Storyline 1: Adding Mouse Cursors

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A mouse cursor is an object you can use on any slide to depict a moving mouse effect. If you like, you can also include a mouse-clicking action and sound. Mouse cursors are an easy way to enhance courses that include demos of software or web-based applications.

There are two ways to add mouse cursors on your slides:

  • You can insert them manually via the Insert tab on the Storyline ribbon. This is handy, for example, when you're using your own screenshots to build a software demonstration.
  • You can have Storyline insert mouse cursors for you automatically as part of a screen recording. Any time you create a screen recording in Storyline and insert it as Step-By-Step slides with View Mode Steps, Storyline inserts a mouse cursor object on the appropriate slide to show mouse movements from your recording.

You can customize any mouse cursor, whether you've inserted it yourself or Storyline inserted it as part of a screen recording. For example, you can swap it for a different cursor style, customize the direction of the mouse motion, or change or remove the clicking sound or effect.

Each slide can include one mouse cursor on the base layer of the slide. It's not possible to add multiple mouse cursors to a single slide, nor is it possible to add mouse cursors to slide layers other than the base layer.

Inserting a Mouse Cursor Manually

Storyline adds mouse cursor objects to your slides automatically when you insert a screen recording as Step-By-Step slides with View Mode Steps. But you can also insert a mouse cursor manually on any slide you want. Here's how:

  1. Go to the slide where you want to insert a mouse cursor.
  2. Click the Insert tab.
  3. Choose the Mouse button.
  4. Click on the style you prefer. 

Storyline inserts the mouse cursor object on your slide. Now you can customize it as you like, using the options described below.

Switching to a Different Cursor Style

If you want to use a different cursor style on a mouse cursor, here's how to switch it:

  1. Select the mouse cursor object on a slide. If you have trouble seeing it, you can always open the Timeline below your slide and click on the Mouse Cursor object:
  2. Choose the Format tab.
  3. Do either of the following:
    • Choose one of the cursor styles available on the ribbon. (To expand the list of choices, click the small arrow in the lower-right corner of the cursor styles library.)
    • Or, click the small arrow on the cursor styles to expand the list of choices, and then choose Browse for Cursors:This allows you to choose from any of the default Windows cursors available on your system, or to browse for any other file with a .cur or .ani extension.

Changing or Removing the Mouse-Clicking Sound

When the mouse reaches the end of its path, it can play a single click or double-click sound, or you can omit the clicking sound if you prefer. Here's how to set your preference:

  1. Select the mouse cursor on your slide.
  2. Click the Format tab.
  3. Choose NoneSingle, or Double from the Clicks section of the ribbon:

Turning Off the Visual Click Effect

By default, in your published course Storyline applies a mouse-click effect (a small animated circle) at the point when the mouse clicks. If you'd rather omit the click effect, just select the mouse cursor on your slide, click the Format tab, and unmark the box next to Show Click Effects.

Changing the Mouse's Path

Here's how you can set the direction from which the mouse cursor appears, and whether the path is curved or straight:

  1. Select the mouse on the slide. If you have trouble seeing it, you can select it by using the timeline as shown in the instructions above for "Swapping to a different cursor style." Once you select it, you'll see the mouse path direction on your slide, represented by a black line and arrow, like this:
  2. Choose the Format tab.
  3. Mark the Straight Pointer Path box if you'd like the mouse path to be straight rather than curved.
  4. Use the Enter From selector to choose from eight entrance points.
    • Note: If the Enter From selector is grayed out, it's because the path direction is already determined by the previous slide. When you have multiple consecutive slides with mouse cursors, the end point of the first will be the beginning point of the next.

Changing the Timing and Speed of the Mouse Movement

When a slide contains a mouse cursor object, the mouse stays on screen for the duration of your slide. You can, however, use Storyline's timeline to change when the mouse motion starts and ends. (Unlike other objects, for mouse cursors, you use the timeline to control the beginning and end of the cursor's motion - not the appearance and disappearance of the cursor itself.) You can also choose to make the mouse motion slow down before the click.

Here's how to adjust when the mouse motion begins, and its speed:

  1. On the timeline, select the Mouse Cursor object.
  2. Hover over the left border of the object until your cursor changes to a double-headed arrow.
  3. Click and drag the left border of the object to the point on the timeline when you want the motion to start. Drag the right border to the point when you want the motion to end. (In this way, you are also controlling the speed of the motion, since a shorter duration results in a faster motion, and a longer duration results in a slower motion.)
  4. If you want the mouse cursor to slow down a little bit before the click action, mark the box next to Reduce Speed Before Click on the Format tab.