Articulate Storyline comes with several sets of built-in theme colors that you can apply to your course. You can also create theme colors of your own.

Articulate Quizmaker users: Theme colors are shared between Storyline and Quizmaker, so any customizations you make to the theme colors in Storyline will affect Quizmaker as well, and vice versa.

The theme colors you apply to your course determine the default color choices that appear when you customize items such as text, shapes, captions, outlines, and images. For example, check out the color gallery below — these are the choices you might see when you choose the fill color for a shape. The actual theme colors appear across the top of the selection window, and shades of each appear below them. However, any time you want to apply a color that's not part of the color theme, you can choose one of the Standard Colors, or choose More Colors to choose the exact color you want.

To see the Theme Colors available, click the Design tab on the Storyline ribbon, and then click the Colors dropdown.

If you've set up any custom theme colors, they'll appear at the top of the list, in a section called Custom. The Built-In color themes will appear below that. The theme colors used on the currently selected slide are shown with a thin orange outline.

In the dropdown list, you'll see a palette of eight colors for each theme. 

  • The first two are designed for text and backgrounds.
  • The last six are designed for accent colors — for example, the default color for shapes and Quick Styles.

To see the full color palette for any theme, or to modify any of the colors, see Modifying theme colors, below.

Applying and Managing Theme Colors

To apply a set of theme colors to all slides that share the same slide master as the current slide, choose the Colors dropdown from the Design tab, and left-click the colors you want to use.

Or, from the Colors dropdown, right-click a set of colors and choose any of the following options.

  • Apply to Matching Slides: This applies the theme colors to all slides that use the same slide master as the current slide. (You can achieve the same thing by just left-clicking the theme colors from the list.)
  • Apply to All Slides: This applies the theme colors to all slides in your course.
  • Apply Only to This Slide: This applies the theme colors to the currently selected slide only.
  • Edit: This brings up the color theme editor. More about that in a minute, in the section below called Modifying theme colors. (This option is only available on custom theme colors you've created, not any of the built-in theme colors.)
  • Delete: This removes the theme colors. (This option is only available on custom theme colors you've created, not any of the built-in theme colors.)

Creating New Theme Colors

Here's how you can create a new set of theme colors:

  1. Click the Design tab on the Storyline ribbon.
  2. Select the Colors dropdown.
  3. Select Create New Theme Colors from the bottom of the list. The color theme editor appears. Here's where you can choose your preferences for your palette of colors. These choices will determine the preset colors available when you select fill colors and outline colors for objects in Storyline. Some things you should know:
    • The Text/Background items are designed to help make text easily readable when applied to shapes. For example, text that you format with the darker shades is designed to be readable when placed within lighter-colored shapes.
    • Accent 1 is the default fill color for shapes, captions, the checkmark on checkbox buttons styles 1 & 2, and the dot on radio button styles 1 & 2.  (Learn more about buttons here.)
    • Accents 2-6 are colors you can choose in style galleries and color selectors throughout Storyline.
    • Hyperlink is the color used for text to which you apply hyperlinks.
    • Control 1 is the hover color for buttons, and the hover color on answer choices for quiz questions.
    • Custom 1 is the default fill color for buttons.
    • Custom 2 is the default color for the checkmark on checkbox buttons styles 3 & 4, and the dot on radio button styles 3 & 4.
  4. Find the item you want to change, and use its color selector to assign a different color. If you don't see a color you want when you click the color selector, you can choose More Colors and then do any of the following when the Colors window appears. Click OK when you're done choosing a color.
    • Click on the color you want (either a square color swatch or a color in the spectrum area).
    • Or, create a custom color by entering color values in the Hue/Sat/Lum fields, or the Red/Green/Blue fields, or the Html field.
    • Or, use Storyline's color picker to choose a custom color from any thing viewable on your screen. To do that, click the eyedropper, hover over any area of your screen, and click to choose a color.
    If the color you've chosen is something you want to save for easy selection later, click Add to Custom Colors. The color will get added to the bank of Custom Colors in the lower-left area of the window.

  5. In the Name field, enter a name for your new Theme Colors.
  6. Click Save.

Now the custom theme colors will be available in any Storyline course you build.

Modifying Theme Colors

It's easy to go back and modify any custom theme colors you've previously created. Here's how:

  1. Click the Design tab on the Storyline ribbon.
  2. Select the Colors dropdown.
  3. Right-click the theme colors you want to modify.
  4. Choose Edit.
  5. The color theme editor appears, and you can modify any item you choose, using the same guidelines shown above for creating new theme colors.

Note: You might notice that the built-in theme colors can't be modified. However, you can create your own theme colors based on any of the built-in themes by doing this:

  1. First apply the built-in theme colors that you want to base yours on.
  2. On the Design tab, click the Colors dropdown and choose Create New Theme Colors. This opens up the color theme editor, and the colors will default to the ones from the built-in color theme you just applied.
  3. Now just edit the colors to your liking, and save the theme colors under a new name.

You Might Also Want to Explore:

Using Themes
Working with Theme Fonts