Restricted navigation with branching scenario

Feb 06, 2011

I have a sad feeling that I already know the answer to my question, but I'm going to ask it anyway, in hopes that I am wrong...

Is there any way to restrict user navigation (so they can't jump ahead in the course) but still use hyperlinks to create branching?  I have my course set to User Navigation is Restricted (in the player template) and that worked great in my little prototype, but once I added in some hyperlink branching and tested it, I realized that the user can only hyperlink to the next slide, if you try with any of the other links you get a message saying you can only view the slides in order.

If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear 'em!

19 Replies
Sheila Bulthuis

Hi, Robert -  Thanks for your reply.  Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to give me what I need...  the client wants them to be able to jump around (via the outline tab) to anything they've already viewed.  What I really need is a way to bypass the restricted navigation on certain slides (the ones used for branching), but I don't think that's possible.  Oh well, I will find another way!

Patrick OGrady

Sheila, one trick I've used to bypass the restricted navigation and make it seem like the user has branching control is to provide a gap in the beginning of the presentation and use that gap of my hyperlinked slides.

s1>s2>s10...then I'll use the gap between slides 2 to 10 for the slides I want to hyperlink too.  This allows you too keep the learner from skipping ahead, but also makes it seem like there is a branching scenario going on.  To keep those slides from showing up in the outline tab I will hide them in the navigation panel.  (I really don't like having the navigation panel showing, but I understand some organizations hold onto it steadfastly)

It's not a perfect work around, but it does the job.

Hope that helps.

Simon Perkins

Sheila Cole said:

I have my course set to User Navigation is Restricted (in the player template) and that worked great in my little prototype, but once I added in some hyperlink branching and tested it, I realized that the user can only hyperlink to the next slide, if you try with any of the other links you get a message saying you can only view the slides in order.

If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear 'em!

Hmm, that's sounds weird because we have modules that have Restricted nav yet the learner can navigate freely (to anywhere) using hyperlinks.  Any warning messages (IME) only appear when trying to use the nav sidebar or player buttons "incorrectly".

Sheila Bulthuis

Simon, are you using a hyperlink on, for example, slide 3 to link to slide 8?  In which case the user would be skipping slides 4, 5, 6, and 7?  If so, you must be doing something that I'm missing, because I cannot make that work! 

Patrick, can you tell me more about what you're doing?  Does the user see slide 1, then click next and see slide 2, then click next and see slide 10?  And then on slide 10 they might hyperlink to slide 3 or 4?  If that's how it's working for you, I might want to give that a try...

Thank you both for your ideas, I may get this to work yet!

Sheila Bulthuis

Well, I ignored this issue for a couple of weeks while I worked on other parts of the course, but of course eventually I had to come back to it.  Here's what I discovered:

Simon is right, the user can go anywhere using hyperlinks, even if the navigation is restricted (not sure why I thought at first this wasn’t working).  BUT – you cannot use the Articulate player controls to “branch” to a downstream screen if the navigation is restricted.  

I had a scenario like this:  On slide 3, use hyperlinks to go to Slide 4, slide 5, or slide 6.  Then, from whichever of those slides you end up on, the next button should take you to slide 7.  But this only worked on slide 6.  Even though I used slide properties for slide 4 and 5 to make the Next button go to slide 7, if you tried to do that, you got the error that you can only see current and past slides.  The obvious fix would be to use hyperlinks from slides 4 and 5 to get to 7, but that didn’t really fit with what I wanted to user to “think” was happening…

Anyway, many (belated) thanks for everyone’s help and input!

Erika Scothern

Hi Everyone,

Ok So I have the following:

Slide 1 - intro - Release xx1

Slide 2 - these are the 3 changes (boxes - hyperlinked box 1 > Slide 3, Box 2 > Slide 4, Box 3 > slide 5.

BUT ONLY The hyperlink for box 1 works, the other two boxes dont :(

I already tried branching the slides, I already tried automatically advace and advance by user, and I have tried no slide branching by locking the navigation.

How can I get all 3 boxes in Slide 2 to actually hyperlink, not just Box 1.

FYI, when I click on Box 2 and Box 3, it just replays slide 2 over again... as if it would be hyperlinked back to itself???

Brian Batt

Hi Erika,

I would suggest you submit a case by following the steps below.

Please create an Articulate Presenter package, then upload the zip file to our server. You can review how to do this here: 

Send to Articulate Presenter Package – Articulate Presenter ’09 Help

Upload the resulting zip file from your computer to our server using this upload form: 

Articulate Support - Upload Your Files for Review 

Please be sure to include a description of your issue, your version of PowerPoint, version of Windows and version of Presenter '09 which you can find in Help and Support -> About Articulate Presenter. Please also include the URL for this thread so we can follow up with you in the forums.

Scott Johnson

I've got what I think is a similar scenario.

Navigation is restricted so that the user may only view previously viewed slides.

Slide 1 has a clickable hyperlink on it that goes to an optional (and hidden) slide 2, otherwise it should go onto slide 3.

This doesn't work as per Sheila's original query.

Have tried having Slides 1-10, where slide 1 has the clickable hyperlink to go to slide9, otherwise the navigation is set to go to next slide as normal.

This doesn't work either.

Have tried Patrick's version, so that Slide 1 auto jumps to slide 4, and slides 2 & 3 are the optional hidden slides for reference later.

No luck.

I could have sworn this worked before.  Is it something that's come up through Powerpoint 2010?

Curtis Kynerd

So, let me see if this scenario fits any of the methods described above.  I have a slide (slide #4) with 2 hyperlinks on it.  I have designed both hyperlinks to appear as if a popup box has appeared on the slide (when in actuality, i have just linked to slide #5 or slide #6 which is hidden and the navigation of the slide is locked).  To "close" the popup, the learner clicks on a "close" button to return to the original slide (slide #4).  However, that is not what is happening.  Since my original slide has animations and audio, I want the learner to go to another slide that is an exact duplicate of the original one, with the animations and audio removed (slide #7).    That all works perfectly well, until my client decides that they want the learner to be able to go to the "previous" slide ( slide #3) via the player controls.  WHen this happens, they go to the hyperlinked slide instead (Slide #6).   My question is how do I modify the existing scenario so that when the learner tries to go back to the previous slide, he/she will navigate correctly as described above?.   That is, if the learner is on slide #7 and decides he/she wants to go the the previous slide (slide #3) via the player control, he will be able to do that and then navigate forward correctly.  I don't want to remove the player controls, but I have about 4 sets of hyperlinked slides that are similar to what I described above.  I hope this description is not too confusing. 

Kate Hoelscher

I have the same problem all the time.  Needs to be restricted for most of it but have a branching scenario inside.  What I end up doing is deploying without the navigation controls below, locking all slides, and having right arrows on each slide linking to the next slide for those that are not branched.  If there is audio that they need to listen to, I add a custom animation to make the arrow appear once the audio is complete.  It's a pain, but the only workaround I have found.  If someone else finds something I would be very interested to know!

Kimberly Cooper

Hi - I am having a similar problem and am hoping someone can help.  I am creating a hyperlink exercise similar to this screenr (  As part of the exercise, need the learner to be able to freely click on all hyperlinks in any order.  Once they have selected all links (no matter the order), I need for the learner to be able to move to the next slide section (outside of the hyperlink activity).  The key is 1)allowing the learner to freely click within the hyperlink exercise 2)ensure the learner clicks all hyperlinks (in any order) before moving out of the exercise.  This would be similar to a learner clicking through an engage interaction (in any order) but having to click everything before they are allowed to move outside of the exercise.  Can someone help?

Additional Note: The end result should be like an engage activity.  They can click through the interaction tabs in any order, but they are only allowed to leave the interaction once they have clicked through everything.

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