Make your Storyline 360 courses more accessible for hearing-impaired learners by importing closed captions for narration and videos. It’s easy. Just insert standard SRT, VTT, SBV, or SUB files.

Creating Caption Files

First, you’ll need to create caption files for your narration and videos using a third-party tool or service. Storyline supports SRT, VTT, SBV, and SUB files.

If you’re not sure how to generate caption files, here are some suggestions:

Use YouTube’s Captioning Services

A fast, easy, and free option for generating captions is YouTube. There are automatic and manual captioning options.

Follow the steps below to auto-caption a video. (If you’re working with audio, start by converting it to a video. For example, import your audio into PowerPoint, then export it as a video.)

  1. Upload your video to YouTube.
  2. Make the video private if you don’t want anyone else to see it.
  3. Use the automatic captioning service. (You might need to wait several minutes after uploading your video for processing to finish and the automatic captioning feature to appear.)
  4. Edit the auto-generated captions (if necessary) and download the caption file.

The National Center on Disability and Access to Education has a good video tutorial on ways to caption YouTube videos, including automatic and manual methods.

And this YouTube Help video demonstrates how to manually edit captions.

Use Amara to Caption Videos

Amara is another free option for video captions. (Professional services are also available for a fee.)

  1. Upload your video to a hosting site, such as YouTube or Vimeo.
  2. Use Amara to caption the video. (See these tutorials for help.)
  3. Download your caption file.

Use a Professional Transcription Service

Perhaps the easiest and highest-quality option is to use a professional transcription service. The trade-off is you’ll have to pay for the service. There are many transcription service providers on the market. Here are a few:

 

Tips for working with caption files:

  • Storyline 360 supports bold, italic, and underline formatting in caption files as well as voice tags to indicate which person is speaking. All other formatting tags, such as font and font color, will be ignored.
  • Use the caption font setting in your player properties to specify which font should be used for your closed captions.
  • A caption will automatically wrap if it’s too long to fit on a single line. However, if you need a caption to break at a specific point, add one line break in your caption file in the appropriate place.

    On the other hand, if you need to split a caption into two separate caption boxes that display simultaneously, add two line breaks in your caption file. You might do this when two people are speaking and you want each speaker’s dialogue to display in its own caption box.
  • If some letters or characters in your captions are unexpectedly replaced by symbols in Storyline 360, make sure your caption files are encoded for UTF-8.

Importing Captions

Closed captions are supported for audio tracks and videos. You can import captions simultaneously with your media, or you can import captions separately. We describe both options below.

Tip: You can add captions to all audio clips and videos, except website videos and Flash movies. (To add captions to an embedded SWF file, insert it as a video rather than a Flash movie.)

Import Captions Simultaneously with Media

If your caption files have the same names as your media files and are stored in the same folder with the media, they’ll automatically import into Storyline 360 when you import your media.

For example, if I have a video called MyVideo.mp4 and the corresponding caption file is named MyVideo.srt and is located in the same folder, I only need to import the video into my Storyline project, and the captions will automatically import and sync with the video.

To learn how to import audio and video files into Storyline 360, see these user guides:

Import Captions After Adding Media

To import captions after adding media to your Storyline project:

  1. Select the audio track or video that you want to caption.
  2. Go to the Options tab on the Storyline ribbon and click the plus sign (+) next to Captions.

  3. Browse to the caption file you want to import, then click Open.

Another way to import captions is to right-click the video placeholder or the speaker icon that represents your audio track, choose Accessibility, then click the plus sign (+) next to Captions. (See this user guide to learn more about the Size and Position window.)

Note about captions in markers: When you right-click an interactive marker and choose Accessibility, you’ll see closed caption features for audio and video since a marker can have both types of media at the same time.


Deleting Captions

To delete captions you previously added:

  1. Select the audio track or video that has captions you want to remove.
  2. Go to the Options tab on the Storyline ribbon and click the garbage bin icon next to Captions. (The icon will be grayed-out if there aren’t any captions to delete.)

Exporting Captions

Need to export captions from Storyline so you can edit them or use them in another project? Here’s how:

  1. Select the audio track or video that has captions you want to export.
  2. Go to the Options tab on the Storyline ribbon and click the arrow icon next to Captions. (The icon will be grayed-out if there aren’t any captions to export.)

  3. Choose a location where you want to save your caption file, then click Save.

Choosing a Font for Your Closed Captions

Choose a font for your closed captions in the player settings. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Home tab on the Storyline ribbon and click Player.
  2. When the player properties window opens, click Colors & Effects on the ribbon.
  3. Use the Captions font drop-down list to select a font.
  4. Click OK to save and close the player settings.

To increase the font size for captions, adjust the font size in your player properties. Note that this setting affects all your player features, not just captions.

  1. Go to the Home tab on the Storyline ribbon and click Player.
  2. When the player properties window opens, click Colors & Effects on the ribbon.
  3. Increase the Player font size percentage. It can be any percentage between 75% and 200%.
  4. Click OK to save and close the player settings.

Showing or Hiding the Closed Captioning Button on the Player

The closed captioning button on the course player is enabled by default, but you can disable it if you plan to build your own custom controls.

  1. Go to the Home tab on the Storyline ribbon and click Player.
  2. When the player properties open, mark the Captions box to show the closed captioning button or uncheck it to hide the closed captioning button.
  3. Click OK to save and close the player settings.

Tips for interacting with the closed captioning button:

  • The closed captioning button may not always be visible throughout your course. It’s only visible when captions are available on the current slide or layer. It’ll disappear for slides and layers that don’t have captions. This gives learners a visual clue when captions are available.
  • When a learner clicks the closed captioning button to turn on captions, the button will remain turned on throughout the course until the learner clicks it again to turn it off.

Using Triggers to Turn Captions On an Off

If the closed captioning button is enabled on your course player (see above), learners can toggle captions on and off whenever they want. However, you can also control captions via triggers. Just adjust the built-in Player.DisplayCaptions variable to either True (on) or False (off).

Here are a couple scenarios where you might control captions via triggers and how to set them up.

Turn Captions On by Default

Captions are turned off by default, but if most of your learners need captions, you might want to turn them on automatically when the course starts. Just add a trigger to the first slide in your course with these trigger wizard parameters:

  • Action: Adjust variable
  • Variable: Player.DisplayCaptions
  • Operator: = Assignment
  • Value: Value = True
  • When: Timeline starts
  • Object: Select the first slide in your course from the drop-down list.

Tip: You need to import at least one caption file into your project to see the built-in caption variable.

Build Your Own Custom Navigation Buttons

If you disable the built-in player features and build your own custom navigation buttons, you can use triggers to show and hide captions. Just add a trigger to a button with these trigger wizard parameters to create a toggle:

  • Action: Adjust Variable
  • Variable: Player.DisplayCaptions
  • Operator: = NOT Assignment
  • When: User clicks
  • Object: Select your custom button from the drop-down list.

Tip: You need to import at least one caption file into your project to see the built-in caption variable.