Disable Space Bar and Return Keys?

My course has triggers in it that perform specific actions when the user presses the space bar (specifically). I'm getting some weird behavior sometimes in testing when I press the space bar - it seems like the space bar in addition to my triggers I define, is "clicking" a button on my slide. I don't have any triggers in my course to make it do this.

Is there a way to turn this off or maybe change the tab order of my buttons so I can put a "dummy" button somewhere to catch the space bar press?

I've also noticed some button click behavior when I hit the return key that I'd like to disable.

5 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi JR,

Using the space bar is a part of the accessibility features in the sense that the user would tab to an element and then be able to "click" on it using the spacebar or the enter/return key.

If you've added triggers that involve the user also utilizing the spacebar key, I could see how that may be confusing for the user. On those slides where you don't want them to use those keys you may want to look at providing directions on screen or setting up triggers that would remind the user with a layer pop up (i.e. when the user presses the space bar the user sees a layer that says don't use the spacebar on this slide) which would override them using the space bar to click on buttons unintentionally.

JR Lawhorne

I was hoping my "space bar" trigger would override the default behavior of the space bar in the course.

Space bar is most commonly used in my target audience for "Pause/Resume" so when the user hits the space bar, I light box a pause slide (to get all media on the underlying slide to pause). Then, when they hit the space bar again, the light box closes and they resume.

Sometimes (not always which is also odd) hitting the space bar will "click" a button I have placed at the top right on the main layer of the slide.

What you're saying is there's no way to disable the default behavior of the space bar which clicks buttons.

Is there a way to ensure which button gets clicked when hitting the space bar? If this is possible, I can add a dummy button to catch the default space bar click and do nothing in response.

Ironically, I'm building this course to be maximally accessible and the "click" feature of the space bar is turning on my American Sign Language layer - an unintended behavior especially if the learner is blind.


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi JR,

The spacebar "click" is going to occur on whichever button has the focus - in the sense you could see this by using the tab key to see which button it goes to first (it'll have a yellow highlight) or also looking at how they're listed in the timeline of your slide.

There isn't a way to disable accessibility features for the entire course, but you could turn off particular items from being accessible to screen readers as described in the previously linked article, although the spacebar may still work.

JR Lawhorne

I was able place an invisible button on all my slides to "catch" the space bar click.

As versatile as Storyline is, I'm a little surprised that there are default actions that always happen and can't be disabled. I understand the need for "good defaults" to serve most users but having the option to completely control keyboard input would be great.