font size of closed captions (SL360)


is there a way to increase the font size of closed captions? The import went well, the timing is perfect and the position of closed captions box works just fine, but the font size seems pretty small. Changing or creating theme font doesn't effect the closed captions. So... I am stuck (for the moment)

Hermann Plasa

45 Replies
Hermann Plasa

Thank you very much, Matthew! Obvisously I need to visit an ophthalmologist, because I took a close look at the player options but simply overlooked the second font list for captions. There is no font size percentage as with the player font size, but my question is answered and 51% of the problem is solved... Hermann

Crystal Horn

Hi Hermann!  Just to circle back... the Player font size window will also control the captions font size.  In this way, the caption text is like an extension of the rest of the Player text.

I'm thinking you were hoping to modify the caption font size independently of the rest of the Player text.  The range of size for the captions font was limited as an effort to stay within accessibility standards.

But let us know if you think we can improve or if your learners have different needs!  Thanks for reaching out.

Hermann Plasa

Thank you Crystal,

that's of course a good point: "to stay within accessibility standards". That's what we are looking at right now in case there might be differences between countries. Here (Germany) we were asked by a customer if we can increase the font size dramatically... and that triggered my post. If the accessability standards are met everything is ok - and I think you know what you do :)


Soren J Birch

Hermann, I am glad you brought this up, but I think that the implementation of CC in storyline 360 is not that good. I can't tell how the american standards are, but where I am from, the nordic countries, there is a long running tradition of subtitling foreign films and television shows (not by voice dubbing like is common in Germany). Subtitles are rather large, taking up the lower third of the screen (not entirely blocking it out) but we're more like a size 24-to 28 font.

It was invented also to aid the hearing impaired, not just to allow danes to watch films in foreign languages.

Crystal, we have the same request. Open Captions, or as we europeans call them: subtitles. Like you'll see in a film if you go to  fancy cinema that shows foreign films that aren't dubbed. These letters are MUCH larger than the tiny, player based Storyline 360 captions .

Accessibility standards for subtitles in this part of the world dictates that text should be legible on screen. I have a hard time understanding how these tiny-font sized captions Articulate have decided to go with can be within standards. I think they are very small even with normal vision. If the person has to squint to read the tiny-fonts, isn't that the exact opposite you're achieving than make it accessible?

Can we have adjustable Captions font size on the player menu, allow to independently specify Captions font size so it is not tied to player font size in general?

Michael Marks

I for one mirror that request! Here at the (DoD-DEOMI) people are asking us to increases the font on closed captions, like now! A "can't do it" will out's Storyline 3 here quickly! And please fix this WITH 360/SL3 as an update, if we need to spend another $1,100 or more for SL4 (which has this update) it will surly sink the ship and use of Articulate Storyline going forward.

Traci P

I'm also having trouble with the size of the captions. It's a great feature, but I don't understand how they can be so small and meet standards. If you are working on large slide size that doesn't allow for much expansion, they look really tiny on the screen. I have clients asking for these to be larger as well. Really hoping that caption size options get added soon. 

Matthew Bibby

It is easy to implement and test. And if it doesn't work... easy to undo. Can you please email me here and I'll modify my workaround to suit you. I won't get a chance until later today, hopefully that will be soon enough. Also... let me know the approx font size you'd like used.

At this stage I won't share this workaround publicly as I really should test it more throughly first...

Ed Crane

Thanks for sharing that hack, Matthew. Unfortunately, we publish in Flash with HTML5 fall back, so it won't work for me.

Traci P mentioned captions in Camtasia. They have the captions set up a certain way that by default are apparently ADA compliant e.g. Arial, 24pt, left justified, and more. If you change any of the defaults, it will tell you you're no longer compliant.

Making the player font bigger does make the captions bigger but even at 140% it doesn't come close to 24 pt. Also, there are some side effects to making the player font bigger e.g. the lines that separate the Player Tab titles on the topbar do not increase in size and are not middle-aligned with the titles, so they are higher up toward the top of the player than the titles are.

Leslie mentioned that Soren submitted a feature request but I see he deleted a couple of posts so...could you please confirm that the request was submitted?


Matthew Bibby
Ed Crane

Leslie mentioned that Soren submitted a feature request but I see he deleted a couple of posts so...could you please confirm that the request was submitted?


If Leslie mentioned that, then yes, a feature request would have been submitted. But it would be a good idea for you to put one in as well, because the more people who ask for this the more likely it is to happen.

Soren J Birch

I put a feature request in for adjustable font size for suntitles in same day I made this post I think. That is not the same as it winning the attention battle for time and ressources. There are marketing wars to be won out there, and since the ‘Closed Captions’ tick box have been ticked (halfway useless or not) focus must be on the next ‘differentiating’ sexy feature to put on the comparisson charts.

New version landed yesterday, I didn’t test it but I saw no mention of adjustable font size for subtitles in the patch notes.

Matthew Bibby
Soren J Birch

That is not the same as it winning the attention battle for time and ressources. There are marketing wars to be won out there, and since the ‘Closed Captions’ tick box have been ticked (halfway useless or not) focus must be on the next ‘differentiating’ sexy feature to put on the comparisson charts.

I think that is pretty unfair Soren.

From my experience, I don't think that Articulate is trying to win 'marketing wars' but rather focus their development efforts on the features that are most helpful to their customers. 

I agree that being able to adjust the font size independently of the player font size would be great, for me personally it's a non-issue as I never use the inbuilt player but rather create custom skins from scratch. I know that many other Storyline developers take this approach also. And unfortunately, there are lots of developers who don't consider (or care about) accessibility features at all.

Personally, I'd rather Articulate focus on fixing some of the bugs that exist in their software before addressing this. Whereas for others who do use the inbuilt player, this might be a much more pressing issue. And sometimes what seems like a simple thing can be incredibly hard to resolve due to the nature of programming.

It must be hard to balance development efforts between bug fixes, new feature development, improving existing features etc. across multiple products. And unfortunately, you can't please everyone 100% of the time. But I do think that Articulate's focus is more on satisfying their customers than it is on winning marketing wars. 

Soren J Birch

Unfair? We've paid 7200$ for this software so far. And we're going to pay another 3600$ end of year. I am excited for new features, but I want the existing ones to work properly.

Ive lived with Adobes Creative Cloud subscription hell for 5 years now and I am not at all happy with where it has taken their development focus. This recurring revenue thing puts a lot of focus on new stuff, having the proper tick boxes ticked so you come up great in the comparison charts. Existing features linger, because they are not "important" (but why did you then make them in the first place?)


I don't know who decides what is important development (and not important) in the Articulate company, but why is it important to introduce a feature, but not do it properly?

We need subtitles in our projects. Our users want them and they are unhappy with the small size of it. We do spend a lot of time on it, and anyone who uses or works with subtitles professionally know that the size of the letters on screen matters quite a lot. What works fine on a 32 incher might not be working well on a 14 incher. And if the only way to remedy this oversight is to hack with javascript, I don't think the feature is well done, or finished.

Though I do sound like sour grapes right now, and it is, I want to thank you for that tip, mr. Bibby. Your posts on how to hack courses with javascript are great and I just now realised it was you who responded

Anyways, when implementing a feature, do it right. Or wait until you can. Or live with the moaning from customers users that find it unsatisfactory.









Matthew Bibby

Soren, I don't think it's unfair that you want to be able to change the closed caption font size independently of the player font size.

I think that is a very reasonable request and I agree with you 100% on that.

What I did think was unfair was saying "That is not the same as it winning the attention battle for time and resources  There are marketing wars to be won out there, and since the ‘Closed Captions’ tick box have been ticked (halfway useless or not) focus must be on the next ‘differentiating’ sexy feature to put on the comparison charts." 

I really don't think that Articulate think like this. I believe that they are doing the best with the resources that they have and trying to satisfy as many of their customers as possible. 

I don't know for sure (as I don't work for Articulate) but I suspect that there is a technical reason why we can't change the closed caption font size at this stage. They were probably faced with the decision of "do we release this less than perfect closed caption feature now or delay it for 2 years until we are in a position where we can rewrite this core piece of code that will allow us to separate the captions from the player". Looking at the code that SL outputs, there is a lot of complex things going on behind the scenes which can result in stuff that should be easy actually being incredibly complicated.

I'm glad you appreciate that workaround I shared. I wish I could make in work in the Flash output so it could work reliably in all environments, but it isn't possible.

And no worries about sounding like sour grapes! We've all felt that frustration at times.

Why is it always when we are facing deadlines that Storyline decides to misbehave? I ran into a bug today that had me swearing like a sailor. My client ask me "Why are we using Storyline if it can't handle basic stuff like this?" so I explained that it is by far the best option we have for this kind of work.

I was a Captivate user for many (many) years and the frustration I faced dealing with their software was much greater. Not to mention further amplified by the almost non-existent support and lack of responsive community.

Whereas this community is such a wonderful place with many generous, helpful and friendly people and I really want it to stay that way.

I wonder... what would Storyline look like if Articulate rebuilt it from scratch using all of the knowledge they've gained from the development of SL1, SL2 and SL3. A complete reboot might be nice to get rid of what I consider to be "legacy crud" and get some important changes made (e.g. imagine being able to select, copy and paste multiple triggers at once!).  

On the note of moving to a subscription model... I'm glad Articulate did this. It means that we get new features when they are ready, rather than having to wait the 2+ years until the next major version of SL is released. This is a good thing in my opinion. What isn't good is that some of these new features have been introducing bugs into Storyline at a rate much higher than we saw in the past. I look forward to seeing Articulate get a handle on this, improve their internal testing and get back to providing rock solid, reliable software like they have been for years.