If you’ve ever worked on a large Storyline 360 project, then you understand the amount of effort and development time that go into building a course that looks and works just the way you want. Getting to the final product is often an iterative process that includes a lot of checkpoints and reviews along the way—you edit text, adjust images, record narration, and time animations. As you go through that process, it’s a good best practice to ensure you version your Storyline 360 projects along the way. 

What is file versioning?

File versioning simply means to make a copy of a file. Creating a new version of your Storyline 360 project is as easy as doing a “Save As” of your .STORY file and giving the file a new name. 

Why do you need file versioning?

Having more than one version of your file is a safeguard, in case something goes awry with your existing .STORY file. What if your file becomes corrupt or unusable for some reason? What if you need to roll back a change you made and return your file to a prior state? These are just a few good reasons to use file versioning.

How often should you version?

This is a personal preference, but you might want to consider how much work you’re getting done in a day or week, and how much you’d be willing to re-do should your file become corrupt or lost. You’ll likely want to consider creating a new version of your document daily, weekly, or, at the very least, monthly. 

What to name versions?

Everyone tends to have their own approach to final naming conventions. One way to make sure files are easy to sort through is to use the date at the start of the title, like so:




How long to keep old versions?

It’s a good idea to hang on to your versions until the end of the project, in case you need to recover your work. Once the project is complete, you’re probably safe to delete most of the versions, but it might still be a good idea to keep a few indefinitely, just in case.

How often to back up?

Keep in mind that all these versions will be useless if your computer crashes and you lose all your files. That’s why you need to back up your work to an external hard drive or a cloud-based program. Doing so at regular intervals will allow you to easily and quickly recover any past versions of your file should something happen to your computer. 


Having a file-versioning strategy is a good way to avoid frustrating and time-consuming rework. Do you have any other tips for backing up and versioning your project files? How do you name your files, and how long do you hang on to them? Let me know in the comments below. 

Want to try something you learned here, but don’t have Articulate 360? Start a free 30-day trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. If you have any questions, please share them in the comments.

Jeffrey H. McKelvey
Rick Maranta
Peter Johnson

A great overview for saving our bacon! Thanks, Nicole! One idea that I found to be helpful is to add the date after the file name. That way all the backup copies will automatically group together alphabetically. I also format the date the same every time mm-dd-yy so they stay in the right order. If I have done lots of work and have two backup copies I add a letter to give them unique names. concreteRepair02-12-19.story concreteRepair02-14-19.story concreteRepair02-14-19b.story Another tip for large projects: Set up a main file: concreteRepairMain.story As you near the end of a large project the main file could take several minutes to save. I real buzz kill as the deadlines loom. To solve this problem build your project by building separate sections: 01repairs.story.... Expand

Peet Grunert
Bryn Jenkins
Tina Stone
Gorana Ceranic
Carlito Tomas
Peter Johnson

The "mashed-up" file naming comes from my work as a web programmer. The internet doesn't like spaces, changing them to %20 in the URL. A file named Home Page would become https://Home%20page ___________________ Before the web, programmers would separate words using an underscore, but the hyperlink made that confusing because hyperlinks are often underlined and people wouldn't know if something was a space or an underline. home_page in a hyperlink would hide the _ By using camelCase (capitalizing the first letter of each word) we can create a readable filename without using spaces or underlines. As a programmer, I also found that consistency in naming files and variables is critical in reducing errors. So, I've adapted this file naming convention along with lots of other... Expand

Carlito Tomas