Storyline Fails to Import Text from PowerPoint Correctly

Sep 29, 2016

I'm having an issue with importing slides from PowerPoint.  The text never imports correctly. I've attached 2 screenshots, one from PPT and one from Storyline. As you can see, the font is the same for both. However, the original PPT font size is 12. When it imports into Storyline, the font size changes down to 7, but no longer fits on the screen. It is, in fact, too big, even at a smaller font size. 

I'm so frustrated with all the quirks of Storyline. These are storyboards from a client, so I really need this just to simply work.

33 Replies
Susi B

Hi Adam,

when I importet this slide to my storyline file, it uses my default size (720x540 px 4:3) and did not use the one from PPT. And as I looked into the size of the PPT, it`s way too big for storyline I guess.

The maximun storysize is 2047x2047 px. Your PPT slide is 33,86x19,05 cm with 220 ppi standard this would be 2933x1650 px if my googled calculater works right and I didn´t mess anything up. :D So thats too big for storyline and I think thats why storyline can´t represent your slide right.

You should reduce the slide size in your PPT so it fits into storyline and import it to a storyline file with the same size. That´s what I would do. Don´t know if anyone else has an other idea. :)

Adam Monk

Thanks for the reply, Susi! That's what I saw, too, when I looked at the dimensions for the ppt slide. However, isn't that the default ppt slide size for 16x9?

And if that is the case, then it seems that things would never import into Storyline correctly unless someone is intentionally setting the ppt slide size to match the smaller Storyline size.

It seems most people would either choose the 4:3 or 16:9 drop down options in ppt when designing slides, rather than figuring out the exact dimensions of a Storyline 16:9 slide, then setting up a custom slide dimension in ppt.

Did that make sense?

Susi B

720x405 px is the 16:9 size. :)

I can only speak for myself, but I never import anything from ppt, because we had trouble with corrupt slides after importing from ppt and our company design was never transferred correctly to storyline. I think the build in animations from ppt can sometimes cause issues in storyline.

So we use slidemasters with our company design (logo, ect.) and either copy only the text from ppt or word or whatever it comes from or we type it ourselves.

I recommend using slidemasters and copy the text onto the slides plus save the grafics from the ppt and insert them as a picture. You could copy paste them too by the way. Or just live with this situation and go trough all the slides. and manually fix it. Sorry I have no better solution for you.

Adam Monk

True, 720x405 is 16:9, which is Storyline's default 16:9 size. However, it seems PPT's 16:9 size is 13.333 inches x 7.5 inches. Storyline measures their size in pixels. Converting 720 pixes x 405 pixels to inches gives you 9.6 inches x 5.4 inches, which is smaller than PPT's version of 16:9. The two programs, it seems, are operating under different 16:9 dimensions, which would explain why things don't import properly into Storyline. 

I appreciate your suggestions. Just looking for a way to save time, as we deal with large projects and tight deadlines. One of the features of Articulate Storyline that sold us on it's high price tag was it's ability to import PPT slides. It seems that may have been a bit of a stretch. Yeah, I  guess you can import ppt slides, but it doesn't import correctly.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hey Adam,

Sorry for the delay - but it looks like Susi got to you before I did, and has better math skills for sure! We do know that if your PowerPoint slide size is different from your Storyline slide size, you may need to make adjustments to the size and placement of objects after importing them. For the best results, change your slide size in Storyline to match your PowerPoint slide size before importing, but I can see now that you'd need to know the difference in inches vs. pixels and how that'd be confusing. I'm going to reach out to our team and see if there is additional information on this that I've overlooked - but hopefully now that you're aware of what caused it, you'll be able to modify going forward. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Adam,

16:9 is the ratio, not the size. So setting it to 16:9 is just adjusting the ratios based on the sizes. You'd need to set the sizes to match and to do so you'd need to do the math that Suzi did to figure out inches to pixels. 

I did have a colleague who tested it out as well, where she made a custom PPT size and when imported into SL, it auto sized the SL file (from the initial start page, not if it already had a slide in the SL file). So that's the way around the current behavior as well, as long as you ensure your custom PPT size is smaller than the largest possible size in Storyline. 

Adam Monk

Yes, but if you make the PPT file smaller than the SL file, then you will have resolution problems with images, right? Wouldn't it make more sense to design in PPT with the same size as the SL file? Can you tell me what size to make the PPT project so that it will import correctly into SL? I can't seem to find those magic numbers. I've tried the math, and it isn't working. I can make the SL project bigger to match PPT, and it works. But that makes my SL file size bigger. I simply want the import feature to function properly at the default SL 16:9 size. 

Can you tell me what size to set PPT to in order to  have the import function work properly?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Adam,

I'll also admit math isn't my strong suit, but there are a number of free websites that'll help you convert pixels to inches - so Storyline's default size of 16:9 is a 720 x 540 (height/width) set up - and when I do the inch conversation I end up with 7.5 x 5.63 inches. So that would be the sizing you would choose in Powerpoint. 

I think most folks begin designing in Storyline unless there is something that needs to happen in Powerpoint (such as the creation of a SmartArt graphic or having individuals review it who only have Powerpoint), so where you begin the design is up to you, but it'll of course impact how things are translated across during the import. 

So if you want to design in Powerpoint at their 16:9 sizing, and then import into Storyline without any scaling issues, I'd increase the Storyline slide size. I don't know that there is an equation for how much larger that it would make your file size, but as I'd expect the larger the slide size, the larger the pictures, and then the larger the file size. 

As for the shapes, there are certain things like a smartart graphic that I mentioned whihc will always import as images. You can still add a state to an image though, it'll just make a duplication of it and you'd have to make the changes manually vs. applying a format shape color. 

Maggy Kilroy

Hi Ashley, 

I am having the same issue as Adam, Angela, Pryce and numerous others. I'm sure you are tired of repeating responses so I'd like to again attempt to bring it to light for future development. 

I have tried every suggestion the world wide web has to offer: doubling size in PPT and importing, making PPT match SL default and importing, resizing in SL, making a new project in SL with the correct dimensions and then importing, making a new project in SL with the correct dimensions then importing as new slide like the video you have referenced with most of these inquiries, etc.

However, whatever fluke in the system will not address text and it's the same problem over and over again. Like Adam and everyone else, I have to go through each slide to resize every text box and I am beyond frustrated.

Additionally, when searching this topic, there are 472 search results—Angela's question was three years ago.

As someone who goes between SL and Captivate, these kind of bugs decide which program to suggest to my clients. Most of us work at agencies and are very familiar with having to hack together a solution like Susi.

There not being one for this reoccurring issue with one of the biggest features of SL, I would highly recommend noting this for your developers as a high priority after five years of the same question. 

Thank you,


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Maggy,

Thanks for reaching out here and sharing a comprehensive breakdown of what you've done in the past and too date to resolve the behavior you're seeing. I certainly can understand your frustration, and especially upon seeing staff repeat similar steps - but the reason that we've repeated them is it's not something easily replicated by us or our peers. For example, I just took a powerpoint file and resized the slide size to match Storyline's default slide size (using the calculations above). I then entered a series of text boxes with all different fonts and font sizes. I saved that file and imported the powerpoint into a new Storyline course - all the fonts and their font sizes stayed the same and nothing had to be adjusted. 

As for Angela and Pryce's forum posts, I don't see that either of them responded to confirm if they were still having an issue or that it was solved, so I wouldn't want to speculate that it was the same situation. The beauty of the forums is that we keep all the posts and discussions for individuals to reference and find solutions - but it also can get confusing if there are "similar but not exact" scenarios from some time ago. There were likely different versions, updates, and set ups involved so comparing them isn't always the best method. If you'd like us to take a look at what you're seeing, we're more than happy to! The easiest way to do that is to start a support case here with our Engineers who are around 24/7 or to reach out here in the forums and upload a few sample files, a video demonstrating behavior, etc. 

If you go the route of a Support case, please let me know so that I can follow along and loop back to this discussion with any updates. 

Alison Coops

A suggestion and a related problem:  I had text size import incorrectly but in Storyline2, if I format the text box and tell it not to Autofit, it fixes the problem.

But all of my Content placeholders came over as pictures.  From my brief search of the discussions here, it appears that this is solved in Storyline 3?  And until we get that installed I'll have to copy the text individually into Storyline 2?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Alison,

Thanks for sharing that idea about the autofit of your text box. A good idea for anyone else who runs across it. 

I'm also curious if you know the story size and the Powerpoint slide size? Are those elements synced up? Powerpoint will show it in inches, while Storyline displays it in pixels - so a little bit of math to convert them and be sure that they match. 

Alison Coops

Here are a couple of sample slides - one with a content placeholder and one with a couple of text boxes. Both import as pictures. This isn't an urgent problem for 2 reasons - I've already created what I needed in Storyline 2, and we've received the licences for Storyline 3 and I heard that the problem was fixed there.


Alison Coops

Alyssa Gomez

Thanks for sharing the PowerPoint, Alison! I imported your file into Storyline 2 and Storyline 3, and I saw the same behavior in both versions. The content placeholders imported as pictures, and some text boxes imported as text boxes. 

I also tested a new PowerPoint file, and I found that all placeholders imported correctly as text boxes in Storyline 2 and Storyline 3. I attached that new PowerPoint file here, in case you want to test the import on your end. 

My hunch is that the difference could be in how your PowerPoint slide masters were created. Can you tell me more about how you set those up?

This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.