An issue with layers and hotspots (storyline 3)

I have the following:

1. A base layer with a hot spot on it.

2. A directive layer that displays when the timeline on the base layer starts. I put the directive in a separate layer because I want it to disappear once the user clicks.

3. A third layer that should display after the user clicks on the hot spot.

Problem: I can't click "through" the directive layer to the hot spot. It seems to me like this was standard in Storyline 2: you could click on hotspots on the base layer even when other layers were displaying on top of them.

I know there are plenty of work-arounds for this. I don't want a work-around. I want to know if Storyline 3 can function in the way I describe above, and if so, what setting do I have to change?

12 Replies
Alex Duncan

Some further detail: if objects in the directive layer are too close to the hot spot on the base layer, they obscure the ability to click on it. They don't have to be directly on top the hot spot; just close to it.

Everything works as I expect as long as objects on the directive layer aren't close to the hot spot.

This doesn't work for my purpose.

Ali Goulet

Hey Alex!

I did a quick test using the setup you're describing in Storyline 3 and I'm not able to reproduce what you're describing. When I preview the slide, the directive layer shows and the base hotspot is able to be clicked to bring you to that third layer.

I attached my project file here to take a look at. Please let me know if I've missed something!

Can you share your .story project file here where you're seeing this happen? I'd love to take a look and do some testing. You can add it as an attachment in a comment like this: 

Thanks a bunch! 

Alex Duncan

Here's the problem (attachment).

An observation: on the directive layer there's an arrow pointing at the hot spot that's on the base layer. If I shorten the arrow so it's not so close to the hot spot, then the hot spot becomes clickable.

Again - I can think of 3 or 4 easy work arounds for this. But I want to know why it isn't working the way I think it should, and if something can be done about that.

Ali - thanks for your example. I'm about to grab it and have a look. I think I already see how yours is going to differ from mine, but it never hurts to check it out.


Ali Goulet

Hey Alex! 

Thanks for sharing your file here with me. Now that I'm looking at your specific setup, I'm seeing what you're describing. It does appear that the arrow on the layer is affecting that hotspot and I was able to recreate it in a new file with a similar setup. 

I really appreciate you reporting this behavior here, and I'm sorry it's hanging you up! I'm going to share this with our Quality Assurance team so they can dig a bit deeper and I'll be sure to update here in the thread when I have any news to share. If you're curious, here's how we go about tackling bugs

I know it's not ideal, but in the meantime I'd recommend making use of those workarounds shared such as copying the hotspot to the layer or adjusting the arrow. 

Thanks again for letting us know about this! 🙂

Katie Riggio

Hi there, Sally. I'm sorry to hear you hit this snag!

This is still an open issue for investigation in Storyline 3; however, I want to make sure you get the latest support since this is an older discussion. 

  • What Storyline update are you using?
  • Do you see this behavior during preview, in the published output, or both?
  • Would you be willing to share your .story file with us for testing? We'd love to take a thorough look at your setup to offer more tailored support. If you're able to share the project, please use this private upload link!
Chris Fransham

Hi there

I think I'm experiencing this problem too - I have a progress bar layer across the top of my master slides, and buttons that appear at periodic times near the top of the slide. When viewing the course on mobile, you have to click the buttons multiple times to get them to trigger.

I suspect this is to do with being too close to the progress bar layer, and the reason why it is happening on mobile is because the buttons are functionally so much smaller and closer together on a mobile screen than they are on a monitor. And if there is some sort of 'exclusion zone' around the layer objects, this is functionally larger on mobile.

Just adding a +1 to the priority of fixing this.

Lauren Connelly

Hi Chris!

Thank you for sharing these details, especially sharing what you see in different environments! Which version of Storyline are you using?

Just to be sure of the exact issue that you're running into, I'd encourage you to reach out to our Support Engineers so they can take a look at your file! Please use this link to begin working with our team.