Custom Storyline Themes

Sep 03, 2013

I'm having a variety of problems when I try to create and save custom themes. 

In my first attempt, I created several slide masters in the same file, but when I tried to save them, I somehow ended up with the wrong theme paired with the name, even though I was very careful to select the correct theme when naming/saving them. 

I thought maybe Storyline didn't like that I had created multiple master slides sets within the same file and was saving the themes from that file, so I cut and pasted each master slide set into a separate new project and tried to save them from there. The themes that I got when doing that appeared with the correct name and formatting when I opened them in a new project. However, when I try to apply these themes, the Clean theme shows up instead of the custom theme (and the thumbnail up in the theme menu changes to look like the clean theme, too).

When pasting the slide masters into the new project in order to create the themes, I noticed that the Clean theme was still there, and I tried to delete it, but Storyline wouldn't let me. I'm assuming that it's this left-over version of Clean within the theme that is causing Clean to override the master set that I created, but I don't see how to prevent that when I can't delete it.

Is there some trick I'm missing? I'm kind of at my wits end with this. It seems like the things I'm trying should work, but they don't. I'm working in Parallels on a Mac, so Windows is running on a VM, but everything is "local" to that VM, so I can't imagine that is the problem. If it is, I may be SOL when it comes to using Storyline, which won't be good for me or my client.

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions anyone can provide.

20 Replies
blair parkin

Hi Martha

When I create a new theme it still keeps the old thumbanil of he Clean theme, but applies the changes of my custom theme. I'm not sure what else you could do, although you could try creating a template with your custom theme, then for each project you'd just import the template at the beginning and all of your custom layouts and designs will come in.


Martha Hales

Thanks, Blair.

That's probably exactly what I'll do. In order to create the demo for the client, I' went back to the project where I initially created the various slide masters and saved it under a different name. When I've got the layouts the way I want them, I'll save it as a template and not worry about trying to save the individual themes.

Martha Hales

Actually, Ashley, I would love to have an answer to my original question. What Blair posted regarding templalets is a work-around that I can use in the moment, but it's not a solution to the overall problem of saved themes not working they way I would expect when accessed from a new project. He doesn't seem to be having the problem of the Clean theme actually overriding his custom template.

I need to be able to create and save a theme and have it work in a new project. As I said in my original post, when I had multiple sets of master slides in on project, the themes got messed up when I saved them. I had three custom themes I'd created while experimenting with possible layouts (I'll call them Theme A, Theme B, and Theme C). Here's what happened:

1. I highlighted Theme A and saved it, it looked OK.

2. I highlighted Theme B and saved it, and it initially looked like Theme B.

3. Same with Theme C.

4. I then went into a new project to use them, and Themes B and C had taken on Theme A's properties.

I decided that maybe it Storyline was confused by the multiple master slide sets when saving the themes, and I decided to copy each master slide set individually into a new project and save the theme from there, but essentially, the same thing happened with the Clean master set playing the same role as Theme A had played before. It seemingly overrode the new master slide set that I had pasted into the project, and there was no way to get rid of the Clean theme, because it apparently can't be deleted.

It seems that I need to be able to do is:

1. Copy a set of master slides into a new project.

2. Delete the Clean master from the new project.

3. Save that new project's theme with only the pasted master slides. 

Otherwise, trying to save themes has been a mess in my experience. But maybe there's something that I'm missing. 

I realize that I could go into the new project and edit the Clean master set to look like the set that I'm pasting in, but that's a lot of work to have to redo if I happen to have created the set I like elsewhere.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Martha,

My apologies for not fully understanding your first post. Thank you for providing additional information and explanation. I've gone ahead and opened up a Support case on your behalf so that our team can more fully test it, and determine what the root cause of the problem is. I'll follow along in your case as well ( # 00354469  for my reference) so that I can update this thread too. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Lisa,

I took a look at Martha's case, and the suggested approach was to:

Begin by creating a template containing your Slide Master (create a new story, then copy & paste one of the theme from your original story over the clean template. Save the changes as a .storytemplate file.). Here's how to create, share, and use Storyline templates. Also we don't currently support the feature to delete the clean master, although you're welcome to submit a feature request. 

Janet Gregory

I'm having what may be a related problem.  I am trying to install two themes with specific color palettes.  Each theme is saved in a separate .storytemplate file.  I've tried several times to use these templates and save the themes under unique names.  On the most recent attempts, I successfully saved the first theme but when I tried to save the second theme I had two different results (both not what I was expecting).  On one attempt, the second theme was called Clean.  On another attempt, second theme was called the first theme name.

Somehow I have to get both themes on the computers of another eight instructional designers so I really need help to get this process figured out.


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Janet and welcome to Heroes!

Sorry to hear about the difficulties you're experiencing, and to further troubleshoot I'd want to know more about the steps you took to save the second theme. In regards to it being called "clean" - were you making these changes to the clean set of master slides? For the second scenario you mentioned were you updating the existing "first" theme or did you start from a new file? 

You'll also want to confirm that you're working on setting these up by utilizing local project files as described here. 

Chere Chete

Hi Ashely, I am trying to use Custom Themes in Storyline for the first time this week and I am finding it non-intuitive.  I haven't found detailed reference material that can help me navigate how the themes work (the logic behind them).  Can you direct me to some information?  It is behaving in ways I do not expect.  It is either because of bugs or because the logic behind it is not intuitive.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Chere,

There is information here on how to set up your own themes, and then import them into your project. 

You may also want to review these additional tutorials on:

Working with Theme Colors

Working with Theme Fonts

If there is a specific issue you're running into, and that documentation doesn't assist could you offer a bit more about what's happening and what you'd like to see occur? 

This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.