Powerpoint vs. Storyline

Posted by Caitlin McKeown
URL: http://www.learningcraftsmen.com/?p=895

For creating slide-based e-learning, Articulate Storyline and Microsoft Powerpoint (with or without Articulate Presenter) are both powerful tools, and share many of the same features. However, there are some distinct benefits to choosing one over the other, depending on what is needed for your project. Here are the strengths and limitations of each to help you make your choice:


powerpoint for elearning


  • Microsoft benefits – easy integration with Word and Excel, and everyone has it
  • auto backup
  • Can run on PC and Mac
  • Tables
  • More animations (including emphasis)
  • Better graphic control (fine movements and more autoshapes)

  • Syncing animations can be frustrating and clunky, and nearly impossible without Presenter
  • User interactions are difficult to accomplish (and some are impossible)
  • Quizzes are difficult to create
  • Hard to make changes to animations or anything made with Articulate Studio


storyline for elearning


  • Timeline – the single best part about using storyline
  • Easy to edit and add multimedia
  • complexity is simplified with triggers
  • User interactions are easy and effective
  • Characters are easy to integrate
  • States is a useful tool for enhancing objects
  • Software simulation

  • Only available for PC
  • graphic aspects can be limiting (more formatting options with Powerpoint)
  • No comment/track changes features
  • No autosave (although it’s getting better in Storyline 2) – been burned by that one more than once!


The bottom line

Both are great and flexible tools. And luckily they integrate well, so you can take advantage of the benefits of both. For me, if a project is going to be high interaction or high animation, Storyline is the superior tool. If something is going to be very linear and straightforward but has a lot of graphics or tables involved, Powerpoint is the better tool.

In my perfect world, the next new feature from each of these products would be: 

Storyline releases a table tool! Never again will I need to tediously build a table using rectangles!

Powerpoint introduces a timeline! Say goodbye to that confusing animation pane! It doesn’t have to be as dynamic as Storyline, but something in real-time would be a step in the right direction!

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