How to share SL color themes between computers/colleagues?

I know there are posts about this but I can't for the life of me find them, so I'll just ask.

A colleague and I are sharing a SL file. She created a custom color theme that shows up when she's working in the document. But when I open it on my computer, the theme isn't there. I remember something about needing to export the theme as an xml file, but I can't remember the details. Can someone point me in the right direction?


27 Replies
Laura Payette

I saw that theme, but it doesn't really help since his issue ended up being a bug. I distinctly remember there being a way to export the color scheme as an xml file and then put it in my %appdata% (C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Articulate\Templates\Themes\Theme Colors) folder. But I can't figure out for the life of me how to have my colleague export the colors as an xml file. ???

I can have her export the file as a .storytemplate, but I've got a different instance of the file going now (I did a Save As to her original file). How do I shoehorn in the colors?

Christine Hendrickson

Ahh, ok - I didn't realize you wanted to pull them in that way - sorry!

Try the steps provided at the bottom of this article. This will create the XML file. She should be able to share that file with you and you should be able to paste that file into the directory and load it into your course.

Let me know if this works!


Christine Hendrickson

Hi Laura,

Ok, this took me quite a while to figure out - I couldn't find any articles or posts about this, so I went about it the long way.

However, I struck oil!  I hope you'll be happy with what I discovered and hopefully others will be able to use this info, as well.

Alright, first of all - this is the location of the theme color XML files (it might vary depending on operating systems):

C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Articulate\Shared\2.0\Designs\Theme Colors

Here, you'll see a list of the theme files:

Since custom themes don't seem to save here, you'll need to have your colleague figure out the HTML code for the colors she's using. To do so, have her go into the theme and find the code.

You can find it here:

Once she has the codes for the colors, she can start making the XML file. In the folder containing the them colors, right-click on any of the themes (I tested with "Technic") and choose "Open with > Notepad". Here, you'll be able to see all the color codes and the title of the theme. Make sure you change the name here, or the name in the menu within Storyline will not change (I found this out the hard way!). When she's finished editing the file, she'll need to use the "Save As" option on the Notepad menu and assign the desired theme name and save the file as ".xml".

Here's what I ended up with:

Note: You will need to close out of Storyline completely before you see this display in the drop-down menu. Your colleague should be able to save that XML file and share it with you. Once you receive the file, place it in the same folder with the rest of the themes.

Let me know how it goes!


Laura Payette

Whew! Okay, we finally figured this out without having to build the XML file by hand. I had my colleague go to her C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Articulate\Templates\Themes\Theme Colors folder and identify the xml file with the color scheme she had created. She sent it to me and all I had to do was add it to my C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Articulate\Templates\Themes\Theme Colors folder. So simple in the end, but what a pain to get there! It would be so much easier if Storyline automatically appended the custom color themes to files. (We tried having my colleague save her file as a .storytemplate; then I opened it on my computer, but the color theme still didn't appear.)

Michael OConnor

This also works with theme fonts but be careful as both the font and colour generate an xml file called custom 1 regardless of what it is called in SL. Exporting the design theme is straight forward, copy and paste it into the theme root directory as it automatically gets picked up by SL and put into the palette.

For exporting a suite of custom fonts and colours, I'd suggest using different folders to separate the font and colour xml files

Kuriko A

Thanks for your help with this issue, Laura Payette! Great troubleshooting! 

Just to add to this thread... For Storyline 2, the path is slightly different: 

C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Articulate\Storyline\Themes\Theme Colors

I sure wish there was a simpler way to Export and Import custom themes. Leslie, can you please check if this is already on the feature request list?

Janet Bernhards


The custom color theme was created in PowerPoint the exact same way it's created in Storyline. And it's an XML file. I didn't "import it." (You can't do that in SL as far as I can see, and have it persist every time you create a new file.)  I took the XML file from my theme colors in PPT and saved it in the similar themes location in Storyline. Because everything looks to be created and saved the same way, it just seems logical that the XML file--just colors would work the same way in PPT and in Storyline. In fact, I think I'll create one in SL and see if it opens in PPT :-)

Janet Bernhards

So for fun, I created a custom theme in Storyline. I saved and named the file, and I also put the same file in the PPT subdirectory for color themes. Despite the fact that it was an xml file created in the same way, PPT would not recognize it. So I guess there is not compatibility with using the same xml file in ppt and Storyline. Given the interface (what looks like a duplication) I would have expected the file to behave the same way. Too bad...

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Janet, 

Looks like you figured it out before I got back here. Although you can import from powerpoint to Storyline, not everything behaves the same way. I'd look at setting up some slides in Powerpoint and then importing the slides in to keep color and font elements that you need and make any modifications to the theme in Storyline and save from there. 

Jason Plett

Think I found it. Use the folder C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Articulate\Engage\3\ThemeColors

Any user-created themes appear here as XML files with an auto-generated coded name (eg. eb250f84-3b71-4a7f-bc92-bb83e4dcaaa8.xml). The saved name given by the user will appear within the file (eg. <ThemeColors name="My Blue Theme" version="1.00">)  so you may have to search through them all to find the one you want to share. You can rename this file if you wish. If you want to install this theme, just copy it into this same directory on the destination computer (and restart Powerpoint of course).

Janet Bernhards

Hi Jason,

It looks like you had some success with this, but with Articulate Engage. I'm trying to pull the .xml into Storyline. I tried putting it in :


and Storyline just doesn't want to recognize it.

Or, am I misunderstanding, and you put it in the Engage Theme Colors and Storyline recognized it?

I think I am just going to have to bite the bullet and recreate it in Storyline. Not too difficult :-)


Janet Bernhards

Hi Ashley,

I think Jason's steps are clear. I have the feeling that because Engage works directly with PowerPoint, it's working for him. In my case, I think Storyline is the culprit, and just won't recognize a theme created in PowerPoint, even though they are created the exact same way. It's puzzling, but I think I just might have to accept it ... LOL


margaret richards

I was having the same problem with my XML being saved in the correct folder but not showing up within Storyline. After 30 minutes searching for more solutions I remembered the obvious thing to try and re-started Storyline. It worked :) Surprising how difficult this is to do though - should be an easy way to export - import - will add a feature request.