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TIPS to Avoid or Fix Videoscribe freezes, crashes, slowdowns, failure to export, or erratic behaviours.

QUESTION: How can I fix or PREVENT crashing, freezing, slowdowns,  problems opening saving or rendering scribes, or exporting or uploading video in VideoScribe? (Also: how can I avoid memory related problems like problems with the timeline?)

ANSWERS AND TIPS:  (The numbering of the tips may have changed slightly in recent edits.)

Most freezes, slowdowns and crashes probably result from excessive memory use and can be avoided by using properly optimized images and moderate camera zoom settings, but here is a more detailed list of tips, suggestions, guidelines and workarounds:

EDIT: At the time this was last edited, version 1.3.26 and version 2.0 through 2.0.3 are the supported versions of videoscribe:

NOTE: Videoscribe apparently has a memory cap of about 1.7GB even if your computer has more memory than that: Link to thread mentioning memory limit

1) Save a new copy of your scribe with a new name, and restart videoscribe.

If you use  Version2, just save the file with a new name (If you have  Version1 use the "save as a NEW copy and close" option)  and then restart videoscribe, and open the new scribe. This process MAY provide a TEMPORARY workaround and allow you to render a scribe or continue editing your work even if there are still other problems (listed below) that should probably be addressed. I only listed this tip first because it may be the easiest thing to try. Rebooting may also free up some memory and allow problematic scribes to render successfully.

2) Possible workaround for a scribe that won't open:

Other problems mentioned below may result in one or more damaged or faulty element while working or saving. If you have one or more problematic elements in your scribe, they can cause a crash or prevent the scribe from rendering or saving properly. If a scribe or element actually becomes corrupt, and you cannot open or render a scribe, you may be able to identify and remove the damaged element(s) by exporting and then importing the scribe. If you have  version 1, close the scribe, right-click the thumbnail image in the locally saved scribes directory and choose "export to file". Then import it back into videoscribe which will force the program to check for errors. The import button is here:

If you have  Version 2 export/import instructions:  import-and-export using Version 2

If the scribe is saved online instead of locally, you can download the scribe from your account page and then import it into videoscribe. (NOTE: This process does not "FIX" EVERYTHING wrong with a scribe, but it sometimes removes damaged elements, so that you can continue working on it.

3) IMPORTANT!!! Videoscribe works best if you optimize ALL of your images for good quality and small file sizes. If you don't know anything about optimizing images, a search on youtube or google may help bring you up to speed.

Properly prepared JPG and PNG images can usually be in the 1-250 KB range. If you are using images that are more than 1 MB then they are probably larger than necessary and may be causing out-of-memory problems. (the file sizes I provided are only a rough guideline.) For JPG and PNG images: the dimensions of the image probably do not need to be larger than the dimensions of the finished video. GIMP (free at and photoshop and other programs offer methods for saving images with smaller file sizes without noticeable reduction in image quality.

Here is a link to a scribe using an oversized JPG image and a smaller, better optimized version of the same jpg image. In this example the original image is so sharp and high contrast that it actually looks grainy in the scribe. Adding a little bit of blur and reducing the image size and the file size results in a better looking image that traces better, looks cleaner, and is less likely to contribute to memory problems:

video link: image optimization

The SVGs that work best in videoscribe can usually be less than 100KB and contain only stroked paths and/or filled paths. Larger SVGs may contain excessive numbers of anchor points or problematic data like masking or clipping paths, which can contribute to freezes or crashes.  Delete hidden layers from your SVGs. (hidden layers increase file size. larger file sizes require more memory to process.) Also there are are some youtube tutorials that mention leaving embedded JPGs or PNGs or other images in your SVG files, but you should probably optimize such images first if you are going to embed them. Larger files may cause excessive memory use resulting in slowdowns, freezes or crashes.

Recommended SVG save settings for illustrator:

EDIT: select  "embed" instead of "link" if you are embedding an image in your SVG (optimize the image before adding it to your SVG!) 

4) Avoid very large very fast camera movements or extreme zoom in/zoom out between elements. If you are experiencing a freeze and you have at least one huge camera movement,  try reducing the camera's travel distance by moving the elements closer together and/or scaling the elements to similar sizes, or slightly increasing the transition time for that camera move. If your images are very spread out then the final zoom-out-at-end may be so extreme that it causes a problem. Grouping elements closer together into a roundish blob may be better than spreading them out in a long line.

5) Things will probably run more smoothly if you  keep your camera zoom approximately in the 25%-500%  range for EVERY element.  After you add any element, immediately click "set camera" then scale or move the element as desired. You can set the camera again if needed. Do this for every element you add in order to avoid accidental zooming which may become worse with each element. (when you zoom in and out, you should see a little blue tab in the lower left corner of the canvas showing your current zoom level.) You MAY be able to zoom in to 1000% or more before seeing problems, but I wouldn't recommend it. (percentages mentioned here are only estimated).

6) Some previous threads have suggested that very large blocks of text may cause problems. If you have paragraphs of text, then breaking the text element into 2 or 3 smaller elements may help.

7) ASK SUPPORT for specific feedback: You can save the scribe online, providing the name of your saved scribe (in your own thread), describing the exact symptom you are experiencing and asking customer support to take a look at it. also check the troubleshooting section of the INSTANT ANSWERS page for known bugs or solutions to common problems.

8) in all versions, if you have insufficient hard drive space, your video may fail to save. I believe even videos being saved directly to youtube, must first save a copy on your hard drive.

9) in Version 2.0 some users have reported problems rendering WMV files, or uploading directly to facebook, youtube or powerpoint, but not other file formats. Try rendering  to MOV or FLV instead (requires a pro membership)

10) In Version 2 if you have imported many fonts, try deleting the ones you aren't using. More imported fonts take up more memory. Some fonts may use more memory than others.

11) THIS HAS BEEN FIXED: in version 2.0 some users have reported that inclusion of a voiceover may prevent the scribe from rendering successfully or even saving. I don't know if a specific cause or workaround has been determined at the time this post was last updated. I'd recommend searching for related threads. I think this problem has been resolved in versions 2.02 and newer

12) If your video rendering repeatedly freezes at the same part, and you've already tried restarting videoscribe and optimizing your images and making your camera settings moderate, I'd suggest deleting that image and maybe the image after it, and then importing them back in.

13) THIS HAS BEEN FIXED: in version 2.0 it has been noted that morphing with an animate time of zero will cause videoscribe to freeze. change animation type from Morph to Draw. I think that problem has been resolved in versions 2.0.2 and newer.

14) FIXED: support has indicated that if you have many many locally saved scribes, they may cause memory problems. You can save them online or export them to standalone scribe files if you wish to delete some of the locally saved scribes that show up as thumbnails in the program. I think this problem is specific to version 2.0.0 and 2.0.1 and may have been resolved in 2.02

15) if the scribe freezes at the same part repeatedly (when playing or rendering) then there may be a problem with that element or camera setting or maybe the image has become corrupt as a result of other problems in the scribe. Try deleting that image and re-adding it.

16) general tips for making SVGs that draw well and don't crash videoscribe: How can I make SVGs that draw well (community guide) ?

17) I believe that higher image import quality settings require more processsing power and memory. The maximum setting is 4000. I'd suggest 1000 or less.

18) Sometimes a corrupt image may cause the timeline to appear blank in version 2.

To solve this:

1. Select all the items on the canvas - CTRL+A

2. Copy all the items - CTRL+C

3. Close the scribe and open a new, blank scribe

4. Paste all the items into the new scribe - CTRL+V


All the items should appear along with all the items in the timeline. You may find that there is a particular image that appears blank in the timeline or is really small on the canvas. You should delete this item.

-Mike (videoscribe user)

2 people have this question

For the instant answer related to this post please see -

With all due respect after trying all suggestions here I am still having rendering problems with Sparkol. What else can I do. This is really annoying.

Hi Ainsworth,

If you could Ask a new support question and include details of exactly what problems you are getting we can investigate for you.

If you could also Save your scribe online that would help


I am having the same issues. Have not been able to save any video on my computer and I tried everything suggested.


Hi Rigo,

Could you ask a new support question and save your scribe online as described above?

We can then take a look at your scribe



Is anyone else experiencing this problem? I have been unable to use VideoScribe for several days. Every action makes it freeze and crash. Here is a strange phenomenon that popped up about the same time this began. I get these strange aqua colored rectangles show up.

I have forwarded these problems to Sparkol and have not seen any remedies offered.


Hi Ed,

Joe is dealing with your support question and I believe it is related to a zooming issue



I believe the little rectangles indicate elements that are not being displayed properly due to memory problems.

resolving (some or all of ) the factors that are hogging up all the memory and then rebooting should probably fix that symptom.

EDIT: hopefully Andy and Joe have helped you resolve this issue which may have been related to extreme camera zoom settings which can cause memory issues, or possibly multiple extra fonts imported which weren't being used, causing memory issues.

-Mike (videoscribe user)


Thanks, Mike. The only elements used are text, with no zooming. I have nothing else running, and have tons of memory available on my system. VideoScribe opens and shows to be using about 135,000k. When I open this scribe, which consists or 69 frames of nothing but simple text with music and voice over, it shoots up to 1.8 Million k. There is no reason this should be using this much memory. Always appreciate your help.


With reference to number 11, does that mean we can't use voice overs?? I am having the same issues. I have spent hours on synch up a scribe to a voice over in a foreign language and when I went to save it crashed and I lost everything. Has anyone successfully resolved this crashing issue?

Hi Akime,

sorry that you have experienced this issue.

Could you let me know a few things about your scribe and operating environment:

are you using Windows or Mac?

What kind of recording equipment are you using?

how long is your scribe?

do you have a soundtrack on it?

Are you able to save your scribe to the online directory?

Are you using the latest version of Videoscribe?

After 24 days there are no further comments so has this been resolved ?

I am having the exact same problem and have tried all of the suggestions above without success.
My old video maker FX was more reliable than this and in having to  get a video out on a very tight time line my frustration was nearly high enough for me to say a few choice words !!

Come on support, get it sorted. Videoscribe is very quick to send out newsletters etc but these arent resolving my problem.


Hi Derek, Mathew is a Sparkol support team member and was the last person to leave a comment here.

If you need any specific help or support, please raise a support ticket and we will be able to assist.

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