Format painter seems to get forgotten in the long list of so many excellent Articulate Storyline features. I know several of the Articulate folks have mentioned it and Jeanette Brooks even did a great tutorial about having multiple hotspots in a quiz question where she mentions format painter.

I use this tool so often that I felt it was worthy of its very own blog post.

What is it?

Format painter allows you to copy the formatting from one object (any object in Storyline – text box, shape, buttons, etc.) to another object.

What’s so great about that?

Sure, just copying formatting isn’t enough to knock your socks off. In addition to copying the styles (font, colours, lines, shadows, etc.) it also copies the states from one object to another. This is where format painter becomes my favourite tool.

Example please?

Imagine that you’re building a slide with several images. When the learner hovers over each image it will highlight the image by changing the colour, adding an outline, and even a text description underneath. This is a “hover” state. You also have a state for when the learner has visited that image (clicked on it). That’s a lot of states to create on each image on a single slide. Without format painter you’d have to add each of the states to each individual image and also add all of the styles to those states, plus the text boxes, etc. Cue format painter. Format your first image, add all the states and format those including adding any text boxes (like the description on hover). Then click format painter and “copy” all of that work to your other images. The only thing you might have to do is change the text in your text boxes to suit the other images. Voila!

Here are a couple more references to the format painter in Storyline for you. It’s available in both Storyline 1 and 2.


How do you use format painter? Or, if you haven’t, give it a go and let me know how it worked for you in the comments.