Annotations in Articulate Storyline

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This article applies to:

Articulate Storyline doesn't currently support built-in annotations like Articulate Presenter, but you can still create them. Here are a few techniques:

Audio-Only Markers

For arrows, check marks, crosses, and other simple icons, you can use audio-only markers.

  1. Add a marker to your slide.
  2. Select the marker, and go to the Format tab on the ribbon.
  3. Select the icon and color scheme you want to use.
  4. Use the Animate drop-down list to determine whether your marker will swirl or pulse (or neither).
  5. Be sure to mark the Audio Only box.
  6. Add entrance and exit animations, so the marker fades in and out.
  7. Adjust the marker’s duration and timing.

Animated Shapes

You can also draw your own shapes, like arrows, check marks, and crosses.

  1. Draw the shape you want on your slide.
  2. Format it as desired, including color and size.
  3. Add entrance and exit animations, so the shape fades in and out.
  4. Adjust the shape’s duration and timing.

Semi-Transparent Frames

To create spotlight effects, use the Frame or Donut shape.

  1. Draw the shape so it's larger than your slide.
  2. Adjust the width of the frame using the yellow diamond handle.
  3. Set the fill color to semi-transparent (right-click and select Format Shape).
  4. Add entrance and exit animations, so the spotlight fades in and out.
  5. Adjust the spotlight’s duration and timing.

Transparent Punch Out

Another option for creating a spotlight effect is to cover the entire slide with a semi-transparent rectangle, then "punch out" a section of the rectangle.

  1. Draw a rectangle shape that covers the entire slide and format it with a semi-transparent color.
  2. Draw another shape (any shape of your choice) over just the portion of the screen you want to spotlight, and format this shape with a solid color that's different from the rectangle in step 1. Also, remove the line color from this shape.
  3. Group both shapes together (Ctrl+G).
  4. Right-click the grouped object, and select Save as Picture. Save it to your computer as a PNG image.
  5. Delete the grouped object, and insert the PNG image from step 4.
  6. Use the picture formatting options to make the area that you want to highlight transparent. This would be the area represented by the shape you drew in step 2. 
  7. Add entrance and exit animations, so the spotlight fades in and out.
  8. Adjust the spotlight’s duration and timing.

This method is demonstrated in this video screencast (at the 1:44 mark).