File > Import > Questions From File (text file) encoding error

May 24, 2021


We're importing nine question sets into nine SL360 courses using the "File > Import > Questions from File" facility.  I've prepared the questions as a text file using the format explained here.  The questions import okay except that Storyline appears to be treating the input file as ASCII rather than Unicode (e.g. UTF-8 encoding). 

All open and close single quotes (U+2018 and U+2019 respectively) have the tell tale sign of being imported as ASCII because they import as "‘" and "’" respectively.  (As a software developer I am familiar with text encoding systems).  Although workarounds exist for quotes, the issue will apply equally for any non-Latin text where no workaround exist.

Please can Storyline 360 be fixed to either:

a) Assume UTF-8 encoding when importing a question set using the "File > Import > Questions from File" facility; or 

b) Explicitly provide the option to allow the user to choose the encoding / code page during import and use that mechanism; or

c) Autodetect encoding (ASCII vs UTF-8 vs UTF-16) - possibly with the use of a Byte Order Mark (BOM)

(My preference would be a, b, c in that order!)

I'm sure that in 2021, we really shouldn't be prioritising ASCII/code pages over a Unicode encodings such as UTF-8 or UTF-16 and that this is a small, but very easily fixable bug in Storyline.  Goodness knows how one would import Cyrillic or eastern text using the current import process!



Technical: Unicode codepoints U+2018 and U+2019 encode as "E2 80 98" and "E2 80 99" in UTF8. When incorrectly read back as ASCII (or more likely a hardcoded/assumed code page such as Windows-1252 (code page 1252)) these three bytes end up mapping to three characters, hence "‘" and "’")

1 Reply
Lauren Connelly

Hello Chris!

Thank you for providing so much detail! It's very valuable. I see that we already have this exact issue logged as a bug, so I've linked this discussion so that we can use your information as we continue to investigate. I will continue to update you on any progress that is made. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us!