Content switching placeholders when moving between layouts

Dec 11, 2013

G'day Storyliners

Geez, 2 posts in one day!

Alrighty, here's my problem:

  • I've created a new slide master 
  • I've created multiple sibling layouts (text on right side, media left; media on right, text on left etc) to give me flexibility when inserting content - mix it up a bit, if you will.
  • I've used placeholders for the various media elements and named the layers (in the timeline) in the same manner i.e. layout 1 has a 'Title' field, layout 2,3 4 have a 'Title' field. In most instance I will have 4 text placeholders on each layout (all serve same purpose) these are: Breadcrumb, Screen_Title, Screen_Text and Pagecount

All good thus far....

However, when I apply a layout a template to existing content the text elements shuffle around and often appear in the wrong text placeholder e.g. When I switch from one layout to another the 'Screen_Text' content ends up in the Breadcrumb or Title box.....Grrrrrrr

Am I doing something wrong here? I would've assumed that if I've named my placeholder containers in an identical way, they'd map across when moving between layouts???




26 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Jim,

I was trying this with a basic set up as you described (with originally two different text fields) and when applying a different layout, the text stayed in the correct box. When I added two more (screen text and page count) those items switched when I changed the layout. 

I was able to duplicate your issue, so I've submitted my file to our Quality Assurance team for their review. I cannot offer a time frame for when or if this issue will be resolved so please continue to take advantage of the workaround if you encounter this issue in the future.

In the meantime, it seems that adding a new slide and applying the layout allows for the correct placement of text. 

James Picton

Hi Ashley

Many thanks! What you'll also find is that on occasion, when switching these layouts the UNDO functionality won't work either. So, in my  case when I have a lot of text on screen and apply a different layout it becomes a final action (e.g. changing layout causes the screen text - i.e. the content - to move into the page count box, or title bar - depending on how the particular layout mapped the various placeholders). A quick flick of the UNDO button doesn't revert the alyout back to its original state, even reverting the layout back to the original layout fails to return the content to its original state.

Many thanks for getting the team to sort this out - the layout master capability is fantastic and, when it works properly, will allow instructional designers to flick between different pre-build layouts 'on the fly' in order to tweak the overall look and feel, or adjust it simply to meet SME needs.

BTW: I've also noted a related master layout  issue with the 'TITLE' tickbox in the layout master (located in the placeholder menu area), wherein the title tickbox does NOT stay ticked - and does NOT create a title placeholder. I have only tried this feature in this build - whilst creating custom layouts, so not sure if this bug has just surfaced?  The original post is located at and has been verified by another Storyliner. I tried to raise a support ticket, but we only have IE7 installed on our workstations (yes....I know.....) and it falls over with a coding error; so, if you're able to maybe check this issue out too and tie it into the other issue, that'd be awesome



Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi James,

Thanks for sharing the additional information, and the link to your other thread. I went ahead and opened up a Support case on your behalf so that you can share the additional information and a file if you have one. This will help as we'll have an additional test file if you're able to share. 

I'll follow along in the case as well. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Ray,

I know that there was an issue in SL1 that we reported to our QA team, but I don't have additional information to share on that particular issue. I don't yet see that this has been reported in regards to Storyline 2 - do you have an example we could take a look at in terms of how you're placeholders are moving? You mentioned where they sit in the timeline - so it would be helpful tos ee how you've set this up and if it's something we can replicate. 

Al Mansori

Hi Ashley, I did not understand what workaround you are referring to in your 1st reply?
Is this about PowerPoint?  I am using version 2010 and this issue has been creating havoc.
I have no idea what random algorithm PPT is using to copy the content of placeholders when applying a different layout.  My place holders are named the same eg.  "Arabic", "Trans",  "Eng"  from layout to another I will change style and locations.  Sometime the layout I am applying may drop a field for example "Eng" I expect it to be orphaned and I will handle it manually.
I have no other placeholders in the master layouts (like footer, etc...).

I tried changing the order of the placeholder under the "selection pane" both in the master layout and slide instance but it has not effect on how it wants to map to the content. 
Thanks for any pointers and/or updates.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Al,

The thread above was in reference to Storyline. Are you seeing this in your Storyline files or your Presenter files? As you'll see the issue was reported to our QA team for Storyline 1 within my last reply, but I hadn't seen it in Storyline 2. 

If you're having difficulty in Presenter we'd want to take a look at your Presenter package as described here.  You can than share it here with us or send it along to our support engineers here. 

Lauren McDonald

Hi Ashley,

I take the following steps when on the master slide view:

1) Create new layout

2) Check box for title

3) Insert new text placeholder

The Title box shows as checked but the new placeholder inserted shows as a regular text box and not a title box. When I apply the master layout to a slide the placeholder also shows up as a regular text box. If I go back into the master slide view and look at that layout the Title checkbox is unchecked.

I attached a video of this happening. Thanks!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Lauren,

Thanks for the video - and it looks like this issue is a bit different than the one described earlier here. From what I saw, when you start the new layout, you selected for it to have a title - but I didn't see that placeholder box generated automatically on the slide (it may have been up higher than I could see?) which is the behavior I experience. Since you then added in a text box placeholder, I would expect that to be what is available when revisiting that layout. I could see your slide master's timelines and there I did notice that you had only the text box placeholder, but not the title - even with the item checked off. I also saw that the main base slide in the master does not have a title placeholder associated with it and I think that is what isn't allowing you to add the title placeholder as a part of that layout. 

I see a similar issue shared with our QA team, so I'll connect it with this thread - but I don't have any additional information to share in regards to a fix or an update on it. In the meantime, it seems that if you duplicate a layout that already included the title placeholder or use a slide master base slide that has a title placeholder both of those will work for the new layouts you're adding. 

Kyle Buckel

I'm having the same issue in SL3 with a quiz slide layout - the quiz choices are moving into a text placeholder I'm using as a header even though the layout in the master has the correct placeholders int he correct position.. This is one more issue tacked on to the list of things I was hoping would have been resolved with SL3 compared to SL2 and SL1. This community is great for help with setting up interactions, triggers, and the like. Not so much when it comes to software usability/functionality issues. 

Kyle Buckel

Hi Alyssa,

I would need to create a new file without our clients proprietary information in it before I would be able to share it. I do not have time to do this right now. I removed the title placeholder from the quiz slide layout in the master and the question/choices go to the correct placeholders. if I added a title placeholder back in, everything shuffles around. I have been creating slides without the title and copying/pasting the title from a basic template I built for all courses for this client. 

Stian Larsen

Hi all, I still have this issue, and its a real pain to work with. I've had one layout, and I duplicated the whole Slide Master including its Layouts. In the new copy, I do not touch the placeholders, but I alter the background graphics and such. But still, if I go on to switch from the existing master to the new duplicate, it flips and title goes into content field and so on. 

BTW: I do not use the "Title" checkbox, because it has no function in SL3. Clicking this checkbox does nothing, so I need two text placeholders for title and for content.

Tina Marie Lalonde

I've been having this problem for a long time, and still happening with Build 3.31.19951.0
It's to the point we cannot rely on slidemasters while creating questions.  As soon as I add a new placeholder, the question "Choice text styles" moves around to the new "text style" placeholder. Is there a solution in the works?  Thank you


Katie Riggio

Hi there, instructional design and Tina.

I'm really sorry you're both at this roadblock. While the root of this behavior has been a tough one for us to identify, we'd love to troubleshoot further to keep your development running smoothly!

To start, I see strange behavior in a sample Storyline 360, Update 31, file that seems to match what you're both describing. Does this short recording capture the issue?

If that’s not quite right, would you mind sharing a Peek 360 of the problem so I can take a closer look? If it's easier to share a .story file with us, we're happy to test it with your permission. You can send it privately to us by using this link. We'll delete it after troubleshooting!

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