Super Basic Question: What's the practical difference between theme colors and custom colors?

I've been working in Storyline for awhile now and have been able to get by without really understanding the practical difference between theme colors and custom colors. Obviously, being able to "get by" isn't the most efficient way of working, so I dug up the "Getting Started with Articulate 360: Themes and Templates" webinar in the webinar archives with Tom and Dave. 

From what I gather a theme color is created with a group of other colors and can be applied "globally", while custom colors are applied shape-by-shape, line-by-line, etc. Theme colors are more efficient than custom colors. My question is: What makes using a theme color more efficient than using a custom color? Don't I still need to change individual shapes, lines, etc. shape-by-shape, line-by-line, etc. if I'm using a theme color?

For example, theme fonts make sense to me because there's a pretty obvious Heading and Body distinction; theme headings apply and theme body applies just fine throughout a project. There isn't such a thing with all the shapes, lines, etc. in your project. Whether I'm using a theme color or custom color, I still need to go through each and every shape and line to change their color. What am I missing?

5 Replies
Alyssa Gomez

Hey Heather! 

Theme Colors determine the default color choices for text, shapes, captions, etc. Theme color choices are at the top of the colors dropdown for quick access. 

Accent 1 is the default fill color for shapes. If you want to change the color, you can use the Format: Shape Styles dropdown to choose another color within your theme. Or, you can choose to fill the shape with another custom color outside your theme.

Does that help to answer your question?

Adam Zamczyk

When you start a project (especially for a client with specific branding and fonts) it is good to set the colours theme and heading/body fonts for the project. 

This will help you keep the colours of any shapes, borders and texts consistent in your project. Also if the client decides to change a colour or font, by changing the theme colours or theme font all elements that use the theme will change.