Articulate Storyline 2 - Tab order for accessiblity

Wondering if there were any improvement made to how the Tab Order can be controlled, within Storyline 2, for accessibility. We have had a number of issues with how Storyline 1 controls tab order and would prefer to be able to set the a custom tab order, as opposed to Storyline's default of Left to Right, Top to Bottom.

Here is a thread on the issue:


37 Replies
Steve Chorny

Thanks for the help Ashley. It's a bit disappointing that the Tab Order Control was not fixed/updated. While it may not cause issues for American clients, with section 508, it does cause design and accessibility issues for those of us that have to follow more stringent requirements.

fyi- One major client recently told me that they would not be continuing with Storyline in their Enterprise training group if the tab order was not fixed. Their solution was to go to Lectora exclusively.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Steve,

I certainly understand, and currently it's considered to be something that is working as designed and a feature request (I know, not what you want to hear). But I'd recommend sharing that additional piece of information in the feature request or when talking with our Sales team in regards to upgrading to SL2. The more voices and places the better.

Steve Chorny


The posts don't do this subject justice. I have tried talking to Articulate about this issue since day 1. Nobody will listen.. feature request of not. What was fascinating, I was one of the people that discussed this with Adobe Captivate people years ago and it is a current feature. I did not have to fill out a feature request. I just talked to a person.

Please don't get me wrong. I like and respect Articulate and what it has done. But in this subject, I think that someone needs to wake up and understand what the problem is and fix it. It has caused headaches galore with some of my clients ( I work only with large banks, insurance companies and government agencies, not small clients). And, as I mentioned, it has cost Articulate sales. Anyway, enough of my rant. Time to get out into the real world and play guitar for a few hours!!!

Thanks again Ashley.... Let's agree to disagree on this one.....

Appreciate the help.

ps: I put in a feature request for something else when Storyline first came to market. A simple request that would save a developer time and frustration. After submitting the request, I never heard anything again. It is probably still sitting in the black hole, far way in the universe....

.....C'est la vie!


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Catherine,

I do see an issue that was reported to our QA Team in regards to tabbing - and it seems that if the object has additional shapes within a state is not able to be selected - but I haven't seen that you can't tab to it entirely. If you're having difficulty, do you have a sample project we could take a look at and share with our QA team as another example? 

Bob O'Donnell

Yes... I've added it as a feature request and additionally sent a reply email back.

If you guys get this option implemented you could end up being "The" leader in eTraining tools for the government. That easily translates to SALES! Right now, just us alone are holding back from purchasing multiple copies of Storyline 2 just for this "tab order" issue alone.

We just did a different course in Captivate, which has the tab feature, but I don't care for it as much. I really like the way Storyline works and the features it offers. Crank it up and make it better! ; )


Dietmar Pokoyski

I'm working with studio 13 and got a horrable accessibilty report from my customer contenting at least 30 mistakes or barriers. One of the basic assessments is also the tab order. Is there any chance to change the standard tabbing  via studio? I defined the needed order of all elements in the basic powerpoint file - but studio does not export this correct tab order, but from left to right and top to button. What to do now to regulate my planned order?

Bob O'Donnell

We worked on a project in Studio last month. When I first looked it over, I thought I saw a Tab order option for the on screen elements on a side bar menu. The project got turned over to a programmer so I didn't explore it further. I think he ended up going into the published files and made some hand coded edits in order to fix some of the issues. I'll double check with him today in case he has a good answer for you.

Its definitely tough. Not sure what your design is - but one option available to you is to create a separate accessibility file for all content. Basically an "all text" PDF file as an alternate link for accessibility. Good luck! We fight with various 508 issues on every project. I hope the Storyline developers take a hard look at it down the road.

Dietmar Pokoyski

Hi Leslie, as I wrote I defined the tabs in order as I want for the central content frame in powerpoint, but after exporting the order is always from top to button, from left to right. if you will have a look to my example screenshot you can see, that I need a clockwise order with the fitting relationship between the  "social gateway" headlines and the quotes. So I'm wondering that studio don't adopt the defined order.

Bob O'Donnell

Thanks Ashley. I'm hoping they make some improvements. I really like Storyline. Unfortunately most of our government clients require 508 and now they want HTML5 as well.

Dietmar, See if this makes any sense. I was going to test it out myself but didn't get a chance. We've moved on to straight HTML5 code for our current project(s). I may go back and play with the idea though. My thought was to try and fool the tab order by using hidden objects (transparent) for setting the tab order of what I wanted read. I'm pretty sure I could program the screen to highlight the objects as you tabbed through them. It was my best guess at getting around the program's tab order default setting. If you ever get it to work let us know. If I ever get back to it I'll post another note. Good luck!

Dietmar Pokoyski

Hi Leslie, so as I understood there is no (official) option to manage my own individual order via Studio 13, correct? But can I manage my own order via Storyline 2 or is there also no menu or tool in it to manage the tab order in Storyline?

This is very important to know for me. So the tab order is only one of about 20-30 findings in the accessibilty report I got from my customer.  And I originally thought that this finding must be one of the easier things to manage. If not I can forget Articulate ...