Storyline Example: Generating Closed Captions

Jun 27, 2012

One of the complaints I've seen with Storyline's accessibility is the challenge of adding Closed Captions. There are a few ways to accomplish this in Storyline but most of the methods I've seen in practice make it difficult to separate the caption from the presentation. In other words, folks are putting text boxes on the slide to time the text. 

Here's a way to add CC to your presentations that is fast and easy - with the bonus of providing a toggle control to show or hide the CC and centralized styling and position of the display from a single object.

Take a look. The file is pretty self-explanatory, it employs relatively simple concepts with decent results. It's pretty easy to manage.

Story source file


176 Replies
Alok Suman

Hi Steve,

I have created the cc text with explained method but i am not able to control the font size according to content. If i am using the transcript text having more than 10 lines, it reduces the font size to fit it within place holder of transcript.

Is there any method to use the scroll bar so it can adjust the content according to variable transcript size. Please guide me how can i use the transcript without reducing font size.

I am attaching the file for reference.

If there is another way to do, please let me know. My basic requirement is to show transcript text on every slide but it should be controlled from master slide CC toggle button. 

Steve Flowers

Hi Alok - There are a couple of ways to deal with that. If you do, however, I'd change the text of the button from CC to transcript. There's a distinct difference between captioning (a short one or two line bit to be read in sync) and transcript (large block of text).

To make sure your text doesn't resize, you can try anticipating the largest size and make a shape that contains the %variableReference% to your transcript. Then drag this shape into a scrolling panel. This will make your transcript always scroll to the size of the shape placed in the panel. But if your box is big enough, your text won't scale down.


Alok Suman

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the reply.

Is there another way to auto size the place holder as per text defined in slide variable. I am not able to anticipate the text size. Few slides having minor text but many others have large transcript size. If i will anticipate the maximum size then scroll will appear in every slide even having minor transcript. Please suggest any other idea.


Alok Suman

david mckisick

Hello Alok. Short answer, no. This issue was raised here in the past and Articulate staff responded to the question. There is no way to change the autoresize behavior for a text variable attached to an object placeholder, which is then passed to a screen object.

The only real answer to the CC issue is for Articulate to create a built-in closed caption solution to Storyline, like Captivate (their direct competitor) has had for years now. This issue is key for us, and in my experience it has driven many, if not most of those who I am familiar with in this business that create WBT for the federal government to use Captivate instead just because it does have that easy to use built-in CC option. Yes, you can use solutions like Steve's to do CC, but doing things this way creates just enough limitations particularly to larger projects, that it becomes too much work for developers to deal with.

Sorry for the rant, but this issue is near and dear to my heart, as you can probably tell. :)

Ray Handley

Still relevant today, as it was three years ago, Steve. Nice one. We have a client who needs this exact thing and is still using Storyline 1.

If by some chance you have come up with an even better solution for Closed Captioning Videos in SL1 I'd love to hear it. I simply added a video to a slide and made sure that the video controls are not used (as it would deem the timing of the captions useless... Storyline 2 makes this all a breeze, but we don't that luxury with our client).

Thanks heaps.

Steve Flowers

Hi Ray - 

Only a couple of alternatives I can think of that'd work in SL1 (this one works in SL1, too but the detachable notes panel makes it much easier.)

  • Use a tool like Camtasia to build in the captions and import the Web export with player as a Web Object. The downside here is you'll lose any sync with triggers.
  • Use something like Camtasia again to import the captions. Then remove the video bits leaving a black background and export the video. Play the video with captions turned on and record the screen with Camtasia, Replay, or even Storyline. Export the video of the recorded captions and crop the video to the height of the caption element. Add this in below the video. If you want to hide the captions, use a shape with a solid color and control visibility with a trigger or add the cover shape to a layer.
Jennifer Lewis

Hello, is there anyway to keep the captions on through all the slides when I hit the button to show it on the first slide? When I hit the captions on first slide it won't stay up on the rest. I am making a video that needs different captions on all the pages because I will be showing this to people who are deaf and I will need to change the captions into other languages in the future. Is there anyway this is possible? Please help me figure this out :)


Thank You


Christie Pollick

Hi, Jennifer -- Thanks for reaching out here and sorry to hear of your troubles! As this thread is somewhat dated, if you'd like to reach out to any contributors in particular, you are welcome to use the "Contact Me" link on their profile page. Or if you would like to share your file to see if others can offer suggestions based on your current set up, you are welcome to do that by using the grey ADD ATTACHMENT button in the bottom left of the reply box. 

Brian McCann

I know this is a very old thread, but I was trying to replicate this without all the JavaScript. Just a simple toggle on/off button when user clicked on it to show/hide the CC text. However, I'm curious how Steve was able to create the grey background behind the text. I don't see any slide layers, nor do I see anything in the slide master. Anyone able to help me figure this out? Thanks!

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