How to work with master slides in Adobe Captivate

Master slides define background and common objects such as logos, headers, and footers for your slides. They provide a uniform appearance for your entire project.

All the artefacts on a master slide, such as, objects and placeholders reflect on the slide that is linked with the master slide.

A group of master slides make up a theme. For more information on themes, see Themes.

When you create a blank project or a project from template, Adobe Captivate uses the default (Blank) theme. A theme contains the following types of master slides:

Main master slide

The main master slide is the first slide in the Master Slide panel. The name of this slide is the same as the name of the theme. Objects and background color of this master slide appear on all other master slides. Each theme has one main master slide.

Content master slides

Contains layouts and objects that you can use for content slides, for example, a Title master slide can be used for the title of the project. A theme can contain one or more content master slides.

Question master slides

Each theme contains a separate master slide for the following question types:

  • Matching

  • Hot spot

  • Likert

  • Other question types: multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, true-false question, short answer, and sequence questions

  • Result slide

Each question master slide contains placeholder questions, answers, and captions with the style related to the theme.

Each slide, except main master slide, contains placeholders for different objects such as text caption, images, or a generic content placeholder. A content placeholder lets you insert any of the following:

  • Text caption

  • Text animation

  • Image

  • FLV or F4V video (event video)

  • SWF animation

You can insert new quiz and content master slides or edit an exiting slide to suit your requirements.

Viewing master slides

  1. Select Window > Master Slide.

  2. To view and edit a master slide on stage, select it in the master slide panel.

Master slide panel

The Master slide panel displays all master slides your project has. Unless you have added additional master slides, the Master Slide panel displays the slides associated with the current theme of the project.


There is no timing information for master slides. The timeline for a master slide helps only to order, lock, or hide the objects added to it.

Adding a master slide

To add additional master slides, do one of the following actions:

  • Insert > Quiz Master Slide and then choose the required type of slide

  • Insert > Content Master Slide

Though a project contains multiple master slides, you can link a slide to only one master slide.

Use the Property Inspector (Window > Properties) to:

  • Label the master slide: Specify a unique label in the text box.

  • Provide background color: Deselect Project Background and then select a color from Stage.

  • Insert background images: Click the Browse icon to select a background image.

Add objects to master slides

You can insert the following standard objects to a master slide:

  • Text Caption
  • Rollover Caption
  • Rollover Image
  • Highlight Box
  • Smart shapes

All other standard objects are disabled.

You can also insert the following:

  • Text Animation

  • Widget

  • Image

  • Animation

  • FLV/F4V files (event video)


You cannot add audio to a master slide.

You can add placeholder objects on a master slide. While authoring, you can double-click the placeholders on the slides based on the master slide and insert appropriate content.

To add objects to a master slide,

  1. Select the master slide in the master slide strip.

  2. Add objects in the same way as you do in the slides in your project.

Using master slides

When you work on your project slides, use the Property Inspector (Window > Properties) to:

  • Link to a different master slide: In the Master Slide drop-down list, make appropriate selection. You can also apply a Master Slide to a group of slides.

  • Display master slide objects on top of the objects in your slide: Check Master Slide Object on Top.


Objects on the main master slide are always below the objects on other master slides in the Z-order.

Master slide maintains its own timeline. Therefore, master slide objects are not shown on the timeline of the linked slide. You cannot adjust the timeline of master slide objects or change their Z-order on a project slide timeline.

  • Use master slide background: Select this option to use background color or background image from master slide.


Editing Master slides

Objects on a master slide can be modified only on the master slide. The objects cannot be selected or edited on the slide that inherits the master slide.

On the slides in the Filmstrip, you can edit or delete the placeholders that are inherited from a master slide.

Reusing Master slides

  • Duplicate master slide: Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) and then select duplicate.

  • Copying contents: Select the contents and then click copy.

  • Import/Export: You cannot import or export master slides, but you can copy and paste them across projects.

  • Import/Export to XML/Microsoft Word: Like the content on your project slides, you can import/export the master slide content to XML and Microsoft word.

Designing content Master slides with Fluid Box

  1. In the Master Slide view, insert a content Master slide, and give the master slide a meaningful name.

  2. To insert three vertical layouts into the slide, click FluidBox > Vertical > choose three layouts.

    Choose FluidBox layout
    Choose FluidBox layout

  3. On the slide, resize the layouts using the blue handles, as shown below. The aim is to have areas for a header, images, and buttons, as an example Master slide.

    Master slide layout areas
    Master slide layout areas

  4. Right-click outside the slide area, choose Placeholder Objects , and choose Text Caption. Make the caption sticky, so that you can move the caption anywhere in the layouts.

    Text caption
    Text caption

    Similarly, add the image and button placeholders in the Master slide, as shown below:

    Master slide with placeholders
    Master slide with placeholders

  5. Exit from the Master slide view, insert a blank content slide, and from the list of Master slides, choose the Master slide you have created.

    Content slide
    Content slide

Designing quiz Master slides with Fluid Box

  1. In a responsive project mode, open the Master Slide view (Window > Master Slide), and insert a Quiz Master Slide (Insert > Quiz Master Slide > Other Question Types).

    Quiz Master Slide
    Quiz Master Slide

  2. Rearrange the objects in the master slide so that there is less clutter when you publish or preview the project. For example, you can overlap the Success, Failure, and Hint captions, since the captions appear only once and never together.

    Question master slide with rearranged objects
    Question master slide with rearranged objects

  3. To apply a FluidBox layout, click Suggest FluidBoxes in the Properties panel. Depending on the placement of the objects, FluiBox assigns layouts to the objects and divides the slide area into smaller FluidBox layouts.

    Quiz Master Slide- FluidBox
    Quiz Master Slide- FluidBox

    The numbers represent the FluidBox containers, as defined by the hierarchy in the Properties panel.

    FluidBox hierarchy
    FluidBox hierarchy

  4. In each FluidBox container, rearrange the objects, make te objects Static, and customize the template. Drag the handles to adjust the size of the containers.

    Quiz Master Slide - FluidBox static objects
    Quiz Master Slide - FluidBox static objects

  5. Exit the Master Slide view, insert a question slide, and you can see the new Master Slide layout in your question slide.


If a Fluid Box comes from a Master Slide, you cannot delete the Fluid Box from the Filmstrip view. Go to the Master Slide view and delete the Fluid Box.

Download sample projects

To learn more about Captivate and how you can create engaging learning content, download the following projects:

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