Storyboard Shapes Authoring Tool – Visual Studio 2012

In this post I will describe everything about the Storyboard Authoring Tool or as it is knowing now Storyboard Shapes so let’s see the Agenda, you can also see the following Step-By-Step video for the whole post :




In this post I will try to answer the following questions:

  • What is the Storyboard Authoring Tool?
  • Why use the Storyboard Authoring Tool?
  • How to use Storyboard Authoring Tool?
  • A demo on how to create Storyboard with and without Storyboard Authoring Tool.

Storyboard Shapes Authoring Tool, it’s a command line tool, it released as a separate exe with the RC version of the Visual Studio 2012 and it was available at this time in the Visual Studio gallery and it became part of the Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012 Power Tools  in the RTM of the Visual Studio 2012

The main tasks of the Storyboard Authoring Tool are to Build Storyboard and Import Storyboard Shapes to the shapes gallery in the add-in.

So let’s see why we need to use the Storyboard Authoring Tool and why we don’t use the Storyboard GUI.

We didn’t use the GUI for authoring Storyboard shapes because we can’t edit our shapes gallery if we work on another one, I already open a bug on Microsoft Connect about this issue, Nathalie one of the TFS Product Team told me that in the meanwhile I can use Storyboard Authoring Tool (Storyboard Shapes) and they closed the bug as deferred as we can see because they plan to do it, so it’s on their backlog.

To use Storyboard Authoring Tool to create shapes we need:

  • Create PowerPoint Presentation with specific steps and metadata in the notes
  • Run Storyboard Authoring Tool Command Line and choose build and give it the PowerPoint Presentation
  • Produced the .sbsx file that can be imported from the same tool or the GUI if we want

To create shapes using Storyboard Authoring Tool we will do the following:

  • Create the PowerPoint presentation, we will leave the first slid empty and just put the following metadata in the note

Reference Name: M.RadwanTools

Title: M.Radwan Tools

Type: Category

Expanded: False

Version: 1.0

Remember the reference should not has any space but it’s OK with the title, the type can must be Category because this is the first slid, the Expanded is a Boolean property that represent if we want the library be expended when we open the storyboard shapes or not.

  • We will create a slid for each shape and enter the following metadata with different values of course.

Reference Name: BlueText

Title: Blue Text

Type: Shape

We can also create a slid for each shape preview and make the type as Shape Thumbnail so it can be displayed in the shapes preview.

  • Run Storyboard Authoring Tool command line and pass it the presentation to produce .sbsx file

  • Now you have the .sbsx you can import it from the command line or the GUI as the following:

Command line:


A look on the metadata


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