Cannot Rename Layer

Oct 31, 2019

I feel like I'm missing something obvious, but so far no luck. I am trying to clean up my layout by using a few naming schemes but have run into an oddity. For example, I have a layer with a default name of "Character 01 1" where I would like to remove the last digit changing the name to "Character 01" instead. On some layers I can delete this "1" but on others I cannot.

I understand that this number likely represents separate instances of the same object within the slide; however, there are no other instances of it on this slide. The same appears to happen on sub-grouped elements as well, none of which are duplicates.

  1. Is there a property settings lock that is preventing me from renaming the layer/element? Some allow it, some don't. It's weird.
  2. Are layer names in some way associated to other SLIDE layers? For example, say Slide 23 has the same character source image as Slide 27. Are those two instances of the one image connected somehow that would require the "1" suffix?
  3. Bonus question: Is there a more direct way of moving layers up or down in the timeline view without having to right-click/Bring to Front/Bring Forward? Something similar to the Tab Order window where you can just click an up or down "arrow" from the interface directly? It is rather tedious creating 4 clicks per layer to organize a timeline.

Thanks in advance for any help.

9 Replies
Jeff Forrer

I have noticed what you are stating here in 2. above and wondering this as well.  However I notice sometimes when I think I have a unique name such as Character 01 labeled properly, there are extra characters or spaces after, so I always highlight the name, then use the right arrow key to go to the end to make sure that all characters are removed, sometimes there are characters there I did not see and I remove them.

In regard to your bonus question, the only other way I know of is dragging them up and down and you have to drag one at a time UNLESS you have many moving next to each other, then you can group them, drag them to where you want them, then ungroup them so you can move many at once.  

Good luck.

Noel Sapp


Thank you for the reply. Your comment got me thinking and I now realize I'm an idiot ;)

I realize now that I can click the timeline content to move it with the mouse. I had been trying to move the timeline label, the left-most column text IDs for each timeline layer. I can move things as expected, if I click on the appropriate section of the layer.

In my defense, every other program that I use with layers (timeline based or otherwise) I can click the label to move it. How Articulate works is not quite as intuitive, but at least it's functional. So thank you for posting.

As to the bonus question, still no luck there. I did a quick check to see if maybe I too had missed a character at the end of the element/layer name. Unfortunately, it appears clean. I wonder what else could be connected to the naming issue? Strange.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Noel,

I'll be honest. I think I'm missing what you are referring to when you mention layers.

I did create a short Peek 360 video to explain how to move layers and timeline items quickly, but I think I'm still missing your question.

Could you share a screencast or even a screenshot so that I can better understand it?

Noel Sapp

Jeff is correct. I mean literally the layer rows of the timeline frame.

Draw a shape, insert a character, etc., and Articulate creates a default timeline layer. For example, draw a rectangle and the timeline layer is named "Rectangle 1".

For the most part I can rename the "Rectangle 1" to whatever naming convention we are using. Maybe  name it "Rectangle BLUE" to help visually associate the timeline layer to what we actually see on the slide. This works 90% of the time. Sometimes, however, I cannot rename the layer as it resets itself back to "Rectangle 1".

Or say we have 4 characters on a slide. We then have a timeline layer set as follows:

  • Character 01
  • Character 02
  • Character 03
  • Character 04 1

Where the last Character 04 has the added "1" at the end. In some of these cases when I try to remove the "1" from the name, it resets back. Mostly this is when creating slides from slide interaction templates within Articulate. I assume this is a default naming scheme if there is another element with the name "Character 04" on the slide. Just I cannot find another element with that name, so I'm stuck with the "1" where it is.

I'm curious if there is a setting somewhere or perhaps that names are affected by other slides content within the same project.


Vincent Scoma

Hi Noel,

It sounds like you are describing the objects on a Timeline. With that said, the workflow you are using to rename an object is correct. The new name for that object should remain so something doesn't seem quite right with the behavior you are describing. If you could share a screenshot or a screencast of what you see, that would help out greatly! 

When working on Storyline projects, unexpected behavior can occur if working from a network drive. To rule this out, are the guidelines outlined here being followed?

If you are following those best practices, please let us know so we can continue to help! 

Cassandra Newman

Hi Vincent,

I'm having similar issues with re-naming objects on my timeline. Objects copied and pasted from other pages acquire the standard "1" after the original name - per usual. What's unusual is that a number of these I am unable to delete the 1 added to the name, despite the fact that it is the only object with that name on the slide.

What I can do is add "tab" to the end of the name so it appears as I want. In the image you'll see two of the objects (text) appear as "Screen 7" and "Screen 6" but the name is really entered as "Screen 7 <tab>" and Screen 6 <tab>" respectively. The objects which precede and follow still have the additional 1 (e.g. Screen 8 1, Screen 5 1).

While it's not detrimental I've a significant number of variables and triggers linked to these objects, so having concise naming is key!

Thanks for any insights!

Walt Hamilton

Renaming copied objects is an old bug, but hasn't bothered enough people to be fixed. If you are serious about renaming them, you have to delete more characters than just the number. Change Object 1 to Objecd, hit return, then change it to Object, and it will work, if you want to put out that much effort.  Or use Cassandra's method and add a character. Somehow, that edit procedure does not recognize deleting a character as changing.