Why Default Story Size of 4:3?

Nov 24, 2020

Hello Community!

I've heard/read that 16:9 is becoming (maybe already is?) the default design ratio. If that's true, does Articulate plan to make 16:9 instead of 4:3 the default in Storyline?

It's easy to switch the ratio yet I have on more than one occasion forgot to change the story size before designing, which is time consuming to fix. 

Also, when viewing a Rise file with Storyline blocks on a phone, is one ratio better than the other? 




18 Replies
Joseph Francis

What would be useful would be to allow me to set global settings which are retained for each new project. The Storyline 360 "launch page" has a lot of unused real estate (how much longer do I really need to know that Adobe is ending Flash support on 12/31/2020?) that could be leveraged. Why not have that global property there, where I can set it to one of the built-in settings, or dial one of my own in? Along with that, how about others, including:

  • Publish Settings
  • LMS Output Options
  • Default development directory
  • Player Properties
  • Slide properties
  • Default Slide Master
  • Default Feedback Master
  • Default Project Theme
  • Default Theme Fonts
  • Default directory for media import, including picture, video, and audio
  • Default interactive objects properties
Gordon Wimpress

Yeah, it's nuts that the default is 4:3.  I am going to have to go back and basically re-do 3 projects because my worker imported from PowerPoint but the size was not set first.  So all the work was done in 4:3.  NO ONE has a monitor that shape any more.  PowerPoint hasn't had that ratio as a default for years!  Also, why is the default 16:9 size a smaller resolution of 720x405, not 1280x720 (PowerPoint) or 1920x1080 (HD)?  At least give more choices in the menu.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Gordon,

I appreciate you popping in to share what you've experienced when importing your PowerPoint project.

We do recommend adjusting your slide size in Storyline to match your PowerPoint slide size before importing content.

You can also make a custom slide size up to a maximum of 2,047 x 2,047:

Setting Your Slide Size

Gordon Wimpress

The point is, 4:3 hasn't been a standard for ANYthing for many years.  Why is it still the default?  Seems like that would be a super easy fix for the developers.  Storyline should AT LEAST notice that the shape ratio is different than what you're importing, and ask to confirm that it is what you want.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Holly, 

I'm glad to hear that the templates are useful for your process.

I wanted to share a tidbit that Tom shared with another customer here:

You start with your story size at one of the standard aspect ratios (16:9 or 4:3). When you bring in a Content Library template it will fit either one of those. 

If you start with a different aspect ratio and bring in the template, some items may be misaligned as it tries to fit the slide.
Jon Zulawski


Defaulting to 4:3 is indefensible and anyone who believes otherwise is objectively wrong. It's not 1996. This needs to get updated. At the very least, allow users to set their own defaults.

I just spent an hour pulling several modules together into one new master course only to find that my 16:9 slides came over in 4:3, and then when I switched it, Storyline of course messed it all up. Storyline is such a great tool, but these are the types of user-hostile behaviors that drive people away.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Holly,

I recorded a quick Peek 360 video to explain the difference and how to avoid any scaling. I hope this helps you in the meantime.

For everyone following along here, this is a feature request that we are tracking and I've added the latest comments and expectations to our report and attached this conversation.

I wanted to share some information about how we manage these feature requests as that may be helpful. 

Monica Russell

Hi Leslie, if there is a feature request for making 16:9 the default and removing the current 4:3 default, I would LOVE that and would be happy to add my voice to those already documented. Actually, my entire team would want to log in and support that effort as well. Is there a link to that? I did not see a reference in the Road Map and I'm not sure where to search for that feature so that I can upvote.


Leslie McKerchie

Hello everyone!

Great news!  We just released another update for Articulate 360 and included a few new features, enhancements, and fixes you'll see in the release notes.

The item you'll be interested in is:

New: Create courses faster by changing the default slide dimensions for new projects.

Just launch the Articulate 360 desktop app on your computer and click the Update button for Storyline 360. You can find all of the details here.

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