing the set up here - sounds like a cool set up and glad it's working for you! 

Liz, in addition to allocating additional memory to your VM, have you tried to close other applications and only have Storyline open and running? It sounds like you've already read the best practices outlined here. Please let us know how things are behaving after allocating the 4 gb memory and restarting the VM. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Liz,

Thanks for confirming you followed those steps. A few other thoughts or things you may want to check:

If you're still having difficulty, this may be one easier to work through with our  Support Engineers. 

Suzanne Ensmann

So, I have MS Office downloaded onto my Mac.  Am I going to have to reinstall Microsoft Office onto my Window's environment?  And, which one would I have to download... MS Office for Mac or Windows?  This is crazy!  Please respond.  Grad student so wanting to use your product, but need to move quickly and this is not looking good. :(

Steve McAneney

Suzanne. That's a bit of a cryptic question to ask on a forum thread about using Articulate Storyline with Parallels software on a Mac. Never mind. MS Office comes in Mac and Windows versions. If you have downloaded the Mac version, it won't work in windows. If you have downloaded the Windows version, it will work on a Mac AFTER you have installed a software such as Parallels or Fusion (but you will also need to install Windows OS to the Mac). 

Please have a look at the Parallels website for more info.

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