PowerPoint vs. Storyline - How do you source your content?

I now have a couple of Storyline projects under my belt, and I've started pining for good ol' PowerPoint. Don't get me wrong, I love Storyline's interactivity features - triggers/layers, scenes, branching, etc. It's awesome. But as a content authoring tool, it's pretty basic, and I don't think there's any point debating that. Look at the dearth of animation effects and formatting options in contrast to PowerPoint. I'm sure v2 will improve the situation somewhat, but it's frustrating when you can't do something as simple as tweak the bullet style or adjust the line spacing in Storyline.

I have to admit, I haven't played much with importing content sourced outside Storyline. I see that you can import PowerPoint, but I haven't tried it much yet, figuring I'd get the best results trying to build everything natively within Storyline.

So, here's my question: does anyone have a good recommendation on whether you should stick with PowerPoint as a sourcing tool and then just import slides into Storyline for the interactive stuff? Specifically, I'm wondering about how much fidelity Storyline maintains on imported content. In my limited experience, it seems like Storyline reduces animation that it doesn't support. Is that accurate? And what about formatting? Also, if I stick with PowerPoint as a design tool, what happens when I update a slide? Can I reimport it and replace an existing slide/slides in Storyline without breaking all of the stuff built on top of it?

I know I could spend some time just playing and answer most of these questions, but I'm lazy and hoping someone has taken the time to investigate this and can offer me their sage advice. Hey, at least I'm honest. Thanks!

1 Reply
Mike Enders


When Storyline first came out  (and I was freelancing), almost all of the projects I completed were sourced in PowerPoint.  Given that I was so used to the Studio workflow, I found it worked pretty well.  I would actually do all of my animation syncing, asset labeling, etc. in PowerPoint before importing it over.

You'll find that the visually, most items come over with pretty good fidelity. There may be some tweaking that you'll need to do, but I found it to be minor.  As for animations, they will be limited to what Storyline offers, so that is a consideration.  What I've done in that case, is if there's a slide that I really needed a lot of motion paths, etc. on, I'd export from PowerPoint as a video file and then insert that into my slide.

If you do find that you wish to update a slide, I'd try sticking to doing the updates in Storyline.  The triggers, etc. will be lost if you replace a slide with a new one.

Overall, I found the production process to be pretty smooth.