Storyboard your ideas using PowerPoint

Last Update: 12/19/2016

Team Services | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | Previous versions

With storyboarding, you turn your ideas and goals into something visual. Your ideas are easier for other people to understand, so they can give you constructive feedback, sooner. You can bring your ideas to life with storyboard shapes, text, animation, and all the other features that PowerPoint Storyboarding provides.

Use storyboard shapes and PowerPoint features

  1. If you don't have Office PowerPoint 2007 (TFS 2015) or later version install it. For Team Services or TFS 2017, you'll need PowerPoint 2010 or later version.

  2. If you haven't installed a version of Visual Studio (2013 or later) or the Team Foundation Server Standalone Office Integration 2015 (free), you'll need to install one of these versions to create and modify storyboards.


    The only way to get the Team Foundation plug-in is by installing one of the latest editions of Visual Studio or the TFS Standalone Office Integration installer. TFS Office Integration 2015 supports connection to Team Services and TFS from Excel, Project, and the PowerPoint-based storyboarding tool.

  3. Open Power Point Storyboarding and start with a blank slide. You should see the Storyboarding ribbon and Storyboard Shapes library. If you don't see the Storyboarding ribbon, see step 2.

    Open PowerPoint Storyboarding

    Or, you can open PowerPoint Storyboarding from the Storyboarding tab of a backlog work item (Visual Studio or the web portal for TFS).

    Start PowerPoint Storyboarding from work item

    Or, if you work in VS Team Services, you can click the Start storyboarding menu option from any valid work item.

    Work item form, Start storyboarding menu option

  4. Add a background shape that's appropriate for your app. To add a shape, just drag it onto the slide.

    Drag a shape onto the slide

  5. Search for more shapes to complete your design.

    Search for shapes

  6. Create mores slides to show the flow of your app. Share them with your team to get early feedback on the design.

    Develop your storyboard with multiple slides

  • Use animation to bring your flow to life.
  • Take screenshots of your apps. For example, add a screenshot as the background of a master slide.
  • Use Office MIX to create a demo of your feature.

When you share your storyboards to a shared network location, you can link the storyboards to a backlog item. That way, your team members will be able to open the storyboards from the work items and annotate them with their suggestions.

  1. Save or upload your storyboard to a shared location that everyone on your team can access.

  2. If you started Power Point Storyboarding from a backlog item, then you are already linked to the initial item and you are done.

    Otherwise, open Storyboard Links.

    Open Storyboard Links to link to a work item

  3. If you're not already connected to a team project, connect now. If you can't connect, get added as a team member.

    Connect to TFS

  4. Then, link to a work item.

    Choose to link to a work item

  5. Select a work item to link to. The next screenshot shows how to do that using a saved query. You can also do a simple search on the title, or just provide the ID.

    Select query to find work items

    Find work items from the query to link to

    Choose the work item to link to

  6. Now the storyboard is linked to the work item.

    Linked work item in Storyboard links dialog box

  7. And, whoever views the work item can also access the storyboard.

    Storyboard tab with linked storyboard

With PowerPoint Storyboarding, you can illustrate a new or a modified interface. You can capture existing user interfaces and build a storyboard from a collection of predefined storyboard shapes. Also, you can customize the slide layouts for your web, client, or phone applications. And, by linking the storyboard to the product backlog item or user story, you automatically share it with your team.

Start using Storyboarding with PowerPoint today by downloading the free plug-in to PowerPoint: Team Foundation Server Standalone Office Integration 2015.

Share custom shapes

You can create your own shapes using My Shapes, which get saved to the following folder in a .sbsx file:

Drive:\Users<i>UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Team Foundation\6.0\PowerPoint\Shapes

You can then share your custom shapes or import custom shapes developed by others in the Visual Studio community.

See also, Storyboarding with PowerPoint – A Few Short Videos to Get You Started: 1 to 2 minute videos that illustrate the basics of creating storyboards.

PowerPoint for Mac

Support for a Mac OS is not supported. You need to use PowerPoint on the same computer where you have installed Visual Studio or the Team Foundation Server Standalone Office Integration 2015 in order to get the Team Foundation add-in. These applications require a Windows OS.