Slide Master view in Storyline functions much like slide masters in PowerPoint, allowing you to design the default themes, colors, fonts, text, and objects for your content slides.  Slide masters save you time by allowing you to apply the same look and feel across multiple slides rather than designing each content slide separately. 

Opening Slide Master View

To switch to slide master view, navigate to the View tab on the toolbar, and select Slide Master.

Any slide masters you have previously set up for this story will appear in the left column.  If you have not set up any slide masters yet, you will see just a default slide master.

Creating Slide Masters and Layouts

A slide master in Storyline is actually a collection of slide layouts.  The slide master thumbnail in the left navigation pane will appear slightly larger than all of the thumbnails of the layouts below it.

Layouts inherit all the properties of their slide master.  However, you can customize each layout to display content in a specific way.  For example, you might design your title slide layout differently from your standard content slide layout, and you might design your quiz slide layout in yet another way.

If you want, you can create additional slide masters in the same story.  To create a new slide master, click the Insert Slide Master button on the toolbar, or right-click anywhere in the left navigation pane and select Insert Slide Master.  A new slide master with several default layouts will be added at the bottom of the left navigation pane.

You can also add more layouts to each slide master.  Here’s how:

  1. In the left navigation pane, select the slide master to which you want to add a new layout.
  2. Click the Insert Layout button on the toolbar, or right-click in the left navigation pane and select Insert Layout.

A new layout will appear at the end of the list of layouts for the selected slide master.  It will inherit the properties of the slide master, and it will have a Title text box (which you can delete or turn off if you wish).

Managing Slide Masters and Layouts

You can manage your slide masters and layouts by deleting, renaming, preserving, and duplicating them.  Here's how:

  • Delete:  To delete a slide master and all of its corresponding layouts, select the slide master in the left navigation pane, and click the Delete button on the toolbar.  If you only want to delete a layout (but not its slide master), select the layout in the left navigation pane, and click the Delete button on the toolbar. You can also right-click a slide master or layout in the left navigation pane, and then select either Delete Master or Delete Layout.  Or, simply press the Delete key on your keyboard.

    Note:  You will not be able to delete a slide master or layout that is currently being used by one or more slides in your story.
  • Rename:  It's a good idea to give your slide masters and layouts easily recognizable names, especially if you plan to use several similar masters or layouts within the same story.  This makes it easier to select and apply them later.  To rename a slide master or a layout, select the slide master or layout in the left navigation pane, and click the Rename button on the toolbar. Then assign the desired name, and click the Rename button to complete the process. Another way to rename is to right-click the slide master or layout in the left navigation pane, and select either Rename Master or Rename Layout.
  • Preserve:  If a slide master in your story is not currently being used but you want it to remain with the project for later use, you can preserve it.  To do so, select the slide master in the left navigation pane, and click the Preserve button on the toolbar. You can also right-click the slide master in the left navigation pane, and select Preserve Master.
  • Duplicate:  If you want to create similar slide masters or layouts, you can duplicate them to streamline the process.  Right-click the slide master or layout in the left navigation pane that you want to duplicate, and then select either Duplicate Slide Master or Duplicate Layout. You can also duplicate slide masters and layouts by using the Copy and Paste buttons on the Home tab or on the right-click shortcut menu.

Designing Slide Masters and Layouts

To design your slide masters and layouts, you can use the standard development tools on the Home, Insert, and Animations tabs as well as the following features found on the Slide Master tab on the toolbar:

  • The Insert Placeholder drop-down list allows you to add one or more of the following placeholders to a layout:  content, text, picture, character, movie, flash, or web object. After adding a placeholder to a layout, you can resize it and position it where you want it on the slide.  (This option is not available for slide masters.  It only pertains to layouts.)
  • The Title checkbox will display a title placeholder on a layout if it is checked.  Conversely, uncheck the Title checkbox to remove the title placeholder.  (This option is not available for slide masters. It only pertains to layouts.)
  • The Themes drop-down list allows you to apply a consistent design to your slide master(s) and layouts.  A theme consists of colors, fonts, and objects you've added to the slide master.
    • You can apply a theme to the selected slide master and all its layouts by simply clicking the desired theme in the list.  If, however, you only want to apply it to the selected layout, right-click the desired theme and select Apply Only to This Slide.
    • You can save your current design as a custom theme, which can then be used in other projects that you create or shared with other developers.  To save your design as a custom theme, click the Save Current Theme option at the bottom of the drop-down list.

      Tip:  The default save location is %appdata%\Articulate\Templates\Themes, and this is where you want to save your custom theme if you want it to appear in the Themes drop-down list for future projects.  If you want to share your custom theme with other developers, you can either choose a different save location, or you can send them a copy of the custom theme from the default location noted above.
    • If you have a custom theme file from another developer or another computer that you want to use, click the Browse for Themes option at the bottom of the drop-down list, and select the theme file (*.athm).
    • To change the default theme for new Storyline projects, right-click the desired theme, and select Set as Default Theme.
    • To learn more about managing and applying themes, click here.
  • The Colors drop-down list allows you to apply a consistent color scheme to your slide master(s) and layouts.
    • You can preview how a particular color scheme will look in your story by hovering over it.
    • You can apply a color scheme to your slide master by simply clicking it.  This will apply the color scheme to the selected slide master.  If, however, you have more than one slide master in your story, you can apply the same color scheme to all slide masters by right-clicking the desired color scheme and selecting Apply to All Slide Masters.
    • To create your own custom color scheme, click Create New Theme Colors at the bottom of the drop-down list.
    • To edit a custom color scheme, right-click it and select Edit.  (Built-in color schemes cannot be edited.)
    • To delete a custom color scheme, right-click it and select Delete.  (Built-in color schemes cannot be deleted.)
    • To learn more about color schemes, click here.
  • The Fonts drop-down list allows you to apply a consistent font theme to your slide master(s) and layouts.
    • You can preview how a particular font theme will look in your story by hovering over it.
    • You can apply a font theme to your slide master by simply clicking it.  This will apply the font theme to the selected slide master.  If however, you have more than one slide master in your story, you can apply the same font theme to all slide masters by right-clicking the desired font theme and selecting Apply to All Slide Masters.
    • To create your own custom font theme, click Create New Theme Fonts at the bottom of the drop-down list.
    • To edit a custom font theme, right-click it and select Edit.  (Built-in font themes cannot be edited.)
    • To delete a custom font theme, right-click it and select Delete.  (Built-in font themes cannot be deleted.)
    • To learn more about font themes, click here.
  • The Background Styles drop-down list allows you to apply a consistent background to your slide master(s) and layouts.
    • You can preview how one of the built-in background styles will look in your story by hovering over it.
    • You can apply one of the built-in background styles to the selected slide master and all its layouts by simply clicking it in the drop-down list.  If, however, you only want to apply it to the selected layout, right-click the desired background style and select Apply Only to This Slide.
    • To customize the background style, click Format Background at the bottom of the drop-down list.  Or, right-click the slide master or layout that you want to modify, and select Format Background.  Then use the Fill and Picture options to design your background style.
    • If you change your mind and want to return to the original background style, click Reset Slide Background at the bottom of the drop-down list.
    • To learn more about background styles, click here.
  • The Hide Background Graphics checkbox, when checked, allows you to hide the graphics on a layout that have been inherited from the slide master.  When background graphics are hidden on a layout, be aware that those graphics will not appear in your published story for any slides that are based on that layout.  (This option is not available for slide masters.  It only pertains to layouts.)

Closing Slide Master View

To exit slide master view, click the Close Master View button on the toolbar.  The changes you made to your slide masters and layouts will automatically be applied to any existing content slides if they are based on the slide masters / layouts that you modified.

Applying Layouts to Existing Slides

There are several ways to apply different layouts to existing slides in your story.

If you're in Normal View, do any of the following:

  • Navigate to the slide you want to change, right-click anywhere in the workspace, scroll to Layout, and click the desired layout.
  • Select one or more slides in the left navigation pane.  Then right-click the selected slide(s), scroll to Layout, and click the desired layout.  The layout you choose will be applied to all the slides you have selected.
  • Select one or more slides in the left navigation pane.  Then go to the Home tab on the toolbar, click the Layout drop-down list, and click the desired layout.  The layout you choose will be applied to all the slides you have selected.

You can also apply layouts in Story View.  Do either of the following:

  • Select one or more slides.  Then right-click the selected slides, scroll to Layout, and click the desired layout.  The layout you choose will be applied to all the slides you have selected.
  • Select one or more slides.  Then go to the Home tab on the toolbar, click the Layout drop-down list, and click the desired layout.  The layout you choose will be applied to all the slides you have selected.

You Might Also Want to Explore:

Using Feedback Masters
Using Themes
Working with Theme Colors
Working with Theme Fonts
Applying a Background Design
Using and Creating Storyline Templates