Slide Master View: A Big E-Learning Time Saver

Though not required to build a course, slide masters are an amazing tool that let you apply universal design changes to multiple slides all at once, meaning you don’t need to update slides separately. Think of the time and effort saved!

A slide master is a special “behind the scenes” type of slide that controls the look and feel of the slides in your Articulate projects. Every PowerPoint and Articulate Storyline project has at least one slide master that stores the design information for its slides, from the background, color scheme, and fonts to the size and location of content placeholders.

 Each slide master also contains a collection of associated slide layouts, which inherit all the properties of the master. Basically, each slide layout is a different collection of placeholders that designate the size and location for various types of content, including text, graphics, shapes, and tables.


 Every slide is linked with a slide master and one of its related slide layouts. When you need to make a widespread style change to your slides, simply adjust them in Slide Master view. Changes to the slide master will affect every slide in your presentation; changes to an individual slide layout will only affect the slides using that layout.

Slide master view

Opening Slide Master View

Accessing the Slide Master is super easy in both Storyline and PowerPoint. Just go to the View tab and click the Slide Master button.  

Storyline and Studio Slide Masters

 You can use Slide Master view to do a lot of things, from a few minor tweaks to significant renovations. Here are a few common uses: 

  • Add Global Elements: The slide master is the place to put anything that you want to appear on every slide. For example, if you add your company logo to the slide master, it will automatically appear on every slide—even those you add later. Not only does that save development time, it will make your publishing time faster too. 
  • Customize Backgrounds: Slide Master view makes it easy to customize background colors and images for all of your slides at the same time.
  • Modify Content Placeholders: If you ever find yourself making the same type of tweaks to the existing placeholders on your slides, you can save time by rearranging them in Slide Master view instead. By adjusting a layout in Slide Master view, all of the slides with that layout will update to match. 
  • Customize Text Formatting: Instead of formatting the text on each slide individually, use Slide Master view to change the text color on all slides at once.

After making updates in Slide Master view, it’s always a good idea to do a quick review of your slides to make sure everything looks the way you planned. 

The next time you need to make any far-reaching design changes to your e-learning slides, be sure to try Slide Master view. Who knows? It might make you feel better about all of those last-minute requests for “just a few small changes.” And even if it doesn’t, you’ll still feel good knowing how to use the Slide Master view to make quick work of it.

If you want to try this yourself but don’t have Studio ’13, no problem. Just sign up for a fully functional, free trial. And don’t forget to post your questions and comments in the forums! We’re here to help. For more e-learning tips, examples, and downloads, follow us on Twitter.

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Karl Richter