Disable Next Button with Articulate Presenter

Oct 19, 2015

I have a PPT that needs to be SCORM wrapped as an eLearning module and I am trying to replicate what I usually do when I make modules in Storyline: Slide starts with NEXT button state as Disabled until the timeline on that slide completes. Then the NEXT button state changes to normal, and the person can advance to the next slide. Seekbar nav locked so they can't skip seekbar to near end of timeline and then NEXT button state changes to normal so they can advance.

I do this because I actually want to make sure my learners are learning and not skipping through the content.

When you work from PPT, it seems those options are slightly different (and, correct me if I'm wrong, but you alter these settings in the "slide properties" option under the Articulate tab in PPT). It seems the closest I can come to mirroring the Storyline settings I prefer is to: 

1) Make navigation locked, so the person can't click the NEXT button. However, this also means they can't ever click PREVIOUS, or replay a slide, since locking navigation locks all navigation on that slide. I would have to set each slide to auto advance. I don't like this option because the learner is very passive. They click a button and then just watch the entire module, no interaction. I'm also aware people may start the module, then simply walk away and come back when the entire module is complete (which is no better than simply clicking NEXT to skip through the module).

As far as I'm aware, there's no option to make navigation locked until slide timeline stops, upon which time it is free (This would be ideal). 

Can anyone help me replicate my Storyline settings or confirm to me it isn't possible? I'd love feedback on what I'm missing that would fix my problem, workarounds, or other solutions. Thanks in advance. 



7 Replies
Leslie McKerchie

Hi Dan!

I think you're actually wanting Restricted Navigation vs Locked. 

The navigation method for Presenter courses defaults to Free—meaning learners can view slides in any order. If you're building a linear course and want learners to move through it in order, switch to Restricted or Locked navigation. This prevents learners from using the menu to jump to other slides. Here's how to switch and how to decide which navigation method to choose:

  1. Click the gear icon (the Additional Options button) below the menu.
  2. When the Menu Options window appears, use the Navigation Restriction drop-down to choose one of the following:
    • Free: This lets learners click slide titles in the menu to navigate to any part of the course at any time. They can view slides in any order.
    • Restricted: This means learners can view the current slide and any slide they previously viewed, but they can't use the menu to jump ahead or skip over slides.
    • Locked: This means learners can only view slides in the order you've designed. They can't use the menu to jump ahead or skip over slides, nor can they use it to go back to any previously viewed slides.
  3. Click OK when you're done.

Tip: If you just want to lock specific slides in your course so learners are required to view those slides in their entirety—regardless of the navigation method you chose for your overall course—you can do that in the Slide Properties manager.

You can read more here if needed.

Dan Beatty

Hi Leslie, 

Thanks for the tips. I should have mentioned that I don't want to have the menu displayed within the player, we only want the module title, seekbar, next and previous buttons to display.

This is because a lot of our learners take these courses via their smartphones, and screen space is at a premium - so having a menu would then shrink the rest of the content we're trying to display since it takes up so much space along one's right or left-hand column of the player.

I read the articles you linked to. It mentioned that if you want to prevent your learners from progressing too quickly, you change specific slide properties using the "slide properties" option within the "Articulate" tab in PPT (what I was mentioning before). It also mentioned that those navigation options are limited to locked and free then explains what the differences are. It mentioned if you choose "locked" you will have to provide hyperlinks on the screen for your user to advance to the next slide, or have the slide auto advance (rather than 'by user') using the advanced settings options.

Since I don't want to have the slides auto advance for the reason I gave above - fear of people simply starting the module and walking away, then returning when complete, plus it's a very passive way of taking a course - it seems the remaining option is to provide hyperlinks from within the slide that links to the next slide. 

So, it seems the correct solution for me is to create a "button"* on my PPT slide that has an animation associated with it that has it appear near the end of the slide's timeline which links to my next slide. And so not to confuse my learners, adjusting my slide property settings so that the actual, player's default NEXT button does not display on that slide.  

--Just thought I would share out my solution because I'm still hoping there's a way to make the NEXT button appear after a slide's timeline rather than sacrificing PPT slide space for a button. 

What do you think Leslie??

*To create a button, simply insert an object (In my case I drew a shape). Then, with that new object selected, choose the "Insert" tab from PPT, then under "links" choose "action". This will allow you to set up your button to go to the next slide, or any slide for that matter. You may want to employ this method to create a PREVIOUS button replacement as well. 


Leslie McKerchie

Hi Dan! I think you may be overthinking or perhaps I'm still not understanding.

You do not have to have the menu present to utilize Restricted Navigation. 

You can:

Hide the menu

Advance by user

Have restricted navigation

I attached a silly test file. Preview to see how it works and if that's what you want, then you can peek at the settings if you wish.

Dan Beatty

Hi Leslie, 

Thanks for your continued help with this. We're almost there! A few things: 

1) I believe your test file is set up with the intention of having the menu nav be "restricted" but the one you sent me was set to "free". It also had the menu shown. I changed both these settings to what you listed above and TA DA! IT WORKS!!!! Users cannot advance to the next slide until the timeline on the slide they're on finishes. 

The problem here is people can still advance the seekbar/slide bar to near the end of the slide timeline (because the nav is set to 'restricted' but restricted only applies to restricting a person to advance past a given slide, it still allows the person to advance the seekbar on that given slide) so can still skip a slide's content then they'll be able to click NEXT. Bummer right?

2) Lost in translation moment - 

See when I said "I want the button disabled like you can do in Storyline" I should have been uber specific - bc what I love about that Storyline feature is it shows the NEXT button grayed out when it is set up to be disabled when timeline starts, providing a cue to the learner "hey, you can click on this button eventually, but for some reason the teacher has decided to not allow you to click this button yet" and then the timeline finished, and now the NEXT button is no longer grayed out, it is 'normal' and the learner can click and advance.

As far as I'm aware, the solution you're proposing accomplishes the main thing: Learner cannot advance until slide timeline is complete. 

However, and this is not me being crazy-specific as much as it's feedback we got from our learners: When that NEXT button is 'normal' but unclickable, it confuses them. They try to click the NEXT button, nothing happens, assume the module is broken, and we get a lot of reports. This is how I used to set up mods before I discovered you can disable the next button until the timeline finishes and we no longer got reports of that nature. 

I've attached a photo to show you what I was meaning with the 'grayed out' button for clarity. I don't think this can be replicated in PPT using Presenter, but Id LOVE to know how.  Well that, plus the inability to advance the seekbar. It seems I can't have the best of both worlds with presenter and PPT, I have to use Storyline if I want this set up. 

Leslie McKerchie

Makes sense Dan. You could remove the seekbar, but I know you mentioned previously that it was needed.

There is not a way to 'disable' the next button as you can in Storyline with states and triggers.

You could have a hyperlink shape in place of the built in next button as well that animated in towards the end of your slide if needed as well.

Just a thought.

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