Does anyone document their slide settings?

As a reference or style guide, I'm thinking of using an Excel spreadsheet to track stuff in Storyline.

I would track jumps to and from -- anyone do this for slides and scenes?

What about listing graphics you used, triggers, layers, variables?

Starting to sound like a Herculean task, but what if I have to stop working on this project and then come back to add more elements?

Anxiously,

Judith

19 Replies
Bryan Tregunna

Hi Judith,

When using Studio 09 I had started to use Excel to record all my links. On more than one occasion my PPTA file became corrupt and I had to set up all the links again. 

However, I no longer do this as I have found the effort wasn't worth it, in that any changes I made I had to be very disciplined to ensure the spreadsheet was also updated. 

As an alternative, I take screen shots of the Slide Properties window and paste into Word. It may take several screen shots, depending on the length of your course.

I just been using Storyline for the first time and I cannot see any advantage in doing either, if you use place the the slides into scenes. 

Rich Johnstun

I do. All of my projects include a "readme.txt" file with all the documented production details including revisions, technical details and so on. I started doing this about 4 years ago when I began needing to update projects that had been done a year or two prior. It's now standard procedure for our group and it's saved us many times. It's much easier to go behind another designer and tweak their projects when you have all the information. 

Judith Blackbourn

Thanks, Rich, I was starting to feel like a RImmer. (Red Dwarf, anyone?)

When you're working solo, it might seem like extra work, but as a consultant I realize that someone else may be coming in later to work on the same project. Giving them some development information means they can get up to speed faster.

Another way to think of it is that you are, in fact, a developer (think programmer!) and as such it makes sense to document your work so you can track down a problem if a tweak you make causes everything to change.

And of course, you have that unexpected computer crash or file disappearance that the gremlins throw at you from time to time.

However, if you are still in the process of learning how to work in Storyline, and are making changes at the rate of 10 a minute, you might want to wait until your product is somewhat stable.

Rich Johnstun

Yeah, I don't normally sit down and flush out the readme file until I've got a stable published version. I come from a coder/software background so commenting on my code is second nature to me, this is just how I do it with these projects. Being a software guy, everything has a readme file . It might seem like a lot of work, but sitting down for an hour or two and documenting a project potentially saves a lot of time trying to figure out how to "re-engineer" a project a year or two down the road.  We also attach all project readme files to our project tracking in SharePoint. 

It may be a little overkill, but I've had to spend too much time trying to figure out what the person who was there before me really did. 

I'll even occasionally forget what I'm doing and end up with // in my comments. :)

Steve Flowers

If you're not using the notes field as a displayed transcript, that's a pretty great place to store "notes to self".  You could also take advantage of the behavior of the MS Word publish and add an object to your slide with the default state of hidden. Add text to this object to add notes to your slide and it'll show in the Word publish preview but won't show up in your published output.

It's worth putting in a feature request if some kind of "developer notes" would be helpful to you.

Steve Flowers

Here's another option If you love regular expressions. Use the notes field to store your comments in between unique characters in the notes field:

*##Here are the comments and settings for this slide.##*

You could then export to a translation document and using Word's search and replace, employ regular expressions to search through your document and sweep out everything between the *## and ##*, reimporting your translation doc for a clean output. Gets messy with versions but sort of a neat way to keep your comments integrated into the work.

Steve Flowers

Another possible option is using a variable to store your developer comments value.

Set devComments equal to "comments from me to future me or to someone else pretending to be as neat as I." when the timeline starts. 

One of the cool things you *could* do with this is feed something like a google spreadsheet or access database with your comment values for a smooth report after you playback the course. Gets complicated but it's flexible - you could even display a developers console that showed the comments as someone went through the course.

Judith Blackbourn

Wow! Got that motor running, did we?

I like the sound of the devComments idea, but a few things in there are probably too complex for me.

BTW, can you add notes without displaying the Notes tab in the menu? I'm not using the Player menu. If so, that may the simplest solution -- but I do like an Excel spreadsheet!

Judith Blackbourn

Just came across a screenr that Jeannette Brooks made about putting the Notes tab above the main screen instead of the Player menu.

That means it's doable, except of course I don't want my users to view the notes.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/149068451

(Not sure how to add a link -- my insert/edit link icon for this replay is not active)

Rebecca Flores

Rich Johnstun said:

I do. All of my projects include a "readme.txt" file with all the documented production details including revisions, technical details and so on. I started doing this about 4 years ago when I began needing to update projects that had been done a year or two prior. It's now standard procedure for our group and it's saved us many times. It's much easier to go behind another designer and tweak their projects when you have all the information. 


Do you have an example of how you document things in your readme file. Our company is trying to force fit this information into a storyboard after the fact. What do you call this kind of documentation?