Issues with copy and paste images

Jun 12, 2018


A few of us in my team are having issues with copying and pasting images between Storyline files. When we try to do so, we get the box outline but it is empty and then we have to go to 'change picture' to reinsert it. I have seen a few posts about issues copying outside of SL for example into a word doc, but is this not possible from one SL document to another? Or do we have a bug somewhere? We are often working on multiple modules which use the same icons or images so it is a lot easier if we can copy and paste them across so they are the correct size etc.

Thank you in advance, 


18 Replies
Helen Hill

Hello, thank you for your response.

It is happening in both SL2 and 360. We are working in both at the moment, though as of yesterday everyone now has a 360 licence so we should all be starting to work in that now.

The files are not saved to the hard drive, we have a separate drive specifically for saving all our work which gets backed up. Is that the only way to resolve this? To work from our local drive? We are not supposed to do that due to many of us working on the same projects and the issues it creates with version control etc.

Crystal Horn

Thanks for those details, Helen.  It sounds like you have a team that collaborates on lots of projects.  With Rise, you can easily collaborate on the same project with the Teams Collaborator feature.

Collaboration in Storyline works differently, however.  Because your files are most protected when saved directly to your C: drive, it is recommended that you copy the file down to your local drive, edit and save locally, and then copy it back to your shared location.  In your situation, this would mean foregoing having multiple people working on the same project from a shared drive.  Doing so makes your project vulnerable to corruption or other weird behavior due to network latency.

Here are some ideas:

  • Can you use the Team Slides feature?  You can create a library of shared team templates to help with branding and design control.  Unconventionally, you could even store your common images and other assets on slides in the team library for teammates to use.
  • What if each person worked on a separate .story file, and when edits were nearing completion, they were combined into a single master file?  I'm making the assumption that different people are authoring different sections.

Hoping we can help you be successful with your projects and get you into the most comfortably collaborative situation we can!

Helen Hill


It's not about separate people authoring different sections as such (though that does happen sometimes and we work as you advised). It is more that we have graphic designers, instructional designers, standards and project managers in and out of the files all the time and we saved to one location so all can access and know they are using the most up-to-date file. We have spent a lot of time trying to ensure that people are saving everything on our shared drive so that they can be accessed by all and have just about got there, so it is a bit of a backwards step to now tell them to do the opposite :)

I have emailed the team to let them know that they might have to start copying the files to their computer and immediately put them back on the shared drive when they have done their bit, if they have a lot of copying and pasting to do or are finding issues. We will have to see how it goes!

We haven't yet looked at the team slides and Rise features (having only gopt 360 for the majority this week), so I will have a look at how we can use those. Thank you for pointing me in their direction!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Helen, 

You're not alone in trying to share files on a network or shared drive, it is an easy way to share that most people are used to.

As Crystal shared the issue comes to a head when two people are trying to access a file at the same time or even the file is continuously being synced to the shared drive. That syncing and multiple authors could cause issues as simple content that isn't saved or overwritten to much scarier thoughts like files that ultimately become corrupt and unusable. Once a file is corrupt, there is sadly no way to reverse it - so I hope that you're able to start working locally, as I'd never want you and your team to be in that position! 

Please let us know if you need anything else! 

kevin kissack

FIXED (Workaround) - Pasting Images from other Artic Files

A workaround for this fault, is to import the slide with the images you need (like photos).

The artic files/images can be local or on a server, or even pasted from another program. 

  1. Slide > Import > Import Storyline.
  2. Select the slide that has the images you need.
  3. Select import to 'current or new' scene. 
  4. Import.
  5. Copy and paste images from the slide(s).
  6. Delete the slide/scene when finished.
kevin kissack

FIXED (Workaround) - Pasting Images from other Artic Files

A workaround for this fault, is to import the slide with the images you need (like photos).

The artic files/images can be local or on a server, or even pasted from another program. 

Slide > Import > Import Storyline.
Select the slide that has the images you need.
Select import to 'current or new' scene. 
Copy and paste images from the slide(s).

Delete the slide/scene when finished.

Jen Kimpel

Found this thread and wanted to report that i am having the same issue. ive attempted to copy and paste (which ive done before on other slides without issue) and imported the slides based on this thread. 

Both of these attempts have the same outcome which is that some images on some slides only have the outline. 

I have the most current (trial) version and have my projects saved to my C drive. I will continue to attempt but will probably end up having to rebuild these. 

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Jen, and welcome to E-Learning Heroes. 😊

Thanks for reaching out and sharing what you are experiencing as well.

I can see that you are using a trial of Storyline 360, and this conversation is a bit dated before we implemented some of our Media Library functionality. Does the workflow using this tool work better for you?

Using Assets on Slides and Layers

If you're still experiencing an issue, please share your project file with our support engineers to investigate what's happening with your permission. You can share it privately by uploading it here. It will be deleted when troubleshooting is complete.

Maria Costa-Stienstra

Hi, everyone.

I just wanted to share that we no longer see the bug reported where copying/pasting an image from one Storyline file to another results in a transparent box outline using the latest build of Storyline (3.61.27106.0).

If you're using the latest version and you're still experiencing this issue, please reach out to our support team through a case

Dan B

Hi, I can confirm that the problem still exists in a later build than the one you mention (3.64.27845.0), but it appears to be related to corruption in the source file as a result of in-use access privileges that don't get cleared out (i.e. when you try to open the file and it says that it's already in use by another copy of Storyline).

Frequently, if you just try to open the file again, it will open normally (as happened in my case). From then on, trying to copy/paste anything (layers, slides, buttons, images) would yield only bounding-box versions of these items, without any image resources.

I, however, tried creating and opening a duplicate of the source file (the one that had the stuff I wanted to copy to another file), as the 'already in use' alert suggested. Using the duplicate as the copy/paste source then worked flawlessly.



All of the above still holds true for the initial file *however*, upon working with subsequent files, and after correcting the initial issue, the problem started to consistently arise again in multiple files, indicating it's not just a corruption issue.

So far, the only reliable workaround I have found is the one suggested above, where you import the slide that has the items you want to copy/paste. Once within the same file, copy/paste works fine again.

Andrea Koehntop

Hi Dan, and welcome to the E-Learning Heroes community! ✨

I apologize for the issues you are experiencing with copy/paste. 

Thank you for sharing the details of your experience.

I am happy to hear the workaround helped you.

If you need additional assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to us in a support case

Luciana Piazza

Hi Boots Bandoja, 

So sorry to hear you are experiencing this. I understand how frustrating that can be. I'm happy to help you!

I have some clarifying questions in order to assist you better: 

If you're using the latest version and you're still experiencing this issue, please reach out to our support team through a case

Chris Cole

Also have had this issue happen in the paste and currently happening in one of my files.

In this most recent case, a screen capture was pasted directly into Storyline (with no problem).  Then tried to copy and paste the image to another Storyline file and I only get the outline box of the image, but not the image itself.

Maybe pasting the original image from the clipboard is part of the problem? To others having this issue... are you pasting an image from the clipboard or inserting a picture from file? That might be a clue to the cause?

<specs: using latest version of SL, local drive, et cetera>

Jose Tansengco

Hi Chris,

Sorry to hear that you ran into a similar issue. 

If you're copying and pasting entire slides into Storyline 360 projects, have you tried using the import functionality instead? This article explains how

Additionally, would you be willing to share a copy of your project file here or in private by opening a support case so we can take a look at the screen captures in your project file? We'll delete it when we're done testing!

Tex Hale


I am also experiencing the same issues with copying and pasting from two separate storyline files.  I always work on my hard drive and only copy completed works onto a storage disk as back up.

Why is this happening?  I also always update to the latest issue but this problem is still happening.  Perhaps it is a bug that has been transferred from update to update? Opening a support case does not seem to be the answer, since so many people are experiencing the same issue.

Using the fix above is helpful but really time consuming, especially when you are up against deadlines.

Please please resolve this issue. Thanks

Chris Cole

Thanks Jose.  This is not an issue with pasting slides. This is an issue very specifically with pasting images.  

If we do a screen capture (with any screen capture tool) and paste the image onto a slide, it looks fine. But if we then copy that image and paste it elsewhere (on a different slide, for example, or on a slide in a different Storyline file), then all we see is a square outline with no image.