Slide layers allow you to display additional content on a slide at certain points in your course or in response to the way your learners interact with your content. Once you've added layers to a slide, you can create triggers that tell Storyline when you want a specific layer to be revealed.

Adding Layers

Go to the slide where you want to insert a layer. Then do either of the following:

  • Click the Insert tab and choose Slide Layer.
  • Or, click the New Layer button in the Slide Layers panel.

The new layer appears in the Slide Layers panel, like this:

You can add as many layers to your slide as you like.

Once you add a slide layer, you can insert content on it just like you can on the slide's base layer. You can also manage the timing and duration of any object on your layer by using the layer's timeline. Just select the layer from the Layers Panel and then click the Timeline tab in the Timeline, States, and Notes panel.

Renaming Layers

It's always a good idea to name your slide layers, because this allows you to more easily select the right layer when you're creating triggers. To rename a slide layer:

  1. Double-click the layer's name in the Slide Layers panel. 
  2. Type the new name.
  3. Press the Enter key on your keyboard or click anywhere on your slide.

Adjusting Layer Properties

For each slide layer, you can customize its properties to control its behavior. Click the small gear icon to the right of the layer's name to access the Slide Layer Properties window:

The Slide Layer Properties window appears, where you can choose your options:

Visibility:

  • Hide other slide layers: This causes other slide layers (but not the base layer) to become invisible when the current layer appears.
  • Hide objects on base layer: This causes everything on the slide's base layer to become invisible when the current layer appears. (If you want only some objects on the base layer to become invisible when a learner visits your layer, check out the technique described later in this tutorial for hiding only selected objects on the base layer.)
  • Hide slide layer when timeline finishes: This causes the current layer to become hidden when the layer is finished playing.
  • Allow seeking: If your slide's player controls include a seekbar, you can set this selector to Yes if you want to make the seekbar active on your slide layer. This is handy if the layer contains video, animations, or audio that you want learners to be able to pause, rewind, or fast-forward. If you leave the option set to Automatically Decide, Storyline will allow seeking on the layer if you've marked any of the following options: Hide objects on base layer, Prevent the user from clicking on the base layer, or Pause timeline of base layer.

Base Layer:

  • Prevent the user from clicking on the base layer: This prevents the learner from invoking any buttons, hyperlinks, or other triggers on the base layer while the current layer is visible.
  • Pause timeline of base layer: This causes the animations, audio, and any other objects on the base layer's timeline to pause when the current layer displays. When the layer closes, the base layer's timeline will resume.

Revisits:

These options let you control how the objects on your layers behave if learners revisit the layer.

  • Automatically decide: This is the default choice, and it means Storyline will decide for you whether to resume the layer where the user previously left off or to reset the layer to its initial state when learners view the layer a subsequent time. Here's the logic: If the layer contains just simple objects and/or audio but no interactivity, Storyline resets the layer to the beginning of the layer's timeline each time the learner views the layer. But if the layer contains any interactive elements, such as buttons or any other object that includes a visited or selected state, Storyline resumes the timeline where the learner left off if they come back to the layer again. 
  • Resume saved state: Use this option if you always want the layer to resume playing where the learner last left off. 
  • Reset to initial state: Use this option if you always want the layer to reset to its initial state if learners return to it. This means any time the learner views the layer subsequent times, it'll restart at the beginning of the layer's timeline, and any interactive objects will return to their initial states.

Hiding Specific Objects on the Base Layer

The layer properties described above provide an option to "hide objects on base layer." But that option hides everything on the base layer. What if you only want to hide some of the base-layer objects? You can do that, since each slide layer has its own timeline, where you can turn off any objects that would otherwise appear on the base layer.

Just go to any slide layer and click the Timeline tab below the slide workspace. Click the arrow next to Base Layer Objects. Then use the eye icon to turn off the visibility of any base-layer objects you choose:

When users visit this layer, they won't see any base-layer objects you've hidden. Once they leave the layer, the objects will reappear.

Adding Transitions to Layers

You can apply transitions to your layers just like you can on the slide's base layer. To apply a transition, do this:

  1. Select the layer from the Slide Layers panel.
  2. Click the Animations tab.
  3. Choose a transition and a speed.

For more on transitions, see this tutorial.

Rearranging Layers

To change the order of your layers, just drag and drop them where you want them in the Slide Layers panel.

Layers display on top of the base layer (not behind it), and they'll open in the order in which they're triggered, regardless of their stacking order in the Slide Layers panel.

Tip: To show more than one layer at the same time in your published output, click the gear icon for each layer to open its properties, then uncheck the box to Hide other slide layers.

Hiding, Unhiding, and Dimming Layers

When you have multiple layers on a slide, you may find it useful to display or hide some of them while you‘re editing your slide. To display a layer, click the eye icon that appears to the left of the layer title in the Slide Layers panel. To make it visible again, click the eye icon again.

By default, all layers except the one you're currently working on will display as dimmed. If you'd rather see them in full color, unmark the box called Dim non-selected layers in the Slide Layers panel.

Duplicating Layers

You can duplicate any layer by selecting it and clicking the Duplicate button or by pressing Ctrl+D on your keyboard.

Deleting Layers

You can remove a slide layer by selecting it from the Layers Panel and clicking the red X or pressing the Delete key on your keyboard.