variable change on import

Jun 16, 2015


I have an urgent problem....

I have made a new project with a lot of variables. When I copy this project and change the names of the variables and I want to merge this project with the original project, than Storyline changes the names of the copied variables. The triggers apply to the wrong project.

One project contains around 40 variables, and we have 10 projects, so it would be a lot of work to make a workaround. 

I hope you have a solution so we can fix this problem in a more easy (fast) way.

Thanks in advance,




30 Replies
Christie Pollick

And Bart, could you also check out a few things for me to rule out some common issues? Please make sure you are working locally as described here, and you may want to try importing the file into a new file. If you are still having issues, you might want to try to repair Storyline. Also, could you please ensure that you are utilizing the most recent SL2 Update? Info on Update 5 can be found here. Hope that helps, and if not please let me know! :)

bart drijdijk

What i do.

I have a project with 40 variables (A101 till A140) but i must make the same project with other data.

So i save the project and copied the file on my hard disk to a copy file. 

so i have project1.story and project1_copy.story now


Then i added the new data and change the variables names in project1_copy.story.

Now i have 2 project with same project with other names of variables.

Project1.story with the variables A101 till A140

Project1_copy.story with the variables B101 till B140

and there is the problem i want to merge the 2 files.

So i import project1_copy.story in Project1.story

He rename my variables with import back to old names.




sebastjan f

correct me if I am wrong - but unwanted renaming and merging of variables should be fixed since update 5

"Fixed issue where variables would be renamed when importing slides into another project file"

I am running latest version - and my variables gets renamed and merged. I am sending you my files (Case Number: 00715956) - maybe you can merge them into one file :p

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Jerry!

Here are the specific details of the findings in Sebastjan's case:

I understand that the variables from the imported slide were not included. 

It appears that there are text boxes in the 2nd copy of the project file that have the same name as the 1st copy. To resolve the issue, I renamed all text boxes before importing the 2nd slide. After importing, the variables of the 2nd copy of the project are now included. 

So, to answer your question - it was due to duplicates.

Brett  Schlagel

I recently ran into this as well. Just to recap the issue:

  • 2 developers working on the same project in separate story files which are variable heavy
  • Variable names are standardized on our end for easy edits and mapping during edits.
  • When one file is imported to the other, the variable names used in the imported file are changed. In my case, to another variable name that was in the 2nd file which was unused. 


In the 2nd file (the one you are importing file 1 into) remove all unused variables, then import file 1.

That worked on our end, hope it can help someone else out!

John Payton

Using Storyline 360. I inherited 2 separate Storyline files which our client wants combined into a single course. The files were built with nearly duplicate variable names and symbol names (pictures, text boxes, shapes, etc.). I went into the second file and edited all of the variable names by adding "_p2" to be "variablename_p2". When merging the Part 2 file with the new variable names with the original Part 1, all of the variable names end up switched back to the variable names in Part 1. This completely messes up the logic for Part 2. Any recommendation here?

Crystal Horn

Hi there, John.  Our team is investigating an issue where importing a project with variable names that have been changed will cause the variable names to revert.

I know this must be frustrating for you to deal with duplicate or similar variable names.  I'm sorry I don't have a workaround to offer currently, but I'll keep you updated here with any new information that we get.

John Payton

This is a back breaker for me. Ugh. I inherited 7 courses made up of 28 Storyline files and as part of my task, I am to combine 4 modules into a single course. The original developer simply copied a module as a starting point for the next module. Therefore they all use the same variable names throughout. I changed the variable names in each of the files before importing, yet on import, the imported variable names are ignored and I still have to go manually screen-by-screen to add variables and edit triggers. What should have taken 10 minutes costs me a day and a half. Is there nothing that can be done to force Storyline to preserve imported variables?

Leslie McKerchie

I'm so sorry to hear that John. Sounds like the importing of variables is the culprit for sure and then inherited courses on top of that.

I've added your latest comment to the report we have filed and I am going to discuss this with my team again.

Hopefully, anyone who's overcome this obstacle in the past will be able to chime in and offer some tips/tricks.

Alyssa Gomez

Great news, folks!  We just released another update for Articulate 360!

Remember the issue where renamed variables would revert to their original names when importing slides into another project? That issue is now fixed!

Just launch the Articulate 360 desktop app on your computer and click the Update button for each application. Details here.

Please let us know if you have any questions, either here or by reaching out to our Support Engineers directly.

Alyssa Gomez

Hi Cameron!

You're right, we're still seeing this problem in the latest version of Storyline 360. Specifically, when you import slides that contain modified variable names, the variable names revert to the original names.

As soon as we get this sorted out, we'll share the news in this discussion. Sorry for the trouble it's causing you!

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