Use tables to structure text in Storyline 360. Tables communicate to screen readers how content is organized and provide context for learners, making tables valuable for accessibility.

In this user guide, you’ll learn everything there is to know about tables in Storyline 360.

Creating Tables

Here are three quick ways to add tables in Storyline 360:

Create Tables in Storyline

You can create tables from scratch in Storyline. Just go to the Insert tab on the ribbon and click Table. Highlight the number of rows and columns you want, then left-click your mouse.

Your table will automatically appear on the slide. You can add and delete rows and columns, add text, and format the table as you’d like.

Import Tables from PowerPoint

If you have tables in PowerPoint that you want to use, just import them into Storyline with all your text and formatting intact, then edit them as you’d like.

See this user guide to learn how to import PowerPoint slides.

Copy and Paste Tables from Other Sources

If there are tables on web pages or in other programs, such as Excel, that you want to use, just copy and paste them into Storyline.

Highlight the table and press Ctrl+C to copy it. Then go to the slide in Storyline where you want to the table to appear and press Ctrl+V to paste it.

After pasting the table into Storyline, you can edit the text and format it as you’d like.

Adding Text to Table Cells

You can add text to any cell by clicking in the cell and typing the text you want to display. You can also copy and paste text into cells.

To move from one cell to the next without using your mouse, just click the Tab key on your keyboard. Tabbing through a table goes from left to right and top to bottom. You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move around a table.

Tip: Tables don’t support images or other media.

Turning the Header Row On or Off

You can identify the top row of a table as a header row to make it stand out. Select the table, then go to the Table Tools—Design tab on the ribbon and mark the Header Row box.

You can also turn a header row off. Just uncheck the Header Row box.

Banding Rows with Alternating Colors

You can quickly format tables with banded rows—alternating colors that help learners distinguish one row of data from another.

Select the table, then go to the Table Tools—Design tab on the ribbon and mark the Banded Rows box. Or, uncheck the Banded Rows box to turn off color banding.

When banded rows are enabled, you can control the colors with quick styles.

Tip: When creating tables from scratch in Storyline, banded rows are enabled by default.

Applying Quick Styles to Tables

Format tables in a snap with Storyline’s gallery of ready-made table styles. Just select the table you want to customize, go to the Table Tools—Design tab on the ribbon, and click a style from the Table Styles drop-down list.

Tip: The color choices in the style gallery come from your theme colors.

Selecting Cells, Rows, and Columns

Here are tips for quickly selecting cells, rows, columns, or an entire table when you want to edit fill colors, borders, cell margins, alignment, and text.

  • Select a single cell just by clicking in that cell.
  • Select multiple adjacent cells by clicking and dragging your mouse across them, or you can Shift+click several cells to select them all at once.
  • Select an entire row by hovering your mouse just outside the left edge of the row until your cursor changes to a black arrow, then simply left-click your mouse. If you left-click and drag your mouse up or down, you can select multiple rows at once.
  • Select an entire column by hovering your mouse just above the top edge of the column until your cursor changes to a black arrow, then left-click your mouse. If you left-click and drag your mouse to one side or the other, you can select multiple columns at once.
  • Select an entire table by clicking its outside border.

Filling Cells, Rows, Columns, and Tables with Colors and Gradients

Quick styles are a great way to format simple tables, but you have complete control over the fill color of each cell in a table.

Just select the cells, rows, or columns you want to format, go to the Table Tools—Design tab on the ribbon, and use the Fill drop-down list to select a color or gradient:

  • The default color swatches come from your project’s theme colors.
  • Storyline also provides 10 standard color swatches.
  • No Fill removes all color from the selected cells. Anything behind the cells will show through.
  • Click More Fill Colors to define your own custom colors.
  • Use the Eyedropper to select any color visible on your screen.
  • Use the Gradient list to select a preformatted gradient or click More Gradients to open the Format Shape window where you can create your own gradient fill.

Working with Borders

To customize borders or outlines in a table, select the cells, rows, or columns you want to format, go to the Table Tools—Design tab on the Storyline ribbon, and follow these steps:

  1. Use the border style selector to choose the type of outline you want, such as solid, dotted, or dashed.
  2. Use the border width selector to choose a line thickness.
  3. Use the border color selector to choose a line color. (The default color swatches come from your theme colors.)
  4. Finally, use the Borders drop-down list to choose which borders in your selected cells should be updated with the style, width, and color you defined in the previous steps.
    • You can repeat this step as many times as necessary to select all the borders you want to format.
    • Borders that you format will be highlighted in the Borders drop-down list (see image below).
    • To undo your border formatting, click any of the highlighted borders to turn them off.

      For example, let’s say you apply formatting to All Borders, then decide you don’t want columns to have vertical dividers. Just click Inside Vertical Border to deselect it. This clears your column dividers but leaves your outside borders and row dividers intact.

Tip: To completely remove all borders for the selected cells, just click the Borders drop-down list and choose No Borders. You don’t need to select a style, width, or color.

Sizing Rows, Columns, and Tables

The quickest way to size a row is to drag its boundary up or down. And to size a column, just drag its boundary left or right.

Another way to change the size of a row or column is to click inside a cell, then go to the Table Tools—Format tab on the Storyline ribbon and adjust the Height and Width values in the Cell Size group. (Note that this method also adjusts the overall size of your table.)

To evenly size rows or columns so they’re the same size, select the rows or columns you want to adjust, then click either Distribute Rows or Distribute Columns.

Inserting Rows and Columns

Here are three quick ways to add rows and columns to a table:

Use the Format Tab on the Ribbon

Add a row or column by going to the Table Tools—Format tab on the Storyline ribbon and clicking Insert Above, Insert Below, Insert Left, or Insert Right.

To insert multiple rows or columns at the same time, select more than one row or column in your table, then use the buttons on the ribbon to insert rows or columns. Storyline will insert the same number of rows or columns as you have selected. For example, if you select three rows in your table and click Insert Above, Storyline will add three new rows to your table.

New rows and columns will be the same size as the ones you selected before inserting them.

Use the Right-Click Context Menu

Another way to add a row or column is to select an existing row or column in your table, then right-click, scroll to Insert, and choose one of the options.

To insert multiple rows or columns at the same time, select more than one existing row or column in your table, then use the buttons on the ribbon to insert rows or columns. Storyline will insert the same number of rows or columns as you have selected. For example, if you select three rows in your table and click Insert Above, Storyline will add three new rows to your table.

New rows and columns will be the same size as the ones you selected before inserting them.

Tab Past the Last Cell in the Table

You can navigate through your table from cell to cell by clicking Tab on your keyboard. When you get to the last cell in the table and click Tab, Storyline will add a new row to the end of your table.


Merging and Splitting Cells

Merging Cells

To merge cells, select two or more adjacent cells, then go to the Table Tools—Format tab on the ribbon and click Merge Cells.

You can also right-click selected cells and choose Merge Cells from the context menu.

All the contents of the individual cells will be merged into one big cell.

Splitting Cells

Only cells that have previously been merged can be split.

To split a cell, click in the cell to select it, then go to the Table Tools—Format tab on the ribbon and click Split Cells.

You can also right-click a cell and choose Split Cells from the context menu.

The cell will be split into the same number of cells that were previously merged. All the contents of the merged cell will appear in the first of the split cells.


Deleting Rows, Columns, and Tables

It’s easy to delete rows and columns. Just select the rows or columns you want to remove, then go to the Table Tools—Format tab on the Storyline ribbon. Click Delete and choose either Delete Rows or Delete Columns.

You can also right-click your selection and choose either Delete Rows or Delete Columns.

To delete an entire table, click the border of the table to select it, then press the Delete key on your keyboard.

Aligning Text in Table Cells

Here are several ways to change horizontal and vertical alignment as well as text direction (rotation) and text orientation:

Use the Format Tab on the Ribbon

Select the cells, rows, or columns you want to edit and go to the Table Tools—Format tab on the Storyline ribbon. Use the options for horizontal alignment, vertical alignment, and text direction (rotation).

Use the Home Tab on the Ribbon

Select the cells, rows, or columns you want to edit and go to the Home tab on the Storyline ribbon. Use the paragraph options to change horizontal alignment, vertical alignment, text direction (rotation), and orientation (left-to-right or right-to-left).

Click the arrow in the lower right corner of the Paragraph group to open the Paragraph window where you can set additional options, such as indentation and line spacing.

Use the Mini Toolbar

Select text in any table cell to reveal a floating mini toolbar where you can set several font-formatting options, including horizontal alignment.

Use the Right-Click Context Menu

Select the cells, rows, or columns you want to edit, then right-click and choose Format Shape from the context menu that appears.

When the Format Shape window appears, select the Text Box tab on the left, then set vertical alignment and text direction (rotation). Tip: You can also set internal cell margins on this window.

If you select text in a cell and then right-click, you’ll see a shorter context menu with Paragraph and Format Shape options where you can set alignment, indentation, margins, and more.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Quickly change horizontal alignment of text with these keyboard shortcuts:

  • Ctrl+E = center alignment
  • Ctrl+L = left alignment
  • Ctrl+R = right alignment


Formatting Text in Table Cells

Here are several ways to format table text:

Use the Home Tab on the Ribbon

Select the cells, rows, or columns you want to edit and go to the Home tab on the Storyline ribbon. Use the font-formatting options to change the font, size, effects, colors, and spacing.

Use the Mini Toolbar

Select text in any table cell to reveal a floating mini toolbar where you can set several font-formatting options, including font, size, effects, color, and horizontal alignment.

Use the Right-Click Context Menu

Select text in any table cell, then right-click and choose Font.

Then use the Font window that appears to change the font, style, size, colors, effects, and spacing.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Quickly format text with keyboard shortcuts, such as:

  • Ctrl+B = bold
  • Ctrl+I = italicize
  • Ctrl+U = underline

Click here for more font-formatting keyboard shortcuts.


Adding Hyperlinks

Hyperlinks can be added directly to the table as a whole, not individual cells or selected text.

You can simulate hyperlinks for cells and text by adding hotspots where you need them and using the hotspots to trigger hyperlinks.

Adjusting Cell Margins

To change the internal margins for table cells:

  1. Select the cells, rows, or columns you want to edit.
  2. Right-click and choose Format Shape.
  3. Select the Text Box tab on the left side of the window that appears.
  4. Enter pixel values for the Left, Right, Top, and Bottom internal cell margins.
  5. Click Close to exit the window.

Using Scrolling Panels to Scroll Lengthy Tables

If you have a table that’s too long to fit on a slide, put it in a scrolling panel so learners can scroll to see all the data. (Note: scrolling panels only scroll vertically, not horizontally.)

And if you want the header row to always be visible, create a separate table with one row outside (above) the scrolling panel just for the header text.

Here’s a published example of a table in a scrolling panel with a frozen header row. And here’s the project file if you want to see how it’s built.

Tips for working with lengthy tables:

  • It helps to build and format your table first, then drag and drop it into a scrolling panel.
  • You can also create your table just the way you want it in another program, such as Excel, then copy and paste it into Storyline.

Setting a Custom Tab Order for Table Cells

It’s important to set a meaningful tab order for learners with screen readers so they hear content in the order that makes the most sense.

By default, the tab order for table cells goes from left to right and top to bottom. But you can create your own custom tab order for slide content, including tables. Just go to the Home tab on the Storyline ribbon and click Tab Order. See this video tutorial and this user guide for details.

Tip: You can set the tab order for the table as a whole and also for each cell in the table, which means you can remove empty cells from the tab order altogether so screen readers will skip over them.

Adding Alternate Text to Tables and Cells

By default, screen readers announce a table by the number of columns and rows it has, and they’ll read the text in each cell as you tab through the table. But sometimes it’s helpful to give the table and individual cells in the table more descriptive alternate text (alt text) so learners with screen readers have a better understanding of the content.

For example, screen readers will announce the following table simply as “Table with 3 columns and 4 rows.” And when learners tab through the table, screen readers will read the first cell as “Employee,” the second cell as “Department,” and the third cell as “Extension.”

However, it would be better if we told screen readers to announce “Table with 3 columns and 4 rows that lists each employee’s name in the first column, the employee’s department in the second column, and the employee’s phone extension in the last column.” And it might be helpful to read the first cell as “Employee name column header,” the second cell as “Department column header,” and the third cell as “Phone extension column header.” (We don’t need to add alt text to the other cells in the table since we want screen readers to read the text we typed into those cells.)

To add alt text to tables and cells, Go to the Home tab on the Storyline ribbon, click Tab Order, then enter text in the Alternate Text column for each object on the slide. See this video tutorial and this user guide for details.

Tip: Another way to add alt text to the table as a whole is to right-click the table and select Accessibility from the context menu. However, to add alt text to individual cells, you’ll need to use the custom tab order window above.