Storyline vs. Studio

Aug 22, 2012

Hi there,

I am in the process of selecting a elearning tool for my company. I am having difficulty selecting between Articulate Storyline versus Studio. My requirements are to initally gather us Practice Management Resources that exist and package them up in an easy to access format on our website. The next step would be to create simple eLearning courses with a quiz. I am an instructional designer, not developer.


1) Which tool would be a better fit for my needs - storyline or studio?

2) I find studio a little limiting since it does not compatible with ipads. When is Studio  '12 becoming avail?

3) We don't currently have an LMS, so I am wondering if there would still be a way for me to track quiz completion and link to a certificate?


16 Replies
Matthew Graham

I honestly like Storyline a lot better.  While, Studio felt a little easier being inside of PPT, I feel like creating things in Storyline is limited to my imagination.  Plus, it's still easy.  I'd definitely, 100% vote for Storyline.

I've heard there are certificate modules, but you'd have to have an LMS to actually record or track grades.  You can always have them print something at the end if needed.  Honestly, if you're going to invest in Storyline and you want to use grades, I'd look into a free LMS like Moodle that's not overly complicated.  There are some great video courses on creating LMS courses on

Tom Dorsey

There are certain limitations with storyline that can impact you depending on your needs.

For example, you cannot truly lock out navigation.  This means a user can potentially skip to the end.

Also, there is no timer to be displayed. 

If you are not worried about these items, storyline is a great product.  Unfortunately these items are forcing me to wait on the next studio.


Daniel Brigham


Here's my short answer:

If you need an instructional design tool, go with Storyline and buy the character pack. (Otherwise, you won't have any photographic characters for your scenarios.) Storyline is built primarily for instructional design.

If you need a more flexible tool (e.g., one that has many, many graphic design tools necessary for demos and other promo material), then go with Studio. Studio is the more flexible tool. Storyline is the better ID tool.

Matthew Graham

I feel like Storyline is far more flexible--while Studio offers more prebuilt slides with Engage, you can create all those plus anything else in Storyline.  Plus, Storyline has screencasting, software emulation and iPad functionality included.  What graphic design features does Studio have besides those included with PPT, which can be imported into Storyline?

Mindy Smoak

A few key differences I see between the 2:

Studio - you largely design inside PowerPoint, Articulate Presenter mainly gives you a way to publish with navigation, add attachments, add audio and add video. If you get the whole package you can also build quizzes inside or outside of the course (import into the PowerPoint or publish as stand alone quizzes). You can also build some interactivity using the Engage interactions. It is easier to use, more familiar to people who are not developers, and still gives some semi-customizable tools.

Storyline is really a full eLearning course builder that also allows computer simulations (like Captivate). You can storyboard branching scenario courses, change interactions using layers and states, add a simulation or video in the middle, etc. It is a bit more complicated to build until you get used to it but more customizable and able to build more interactivity without being a developer. It comes with a limited character pack and you can by more for having characters in your courses. I noticed you said "practice" - it has a few medical characters included. The quizzes you can build are much more interactive and I love its quizzing capacity. I don't know how either would be tracked without an LMS?? This is also new so there maybe a higher likelihood of bugs and having to do updates down the road.

We are switching to Storyline because our developer resources were cut back a little. I am excited to learn more about it. However, we did a lot with Studio for many years so I think either could work. I would just think about long term use and download trial copies of both to see which would work better for you.

Tom Dorsey

Matthew Graham said:

What part of navigation can you not lock out?  You can get rid of all menus, buttons, and triggers that navigate anywhere within the presentation. 

Since our training is required to be linear, we enable the back and next buttons (student clicks next to go to next slide).  In storyline, you cannot lock this (unless i am missing something).  

Matthew Graham

Good points, Daniel.  I would like to have more path animation options like those in PPT.

Tom--you can get rid of the navigation or lock it on the left and use the Next and Back buttons on the bottom.  Or, you could create  your own buttons within the presentation space and make them do whatever you want.  If you go to the player options on the home tab you'll find some fun options to mess around with.

Daniel Brigham

Oh, and I'm seriously missing motion paths. SL doesn't support them. I still really like it, but as I said, you gain some ID stuff, but need to let go off some graphics stuff. Next version will have most of what I miss I imagine.

Oh, and presentations in SL are more complex and thus take longer to build. Something to keep in mind as you bid projects.

Karen Johnson

Sorry to add onto this, but is Storyline a bit more "compact" behind the scenes than Studio?  In some of our Studio files, there might be 3 quizzes, 5 interactions, and a few PPT slides, and storing that (and making sure nothing essential gets deleted/moved by accident) is really difficult for me, as I'm on a shared drive with other folks touching the folders...

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