Use text styles in Storyline 360 to control the visual appearance of text elements, such as paragraphs and headings. Simply format each style with font and paragraph options so they look the way you want, and reuse the styles throughout your course for a consistent design.

Text styles are great for experimenting with different fonts, colors, sizes, spacing, etc. When you update a style, Storyline 360 applies the changes to your entire project instantly.

Coming Soon: Define styles for hyperlink states. Create more custom styles. Rename styles. And use styles to make screen reader navigation easier. Learn more.

Getting Started

You need Storyline 360 build 3.42.22691.0 or later to use text styles.

If you’ve used text styles in other apps, like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, you’ll find they work much the same way in Storyline 360. Define your styles and apply them to blocks of text in your project. It’s that easy. But first, let's talk about style definitions, style previews, how to identify applied styles, and where styles are stored.

Style Definitions

Storyline 360 has seven text styles, as defined here and shown below:

  • Normal text is the default style for all text. You’ll typically use this style for body text in your project.
  • Headings 1-4 add hierarchy and structure to your content. For example, you might use Heading 1 for slide titles and Heading 2 for subtitles. You could also use Heading 3 and Heading 4 to organize lengthy text in scrolling panels or call out important content on the slide.

    Coming Soon: Headings 1-4 will publish with h1-h4 semantic formatting to improve screen reader navigation. Learn more.  
  • Custom styles 1-2 allow you to define two additional styles for repetitive elements, such as button labels and blockquotes or image captions and speech bubbles—your choice!

Text styles in Storyline 360

Style Previews

The Text Styles drop-down list gives you a preview of what each style looks like. The previews update as you modify the styles. And if you’re using a dark background color with light text, the Dark 2 background color from your theme colors appears in the previews too.

Previewing text styles in Storyline 360

How to Identify Applied Styles

You can always tell which style is applied to a block of text by placing your cursor in the text and looking at the Text Styles button on the ribbon. It displays the style that’s currently in use.

Look at the Text Styles button to identify which style is applied to the selected text

Here’s another way to tell which style is currently in use. Place your cursor in the text and click Text Styles. A check mark identifies the text style applied to the text.

The check mark icon identifies which style is applied to the selected text

Styles & Design Themes

Text styles are saved with the design theme in each project file. If you use more than one design theme in a project, each theme has its own set of text styles. Learn more about design themes and reusing text styles.

Defining Styles

Are you working with an existing project?

We recommend updating and applying the heading and custom styles before updating the normal text style.

If you define Normal Text first, it’ll change all the text in your project since Normal Text is the default style for all text. If you accidentally updated Normal Text first, don’t worry—you can click the Undo button to revert the changes.


Follow these steps to define each of your seven text styles.

  1. Format a block of text with font and paragraph options so it looks the way you want.
  2. Go to the Home tab on the ribbon and click Text Styles. You’ll see a check mark and an asterisk next to the style that’s currently applied to your text (Normal Text is the default style). The asterisk indicates that the style has been modified for the selected text.
  3. Mouse-over the style you want to update with your formatting changes, then click Update style from selection on the sub-menu that appears. The style you choose to update automatically gets applied to your selected text. You don’t have to update the style with the asterisk beside it. You can update and apply any text style.

Updating a style from the selected text

Tips & Time Savers

  • If the option to Update style from selection is grayed-out, it means you selected the bounding box of the text object, and the object has more than one text style applied to it (you can have one style per paragraph). Place your cursor in one of the paragraphs to enable the update option.
  • Text styles store all font and paragraph formatting options except bullets, numbering, and text direction. You’ll need to manually add bullets, numbering, and text direction where you want them. (Indents get stored in text styles unless they’re part of bullets or numbering.)
  • Want to change the font for all your text styles all at once? Go to the Design tab on the ribbon, click Fonts, and choose a different set of theme fonts. The heading theme font is the basis for all four heading text styles, and the body theme font is the basis for the other text styles (Normal, Custom 1, and Custom 2).
  • You can redefine your text styles as many times as you want. It’s a great way to experiment with different designs. If some text in your project doesn’t change when you update its style, it means you previously overrode the style with custom formatting for that particular object or slide. For example, let’s say your Normal Text style has a font size of 14, and you manually change the font size to 18 on one slide. Later, you decide to update the style with a font size of 16. Most of the text in your project will automatically update to a font size of 16, but that one slide will continue to use a font size of 18. (If you want that slide to match the others, just reapply the text style to it.)

Applying Styles

It’s a snap to apply styles. Place your cursor in a block of text or select its bounding box. Then go to the Home tab on the ribbon, click Text Styles, and choose a style from the list. That’s it!

Applying text styles in Storyline 360

Tips & Time Savers

  • You can save time by applying text styles to your slide master and feedback master first. Then, if you need to override a text style on a specific slide in your course, you can manually edit the text on that slide directly.
  • If you override a text style on your slide master with special formatting (e.g., font size or color), that formatting will carry over to the content slides in your course, and the tooltip for that style will include “Modified by Slide Master” as a reminder.
  • Each paragraph in a text box can have a different text style. In other words, you can apply more than one style to the same text box—one style per paragraph or line of text.
  • When you copy text from one slide and paste it onto another slide that has a different design theme, the pasted text has the same style (Normal, Heading 1, etc.) as the original, but it could look different from the original, depending on how you paste it. If you press Ctrl+V or click the Paste button on the ribbon, the pasted text keeps the original formatting. If you select Use Destination Theme from the right-click menu or the Paste drop-down list on the ribbon, the pasted text matches the destination theme instead.

Resetting Styles

You can reset a style to its default formatting when you want to start over or when you need to make your project file compatible with older versions of Storyline 360 and Storyline 3 that don’t support text styles. (Learn more about compatibility.)

  1. Place your cursor in a text box.
  2. Go to the Home tab on the ribbon and click Text Styles.
  3. Mouse-over the style you want to reset and choose Reset style from the sub-menu that appears.

Resetting text styles to their default settings in Storyline 360

Reusing Styles

Text styles are saved with the design theme in each project file. A project can have more than one theme, and each theme has its own set of text styles. Here are a few ways to reuse your text styles in other themes or projects.

Save Your Custom Theme

Easily reuse text styles in other projects by saving your custom design theme and applying it to the other projects. (Want to change your default design theme for new projects? Here’s how.)

Saving a custom design theme in Storyline 360

Create a Storyline Template

Since text styles are part of the design theme, you can create a custom Storyline template, and then use the template to start new projects or add slides to existing projects.

Paste Text with Source Formatting

This method is useful when a project has multiple design themes. Since each theme has its own text styles, you need to format each theme’s styles separately. If you want to reuse the same styles across multiple themes, try this:

  1. Go to a slide that has the text styles you want to reuse and create a text box with seven lines of text. (You can delete this text box later.)
  2. Apply each of the seven text styles to a different line of text.
  3. Copy the text box.
  4. Go to a slide where you want to reuse the text styles.
  5. Press Ctrl+V or go to the Home tab on the ribbon and click Paste. This keeps the source formatting.
  6. Place your cursor in the first line of text, click Text Styles on the ribbon, scroll to the style with the asterisk, and choose Update style from selection on the sub-menu that appears.
  7. Repeat the previous step for the other six styles.

Tip: If you import a slide into your project and define text styles for it, you’ve effectively customized the design theme for that slide. If you later import another slide from the same source (Content Library 360 template, team slides, etc.), the new slide won’t have your custom text styles since it has the original, unmodified design theme. You can follow the steps above to copy your text styles to the new slide, or you can apply your custom design theme to the new slide.

Coming Soon

Using text styles to control the visual appearance of a course is great, but we’re not stopping there. We’re working on the following enhancements to make authoring and navigating courses even easier. Stay tuned for details.

Define Hyperlink States

Define styles for hyperlink states (hover, active, and visited) to provide good contrast and clear visual distinction, which are especially helpful for learners with low vision.

Create More Custom Styles

Want to create more than two custom text styles? You got it! You’ll be able to create custom styles for every text element in your course, including button labels, blockquotes, image captions, speech bubbles, and more.

Rename Styles

Rename your text styles so they’re easy to identify. Want to use Custom 1 to style button labels? No problem. Just change Custom 1 to Buttons.

Improve Screen Reader Navigation

Soon, text styles will also make courses easier to navigate with a screen reader. When you apply a heading style or hyperlink style to text in your course, screen readers will identify it as a heading (h1, h2, h3, h4) or an interactive link. This allows learners with vision disabilities to understand the layout and context of the slide by listening to a list of headings and links on the screen. Learners can also use screen reader shortcuts to jump directly to headings and links.

According to WebAIM’s 2019 screen reader survey, headings are the most common way users find information on a web page. So accessible text styles in Storyline 360 will be a welcome addition for screen reader users.