Data Entry + Trigger

Hi All, 

I am trying to create a slide/lesson where the learner will need to enter multiple lines of text on a slide before they can move on. I'm only running into a problem because I can't trigger the data entry to change to a visited or selected state. Since, I cannot change the data entry state I don't know how to make the "next" button appear after the learner has entered in all of the text I would like them to complete. 

Also, I know recording a simulation would be easier then creating from scratch, but in this case it deals with personal information in which if I use a "dummy" employee the learners will not know the answers to type in. 

Any thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated! 

Thank you,

--Jessica 

32 Replies
Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Jessica,

I don't know if I thoroughly understand, but at least this will get you started and you can reply back to clarify.

If you're using the built-in next button, it will always display, but you can modify the trigger so it won't work until Learners have entered text in the text entry box, which is what it sounds like you have on your slide. The modified trigger would look like this:

ACTION: jump to slide

SLIDE: next slide

WHEN: user clicks

OBJECT: Next button

ON CONDITION: Text Entry ! = Not equal to (ignore case)

If you've created your own next button, you can set its initial state to hidden or disabled and have a trigger change its state to normal using the same condition.

Would that work for you?

Jessica Feltman

Thank you for responding, 

Can you tell me what the differences are on the different types of conditions? Why pick the Text Entry ! = Not equal to (ignore case)? 

Also, how do I make my trigger changes state on my next button if I want all of my text entries to be typed into? I just make them all conditions like the one you told me and then once all of the text entries are typed in it will make my button appear? 

I really appreciate the info!

--Jessica

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Jessica,

So, for text entries where you want the Learner to enter some text before they move on, you want the text entry to be not equal to  blank (you don't want the text entry box to be blank). So, as you see in the screen shot below, your choices are not equal to or not equal to ignore case. If it doesn't matter whether the Learner types in uppercase or lowercase, you'd want to select ignore case.

Then, if you leave the value blank as in this screen shot, you're telling Storyline the Learner cannot move to the next page (or next "whatever) if the Text Entry field is blank.

And yes, if you have several text entries on your slide, you'll want to add the conditions for each to the next button trigger. It's always a good idea to name variables so you can keep track of what's going on, as in this example:

You may also want to add a Warning Layer to let your Learners know why, when they click Next, nothing is happening. If you're not sure how to do that, just holler.

Jessica Feltman

The screen shots are fantastic! Just what I needed. 

I have one more question. Why can we not change the states for a data entry? For example, some of my data entry portions would be more valuable if I could add a hover feature for the user to see. Do you know why we cannot change the state? Or is there a way to get around this?  

Also, if I copy and past a data entry into another slide will that mess up the functionality? I believe I am just realizing this now! 

Thank you!

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Jessica,

Re: "Why can we not change the states for a data entry?"

I'm not as knowledgeable as many of the community members, but my "logical" answer (ask my husband if I'm logical ) would be that data entry text boxes are not "standard" shapes...they're shapes that contain..ummm...data, and so aren't handled by Storyline in the way that standard shapes are. I defer to others with more knowledge to confirm, refute, and/or explain further.

Re: "Is there a way to get around this?"

The only way I could imagine is to create a shape behind the data entry and give that shape a hover state. I've done that in the (bare bones) example I've uploaded BUT from a usability and Learner's expectation/design standpoint, I don't really like it. Because the hover state belongs to the rectangle, it disappears as soon as the Learner's pointer moves over the text entry. That's discomfiting. As a Learner, I'd wonder what I was doing wrong.

Someone else may have a better work around. I guess a good question to ask would be what purpose the hover state serves for your Learners.

If you look at the notes tab in this story you'll see what I did to create these boxes.

Re: "If  I copy and paste a data entry into another slide will that mess up the functionality?"

When you copy/paste a data entry, you are actually creating a new data entry variable. Take a look at slide 2, where I copied/pasted the First name variable. Then, click on the Manage Variables button, and note that there is a new variable named TextEntryF1

Is there a reason you'd need to copy/paste a data entry box?

Jesse Cabaniss

For the hovering feature, you could always put a trigger on the text entry that whenever the mouse hovers over that, it changes the state of the rectangle (or whatever shape you choose) to "hover." This makes the hover action seamless and the glow will remain whether the mouse is over just the rectangle or if you're over the text box.

Jessica Feltman

Rebecca, 

Little stumped here. I am doing exactly what you told me for the trigger and I still cannot get my button to pop up after all the text entry's have been typed in. Can you tell if I 'm doing something wrong from this screen shot?? 

So, from that picture this is what I am trying to do. I want the learner to type in all of those text entry and then the button to start the next step will appear. I don't know if I am using the And/Or function wrong or something different. Please help

Thank you! --Jes

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Jessica,

Ah, so you want a Button to be displayed! When you said allowing the Learner to "move on" I (mis) interpreted that to mean making the default next button available. I've found it's a little dicier to set this up with a change of state of a customized button, but it can be done for sure.

So, my plan is to upload 2 different stories here so you can look at the trigger wizard. Since this board only allows uploading one story at a time, this post will have one story and I'll upload the next in a subsequent post.

Oh, and my story still only has 2 "data entries", but you'll get the idea and do the same for all of yours.

Button appears when Learner presses if....

This is pretty easy to set up, but you'd probably want to let the Learners know they must press enter.

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Button appears when Learners presses tab or clicks outside the boxes if...

The above is default behavior

I've set inserted a Next button; initial state is hidden. The trigger changes the state so to normal if the two text entries are not equal to blank. Forgot to mention that in the above post!

In this case, I had to had 2 "when variable changes triggers." There may be a more efficient way, and I'm open to it, but it's what I could come up with. You'll see what I mean when you open the story.

Please do come back if you have more questions

Jessica Vance Gauhs

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro said:

Hi Jessica,

So, for text entries where you want the Learner to enter some text before they move on, you want the text entry to be not equal to  blank (you don't want the text entry box to be blank). So, as you see in the screen shot below, your choices are not equal to or not equal to ignore case. If it doesn't matter whether the Learner types in uppercase or lowercase, you'd want to select ignore case.

Then, if you leave the value blank as in this screen shot, you're telling Storyline the Learner cannot move to the next page (or next "whatever) if the Text Entry field is blank.

And yes, if you have several text entries on your slide, you'll want to add the conditions for each to the next button trigger. It's always a good idea to name variables so you can keep track of what's going on, as in this example:

You may also want to add a Warning Layer to let your Learners know why, when they click Next, nothing is happening. If you're not sure how to do that, just holler.


Hi Rebecca, quick question... different Jessica I'm using your answer of a button having a condition to skip to a slide 'IF text entry = blank'  and this works great - thank you! But I'm having an issue with it triggering a "Warning Layer" or warning state change... could you please advise what you were refering to above?

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Jessica,

My pleasure. Glad it's working for you. I've attached a story with a warning layer. Since you so easily were able to work out the other instructions, I think when you look at the trigger panel you'll find it self-explanatory. By the way, I've used a custom next button on this one instead of the built-in one, but the concept is the same. You'd just apply the triggers to the built-in buttons instead.

The trigger on the button for the warning layer says:

Action: Show layer

Layer: Warning

When: User clicks

Object: Button next (the custom button)

On condition: Fname is equal to (ignore case) (blank)

Holler if you have any questions.

john pan

Is there a way to make the value that needs to be entered not 100 % of what the user writes but focus on a key word. For example I ask a question. "How do you treat a ankle injury?" There is a few possible answers. If the user types in {ice the ankle} I want it to recognize just the word [ice] and allow them to pass the condition test. or if they write something longer like: { I will now ice the ankle} it will not throw off the condition test?

I'm trying to have a write in branching quiz. If they answer the question one way it will take them to another slide if they answer it another it will take them to another slide when they click next. 

The questions are a little opened needed and I don't want the users needing to match whats in the condition test exactly. 

Thanks for any help you can give. 

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi John,

Welcome to the community! I don't know the answer to this, but wanted to at least respond. Maybe someone else will jump in.

It seems like this would need to have a "contains the text" kind of "trigger" applied to it.Make the answer correct if the text entry contains the word ice.

As I understand the text variables in Storyline, they're either "equals to" or "not equals to." So, I don't see a way to do this - which doesn't mean it can't be done. That's why I'm hoping someone else will jump in.

Of course there's the short essay option, but that's not precisely what you're looking for.

I'd be interested to know if this can be done, or if it's something to be added to an SL wish list via a  feature request.

john pan

Yes its not possible with short essay or short answer. 

Yes this is what I'm looking for " It seems like this would need to have a "contains the text" kind of "trigger" applied to it.Make the answer correct if the text entry contains the word ice." 

Please let me knows the answer or the programers can give me a working beta version of this. 

Vanessa Rodriguez

Is there any updated on this? In the "Add Trigger Condition", I'm looking to have my variable "contain" a certain letter. However, the only operator options are:

  • Less than
  • Greater than
  • Less than or equal to
  • Greater than or equal to
  • Equal to
  • Not equal to
  • and Between two values

I'm hoping there's a "contain" operator that I can use.

Betty Witthus

Yes, I'm trying to simulate the end-user or student entering their User ID in the User ID field. In the "live system" whatever you enter in the User ID field is automatically capitalized - no matter what case it is entered. For example: If I enter bwitthu in the User ID field, the application displays BWITTHU - - as I type it.

Hope that makes sense - what I'm trying to do. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks much!

Betty :)