Slide master layers

Dec 09, 2012

Hi All,

Here's what i want to do.

Each slide must have 3 layers.

1. a base layer (for object etc)

2. Narrative text display (shown when the user has set a variable)

3. Narration (shown when a user sets an other variable)

So I thought of creating a slide layout in the slide master having these 3 layers.

Yet, when I assign this layout to a slide, I do not have access to those layers, So I'm wondering whether this is at all possible.



27 Replies
Geert De Rycke

Hi David,

thanks for the feedback.

Its close, yet the solution only allows for 1 text per project.

Basically what I want is to have a slide layout, which has 3 layers on which I have my logic, and then assign that layout (incl the logic) to all slides.

Similar to, I change the colour of a layout in a slide master, and all slides that have this layout assigned will change colour.

Take a look at this link. There you'll see 3 layers. If I all my slides need to have the 3 layers, I will have to duplicate my slides...



Daniel Chodos

I will revive this old thread because I am running into a similar situation and I can't find a resolution.

I want to create a slide layout that has layers on it, and that I can apply to new slides.  When I create the layout with a layer it looks great.  When I create a new slide and apply the layout only the base layer shows and the additional layers are not added to the new slide.

In the attached file I show the desired affect:  

  • A picture is on the base layer, filling the slide.  This is an image placeholder that can be changed.
  • A box with gradient is over the picture on one side, with a text placeholder over opaque part of the gradient.  The gradient fades the image into a white background so that the text can be easily read.

I tried doing this all on a one layer layout, but the large image placeholder won't stay behind the box with gradient.  When I do this on two layers it looks great in theory but the layer with the gradient and text box doesn't get applied to a new slide using the layout.  

Why provide the ability to create layers in the layouts if they don't transfer to new slides?  How can this be fixed? Can this be done using layouts instead of by creating the slides and then duplicating them?

Sharon Huston


I, too, need empty layers on every slide in a project.

The layer will eventually be used to add slide-specific bibliographic references, so they'll all be different, which means I can't create the content itself in a master.  What I need is a way to 'master' the empty layers so they're ready for me when I insert a new slide. I'd also love to add triggers to show/hide the layers using the keyboard.

Christine Hendrickson

Hi Sharon,

Do you absolutely need the layers in the Master? It may not be exactly what you're looking for, but you could create a slide and set it up with the layers you need. Keep it in its own scene. Duplicate that slide and place it where you need it in the project. Then you can add the content you need for that specific slide and section of your course. When you're finished, you can either hide the original slide, or remove it all together. 

While it's not the most elegant method, hopefully it will save you some time. 

In the meantime, please feel free to send a suggestion over to our development team if you'd like to see this functionality added in a future release. 


Sharon Huston

This sounds like a good solution, except I'm creating16 units with about 100 slides each (SME-driven decision), so that's 1600 copies. Then to further complicate matters, I'm importing about 100 PowerPoint slides per unit (1600 slides) which I then have to cut/paste into the blank slides with working layers/triggers (including everything necessary to support closed captioning per Steve Flowers's example).  So we're talking 3200 cut/copy/paste operations before I can really start working on my content.

So, yes, I really need this as part of my template master.

Health Science Hub

I know this thread is 3 years old... but there doesn't seem to be a solution listed. I'm using 360, and in my master layout I have a picture placeholder in the background and a 30% transparent shape over top of the picture listing the title of the scene. In the story I need to be able to change the picture for the beginning of each theme - however in the story the picture sits on top of the shape and therefore you cannot see the shape at all. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Natalie,

Are you able to share a copy of your file so that we can see what you're describing? Where are you trying to change the picture - since it's included as a background in the master slide you'd need to change it there and it sounds like you'd have to have multiple master slides (one for each picture). 

If you're still hitting a roadblock on this, share a copy of your .story file and then staff or folks in the community can take a look!

Kelly Taylor

Hi all,

Reviving this one again, I'm in the same boat as Sharon here - as it appears many others are judging by the numerous different threads. 

I would like to think that the whole point of having a Slide Master with layer/trigger functionality is that it would work when applied to a slide within your content.

I'm making a feature recommendation to add this functionality or remove it from the slide master entirely. 

I've found the solution at the moment is to create a story template file, but again it is a long winded and painful process that has an end result of many unnecessary duplications of slidemater themes, resulting in unnecessarily large file sizes. Klingler

Adding my voice to those requesting the capability. In my case I need to be able to quickly update style and branding decisions project-wide while still personalizing content on each slide. If there's another way, I would love to hear about it. Slide masters seem like the obvious choice but only if layers and triggers can come along for the ride.

Ted Stefaniw

Well I'm just adding to this because I have just tried to do the same thing. I have a custom menu that I added to the master slide on its own layer , created a trigger in the master for that layer to show when the timeline starts and when I create a new slide based on this master, nothing shows? The layer(s) you create in the master, are not even listed as a selectable item when you try and create a trigger in regular slide view. Have any new solutions or workarounds come up?

Alessandro Niola

I also would like to have more control on layers and triggers included in either the Master, or a Master Layout. 

My case: 

We are going to create Software Simulations with a custom UI created inside articulate, rather than using the default player etc. This UI will have two buttons, effectively two images with states and triggers. One layer would be a scenario recap (the same for each slide, I can achieve this), the second button should highlight where the user must click to continue: Ideally I'd include in the Hint layer a arrow or square that I can move around to highlight the area of interest.



Daniel Schissler

It's been two years since the last post on this thread, so here I go. I am trying to streamline the creation of our content. I have Slide Masters formatted and prepared for each slide type we need in Storyline. However, I still have to manually add three slide layers to each slide type in the project. This slows down the process significantly if anyone other than me is creating content.

Has anyone figured out a way to add functional slide layers to a slide master, so they are available when you select that slide layout? Keeping my fingers crossed that in 9 years, someone has figured out some workaround.


Jose Tansengco

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for reaching out! 

While you do have the option to add working layers to a Slide Master layout, these layers will still not be visible when you apply the layout to your slides. Have you considered using Slide Templates so you can reuse content that you've created and just modify them as needed? 

I’ll be happy to pass your thoughts on to our product team, but you can also feel free to detail them more through an additional feature request! Here's how we manage feature requests for your reference. 

Daniel Schissler

Thank you for passing on the request! I looked into slide templates, but that option was not as intuitive for our use cases. I did create a blank story file from which others can import slides from that presentation into their projects. It sounds like an identical process to creating slide templates, but I will look into the differences.

It would be more intuitive for the less savvy Storyline users to have the option when they add a blank slide to just change the layout from within their story and have some core logic carry over like layers.

Our example case for this feature is a captions layer for each slide. This layer also interacts with a global variable that affects every slide when that slide's timeline begins. Again, it's not the end of the world; it just can come across as tedious copy and integrate that layer to every new slide for someone less familiar with Storyline. 

As always, thank you very much for the suggestion and for passing along the idea.

Robbie Christian

I hope someone can point me to a solution that has been found since the last post.

After the extensive content is handed over, I'll only have a short time to crank out the final product, so I want to build out the slide masters as much as possible in advance.

One example of a slide type is a flip panel/carousel. I want to pre-build one master with 4 different layouts: one with 2 panels, one with 3, one with 4, and one with 5 to accommodate the varied content that comes my way. I expected to build each panel as a different slide layer; each layer on each of these layouts will have text inserted from the storyboard (none of the text will be the same). Is this possible?

I've considered making every layer its own layout and every layout its own slide master, but I'd be trading one effort-saving tactic for another because then I'd have to deal with that many more slides and slide layouts to deal with - story view would become quite chaotic.