Have you ever spent a long time formatting states on an object to get them to look just right? Or, have you ever had to tweak the animations on an object until the timing and behavior are perfect? If you have, you know that these tasks can be time-consuming and tedious. In certain cases, it requires previewing and testing a slide multiple times to make sure your states and animations look and behave just the way you want.

If any of that rings familiar, you’ll be excited to know that Articulate Storyline 2 offers a set of tools that allows you to quickly duplicate object formatting as well as states and animations. This power duo, the format painter and animation painter, will save you a ton of time and effort.

Let’s take a closer look at both of these tools and how they can shave your development timeline.

Using the Format Painter

The format painter quickly applies the same formatting to multiple objects in your project. With just a few clicks, the format painter will copy:

  • Fill color
  • Stroke color
  • Stroke style
  • Shape effects (glow, shadow, etc.)
  • Paragraph formatting (text alignment, bullets, etc.)
  • Font color
  • Font size
  • Font type
  • Object states

If you’ve used the format painter in PowerPoint before, you’ll be happy to know it works exactly the same way in Storyline. First, select the object that has the formatting you want to copy. Next, navigate to the home tab on the ribbon and under the clipboard section click on the format painter. If you click once, you can format only one object with the new formatting. If you double-click on the format painter, it will let you format as many objects as you want.

When the format painter is selected, you’ll notice your cursor has a paintbrush icon next to it. Once this cursor is visible, click on each object where you want to apply the formatting. The format painter will duplicate not only the formatting, but all the states associated with that object. You can even move between slides while the format painter is selected and format objects on multiple slides. If you’re using the format painter to apply formatting to multiple objects, you’ll need to return to the home tab and click on the format painter once more to deactivate it and return to your regular cursor. And voila! That is all it takes to format all of your objects with the format painter.

Using the Animation Painter

The animation painter works in a very similar way. Use the animation painter to painlessly apply the same animations to multiple objects in your project. The animation painter will copy:

  • Entrance animations
  • Exit animations
  • Motion paths

To use the animation painter, start by selecting the object that has the animation or motion path you want to duplicate. With the object selected, click on the animation tab on the Storyline ribbon.

If you only want to duplicate the animation for one object, click on the animation painter button once. If you want to duplicate the animation for multiple objects, double-click the animation painter. When the animation painter is selected, you’ll notice the cursor has the paintbrush icon next to it. Click on all of the objects to which you want to apply the animations. If you’re applying animations to multiple objects, you’ll need to click on the animation painter button one more time to deselect the animation painter and return to the regular cursor.

And there you have it! That’s how simple it is to duplicate object formatting, object states, and animations in Storyline. Are you using the format painter or animation painter to save time? Or is this your first time learning about these helpful features? Let me know in the comments below!

Want to try something you learned here, but don't have Articulate software? Download a free trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning.

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