New Storyline Feature: Closed Captions

Hey folks,

We just released a new feature for Storyline 360: Closed Captions! This is one of our most requested features, and allows you to add closed captions to both video and audio (narration).

Storyline supports the standard Closed Caption formats in use today: .srt, .vtt, .sbv and .sub. These are super easy to create with a range of third party tools such as YouTube (we’ll add a simple caption editor in a future update, coming soon).

You can specify a custom font in player properties, and choose whether to use a built in player control or roll your own button with the new Player.DisplayCaptions trigger. As you’d expect, everything works seamlessly across desktop, tablets and phones.

Check out Arlyn’s video for more info:

And here's the full Closed Captions Documentation.

To get started, just update your 360 Desktop App and then update Storyline 360.

For an overview of everything in the March ’17 update, see our What’s New Page

Thanks,

Simon

156 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Marcos,

Closed captions are a part of Storyline 3 today as you can see noted in this comparison chart of all Storyline tools. 

Janet,

The caption files are generated outside of Storyline and then imported in. So any of the editing of the captions themselves would need to be done in those files prior to import. Here's a tutorial on working with the closed captions in Storyline 3 (and 360). 

As for the caption editor Simon mentioned, I don't have an ETA on that, but we'll be certain to keep you posted. 

Janet Chafey

Thanks for the clarification Ashley! Appreciate the direction Articulate is going with accessibility. The new CC capabilities will make a difference in our overall workflow. We tend to use audio for every slide so anything that can help make that process even faster will be huge.

mat corrado
Audrey K

Thanks for the quick response! I just submitted a case with details. 

Hi Audrey,

I took a look at the .story file you submitted with your case.  It looks like you are spot on!  Each slide has an audio track and a corresponding cc file.  The implementation of Storyline doesn't allow a single audio track to cover multiple slides. Looks like you're good to go!

Cheers!

mat corrado
Christopher Goodsell

Hmm, ok, I feel like this may be redundant, but I also can't seem to find a simple answer. I already have my audio file, and also my transcript and pretty much any text format I need. The question is, how do I convert my text file to a CC file format that will work in SL360?

Hi Christopher,

There are some tips here for creating captions files.  For an audio file, the easiest way might be to create your own .srt or .vtt file.  I'm adding a sample of each here.  Use a source code editor like Notepad++ or you can even use Wordpad.  Just be sure to save the file encoded as UTF-8, and filetype as All types (*.*)

You can then import your cc file into your Storyline project.  Hope this helps!

Ron Lutka

I just bought Articulate today. Greeeeen.

I have 'Captions' checked under 'Controls' on the Player set-up screen and the Captions icon appears on the player on the Player set-up screen but the icon does not show when in preview mode. Why is this?

Also, how do I get the Notes to appear as the closed caption content?

Any help would be appreciated.

mat corrado

Hi Ron, and welcome to Storyline!

The CC icon will only display on the slides that contain the video or audio content that you've captioned.  When you say "preview mode", I am assuming you are referring to Preview that is selectable from the main ribbon in Storyline.  If you are referring to Preview that is available on the Video Tools -> Options ribbon, you are correct, you will not see closed captions there.

To get Notes content to appear as closed caption content, you will need to create a CC file and import it into your .story file.  Click here to learn how to do that.  To learn more about Closed Captions in Storyline, everything you need is right here.

Cheers!

Ron Lutka

Hi Mat. I understood paragraph one, thank you.

However I do not understand paragraph two. I think the two links are the same and all I see in them is how to create closed captioning from video and audio files. I have my audio created in Storyline and the transcript is in the notes tab below the slide. Actually, I create the notes first then read the notes to create the audio. I have a CC icon created in Player via the Player set-up process. I want deaf users to be able to click this icon to have the notes text pop up on demand in a closed caption text box with a scroll bar. I do not see how to do this unless in error you had sent me an incorrect link. Seeing as the CC icon can be generated via the Player set-up I thought creating the CC content and connecting it would be easy like setting up the menu or resources are without having to create layers and triggers.

mat corrado
Ron Lutka

Hi Mat. I understood paragraph one, thank you.

However I do not understand paragraph two. I think the two links are the same and all I see in them is how to create closed captioning from video and audio files. I have my audio created in Storyline and the transcript is in the notes tab below the slide. Actually, I create the notes first then read the notes to create the audio. I have a CC icon created in Player via the Player set-up process. I want deaf users to be able to click this icon to have the notes text pop up on demand in a closed caption text box with a scroll bar. I do not see how to do this unless in error you had sent me an incorrect link. Seeing as the CC icon can be generated via the Player set-up I thought creating the CC content and connecting it would be easy like setting up the menu or resources are without having to create layers and triggers.

Hi Ron,

Sorry for the confusion on how to create CC content.

Apart from the notes content, you need to create a separate captions file, and link that captions file to the audio object in your project.  This is entirely separate from the Notes feature of the Storyline player.  Since you want to use the content of the notes you created as captions, you can copy the content of your Notes, and paste them into a new Notepad file that will, after some modifications, result in being a captions file.  Check out the section of this blog post with the heading How to Create Free Closed Captioning.

When you use Notepad to create your captions file, it's important to remember two things:

1. the file name should include the file format, in this case, .srt

2. the Save as type selection should be All Files

 

Once you've created your .srt file, you're ready to link it to the audio object in your project file.  I'm attaching a sample project for you to use as a guide.  Essentially, this screenshot identifies the steps you will follow in Storyline:

Hope this helps, Ron!

Ron Lutka

Mat, I created the .srt file and added it per the above diagram. However I published the eLearning to Articulate Online (trial version) but when I clicked View Project then clicked the closed caption icon nothing occurred. I was expecting a text box with a scroll bar to pop up.

Any idea as to what might have happened? Did I miss a step somewhere?

Ron

Steve Covello

Simon - One of the OP's feature requests becomes relevant in my situation where I have created projects in SL2 and authored a manual solution for captioning based on a stairstep of off-screen boxes which contain a variable with the section of caption text. I have designed the caption box to appear across the bottom of the screen and at a certain height.

All of my visual content has been designed to avoid intersecting with this space. However, when I upgrade an SL2 project to 360, the on-board captioning system appears much higher on the screen which interferes with some of the visual content.

I need to either edit the on-board caption overlay, or redesign ALL of the frames where the caption window covers vital information or text. Naturally, I would prefer to only edit the caption window.

I could not find a way to do this in the master layout templates. [ feeling bummed ] . Attached is my current design. As you can see, the new caption design would mess this up. I'm stuck with either doing the dreary manual method again or redesigning all of my slides unless I can edit the caption window.

mat corrado
Ron Lutka

I think this is the file you mean.

Thanks for sending your file, Ron.  The .srt captions file attached to the audio object is not formatted as needed, so that is why captions are not showing up in your output.  The captions file does not contain numeric designations or start and end timestamps.   Your file should resemble this sample, with respect to formatting:

As I alluded to earlier, the .srt file must be encoded as UTF-8.  The easiest way to ensure this is to use an editor like Notepad++ to create and edit your captions files.  It saves files with UTF-8 encoding by default.

Hope this helps!

Ron Lutka

Mat, I created the Notepad++ UTF-8-BOM file including time slots and saving as 'All files' and adding '.srt' and it is attached. And I performed the three red steps in your earlier post. When I run Preview and click the closed caption icon on the player still nothing happens. It looks like the closed caption icon on the player and the .srt file are not connecting, or the .srt file contents are unable to display for some other reason. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Ron

 

mat corrado
Steve Covello

.....

I need to either edit the on-board caption overlay, or redesign ALL of the frames where the caption window covers vital information or text. Naturally, I would prefer to only edit the caption window.

I could not find a way to do this in the master layout templates. [ feeling bummed ] . Attached is my current design. As you can see, the new caption design would mess this up. I'm stuck with either doing the dreary manual method again or redesigning all of my slides unless I can edit the caption window.

Hi Steve,

If you'd like to attach your SL2 .story file, or a representative subset of it, I can have a look for you.  Either that, or you can open a case here and include your file.  Since your design is unique, it is difficult to replicate your specific circumstances.

mat corrado
Steve Covello

Here is a sample of the project in SL2. BTW, the caption method is taken directly from your own blog:

http://blogs.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/how-to-add-closed-captions-to-storyline/

Hi Steve,

The captions you created based on the blog instructions look great.  I assume you are needing to add to your existing project file in SL360, thus prompting your post.  Your best bet, for this particular project, would be to continue with the caption method you've been using.  Since there is no capability in place to relocate caption placement in SL360, changing your method to use SL360's built-in caption tool would indeed require content redesign.

mat corrado
Ron Lutka

Now that I got that far (can now make closed captioning via the player pop up when I preview) how can I change the size of the pop up? The pop up does not cover the full with and I would like it to so it is less high and intrudes less on the slide content. Any suggestions?

Hi Ron,

There is no capability to relocate caption placement in SL360.  The control you have lies within the caption file itself, i.e., one long caption line vs. two shorter caption lines within a given time segment.  But the caption overlay box itself cannot be repositioned.