Creating elearning: Storyline explainer 5 of 8

Add text-to-speech and animation.

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Add text-to-speech narration and timed animation.


Name of explainer: Add text-to-speech narration and timed animation

Creative theme: Creating elearning

Software used: Articulate Storyline


This is explainer 5 of 8 in this series

This series includes:

  1. Create and save a Storyline project
  2. Create a title slide using text and images
  3. Add an interactive button and preview the project
  4. Embed a YouTube video and publish the project
  5. Add text-to-speech narration and timed animation
  6. Embed an interactive 3d object and import music
  7. Add quiz question slides and a results slide
  8. Final checks and export options

The Software

This series of explainers uses Articulate Storyline, one of the most popular elearning content creation tools. It’s part of a suite of programs called ‘Articulate 360’ which also includes RISE (a tool for rapid content creation) and the online review and commenting platform Review 360.

You can download a free 30 day demo of Articulate Storyline from Articulate’s website. This gives you access to a fully-functioning copy of Storyline (though with a reduced asset library of characters, photos and icons).

Over the course of these eight explainers we’re using Storyline to create a simple elearning package including buttons, video and 3d object interactions, before going on to add quiz questions and a results slide and exporting the package for use on the web.

The finished product

This is how our final Storyline project looks at the end of this explainer series. Welcome to an introduction to Immersive Technologies!

Note the version created in the explainers also includes a menu students can navigate. This is switched off in the version above. All embedded videos / animations were tested as working when this page was last updated.

The pre-requisities

This is a BEGINNER to INTERMEDIATE workflow explainer series. Ideally you’ll already be familiar with simple text and image editing.

If you’re new to IT / computing, you may need help downloading and installing the software. Start with a search for ‘how do i install Storyline’ or speak with someone familiar with downloading and installing.

Why would I do this?

If your project is text-heavy it can be useful to have Storyline read out the main text to your user. Audio narration is also useful as an accessibility aid to help your students and clients engage positively with your elearning.

Storyline uses a traditional ‘timeline’ approach to setting timings for when a text box, image or button appears, fades in or even whirls around on a slide! It’s useful to be able to sequence the timings for basic assets – In this explainer we animate a female character onto a slide before VR glasses appear on them, after which paragraphs of text fade in. It’s easier than it sounds!

Let’s do it!

Click the play icon to watch this video. Subtitles are available – Click the settings cog at the bottom right for options. You can also watch this video full-screen by clicking the full-screen icon at the bottom right.

Good to know

The synthesised voices used by Storyline are basic and obviously not ‘real’. Consider adding your own voice narration to create a more professional final product. ‘Next generation’ voice synthesis is more convincing and is offered as part of other application subscriptions (For example Vegas Pro).

Where to next?

Automatic audio narration could be annoying for users who would prefer not to hear it. You could create a button to allow the audience to only play narration when they want to…

1: Add a new button to a slide and label it appropriately:

2: Create a new TRIGGER TO PLAY MEDIA, and select the TEXT TO SPEECH track:

From here you could go on to create a single ‘Would you like narration?’ button on one of your first slides then update a variable to remember if the user would like narration or not. See explainer 8 for examples of variables and where to find more information.

Remember, this is part of a series of explainers for this software – Join us again for the other explainers in the series 🙂

Notes and updates

There are no notes or advisories at this time. This video explainer was last updated in April 2022. This page was last updated in April 2022.

We at are not responsible for the content of any external webpages or software downloaded from third party sites. Links are included in good faith at the time of writing. All explainer content is compiled in good faith using processes and methods used by the team. Modern software offers users many ways in which to accomplish a single task, and for reasons of clarity we choose not to refer to multiple options. All computer users should run up to date virus / security software at all times to minimise risks of data loss.

This is number 5 of 8 explainer videos in this series. Make sure you check out the others!