Apply new master to Draw from Question Bank slides

Sep 09, 2015

I have a course in which I have to change the visual design of all the slides. The file has question banks, one for each of several topics, and within each bank there are between 3-6 questions. I have a Draw from Question Bank slide for each question bank.

What I want to do is build a fresh master question slide and reapply it to all the slides, updating them all to match the new master graphics and placeholder layout and formatting. I can't seem to apply a new master to a slide that's already been created, nor can I change the layout of the existing master and reapply or update. When I choose a new master through the View > Master Slide, the graphics change but the position of the text doesn't change to reflect the new placeholder position.

Another option would be if I could just import my questions (without any formatting) and add new Draw from Question bank slides using the new master, but that doesn't seem to work either.

12 Replies
Fiona Macelli

What I have found is that you need to use/change the master that is labeled "question layout" for any changes to quiz questions. See the attached image for a more clear explanation.  If your quiz is already using the Question layout, then any changes you make to that layout should carry through automatically to your question banks, 

If you are just creating a new layout (a "custom layout") within the original master, and trying to apply it to a question slide, it doesn't work.  I've also found that making formatting changes to the layout called "question with media", and then applying that layout to the question slide, also doesn't seem to work.  You'd think it ought to, but it doesn't.

If you want to have multiple different arrangements that you want to choose from, you'll need to create another master, but still use the layout called "question". To apply the new master to the slide, exit out of Master View, go to the question bank, and for each slide, right-click the thumbnail and choose Layout. See the second attached picture.

Hopefully that works for your file.  If it's still not working and you're editing the Question master that you've already used, make sure that the question text in the final design you want to use is higher (vertically on the screen) than the choice text.  If you're trying to create a layout that has the question choices appearing beside the question text, it will move on you to keep the question text above the choices.  That is a confirmed bug.

Lee-Ann Williams

I don't know if this is my issue, but when playing with this file earlier, I moved the text on the slide layout. Now if I reapply the master, the text I changed remains in place, but the placeholder from the master also appears. 

After repeated experiments, I can find no way to simply reapply the edited master slide and have it move the elements into their new position, either in a new file with the questions imported, or in the original file. This is with keeping all the original placeholders on the question master and editing their size, font, and position only, so it's not a placeholder mismatch issue. I will have to move every slide element individually, or re-paste all the question text into the form view of a new slide for every question.

Fiona Macelli

Yeah, I see what you're saying Lee-Ann. This file is very screwed up and I don't know how to help you with it.  It looks like maybe the current placeholders on the master you're trying to use are not the original "default" placeholders, so the software is trying to add them rather than change what you have.  I can see that your master no longer has an element that's labeled with the title symbol for example. That's where the question text "wants" to go by default. The choice placeholder no longer seems to be the original either.

I believe that Storyline isn't able to recognize your placeholders as what you intend.

Do you have an earlier version of the file that has the questions in it but no changes have been made to the master?  If you share that, maybe there's more that I can do to help, but I think it depends on what you did with these question slides originally. 

Lee-Ann Williams

No, unfortunately, I don't. I've been adding questions to this file, assuming that once I got my new graphics I could change the master question slide and reapply it. But, even if I start with a brand new master in this same file, the slide elements do not change based on the new Question master.

At this point, I've started a new file and I'm just going to manually replace all the questions from my original spreadsheet. Even now, I can't get the master elements to stay in place. One of my text box placeholders has vertically centered text and I vertically centered it on one of the graphics, but when I use it to create a graded question, the box on each slide moves up to align to the top of the position of the text box placeholder on the master. I really don't want to start moving text on a slide-by-slide basis, because I think that's probably what broke the link to my master in the first place, but I don't see any alternative.

Fiona Macelli

Ok, I have something for you to try, and from a small test it seems to be working.  Start a new, blank file. Make one question in it that you'll throw away later.  This question will use the default formatting and preserve the default master question layout.

Import your questions into the new file. Right click the questions and change their layout to the default layout (the one that is plain).  This should hopefully 'clean' the layout while preserving the content.

Now start over with creating the master slide.  You can either do this in the new file you just started (by adding a new master to the ones that already exist) or in a brand new file. Create this new master layout from scratch by adding the shapes and your images, but don't remove the placeholders that are there by default. You should be able to resize, move, color the default ones into your new arrangement, but don't delete them or copy them from your old layout.

When you're done, you should have a fresh Question master in the layout you want, and you should be able to apply it to your existing questions.  Hope it works!! 

Ok, back to my real job! :)

Brett Rockwood

Don't know if this is of help but if you notice at the bottom of the Layout drop down there is a "Reset" option. I was frustrated with other question slides that didn't seem to take on the master settings when I selected them; they maintained overrides. If you click this "reset" bit it should put all the standard master pieces back where they belong. If you've removed the original master pieces and put in your own, it may be unpredictable.

Lee-Ann Williams

OMG, let me try that...

OK, that has helped. I made a new master, added my graphics to it, then applied the new layout, then reset (wouldn't work to reset first then apply the new layout, it introduced another layout problem that "stuck" no matter what I did.). The only thing not working now is my question text is showing up black on the slides and white on the master. If that's the only issue, I'll just fix it and hope I never have to reset the slides again.

Thanks, Brett and Fiona