New Storyline Updates - Slide Notes Issue

May 08, 2015

I just installed the new updates (5 ) and opened one of my courses but now have an issue with the slide Notes tab. All of my slide notes are now in WHITE font and the notes background is GRAY.  Prior to the udpate the font was black with a white background. What do I need to do to change font back to Black WITHOUT having to touch each and every slide?  We print these notes for our instructor guides.

See attachment for a screenshot example of the notes.



37 Replies
Kimberly Lococo

I just now saw the updated Tutorial regarding the background and font colors of the Notes now matching the Player colors. That is a nice feature if you are displaying your notes in the published player. However, we use the Notes in our organization so we can publish to WORD for our Instructor Guides. This update makes it almost impossible for us to see the notes based on our company's customized Player colors. Isn't there a way the notes can still appear in the Slide view with White background and Black font but then change to the appropriate player colors when published?

I can't change our Player colors since our customized Player uses company branded colors. But I should still be able to easily view the Notes panel. This is very frustrating to try to read WHITE notes on a light GRAY background!

Kimberly Lococo

Yes, I saw the Tutorial on this. But that doesn't help us since our Player colors are customized with company branded colors. I can't change our player colors.

Can't the Slide view notes remain with white backgroud and black text and then change to the Player color settings once published. This current view makes the Slide Note very user UNFRIENDLY!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Kimberly,

This change was made after a lot of feedback from users that they'd prefer to slide view to show the notes as it will be displayed once in the player. Since you'd like a different set up you may want to look at publishing the Word copy separately and the easiest way depending on your color set up may be to change the player colors for that version and do a "save as".

Claudia Bessley-Hayes

If you'd like some additional feedback - I have some for you. I'm not happy with this at all!

We do not display notes in the player, and we use the Notes section in the editor to publish a narration script and to send out copies for review. Creating a new  player to publish a review version? No thanks! How many different versions do you expect us to manage?

I'm going to have to quickly adjust my development process and retrain all my SMEs in how to review- this is not a nice surprise. 

I hope you will quickly change this so that we at least have the option not to have the notes section in the editor automatically formatted by the player design!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Claudia, 

We always appreciate feedback - so thanks for chiming in here, and you can also share directly with our product development team here.  I assure you that changes and decisions such as this one are done with serious thought towards and feedback from our users, and to ensure it's a set up sought by the majority - which doesn't always work for everyone. If publishing with a different notes page doesn't work for you - and you won't be using the Notes tab as a part of the player set up, what about adjusting the colors for that section alone as described here in the player colors set up?  You may have to do some trial and error to see if the coloring works as a part of your publish and your player set up - but that option may suit you better. 

Kimberly Lococo

As I suggested earlier, WHY can't the NOTES tab that we see while working in Storyline appear wtih white background and black text as it did prior to the update. Then when actually PUBLISHING the content, the colors selected in the Player are activated. This would make the Notes tab work for everyone involved by making the tab easy to read and edit in black and white, but then provides the cohesive colors wanted in the published version.

I don't see any reason WHY the Player colors must appear in the actual Notes tab when working in Storyline. We don't see the Player colors anywhere else when developing in Storyline. Only when Published. Asking to manage multiple versions of a course just because of the player colors is NOT at all user friendly!

Kimberly Lococo

Yes I have seen the reason and seen the video. I am the one who started this conversation (please read this conversation string).

As I have now stated several times, our PLAYER colors are set by another team in our organization using company branded colors. I am NOT at liberty to change the player colors we use. I totally understand WHY folks want the notes to appear the same colors as the player once published and have NO issue with that whatsoever. But there is NO reason the Player colors must appear in the Notes tab while working in Storyline. Let's SEPARATE what we see while working in Storyline versus what is PUBLISHED. No where else do you see the Player colors while actually working in Storyline.  You only see them when Published or in Preview mode, not in development mode!  I can't believe there isn't a way for them to keep the Notes tab in generic black and white and then use the set player colors once published.

Please make this color change USER Friendly to everyone involved!

Claudia Bessley-Hayes

I just got back from the ATD Conference in Orlando - I stopped by the Articulate booth and actually showed a guy working the booth the issue where the notes section of the editor turns the same color as the player and that the only way to change it is to change the player. 

He believes it is an untended consequence of the latest update and agreed that it is not desirable. He told me that he's pretty sure we aren't the only people unhappy with that change.

Nice to feel heard!

David Anderson

Hi Claudia - It was really great meeting you this week. 

So I followed up with our team after the show. They confirmed that the color updates are working as designed based on user requests. The rationale was that users wanted to preview how their notes text would appear during authoring. That said, I totally understand your point which is what we chatted about at the booth.

Two things you can do. First, please submit a feature request. We really listen to our users! The best way to let us know what you want is to make it official.

Second, I think a good workflow for you would be to create two player templates: one for your authoring work and one for live courses. This will save you the extra steps of changing colors and prevent you from accidentally changing the wrong color or missing a color. You can learn more about changing and saving players here:

Hope that helps a little!

Kimberly Lococo

Honestly, I still don't see why the player colors need to appear in working mode. Users can still see the player colors in Preview mode, Changing the playe rpackage colosr is NOT an option in my organization. Those colors are set with our company branded colors.

I LOVE working in Storyline but this is the most user UNFRIENDLY change you have made. Having to change the player package while working and then change again to publish is NOT what I call a good solution when the folks who want to see the Notes colors can EASILY do so in Preview mode. This solution for them is MUCH easier than the solution you are providing to the rest of us to have to change player packages - especially when that isn't an option for everyone like myself.

Even if you could provide some kind of toggle option where those who want to see the player colors can turn that option on but leave the Notes black and white for the rest of us. With this change, it is almost IMPOSSIBLE for me to read anything in my Notes tab, which I use extensively for Instructor notes. Right now, with this change, I am having to do DOUBLE work to copy/paste my notes into WORD so I can actually read them and make edits, and then copy/paste back into Storyline. 

Please provide a solution that works for everyone! 

Claudia Bessley-Hayes

Hi David,

Thanks for your reply – I enjoyed meeting you in the booth, as well.

As for this new “feature,” I have submitted a request with a screen shot to Product Development, and I HOPE they take it seriously and act on it quickly. How long will it take before we know whether they will fix it (GRRR) and how long before we’ll have it?

I can’t imagine why anyone would want to see the player colors in the Notes section of editing mode – it’s there in Preview. And there should at least be an option to turn it off for those of us who don’t use it without having to create two versions of a player!

I work in the player I’m going to use so that I can see how the graphics work with it, and I write the narration at the same time I create the slide so that the graphics, the animations, and the narration work together.

Your solution would mean I have to go through each screen twice – once for graphics and once for narration. Also, I’m really not keen on two versions of anything – I have enough content versions of any given course to keep track of due to content changes from SMEs.

This change just plain doesn’t work for me. It suddenly appeared as I was working on a course, and I hate the fact that I can’t go back to what enables me to do my best work.

I will have to work something out – but it won’t be with a glad heart.


Claudia Bessley-Hayes

Ditto! Making it twice as much work to author a course is not the way to win customers' hearts and minds!

Kimberly, I'm probably going to have to work in Word and Storyline simultaneously, as well. If you haven't already, will you also submit a feature request to Product Development? I'll look for other users having the same issue and recruit them, as well.

If that doesn't work quickly, I'm willing to organize a Million Instructional Designer March. I really, really hate this feature.

Claudia M. Bessley-Hayes
Instructional Designer
ePlus Technology

Kimberly Lococo

Hi Claudia,

I have actually submitted two requests. I submitted a request right after I started this string asking to change the Notes tab back to the way it was before, and another request today asking they consider providing an On/Off option so those who want to see the player colors can turn it on while the rest of us can see the Notes in black and white as they appeared before this change.

I just hope we have a solution that doesn't require managing TWO versions soon!   

D Christopher Cox

I'm glad someone else chimed in on this. I just loaded the update yesterday and am frustrated with this "enhancement."

Other than visual frustration and extra work, what purpose does it serve?

You can view the Notes (player) color, font, and text size in the working area. So what. Now to read my script notes I have to flip colors back and forth or create a secondary player view just to revert back to a functionality I already had?!?

It's an obnoxious sight from the working area and adds no development or functional value. This new view does not allow you to see where words break for the player view, nor does it provide a view of different font sizing for the player view. It provides a view of color, fonts, text size that represent nothing to final product and is a viewing hindrance to a developer. The working area Notes view needs to be functional, black and white, period. 

I think it safe to assume that "we" the consumers are all checking our colors and formatting in the player anyway (Preview> This Slide) as we need to see how the colors, fonts, graphics work together in the player (like our learners and clients) vs from the working area.

Claudia and Kimberly, I had no problem publishing my Notes to Word and for me those still display black and white. (Publish > Word > Properties: Show slide notes > Publish).

For those who made the decision to push this "enhancement" please provide a version without this one "enhancement" and at later time provide an update with a toggle feature for those who find this annoyance a blessing.

Claudia Bessley-Hayes

Thanks Christopher! I noticed that it publishes to Word OK, too – it’s just the headache I get from trying to script the narration in white text on a blue background. ☹ Kimberly and I have both submitted formal product feature requests. Maybe if you do as well, we can get some traction!

Kimberly Lococo

Thanks Christopher. Yes, please submit a request to have this changed.  No where else in working mode do we see player colors in the other panel sections, such as the Trigger, Timline, or Layer panels. There is NO reason in the world why the Notes panel should be any different. If people want to see how the Note colos appear in the player, thay can easily do so in Preview mode.

I am aware that the WORD version still publishes in black and white (thank goodness!) but trying to manage all of my notes with the current player color situation is extremely difficult and this update has caused double work, which is time I don't have. This causes the rest of us TONS of more work than it would take those who want to see the colors to simply PREVIEW.

If there was a way to UNDO this last update, I would do it in a flash!

Cheryl Berthau

I recently updated my Storyline. Imagine my surprise when I discovered my Notes section was now purple with white text. Thankfully I stumbled across this conversation--I had to dig deep to find it.  Fortunately for me, I can change my player colors however I want and made a "redesign" decision to make the Menu background a different color.  This is not the only enhancement made to Storyline 2 that had unintended impact. I have clients who require that their TOC be Restricted, which now means the learner not only has to view each slide in sequence, they now have to wait until the timeline finishes before they can move to the next slide. Storyline will not move forward until the timeline completes when Restricted is selected.  This was not the case in Storyline 1.  Hopefully the product development team will approach future changes with an eye towards adding functionality and providing us with options, not removing then and thereby eliminating our ability to choose. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Cheryl,

Thanks for weighing in here, and both of these elements were put in place based on feedback from other users. In regards to the next button, I know a few users have come up with some interesting workarounds as detailed in a thread like this one.  Hope that helps - and as always we appreciate and invite your feedback here in the forums and in the form of feature requests here. 

Kimberly Lococo

Hi Cheryl,

I also use the Restricted TOC options for some of my projects and have delt with the timeline issue. The fix I made to resolve it was to reduce my timeline on each slide to around 1 second. This isn't a pretty fix but it helps.

Regarding the NOTES colors, I am still very frustrated with this change because NO other part of Storyline when in working mode reflects the player colors. Every panel is in GREY until the file is published. I don't understand WHY they can't keep the NOTES in grey while in working mode and then show theplayer colors once published just like everything else does. I cannot change my player colors because they have been set with company branded colors. This update has made it almost impossible for the developers in our work group to see the notes.

Good luck with the TOC


D Christopher Cox

Kimberly, Cheryl, and Claudia good day. I think I stumbled across a "fix" to our above issue. At least I think it is a fix.

It looks like you can change the text color for the Editor section (see path below) so that the text is darker and legible against the forced color background from the last "upgrade" when using the Notes feature (working mode). This does not seem to affect the Menu text color or anything else (I think). I had white text on gray background, made the change to black text, and can now read my working Notes again!! Try it out and let me know if you find it quirks somewhere else.

Small wins are sometimes as good as gold!

Player > Colors & Effects > Show advanced color editing > Edit item: Editor > Text > (change the color to what you need)

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