It’s Friday afternoon and your creative e-learning powers are starting to ebb. After all, you’ve been killing it this week. Friday afternoons are all about coasting into the weekend, right?
But then a familiar notification pops up on your screen. It’s an email from one of your project stakeholders telling you to add an entirely new section to the course that’s supposed to be in final review for launch next week. It’s enough to make you go …
No matter how meticulous you are about nailing down content scope early on, late-breaking additions happen and, let’s face it, you’ll probably go out of your way to try to accommodate them. But, thankfully, being accommodating doesn’t mean sacrificing your weekend plans or even burning the midnight oil. With the timesaving tips I’m sharing here, you can avoid a heavy design lift by customizing Content Library 360 templates instead of designing slides from scratch.
Tip #1: Filter Your Search for the Perfect Layout
For starters, I like to add a new scene to my Storyline 360 project and then insert my Content Library 360 slides there. That way I don’t interfere with my existing project slides and I can take advantage of custom design themes and any assets already in my project (more on that in a moment!).
Then, with the first slide in my new scene selected, I’ll navigate up to the slides menu and select Content Library to open up the Content Library 360 template browser. Here’s how I filter my options down to layouts that will work best for my project:
- The filters on the left make it easier to find what you need. For instance, I knew my new content needed an interaction, so instead of scrolling through every single slide in each template set, I clicked on Interactions (under Type) just to see layouts that are more interactive, like timeline, tabs, and process layouts. With all the layers and triggers built for me, using one of these layouts was going to be an easy design win.
And since I also wanted to see slides only in a dark theme, I also clicked on Dark under the theme filter. I find that keeping within the same color tones (e.g., replacing dark with dark or light with light) makes the work of unifying the look of my new and old slides a lot easier.
- Once I’ve narrowed down the options, I just click to select the layout I need and then hit the Insert Slide button to add it to my project.
Pro Tip: Need to insert multiple slides? Just hold down the shift key while you click on the slide layouts. Then click on the button labeled Insert (X) Slides.
Tip #2: Quickly Customize Colors and Fonts
Once you’ve found the layouts you need and added them to your project, you can shift your focus to visually blending your new slides into your existing slides. The easiest way to unify slide design is to use the same design theme. Design themes in Storyline 360 encompass both colors and fonts, so let’s walk through each of these.
Customizing Theme Colors
- On a newly inserted slide template navigate to the design ribbon and select the colors drop-down.
- At this point, you can click on any of the prebuilt color themes or create a custom color theme based on the colors used in your existing project slides.
- If you apply an existing color theme to your slides, the colors will update automatically.
- To create a new color theme, click on Create New Theme Colors at the bottom of the drop-down list. Once you’ve specified all of the theme colors, they’ll be automatically applied to your selected slides.
This support article details all the theme colors used in Content Library 360 slides so you can anticipate how changing color themes will impact them. Never used theme colors before? Here’s an article that goes over what they are and how to work with them.
Customizing Theme Fonts
Another quick way to change up the design of Content Library 360 slides is to unify the fonts between your existing project and your newly inserted slide layouts. For instance, my original project uses Open Sans, but my newly inserted Content Library 360 slides are using the Lato Light theme. Here’s how to change that.
- On newly inserted slide templates, navigate to the design ribbon and select the fonts drop-down.
- Now you can select from any of the font themes already in use in your project file, any of the built-in themes, or you can create new theme fonts. For my example, I just clicked on the built-in Open Sans theme to apply it to my slides.
Again, if you’ve never used theme fonts before, here’s an article that will walk you through them.
Pro Tip: Notice how there wasn’t a huge difference in the appearance after I changed fonts from Lato to Open Sans? That’s because they’re very similar in size. However, if you choose a font theme that’s significantly larger or smaller than the template theme, keep in mind you might have to make some adjustments to line-wrapping in textboxes.
Tip #3: Swap and Add Images
One more super-quick change you can make is to swap out placeholder images. Let’s walk through a few options to consider.
- Want to change out a placeholder image for a new one from Content Library 360? Easy peasy. Just right-click your mouse and choose Replace Picture and then From Content Library 360. Here’s a quick GIF of this action.
- Want to change out a placeholder image or character for another one you’ve already used in your project? This is the perfect time to take advantage of Media Library. That's because Media Library helps you keep track of images, characters, audio clips, and videos in your course, so you can easily add, remove, replace, reuse, and export them.
Let's say you need to swap out a character. Just right-click your mouse on the character you want to replace and select Replace Pose and then Media Library. Then, click on the down arrow to the left of your existing character to see the poses you’re already using. Click on a pose to select it and then click on the Replace Character button. The new character will maintain the cropping and dimensions of the character pose it’s replacing, which makes your job that much easier.
- Want to replace a placeholder image with a brand-new image, not previously used in your project? Again, Media Library is a nice timesaver here.
From Media Library, just click on the (import icon) in the upper right corner and select Picture from File. Navigate to the folder with the images you want to import and select them. Click Open. Now you can quickly replace placeholder images with the images you just imported into Media Library.
So there you have it! Three timesavers for customizing Content Library 360 templates during crunch time—and without burning the midnight oil.
How do you save yourself some time with Content Library 360 templates? What are your clever workarounds for tackling last-minute change requests? Share your thoughts with us in a comment.
Want to try something you learned here, but don’t have Articulate 360? Start a free 30-day trial, and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning.