Cursor control in freeform hotspot slides seems unpredictable

May 20, 2017

We have just built a lengthy screen recording assessment where learners use an interface to perform tasks. However after recorded we discovered that in all slides hovering over hotspots show hand and elsewhere shows the arrow cursor. Deselecting "Show Hand Cursor on Cover" does not change this (in fact it is deselected as default.)

I decided to do some testing, I tested this in Storyline 2 Update 12 1705.520 on both a Windows 7 and Windows 10 machine.

It seems that when a slide is a freeform (graded) hotspot slide, the cursor control starts to behave unpredictably. Here is what I observed: 

  • Sometimes the cusor is an arrow and when moved over the hotspot remains an arrow. Selecting "Show Hand Cursor on Cover" has no effect.
  • Sometimes the cusor is a hand and when moved over the hotspot remains a hand. Selecting "Show Hand Cursor on Cover" has no effect.
  • Sometimes the cusor is a arrow and when moved over the hotspot becomes a hand. Deselecting "Show Hand Cursor on Cover" has no effect.
  • If the slide is not freeform, "Show Hand Cursor on Cover" works as expected. If the slide is converted to freeform, selecting or desecting "Show Hand Cursor on Cover" no longer works.

If the slide is "Pick One" freeform, "Show Hand Cursor on Cover" works as expected.

I suspect it has something to do with the freeform hotspot type slide.

Am I missing something simple here (that happens more than I care to admit) or has anyone else seen this behavior?

Our solution is to place a second full-screen hotspot behind the original so at least the cursor is consistent over all the screen. Unfortunately it is the Hand which is less than optimal.

Sorry about the long-winded post. Any thoughts?


7 Replies
Alyssa Gomez

Hi Matt,

Thanks for all of those details! That was really helpful. I published a freeform hotspot question in Storyline 2 Update 12 here, for comparison's sake.  In that interaction, the mouse will show as a hand cursor over the entire slide. Since you're seeing inconsistencies with your file, I have a few questions:

  • How did you publish the file--for Web or LMS?
  • Where did you host the published output?
  • What browser did you use to test the file?
Matt Ockenfels

Hi Alyssa,

Thanks for your response!

The published files are for Web.

The files are ultimately hosted on our client's servers. I have tested with our company's servers as well.

I tried both IE11 11.10.42 and Firefox 45.0.1. Installed Flash is version for all machines.

Even when previewing in Storyline, the same behavior seems to exist.

One additional note. In the project where I noticed this, the screen recordings were done by a colleague then imported into a master file. I looked the original screen recording projects and also tried regenerating test mode scenes from the imported movie recordings. In all cases the cursor was a hand when over the hotspot and a pointer arrow on the rest of the slide. In the additional testing I did in new project files it was either hand/hand (the result your trial produces) or pointer/pointer, but consistent within each project file. Why it is one or the other is still a mystery to me.   

I'm befuddled!



Alyssa Gomez

This is definitely a puzzle, Matt! I'd like to get a better idea of what you're seeing versus what you'd like to see. 

Could you send me a sample file that displays the problem behavior, and let me know your thoughts on how it should behave? With that example, I'll have a better idea of whether this is expected behavior or a bug that we need to investigate. Thanks!

Matt Ockenfels

Hi Alyssa,

I have attached a file for your review.

What I am seeing is the cursor turns to a hand while hovering over the hotspot. In viewing the hotspot properties, "Show Hand Cursor on Hover" is deselected (which I assume means I should not see the hand.) Selecting and deselecting "Show Hand Cursor on Hover" seems to have no effect.

What I want to see is the cursor not be a hand when the user hovers over the correct answer.

OK, I have just noticed something. In the example we are clicking on the hotspot to submit the interaction. If we set it up to use Submit button instead the hand does not appear and "Show Hand Cursor on Hover" works! Interesting, but not the way we want to do it.

Matt Ockenfels

Hi Alyssa,

I took a look at your demo. Thanks for taking the time to do that.

So my takeaway is that in order to not have the hand cursor appear I must include the Submit button. Is that correct?

And without the Submit button (submitting by clicking on the hotspot) I cannot change the hand cursor, even though the "Show Hand Cursor on Hover" appears on the properties for that hotspot?


I just want to be clear.  Thanks again!


Alyssa Gomez

Thanks for catching that, Matt. If "Show Hand Cursor on Hover" is unchecked, then it seems you should not see the hand cursor when hovering over the hotspot. I’ll meet with my team to take a closer look, so that we can verify this is a bug. Sometimes my team catches errors in my logic and we don’t have a bug after all. Of course if that’s the case, I’ll let you know!

Thanks again for clarifying, and I'll be sure to post an update in this thread as soon as I have more information. 

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