Updating Existing Courses by Modifying the Template?

Feb 05, 2014


I have one question and one bug (?) notification, regarding use of templates:

Question: Having created a custom template, and then created courses based on that template, can I make changes to these existing courses by altering the .storytemplate file in the My Articulate Projects > Storyline Templates folder?

For example, if the template had a slide with blue text, and 5 courses that used this template display blue text, can I update the original template file to red text and have this reflected in the 5 existing courses? I've tested and it appears I can't.

If one can't do this, could someone kindly explain the relationship between templates and the courses that use them. I do know that the red text slide WILL now appear when I try to insert that page into an existing course from the updated template, but it won't update the existing blue text pages that were already created.


Bug(?): In testing above, I've noticed that if I change the template file, and try to add slides to an existing course from the template that was just updated, it adds an entirely new set of Slide Masters.

Bug Details:

  1. I make a template.
  2. I make courses based on the template.
  3. I open the template from My Articulate Projects > Storyline Templates folder and make a minor change, such as text colour on a particular slide, but do not change name or location of template file.
  4. When I open an existing course (based on the template) and insert a new slide from the template, it not only adds the slide, but also an entirely new set of Slide Master pages.
  5. And this process repeats, as updates are made to the template file, resulting in dozens of Slide Masters.
  6. This, of course, is undesirable, for many reasons. The most serious issue is that you no longer have one set of Master pages that update all your slide pages but numerous sets of Master pages,which leads to a bit of a maintenance / updating nightmare.

Appreciate any feedback to the Question and the Bug. Perhaps 'm just misunderstanding.

Thanks kindly,


8 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Dave, 

In regards to your question, the template is to serve as a boilerplate or a way to keep content/style that you'll use across multiple courses. If you add a template to a Storyline file, and subsequently make changes to the template, it will not update how the template is being used within the Storyline course. A template can contain multiple pre-designed slides, whereas a slide master serves as one slide design (with potential for layer designs as well). You may want to review this tutorial on how to create and work with templates for additional information.  

For the second issue you mentioned, I tested it on my own files and saw the same behavior, so I've shared this with our QA team to determine if this is a bug or by design, in that each template set up has it's own master slides associated with it, so when you insert them again Storyline want to ensure you have access to the masters as well. I don't have a time frame to offer in regards to when I'll hear back from them, so in the meantime, please continue to remove the extra slide masters.

If I can help with anything else please let me know. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Dee Ann,

In regards to the piece that I mentioned reaching out to our team in regards to, it seems that is by design as the templates can include masters, and therefore will need to carry those over when you bring in a template. Storyline isn't checking the existing template already applied against the new files your importing - and therefore will still carry over the masters. If you have the template slides already added to the file, you can create new slides as such.

Corey Klein

Hi Ashley,

Hope you've been well.  Somewhat related question here (I think)...  

I've been asked to quickly update 6 existing courses created for my company about 4 years ago in Articulate Studio '09 by an external party.  

Although I use Articulate Storyline 2 for the new courses that I develop, luckily I have Articulate Studio '09 on my laptop as well.  Since the business that I support is looking for a fast turnaround on this, I'm not looking to re-do the courses or change versions.  I am just going to make the changes in Articulate Studio '09, republish, and be done.

So, I'll be making a smattering of modifications to on-screen text on a handful of pages, revising one of the topic's "Check Your Understanding" questions, and adjusting a few of its final Assessment questions.  

I've obtained the original "source files" folder which contains about 10 files in it, including a "Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation" file and an "Articulate Presenter Project" file.  I just want to be sure that I'm doing this right...  

Do I simply open the ppt, save it with a new name, make my modifications right in there,  and then republish (of course after previewing / testing)?  

Anything else I should do / be aware of?

Thanks very much for your help,


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Corey, 

You should be able to open a Studio '09 file in Studio '09 and not run into any issues or changes to how the course behaves. 

Some things to help make that seamless:

  • Check with your client to find out what update of Studio '09 it was created using. Some fixes and features detailed here may change if you're using the latest update.
  • Download the zipped folder which contains the .PPT, .PPTA, and any other Presenter files to your local hard drive (C: drive) 
  • Extract the files from the zip folder, and keep them all together in the folder created and open the .PPT file 
  • Make any changes to the .PPT file and "Save" ensuring that the file name for your .PPT and .PPTA files still match

Hope that helps and if you hit any snags, let us know! 

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