advancing slides with arrow keys

I am developing a live presentation utilizing Articulate with a powerpoint presentation imported. I would like to control the movement of slides by the arrow keys rather than forcing facilitator to hit next/previous buttons. We are not creating an elearning version right now because of a transition of LMS's. Any help?

14 Replies
Antony Snow

Hi Matt - welcome to Heroes.

By default, SL creates triggers to jump to the next slide when the user clicks on the next button, but you can update this trigger so the action is executed using keys, such as the arrow keys.

  • Double-click on the existing trigger that jumps to the next slide when the user clicks on next - this will open up the Trigger Wizard
  • Click on the 'When' drop-down (it will be displaying the default "User clicks") and select "User presses a key" - this will display a new field called 'Key:'
  • Place the cursor in this new field and press the actual key on your keyboard you want to assign the action to (in your example, press the right arrow button)
  • Click on the 'Object:' drop-down and select the current slide

I hope this helps


Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Matt and welcome to Heroes!

It looks like Antony has you covered here, but the one other piece you may want to do is remove the previous/next buttons from the player so that users don't get confused about why clicking on them doesn't work.  You  can customize these for individual slides or scenes by using the Slide Properties pane. This tutorial covers how to customize the Slide Properties.

Philippe JEANTY

Help...  "assuming you are also applying the layout to the slides it applies to." this is the Master slide in the master template (the very top one a little bigger then the other). Would all the "daughter" template not inherit these characteristics ? And I assume i do NOT have to "reapply" the template to each slide: correct ?

And what do you mean by " the focus must be on the slide for the trigger to work." No distracted slides for me :D

I ran the Story you send me but on my side it is not advancing or going back with the arrow keys. I did Preview > This scene and Preview > Entire project...

What am i doing wrong ?

Leslie McKerchie

No distracted slides? Come on Philippe. I think my brain may be distracted after your description :)

Okay, let me try this again. If you use my example, preview entire project click on first slide - does the right arrow let you go to the next slide? That's what I mean by 'focus' - you're saying when user presses a key on Slide X - so the focus must be 'on' that slide. Does that make more sense? Sorry if I was not explaining that well :)

It is something that we've shared internally with our team though - because it is an extra click.

Yes, if you're putting the triggers on the master slide (good description of the bigger one), then you should be ok. Try your course with the focus I just described and let me know if that works for you.

Philippe JEANTY

Hey you are correct :)

I was a little bit impatient and did > File load> Preview > Entire project and pressed right then left arrow key and no slide change occurred. Tnen i click next on the player and THEN LEFT ARROW and form then on it worked. So now i understand what yo mean with "Focus". Great perfect ! let me try on my real presentation,

So aside from LEFT and RIGHT, what do you think of also having:

1) SPACEBAR act as "Next" (I realize this would have to be disabled if there is a "field text" where a spacebar might be needed) , and the

2) UP arrow go to the beginning of the current scene, A little more tricky because i would have to put a variable like SET SLIDE OF CURRENT SCENE to be defined for each scene

3) HOME to Main Menu (that one sounds easy as it does not change)

I suspect using the same or similar triggers on the master slide

Trickier still would be to allow clicking on the background of the slide to also function as a NEXT button (the advantage is that this allows very imprecise clicking which when you present is convenient). In Director i had an object the size of the screen (like a Hotspot in SL) that would appear at the very last frame of an animation and probably in storyline by putting this on the master slide it would be over-ridden by all other Hotspot on individual slides) but Can i put a trigger on it saying something like Show Hostspot when TImeline reaches the End ?

Sorry for some Juvenile enthusiasm with senile capabilities :$


Leslie McKerchie

Not senile at all - pretty advanced and smart thinking if you ask me. I'm not sure about the up arrow one as I've never tried that. I'm also not following your show hotspot, since that's really an invisible object, but you could certainly have an object appear when the timeline ends. Sorry if I'm not fully following. I know your courses are pretty complex from what I've seen thus far too :) You're obviously learning a lot though!

Philippe JEANTY

I will make a tiny presentation to try these ideas.. better then risking my real presentation!

Yes I am VERY VERY impressed by Storyline... I had a hard time to adapt from Director as the philosophy are so different, but SL is a LOT better and the support is fabulous. I started using it end of June and had a presentation to give this last Saturday, so I was under a little time pressure, and sacrificed learning outside the video tutorial (that are excellent). The presentation was not very polished yet but still beat all PP, Flash and Keynotes. So thank all your team for providing such good program and also to the Heroes, In particular Wendy Farmer whose contributions an ideas are well appreciated. Hopefully someday I will be able to reciprocate.

Philippe JEANTY

I think your "Focus" explanation also explain another problem i have. I have a "tab" menu and typically i arrive in this menu without having to even touch the keyboard! And clicking on the tabs does not work. If i click on the MENU (top left of player in my player) then all of a sudden the Tab menu works. SO probably this is the same issue of focus.

Is there a way to "force" the focus on a slide ? Does the focus requires keyboard interaction ?Can a key code (maybe something innocuous such a CAPSLOCK ON the CAPSLOCK OFF) could be send to the player to set the focus ?


Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Philippe, 

The focus on a slide itself is organized based on the order in the timeline from the bottom up, but that isn't connected with the player focus.

When a user arrives on a slide, typically pressing the TAB key will focus on the player and then cycle into the slide as an accessibility feature. 

I haven't seen any methods to trigger a player item based on a keyboard interaction, but I wouldn't put it past the ELH Community to have come up with something! 

Philippe JEANTY

OK slow but steady progress :)

It was easy to set SPACEBAR and the LEFT and RIGHT arrows key in the master slide and now all the presentation works the way I want :)

Now the other ones..

1) I want arrow DOWN to be "replay this slide". I was looking into either

1.1) a trigger that would reset the timeline to the beginning but I cannot find how to do this.. just "resume" play or

1.2) a "go to slide" > "this slide", but neither exist. Any other way ?

2) The second one I wanted to create was: arrow UP restarting the current scene. I though I could have a variable called Current_Scene and a trigger at the beginning of each scene "Set current_scene to xxx" but with 75 scenes right now this is not very efficient !! Any way for the variable to automatically pick the name of a scene ? Any other way to program the UP arrow to do this in another way ?