Storyline and .story files very slow to open and save

I have found that Storyline, as much as I love it, runs a little sluggishly, but it seems to be getting especially slow on my latest project.

I tested before and after installing the December 14 update, and results are similar.

Here are the timings on my reasonably fast computer (Windows 7 Home Premium, i7 quad core CPU, 16 Gb DDR3 1333 Mhz RAM, 750 Gb HDD at 7200 rpm). My drive gets defragged regularly and is in great shape right now.

- Launching Storyline: 44 seconds.
- Opening my current 28 Mb .story file: Over 1 minute.
- Saving that file: 45 seconds.

In comparison, another file I worked on in September, which includes a number of videos and weighs in at 90 Mb, also takes about 45 seconds to save and close to a minute to load. A 24 Mb file from the same period only takes about 25 seconds to load.

My current 28 Mb file has had a lot of slides added and removed, so I don't know if requires compression (can't find any option to do so) or if it has become corrupt.

(I am suspecting corruption because of some other issues that arose today when I opened this file. Many slides which were set to use masters with Calibri headers at 18 pt had resized the headers to 24 pt, went back to default margins instead of the 0 margins I assigned, and several more moved down the slide slightly. The masters looked fine. Several text boxes didn't use their assigned text colour and extended well past the right edge of the slide as text wrapping appeared to have been turned off.)

I just imported all the slides from the sluggish 28 Mb .story file into a fresh .story file. No new errors were introduced (thank goodness!). And -- wow! -- the file size for this version built from imported slides is now 9.5 Mb. (I left out about 7 extra slides, but that's still a huge drop in file size).

Save time is now about 35 seconds, and time to load in Storyline is also 35 seconds.

1) Are these typical times? Do I just have to live with this (or get an SSD?)

2) What factors affect save and load time for .story files?

3) Is there anything else I can try to make Storyline and these files more responsive?


8 Replies
Christine Hendrickson

Good morning Mary,

Thanks for all of that information! That certainly was a very big drop in file size. I agree with you, I think it's either an issue of the file being corrupted somehow, or possibly that it's working hard to load some of the content. 

Is all of the content located on your hard drive? It sounds like everything should run decently with your set up, which is why I'm wondering if any of the files are located on an external source. 

Here's a few things to check out and keep in mind when working with your projects:

If you are experiencing unexpected issues using Articulate software, here are some tips for managing your files which can help prevent issues.

1.  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. 

2. 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).

3.  Avoid using special characters, accents or symbols in your file names.

Additional information regarding "Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces" in Windows operating systems can be found in the following Microsoft article:

The larger your files are, the longer it may take to load them. However, the smaller version of the file (the 9.5MB version) really shouldn't take long at all. Honestly, though, for a 28 MB file 1 minute doesn't sound extremely slow. It may also depend on what other programs you have running, etc. It's difficult to determine what improvements or changes can be made without seeing everything. 

I assume if I opened a 28 MB file on my machine, I'd probably have a short wait, but nothing drastic. Now, if it was taking 5-10 minutes, I'd probably be concerned. 

Do you have any other projects of a similar size that open faster? If all the content is local, maybe it's the type of content in the file (videos, etc).

Mary Lacroix

Hi Christine --

Thanks for the detailed reply.

1. My single hard drive is partitioned, with apps on C and data on D, so this file is on the D drive.

2. The path is 58 characters long.

3. No special characters or accents, just letters, numbers and spaces.

This problem file is actually pretty simple: text and images, no videos, no embedded Flash. There's a few animated transitions, a number of interactive slides and triggers, and the total number of slides is under 90. The one thing that may contribute to its size is a gradient background used in the masters.

Corrine Kuhl

My Storyline is very slow to open as well, even if I'm just opening the program and no file.  It takes just over 1 minute to open either just the program or a 30Mb .story file.

I have a NEW Dell PC with Windows 7 Enterprise Edition with SP1, 16G RAM, 2.5 Ghz CPU on a 64 bit OS.  Articulate is installed on C:/Program Files (x86)/Articulate/Articulate Storyline. 

I have a colleague ( a new employee who has the same PC) who is also using Articulate Storyline installed in the same file directory, and her program & .story files are opening in about 5 seconds.

Any ideas?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Corinne,

Do you have a lot of other programs running when you try to open Storyline? There may also be something that occurred during your install, so I'd suggest conducting the repair of Storyline  and the repair of the supporting Windows software.  You'll also want to be sure you're using Storyline update 4. 

Corrine Kuhl

I actually had uninstalled and reinstalled the program just last week, to get Update 4.  And I had just updated my RAM from 8G to 16G because the program was so slow, but it has not helped.I typically only have Outlook and Firefox open when I'm working in Articulate Storyline.  

My colleague works in our corporate office and I'm a remote employee.  Is Articulate Storyline loading any internet content, such as tutorials, in the background? If so, is there a way to disable those?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Corinne, 

Storyline does have a few tutorials that are loaded and linked on the main start up page, and if you've enabled check for updates it'll also be looking for those through an internet connection. Did you do the additional repair steps outlined in the second support article?  If so, and it's still having difficulty loading can you connect with our Support team