Storyline file size

Aug 31, 2012

Hi all,

I am curious about the Storyline file size (not the publish size). Here are two case study:

1. Start with a new file, and just created one slide. The file size is around 165KB.

2. Start with existing file that has 65 slides. The file size is around 40MB. Deleted all the slide except one slide. The file size went down to 2MB. 

So here is my question? Why can the file size does not go down even more? Is Storyline keeping all the "junk"? 

Can someone explain this? and if there is a way to "optimize" the file size?

Thanks in advance.

55 Replies
Justin Grenier

Good Afternoon, Benny.

I see two similar forum threads here and here.  In summary, there are a few points to be gathered:

  • Publishing the file seems to improve the efficiency of the file size.
  • Working from a network drive or flash drive may worsen the storage efficiency.
  • The "Save As" function has been known to help at times.
  • There is no "Optimize" or "Compact" function within Storyline to assist with this.
  • The impact of file size seems to be minimal except in cases of needing to email a file, in which case tools such as Dropbox or YouSendIt will help.

Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.  Thanks!

Judy Nollet

I've reviewed the summary above, as well as the 2 other threads that Justin linked to.

  • Yes, the humongous .story file is on my hard drive (not a network or thumb drive).
  • Yes, I tried Save As -- multiple times.
  • Yes, I tried both Save and Save As after publishing the course -- to both LMS and to Web.
  • Yes, I tried importing the slides from my original course into a new course.

NO. None of those worked to reduce the size of the .story file.

Even if any of those steps could consistently reduce the size, Articulate REALLY needs to develop an "optimize/compact size" function. One shouldn't have to jump through hoops for something this basic.

Justin Grenier

Good Afternoon, Judy.

Although it sounds like you've tried most of the techniques we would attempt in order to reduce the size of a bloated .story project file, please feel free to send us a copy of your file so that we can have a closer look.  ...and the more voices that request a feature, the better, so do give us your input there as well.

Please let us know if you need anything else, and have a great day!

Judy Nollet

I appreciate the offer, Justin, but I've already spent way too much time on this issue. I don't have the time to try to upload a 299MB file (bloated from swapping videos). I have submitted this as a feature request -- though, based on previous threads, this really should already be a priority for the development team.

Natasha Bomba



I've done all the steps that were suggested. I had to build a second course that was based on the first. The first is about 4.5MB. The second is shorter and involved me deleting screens from the first and it's 10.1 MB. I need to be able to send the files via email as firewalls won't allow Dropbox or anything similar. My guess is that SL is keeping all the items on the clipboad or that have been deleted. Is there a way to purge? I have SL 2.

Frank Pietrantoni

The good news: I just found a solution. The bad news: it is an EXTREMELY inefficient process.


I started a brand new SL project, and then imported the slides from one of the segments that I created from the master (file NCO Online 030215 in the attached screenshot). I then had to set all the player settings to what I needed and then saved that file (as I did before) and SL did indeed decrease the file size (again...see attached screen shot).

This means that I have to do this for all 17 of my segments...ARGH!!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Frank,

Our team is aware of this, and it seems it's not removed on the first save/save as - a lingering effect of the "undo" button. If you then open it and save again, it should be removed completely and update your file size. I'll include this thread in the report filed with our QA team so that we can update you here once there is additional information to share. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Tonya,

There isn't an update to this issue at the moment, although you'll see that doing the save as and reopening a file does tend to help with the file size becoming unmanageable even if you've removed elements.  If you've got a .story file that you want us to take a look at we're always happy to do so, and you can share it with our team here.  That way we can double check what's happening in your file and share any additional findings with our QA team. 

Massimo Scali


we have the same issue. We observed that the project files size always increase and never decrease, even changing the theme or removing some content.

I was just curious to see what's in a .story file and I unzipped it.

I discovered that in my project file, with just 8 slides, there are stored 3449 (!) XML file in the slideLayouts folder, and 576 XML files in the slideMasters folder.

The media folder, that's supposed to be the largest one, is the smallest and contains just what's supposed to be there.

I think Storyline 2 needs a sort of autoclean feature in order to remove all the unused and unreferenced stuff inside the project file.

Massimo Scali

Hello again,

I add some more details to what just written. Even the themes can become huge files. We had a simple theme with just a picture (6k) and an horizontal line. Its size was more than 15MB. More than this, saving it again, after removing some unused master slides it became larger than 27MB!

Again I unzipped the theme file and I discovered that in the media folder were stored several mp3 files and they were the audio from the project slides (not from the masters).

I want to point out that using that theme was a mess, because it took a very long time to apply it and even saving the project using that theme was impossible: each saving operation took several minutes (from 5 to 10). Besides the system memory used by Storyline was always growing reaching over 3GB.

My question is, why are those audio files stored in a theme file?

Kind regards

David Brick


This needs to be fixed.  Our LMS has a hard time with large file sizes, sometimes not even loading them.  Adobe Captivate has had optimization for a long time.  In Captivate you can both select unused files to delete them from the library as well as see a library listing of all the individual file sizes that make up the course for better file size management.  When you're building you often just add content, not seeing that a media item is more bloated in size than another.  Articulate - Please fix this as it causes issues some LMSes and perhaps elongates the time to load the course.  If there was an optimize for the file image quality and cleanup that would go a long way.  If Adobe has it, then Storyline should too.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi David,

I know this thread dates back to some earlier versions of Storyline - but I'd want to know a bit more about what version you're working on and if you had tried out Justin's recommendations earlier in this discussion? Also if we could take a look at the file, that would help our team do some additional testing. Can you share it with our Support team here? 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Justin,

You'll see that this discussion dates back some time, and the majority of folks were able to resolve issues with the bloated size by doing a Save as and removing other unnecessary items such as unused slide masters or screen recordings.

If you have an example where the file size is continually increasing in size no matter what you do, I'd love to have our team take a look at it. Can you share that with our Support Engineers here?