The Templates feature in Storyline makes it super quick and easy to take advantage of ready-made slide layouts and content, or to share scenes and slides with other course developers.

Storyline comes with several templates you can take advantage of right away, but you can also save any Storyline project of your own as a template. A template includes the content of all slides and scenes within that project—in other words, all the slide objects, audio, video, animations, triggers—everything that you've inserted on a particular slide is reusable when you use templates.

In this tutorial, we'll look at how to apply a project template and how to save your own projects as templates.

Using Storyline Templates

Here's how to see what templates are available in your template library, and how to apply them in your course:

  1. From Normal View or Story View, click the Insert tab and choose New Slide.
  2. Choose the Templates tab on the left edge of the window.
  3. Use the Template selector at the top of the window to choose a template. The list includes some cool (and free!) templates that come with Storyline, as well as any projects of your own that you've saved as templates.
  4. Once you choose a template, the slides within that template will appear in the selection area. Click the ones you want to insert in your course. You can use Shift+Click to select a series of consecutive slides, or use Ctrl+Click to select multiple nonconsecutive slides. If the template has multiple scenes, you can click the triangle next to any scene title to collapse or expand the view.
  5. Use the Insert into scene: selector at the bottom of the window to choose how you want to insert the selected slides.
    • Current Scene: This adds the slides to the current scene.
    • Same as imported template: This adds the slides to your project, using the same scene structure as the template you're importing from.
    • New Scene: This creates a new scene in your project and adds the selected slides to it. If you choose this option, you'll also be able to customize the scene name. A Scene field appears to the left of the Import button where you can enter the scene name.
  6. Click Import to add the selected content to your project, and then customize away!

How to Save a Project as a Template

Saving a project as a template is really easy, too. This is a good way to preserve reusable content or create a boilerplate course that other e-learning developers can use as a starting point for their own courses. Here's how to save a project as a template:

  1. Open the course you want to save as a template.
  2. Click the Articulate button in the upper-left corner of your Storyline window.
  3. Choose Save As.
  4. Navigate to the location where you want to save the file. 
  5. Use the Save as type selector to choose Storyline Template (*.storytemplate).

Now that you've saved your .storytemplate file, you can pass the file along to other course developers if you like, or post it in the E-Learning Heroes forums for other Storyline users. Whoever wants to use the file can then follow the steps below to create content from your template. Storyline also adds a copy of the template in your template library, which is maintained in the folder called \My Articulate Projects\Storyline Templates.

How to Use a Template That Someone Else Gives You

When another developer gives you a .storytemplate file, follow the steps below to launch it. (You only need to do it this way once — after you've launched a template the first time using the steps below, Storyline adds a copy of the file to your template library, so that you can access it easily later.)

  1. Launch the file by doing any of the following:
    • Double-click the file from Windows Explorer.
    • Or, if the file was sent to you as an email attachment, you can double-click the attachment.
    • Or, from the Storyline launch screen, under Create a new project, click the option From project template. Then navigate to the template file and select Open.
  2. Storyline displays a window where you can choose which scenes or slides you want to use from that template. Use Shift+Click to select a series of consecutive slides, or use Ctrl+Click to select multiple nonconsecutive slides. If the template has multiple scenes, you can click the triangle next to any scene title to collapse or expand the view.
  3. Use the Insert into scene selector at the bottom of the window to choose how you want to insert the selected slides:
    • Same as imported template: This adds the slides to a new project, using the same scene structure as the template.
    • New Scene: This creates a new scene in a new project, and adds all the selected slides to it. If you choose this option, you'll also be able to customize the scene name. A Scene field appears to the left of the Import button where you can make whatever changes you like.
  4. Click Import to add the selected content to your project.

When you do this, Storyline inserts the selected content into your project. It also adds a copy of the template to your template library. (The default location for Storyline templates is a folder called \My Articulate Projects\Storyline Templates.) Anytime you want to reuse content from a Storyline template, you can do that easily from Storyline's Insert menu by following the steps at the beginning of this tutorial.

How to Delete or Rename Templates in Your Library

Storyline maintains your template files in the folder called \My Articulate Projects\Storyline Templates. You can use Windows Explorer to rename or delete these files if necessary. Any changes you make will be reflected in your template library when you choose Insert > New Slide > Templates in Storyline. (Deleted templates will no longer appear there, and renamed templates will appear under the new name you've given them.)