Markers in Storyline offer a quick and easy way to add a hover-and-reveal or click-and-reveal effect to your course. You can place a marker anywhere on a slide, and when learners view your published output, they can hover over it or click on it to experience additional content. That additional content can include a pop-up label, descriptive text, audio, an image or movie, or a combination of all of these. You can have as many markers on a single slide as you like.

Inserting a Marker

  1. In Normal View, click the Insert tab and choose Marker.
  2. From the menu that appears, choose the icon you'd like to use on your marker.
  3. Your cursor changes to a crosshair shape. Click anywhere on your slide to insert the marker.
  4. Once you insert the marker, a label appears, where you can enter a title and descriptive text. By default, the title appears when learners hover over the marker, and the full label appears when they click it (but, if you want, you can customize this behavior, as we'll see in a moment). When you're finished, click anywhere outside the label to collapse it.
    • Tip: If you prefer to omit the marker label and include audio only, you can just leave the label blank. See "Adding sound to a marker" and "Making an audio-only marker," later in this tutorial.

Now that you've inserted a marker on your slide, there are all sorts of things you can do to customize the way it looks and behaves. Check out the options throughout the rest of this tutorial.

About Label Fonts

When you insert a marker and enter some text on its label, the fonts used for the label's title and descriptive text default to your project's theme fonts. If you want to use a different font, you can change the font directly on any individual label. Or, to change all the labels in your project to the same fonts, you can customize your project's theme fonts. (Keep in mind that if you change the theme fonts, this will affect other parts of your course, such as the fonts used for body text, quiz questions, and more.)

Resizing and Repositioning a Marker Label

If you don't like the default size or location of a marker's label, you can change it so that it fits better with your slide content:

  1. Select the marker on the slide. The label appears automatically.
  2. Click and drag one of the resizing handles to change the label's size.
  3. Click and drag any part of the label's outline to move it to a different place, relative to the marker.

Changing the Marker Icon

Storyline provides a huge library of symbols to choose from, and if you change your mind about the one you chose initially, it's easy to change:

  1. Select the marker on the slide.
  2. On the Format tab, click Change Icon and pick a different symbol.

Adding Sound to a Marker

You can add pre-recorded sound files or record your own audio right in Storyline:

  1. Select the marker on the slide.
  2. On the Format tab, click Sound.
  3. Choose any of the following:
    • Sound from File: This allows you to import an audio clip you've pre-recorded elsewhere. Learners will hear the audio when they mouse over or hover over the marker.
    • Record Mic: This allows you to record and save the audio within the marker.
    • Options: This is where you can change your audio playback device and recording devices. You can also modify the recording volume levels. These default to the same settings as your system settings.

After you've added some audio to a marker, you'll be able to access additional tools, such as the Audio Editor, a volume adjuster, and more. To explore these options, select the marker, click the Format tab, and click Sound. For more details on using these options, see the tutorials on Editing Sound and Using the Sound Tools.

Adding a Picture or Video to a Marker

You can also include an image or a movie within the marker's pop-up label. Here's how:

  1. Select the marker on the slide.
  2. On the Format tab, click Media.
  3. Choose any of the following:
    • Picture from File: This allows you to insert an image that's currently stored on your computer.
    • Video from File: This allows you to insert a movie that's currently stored on your computer.
    • Video from Website: This allows you to insert a movie that's hosted on a website where embed codes are provided (such as Screenr, Vimeo, or YouTube).
    • Record Webcam: This allows you to insert a video from your webcam.

Once you've added an image or a movie to a marker, you can make adjustments or edits as needed. You'll just need to select the marker on your slide, then select the file or movie and choose the Format tab. For more guidance, check out the tutorials on Adjusting Properties for Pictures, Screenshots, and Characters; Editing Videos; and Adjusting Video Properties.

Changing a Marker's Animation

By default, Storyline applies a swirl animation to new markers you add to a course. (The animation won't be visible until you preview or publish.) You can change or remove the animation like this:

  1. Select the marker on the slide.
  2. On the Format tab, use the Animate selector to choose a different animation style, or choose None to remove the animation.

Changing a Marker's Hover and Click Behavior

By default, when you publish your course and learners hover over a marker, the label's title pops up. If learners click on the marker, then the entire label pops up, revealing any descriptive text, media, or sound you've added.

If you want, you can change this behavior so that no clicking is necessary — when the user hovers over the marker, the entire label appears, and any sound associated with the label begins playing. To do this, just select the marker on your slide and, on the Format tab, choose Show All On Hover.

Making an Audio-Only Marker

If you'd prefer not to display a label when the user hovers or clicks but would rather use your marker as a clickable sound button, you can do this:

  1. Insert a marker as described above. When the label appears for you to enter a title and descriptive text, don't worry about entering anything.
  2. With the marker selected, click the Format tab, and use the Sound button to add some audio to the marker.
  3. With the marker still selected, click the Format tab, and mark the Audio Only box.

Customizing the Marker's Fill, Border Color, and Icon Color

When you first insert a marker in a Storyline project, it'll have a default blue fill color and blue outline. The icon color on your marker corresponds to the "Text/Background Light 1" color within the design them that you're using for your course. (More about design themes here.) But it's easy to change any of these colors for any marker—you can do it like this:

  1. Select the marker on the slide.
  2. On the Format tab, choose any of the ready-made Marker Styles. Or, use the Marker Fill, Marker Border, and Icon Color selectors to choose your own colors for these items.
    • Note: The Marker Fill and Marker Border options behave a lot like the options for customizing the fill and outline of a shape—in fact, you can even change the marker fill to a picture, texture, or gradient if you want!

Customizing the Label's Fill and Border Color

In the same way that you can customize a marker's colors, you can also customize the label that goes with it. Here's how:

  1. Select the marker on the slide.
  2. On the Format tab, choose any of the ready-made label styles. Or, use the Label Fill and Label Border selectors to choose your own options for these items. The fill and border options behave a lot like the options for customizing the fill and outline of a shape.
  • Tip: If you customize a label's fill and border, and you want to apply the same colors to labels of other markers on the same slide, just select the marker and, on the Format tab, click Apply To All.

Setting the Default Appearance of Markers and Labels

If you plan on adding several markers to your project, here's a time-saving trick to help you make them all look uniform. Once you create the first marker, you can set it as the default. This way, any additional markers you add will inherit the same characteristics for the:

  • Marker fill
  • Marker outline
  • Icon color
  • Label fill
  • Label border

Here's how to set the default:

  1. Customize a marker's fill, outline, and icon color and the corresponding label's fill and border color.
  2. Right-click the marker and choose Set as Default Marker.

Once you do this, any new markers you add to your project will have the same fill and colors you assigned to the original marker. In fact, Storyline remembers your default preferences even if you close your file and come back later. (Other Storyline projects, however, will be unaffected.)