Publishing to Word - Not Working

Feb 18, 2016


I am trying to publish a SL2 project to Word. I press publish, it starts to create the output file in the designated spot but the blue circle keeps spinning. No Word output is produced. I am running SL2 update 7 on windows 8.1 pc with Word 2016.

Any ideas or suggestions?

27 Replies
Bret Jorgensen

Hi Mathew,

Does your course happen to include slide notes? I saw this on the support page that may be helpful.

You may find that publishing an Articulate Storyline course to Microsoft Word ends unexpectedly without completing if your course includes slide notes. This can occur if you're using Word 2010 or 2013 with custom File Block Settings. See this article for more information and a solution.

Also, please make sure you're publishing from and to your local hard drive:

  • Work on your local drive (your C: drive). Working on a network drive or a USB drive can cause erratic behavior, including file corruption, loss of audio, and other unexpected behavior.
  • You should also make sure the directory path to your project files and your published output is less than 260 characters (for example C:\Articulate).
    Avoid using special characters, accents or symbols in your file names (this includes spaces and underscores).
  • Additional information regarding "Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces" in Windows operating systems can be found in the following Microsoft article.

Let me know if this helps.

Matthew Mason


I went to use Task Manager to close SL2 as it was hanging and noticed three instances of Word open (even though they were not showing on desktop). Clicked on these and they asked me to save the document. Document opened up was published Word version of the file. So not sure if the issue is with SL2 or Word 2016. Some more investigating required.

Christie Pollick

Hi, Matthew -- So sorry to hear of your difficulties while attempting to Publish to Word! May I ask if you have had an opportunity to run through the information presented here on Unexpected or Erratic Behavior in SL2 (particularly the repair in step #2) to see if you find improvement? 

You are also welcome to share your file so we can try to reproduce the error you are seeing on our end. 

Crystal Horn

Hi there Meenakshi!  So you have published a Storyline project, but when you take your published output files to another machine, you cannot view the presentation-- is that correct?

To get the most accurate preview of your course, you'll want to host those published files in the environment for which they were published (on a web server or in an LMS).  If you are trying to open your course from the published output folder, it may not function.  The article that I've linked includes options for hosting your content so that you can properly view it.

Trey Perez

The problem I am currently experiencing sounds a lot like the op's problem. I'm running SL2 (update 11: 1609.3020) And recently upgraded to Office 2016.  Now, when I attempt to publish a Storyline file to Word, I receive an error stating, "The folder " " is read only, being used by another process, or you do not have the proper security permission to access this resource."  The message tends to pop up behind another window, which makes it appear that Stoyline has locked up.

I have local admin permissions on this machine, and the file is local. I also told both Word and Storyline to "run as admin". I suspect there may be something in Word that is blocking the document from generating, but haven't had any luck as of yet. Has anyone found a solution to this?

Alyssa Gomez

Hi Trey,

Have you tried importing your slides into a new file to see if that fixes the issue? You'll also want to check that you don't have any other Word documents open when trying to publish to Word.

If you've tried those solutions and are still having difficulty, then I would advise a repair of your software.

Marion Pr

Hi all,

In case someone have this issue: when publishing to Word doc, folder gets created but Word doc not; it means that they are too many spelling issues or at least that's what Word thinks (usually happens to languages like Indonesian). Hence the Word document won't save properly. You need to temporarily remove the Word spell check, then publish again, and it will work.

Alyssa Gomez

Hi Sarah, 

So sorry that's happening. We identified an issue with our latest release of Storyline 360 where publishing to Word is failing with that error message.

This is a high priority issue for us, and our team is working on a fix.  I'll make sure this discussion gets updated with any new information as soon as we can!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Sarah, Kristi, Kelly and Danny! 

Good news!  The publish-to-Word feature in Storyline 360 and Studio 360 that temporarily stopped working has been fixed. Just install the latest software update. Here's how.

If Articulate 360 doesn't notify you right away about the new update, open your Articulate 360 desktop app, click the drop-down arrow next to your profile picture in the upper right corner, then choose "Check for Updates."

Thanks for your patience while our team worked on this! 

Stuart Gilbert

I see this is a somewhat old thread - I hope this gets noticed. I am having a problem with a published Word doc (from Storyline 360) not displaying the slide images. Only blank, placeholder images display. 

However, I know they're there because when I save my Word doc as a PDF, suddenly the images display! 

Can anyone provide any assistance here?

Thanks very much.

Crystal Horn

Hey there, Stuart.  Not to fear -- we see virtually every post here!  Let me see if I can lend a hand.  Try these steps:

  • Click on File in Word.
  • Choose Options.
  • Choose Advanced.
  • In the section for "Show Document Content," see if "Show picture placeholders" is checked.  If it is, uncheck it.

Have a look at your document after making those changes.  If that doesn't work, we'll take some next steps!

Marcy Bettini

I have also noticed issues with this feature since the last update. We use the Publish to Word feature for our storyboard reviews, and now when I export, all of the graphics are distorted. It seems as though something broke after that update. I hope this gets fixed soon because we use this feature a lot for all of our work. 

Crystal Horn

Hi there, Marcy!  I want to make sure we catch any issues that are happening with our published output.  Would you be able to share your .story and Word .doc output with our team?  With your permission, we'll take a look at your project file to investigate what's happening.  We'll delete it when we're done troubleshooting. 


Stuart Gilbert

Thank you very much for responding to this issue. However, I have found that the issue is me (or more precisely, Word), not Storyline. All I had to do was save the .doc Word document that Storyline created as a .docx, and the images appeared.

So there you have it!

Thanks again.

Stuart Gilbert
Instructional Designer
WPS Health Solutions

p: 608-977-7769 | m: 510-708-7590


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