Change a story cover

The story cover displays at the start of a story and provides information about the story. The information on the cover can include the story's title, a short introduction or subtitle, the author's name, the publish date, and media such as an image or a video. The information on story covers is used to create the story cards on the Stories page. You can change the layout of the cover to match the theme and tone of your story.

Change the cover layout

ArcGIS StoryMaps provides a selection of story cover layouts so that you can choose how the story information and media are displayed at the start of your story. Depending on what you want to emphasize, cover layouts range from displaying full-screen images to covers that only display text with no media.

Use the following steps to change the cover layout:

  1. Click Design in the story builder header.
  2. Select a cover layout by clicking a layout button.
  3. Click outside of the design panel, or click the close button to close the design panel.

The story's cover layout is changed.

Add information and media to the cover

The story's title is prominently displayed on all story cover layouts. The short introduction or subtitle is also displayed on the cover alongside the author's name and the publish date. If a story cover with a media panel has been selected, you can adjust the display of the cover image and add alternative text.

Add the following information to the story cover:

  • Title—This is the main title of the story and is the first text displayed. If you do not enter a title for the cover, a default title, StoryMap (Untitled), will be added to the story card and the title space will be blank when the story is published.
  • Short introduction or subtitle—This can be used to briefly describe the story's topic or provide more context to the title. If you do not enter text in this space, it will be blank when the story is published.
  • Author name—ArcGIS StoryMaps automatically adds your name as the story author. You can revise this name or add more authors if needed.
  • Publish date—When the story is published, ArcGIS StoryMaps automatically adds the publish date next to the author name. If you have a subscription account, you can hide the publish date on the cover through an option in the Story settings panel.
  • Cover media—If there is a media panel on the story cover, you can add an image or a video as the cover media.
  • Cover logo—Upload a logo in the design panel. You can independently enable the logo for the cover and header. If you select a theme with a logo, the theme logo will be shown.

Add and configure media

Use the following steps to add and configure media on the story cover:

  1. In the story cover's media panel, click the Add Image or Add Video button. For the Minimal cover, click the Add cover media link above the title text.
  2. Choose an image or video file from your computer and click Save or Open. For more information, see What media file types and sizes are supported in ArcGIS StoryMaps?

    The image or video is added to the media panel.


    If a video has been added to the cover, the audio from the video does not play.

  3. Configure the media properties.
    1. Click the media settings button and select Properties to open the properties panel.
    2. (For images only) Reposition the image by selecting a Focal point and preview the way the image displays on mobile devices.
    3. Add alternative text to the image to support screen readers.
    4. Click Save.

The properties panel closes and the cover's media settings are changed.


The information and media on the cover can be changed at any point in the story authoring process.

Change the Full cover panel appearance

When using the Full cover layout, the cover text panel’s style, placement, and size can be customized.

Use the following steps to add and configure media on the story cover:

  1. In the cover text panel, click the Change panel appearnace button.
  2. Choose from the following styles: Gradient, Themed, Transparent with dark shadow, or Transparent with light shadow. The style will change the cover text title and the color and transparency of the cover panel.
  3. Set the cover text panel’s position using the Horizontal position and Vertical position options.
  4. Use the Size option to set the text panel size to Small, Medium, or Large.

Change the Side-by-side cover panel appearance

When using the Side-by-side cover layout, the cover text panel’s size and placement can be customized.

Use the following steps to add and configure media on the story cover:

  1. In the cover panel, click the Change panel size button to switch between the available panel sizes.
  2. In the cover panel, click the Switch panel placement button to switch the placement between left and right.