Matthew Bibby
Matthew Bibby

Six Ways to Generate a Certificate of Completion

Let's look at some of the different ways that you can generate a certificate in Storyline.

Matthew BibbyMatthew Bibby

Have you ever wanted to generate a certificate of completion at the end of a Storyline course?

Perhaps your workplace requires that these certificates get printed so they can be filed away? Or maybe you just want to reward learners for finishing the course?

While many LMS's can generate certificates for learners, if you need to build your own, you may find yourself unsure of where to start.

Rather than focusing on one way of generating a certificate, let's look at some of the great solutions that have been shared by others in the past.

This way, you'll be able to pick the solution that works best for you.

Articulate's Solution

If you've spent much time on Articulate's E-Learning Heroes forums, you've probably seen a post or two where someone has asked if Articulate are ever going to add a certificate feature to Storyline.

They have stated that they think certificates are something an LMS should handle, so they don't provide a built-in way to generate a certificate.

That being said, Articulate has shared a video that shows how to create a custom certificate by modifying the report.html file.

You can view Articulate's solution here.

Owen's Solution

Owen has shared a video that outlines his solution and provided the code that he uses to generate certificates.

While he doesn't share the full HTML code or his .story file in the initial post, you'll find these later in the discussion thread.

You can view Owen's solution here.

Steve's Solution

In the same thread linked above, Steve shares how he generates certificates using JavaScript and Web Objects.

The benefit of this approach is that you don't need to remember to copy files to the published output each time you publish your course, as everything is contained within the .story file.

You can view Steve's solution here.

James's Solution

This isn't technically about generating a certificate, but rather about printing a slide from your eLearning course.

The idea is that you could build a certificate slide in Storyline and then use James's print widget to print it out.

You can view James's solution here.

Tracy's Solution

Tracy created a printable certificate template that you can use to add a certificate to your next project.

She has shared her source files and provided a demo so you can see how it works.

You can view Tracy's solution here.

Ryan's Solution

Ryan takes a different approach. Rather than just printing the certificate, he uses the PDFMake JavaScript library to generate a PDF certificate.

This PDF can then be printed or emailed. Given that many mobile devices may not have access to a printer, this additional flexibility is great!

You can view Ryan's solution here.

Which Approach Do You Prefer?

Now that we have looked at a number of different ways to generate completion certificates, I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

Which of these solutions do you prefer?

Do you know of another way to generate a certificate in Storyline?

Would you like me to take a deeper look at any of these solutions?

Please leave your comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Why do these solutions print in portrait by default, rather than landscape?
A. That is just how it is. Once upon a time you could get a page to print in landscape by adding @page {size: landscape;} to the CSS, but that doesn't work anymore. Because progress... or something!

Q. What other issues are there with these solutions?
A. If you are using a certificate as evidence that an individual learner has completed a course, you might want to rethink that! A learner could simply enter someone else's name and print a certificate for them. Or even change the contents of the certificate by modifying the HTML before printing to change the name and the date.

Q. How could we work around that potential security issue?
A. By using an LMS to record course completion! Then, you wouldn't need to rely on a certificate and as a bonus, you could also grab the learner's name from the LMS to include in the certificate (if you want to learn how to do that, see this email follow up series).

Q. Does these work in HTML5? (i.e. will they work on my phone and tablet?)
A. Yes, they will. However, not all mobile devices will have printer access.

Q. Will these work in Articulate Mobile Player?
A. No, most of them won't as they use JavaScript and the Articulate Mobile Player doesn't like JavaScript.

Q. Will these work in an LMS?
A. Yes, they should. Although you may have trouble with images being blocked if your LMS launches the course window as HTTPS but then attempts to load a certificate image over HTTP. See here for info on how to fix this.

Q. Do Articulate support this method?
A. No, Articulate don't provide support for modifying published output or JavaScript.

Q. My question isn't listed here, what should I do?
A. Print it out? No, that would be silly. Just pop it in the comments below or reach out to me.

If you found this tutorial helpful and think others in your network will also, please share using the share buttons below. Thanks!

Matthew Bibby

Matthew Bibby

I'm Matt. I'm an eLearning Consultant. I help people like you develop memorable, engaging and profitable training programs. What do you need a hand with?