Automatically populate slide title onto the slide or menu

Is there a way to automate inserting the slide title ( slide title name) into the slide without having to retype it manually?

For example if the slide is titled "introduction" and I have a text label on the slide that matches that, if I change the slide title name can the text label automatically pick up that change?

24 Replies
Daniel Sposato (Philly)

Do you mean typing a title, say at the top of the screen (in a text field), will then automatically replace the name under the slide thumbnails whenever it is changed?

That is possible through the use of a master title placeholder in the Slide Master View.

Also, if you go into Player Properties and in the Menu section, changes here will only affect the menu itself. But you can click the "reset from story button" under the menu list. That will update all of your slide names to match the title names that are under the thumbnails in your course.

Daniel Sposato (Philly)

All you need to do is check the little title check box in the Slide Master view.

It will automatically add the title text field.

This seems to at times to have no effect in an existing project. So my advice is to open a second instance of SL2 and start a new project and do the above in that. Then just copy and paste this title master into your existing project.

Daniel Sposato (Philly)

So today I discovered the simple thing you need to do in order to fix a title slide in SL2 to work the way you were asking. Just change the name to "Untitled Slide" directly under the thumbnail. It will then auto change to the temple title placeholder if present on the slide.

So if you already have a title in the MS is should auto update to the slide title name. But if you don't have it in the MS your currently using, switch the slides MS or add the text field by coping one from another slide that has a working one.

Stass Ioujanina

Is there a similar trick for Storyline360? "Untitled Slide" doesn't seem to do anything.

When we initially created slides, their thumbnails automatically updated with the titles. However, at some point, the thumbnail titles were changed directly (which didn't change the title text on the slide itself). Now the slide thumbnail needs to be manually changed every time the slide title is changed.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Jaime,

This conversation is a bit dated and I'm not sure if the folks here are still subscribed.

Can you share what you are trying to do and what is not working? Better yet, what issue did you run into or what activity would you like to accomplish that landed you in this conversation. 

We'd be happy to take a look and help 😊

Jaime Pimsler

Hi Leslie,

I am trying to have the slide thumbnails automatically updated with the titles from each individual slide as I change them. They currently are not doing that/got out of sync, so I am forced to manually update thumbnail because the menu in the player only reflects the titles of the thumbnails. 

I want the menu display in the player to reflect the titles of the actual slides in the presentation.



Lauren Connelly

Hi Jamie!

I'm happy to help! You can customize the slide titles in the Menu, but they won't reflect the slide itself. Instead, I'd recommend making changes to the Slide Name or Title text box on the slide. This way, the menu will be updated with the new slide name.

If you need to refresh the Menu in the player, you'll want to choose the Reset from Story button. 

Let me know if you have additional questions, Jamie!

Joselina Sutoyo

Is there a way I set up in Master Slide to display Slide Title automatically on the slide itself?

I tried inserting this reference " %Project.SlideTitle% in the Master slide Title text, hoping the slide text will be updated automatically when I update the Slide thumbnail title. Any clue? Thanks!

Noel Sapp

Be sure to change the slide THUMBNAIL text under the thumbnail to Untitled Slide and that should reset the thumbnail title to match your slide's actual title. If that's not working, check to make sure that your slide is referencing a proper Master Slide layout that uses the Slide Title Placeholder text frame.

I believe you can have only one Slide Title Placeholder per Master Slide (someone correct me if I'm wrong), so it could be also that someone created a second title place holder on a master and that one is being used in your normal slide instead? That's getting kinda deep though and unlikely IMO. 

Also, If you manually drew a text frame on your slide and positioned that as your slide title, then that could be the issue as that manual text frame would have no association to the thumbnail title. It needs to be a proper Master Slide, Slide Title Placeholder.


Noel Sapp

Yeah, without seeing the actual slide it's harder to troubleshoot. Knowing how Slide Titles and those pesky Master Slide text Placeholders work, my gut feeling is that the issue is there.

We have a few staff here that, for whatever reason, DELETE those text placeholders for Slide Titles and Slide Body text. If anyone within your production line does that and, instead, draws a new text frame on each slide then that will be the issue. It may LOOK like a slide title, but it can't function as one unless it's those very specific Master Slide, Slide Title Placeholder frames.

Just for fun and testing, try this:

  1. Save up, then save your current working file with a TESTING file name. That way you have your original (clean) working file, and this new testing file. We may break something and you don't want to go and mess up a good working file. Crashes happen enough as it is ;)
  2. From within your TESTING working file (the original is safe and secure somewhere else, now, right?), go to the slide that's giving you grief.
  3. Click on the title text frame of that slide.
  4. Delete the title text frame of that slide.

Did anything happen? If you are using the proper setup, then once you delete your slide title you should see the default Slide Title Placeholder take its place. You can confirm this because it will show the text, "Click to add title."

If after deleting your title text frame it does NOT show the text, "Click to add title," then that tells me that you aren't using the proper title placeholder as described above and in my earlier post. If this is the case, your thumbnail will NEVER reflect what you are typing as a slide title.

If it DOES show the text, Click to add title," then just retype it. See if that clears it up. You may need to then retype "Untitled Slide" under the thumbail to try to re-associate the thumbnail back to the slide. I'm not sure, to be honest. Someone listed a numbers step process earlier so scroll up a bit for that if you need it.


If you are NOT seeing, "Click to add title" then maybe the slide isn't linked to a Master Slide? To test this:

  1. Find the slide thumbnail.
  2. Right-click the thumbnail itself and click "Apply Layout" from the context menu that appears. This will reveal all the Master Slides currently available to you, and will show you which of those Masters is being used on your current slide selection.
  3. Whichever Master Slide is currently associated with that slide should be highlighted in light blue. Your settings MAY show different, but it will be highlighted one way or another.
  4. If the highlighted Master Slide is titled, "Blank" then there is your issue. The default BLANK Master has no placeholder text frames. You will need to select another Master Slide layout that at least has a "Title" placeholder. The most basic, default Master Slides should offer you "Title and Content," "Title Only," "Question," "Question with Media," and "Blank." People make their own custom Master Slides, so you may see a whole group of wonky slide master options too.
  5. After selecting one of the other Master Layouts that has a real, working Slide Title placeholder, your slide content may shift. We're just testing so that's cool. At least now you may be able to see the correct Slide Title placeholder frame. If so, then type in your title. Look at the thumbnail.
  6. If the Thumbnail title did not automatically update, then try typing the "Untitled Slide" under the thumbnail process again. That should sort you.

Note: Unfortunately, this may affect slide layout so I guess there's a measure to be made here. Which will cost LESS time: Updating slides or just manually typing in the thumbnail titles any time you change the slide title. Doin this for every slide MAY not be worth the effort depending on how complex things are.

One last thought:

The only other thing I can think of might be that you have an extra "Space" in your thumbnail title text. After double-clicking the thumbnail title to edit it, do a CTRL + A to Select All (or just triple-click that text to make sure any Spaces before or after are also selected. THEN type Untitled Slide

That's about all I got. Even if you managed to totally destroy this test file, you got the original working saved up..... right? That's always good practice :)


Maria Costa-Stienstra

Hi, everyone.

I just wanted to share that we are no longer seeing the bug reported where the slide thumbnail will not sync with the slide title using the latest build of Storyline (3.61.27106.0).

If you're using the latest version and you're still experiencing this issue, please reach out to our support team through a case