One of my favorite features in Articulate Storyline is how easy it is to create my own background images. For example, I often just need an image of an office atmosphere. And since I’m only going to use it in the background, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on expensive stock photography.

My favorite trick? I use my smartphone to take a picture of an office setting and don’t worry much about the details. Then, in Storyline, I adjust the photo and turn my ordinary picture into a tidy background image. I’ll walk you through the process using the picture shown below.

You see a lot of chairs and some tables. Overall this might not be your preferred image for a brochure, but with some Storyline tweaks it can work nicely as a background image.

On your slide in Storyline, go to the Design tab, choose Background Styles, and from there select Format Background. The Fill menu will look like this:

By selecting Picture or texture fill you’ll get the option to select and insert your image. If you want, you can play around with the Transparency settings on the bottom of the menu. That alone makes a real difference.

Under the Picture tab, there are even more formatting options:

This is where the real fun begins! Check out the different styles under Preset. You can modify each of these in Brightness or Contrast.

For our sample image, here are some results that I liked:

For even more dramatic effects, you can try the Blending Modes underneath. Overlay and Soft Light are the most commonly used modes, but you can also get interesting effects with the others:

These two images show how different the results can be. I've used the Linear Light mode on the left image and Pin Light with some extra transparency on the right.

And after adding some of your content, it could look like this:

Now it’s your turn. Have you used any of Storyline’s image formatting modes? If so, which are your favorites? Please share them below.

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