Templates and Masters and themes, oh my!

Feb 09, 2015

I have been using StoryLine 1 for about a year but I am not a newbie to elearning having worked with authoring software dating back to MM Director and IBM's Ultimedia (anybody remember them?) I have found that sometimes StoryLine functions like PowerPoint so a few of these questions may be a result of some Power Point ignorance. I have made a diligent effort to search the forum for answers to no avail.

1. When creating a new project from a .storytemplate file the player logo does not transfer. Am I doing something wrong or can this be fixed?

2. When creating a new project from a .storytemplate file, slide masters that are preserved but not used in the template are not transferred. I found a workaround to apply every master to a slide, but can this be fixed? If not, What is the concept of preserving a master in SL?

3. When creating a new project from a .storytemplate file, Feedback masters that are preserved but not used in the template are not transferred and the template adds 2 or 3 blank feedback masters to the set.  A new blank set is added each time the template is used to create a new file. Can this be fixed?

4. Templates do not cascade changes to the slides that use them when updated. For example, I change the color of subhead text to white on the master, I have to apply a different master then,  apply the master I want to the slide to see the change. Sometimes that works, sometimes I have to create a new slide that uses the master and copy all of the content over. Changes also do not cascade from a master slide to its layouts.

5. Themes inexplicably change across slide masters, feedback masters and slides. There does not appear to be a default theme and new slides do not default to the custom colors and fonts.  I now have 6 themes, 5 of which seem to have been created from thin air. Additionally, when I create a new slide I sometimes can't apply a theme, but I can specify colors and fonts.

Thanks in advance 

10 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Robin,

1. The player logo isn't stored in the .storytemplate but within the player templates. Here is more information on how to utilized player templates. 

2. The "preserve" function of a slide master is described as: If a slide master isn't currently being used by any slides in your course but you want it to remain with the course for later use, you can preserve it. Just select the slide master in the left panel, go to the Slide Master tab on the ribbon, and click Preserve. (You can also right-click the slide master and select Preserve Master.) 
But if it's not in use, than it won't be transferred when importing and this helps ensure you don't have a larger file size than needed as extra slide masters won't come through

3. The same as number 2 - although if it's adding extra feedback masters, that's something we'd likely need to take a look at.

4. I wanted to clarify are you inserting a .storytemplate or changing the masters? They're dealt with a bit differently - and here is the tutorial on how templates are inserted - and you'd need to choose for slides to use that template when inserting them.  

5. You can have more than one theme in a course, and have it applied to a certain slide, set of slides or all slides as detailed here. If they're being created from thin air, again we'd likely need to take a look at this file to see it in action.

Also, it's a good idea if you're seeing on any behavior to take a look at the article here to confirm you're following along with the guidelines for working in your Storyline projects. 

Robin McCraw

Thanks for your response. I’ve tried to find a solution to these problems since September, usually that is the best way for me to learn. But they have beaten me.

1. Why would I have a player template? I only use 1 player. I am creating a .storytemplate because the people that are using it need it to be as simple as possible. I can’t expect them to be able to customize players, themes or master slides. I do not want them to do as “save as” because the margin for error is huge.

2. I understand what it means to preserve a master In Power Point. If the master is not used it stays available in the template or new file. All of the masters in my source file for the .storytemplate are preserved. From what I understand you saying, a master in a storyline project stays only in that project, and there is no way to preserve the master for a template. Yes, I want a master in my template. It should be there when a user creates a new file from the template. This is not possible.

3. Themes. Again a Microsoft feature found in the storyline software. I read the link you sent me – standard stuff, if it worked as it is supposed to.

4. I assigned colors and fonts to create a new theme. I can’t apply the theme to some templates and now there are 5 similar themes in the theme selection. I only made 1:

5. Slide masters are not behaving properly. The slides I have created use 1 master only. However some of the individual slides have changed font, position and/or color when I open the file. When I try to reapply the master nothing happens.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Robin,

The player template deals with all the elements that sit around your slide such as the next/prev button, colors of such, menu, etc. and therefore are different than a .storytemplate which are the actual elements on your slide (buttons, images, design, etc.) so you may not need to utilize two templates if your team will be utilizing the standard player or no player at all (called a chromeless player). 

In regards to the issues you've having with the templates and masters - do you have a .storytemplate file that I could take a look at? 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Robin,

Thanks for sharing the files - I'm taking a look at them and they both seem to look the same to in terms of themes, masters, feedback masters, etc. include in each of them. I can see that there are a few theme options, that look similar but they all say they're used by different slides - so that seems to be the case based maybe on adjustments you made to those specific slides/masters and their colors? 

Also, in regards to that slide master that you "can't fix" what about it are you having difficulty fixing? If you could narrow it down based on slide title or number - that would be super helpful in terms of tracking down the issue and comparing the two. 

Robin McCraw

Here is a PPT showing the problems with the feedback master in the template.


The slide master  I "can't fix" is a poor choice of words. Sorry. When I create new slides they sometimes appear with fonts and colors not on the master. Sometimes I just need to change the master.  In PPT when I reapply a master it resets the slide. In storyline nothing happens. I have to fix font, colors, etc. manually. It also sneaks up on you: a master is successfully applied to a slide, but after I have worked on the slide, left and come back the text in the master's title placeholder has lost 2 points.

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