Drop down - multiple choices within the fields

Jul 07, 2012


How do you create multiple options within a drop down field, an then have multiple drop downs with multiple options in each drop down?

E.g.  You have a Microsoft  Excel table and you want the learner to complete it selecting the correct numbers from multiple drop down selectors.  You need to have four drop down lists, and in each list there will be three numbers to choose from. 


8 Replies
Mel Aclaro

Hi Vajra,

Others might be able to offer a more elegant solution, but as an exercise, I thought I'd give it a try using text variables and hotspots.  Would something like this be a rough concept of what you're thinking about?


This was produced using basic shapes with triggers that revealed layers for each of the "picklist" options.  Then, using hotspots for each of the choices under the picklists.  The hotspot triggers assign the value of the underlying variable that populates in the "choice" field.

If that works, let me know and I'll post a link to the story file.

Mel Aclaro

Right.  Unless you're thinking of using javascript to somehow connect to an actual Excel file (in which case I'll defer to another forum member) it seems like the same structures in my earlier concept could be used to simulate a drop down for each DDL field.  (i.e., List "1" in the concept story mimmicks what you have for DDL 1, and List "2" mimmicks DDL 2, etc.)

Andrew Elder

Mel's example is great if you want to create a training within Storyline itself. If you're looking to demonstrate the use of an outside program (your Excel example comes to mind), you might want to use the Record Screen feature to create a demonstrative video or even a step-by-step video where the user clicks through the guided process. I created a spreadsheet similar to what you outlined with multiple fields, and four drop-down options for each:

Within your Storyline project do the following:

  1) New Slide

  2) Insert Tab, click Record Screen

  3) Just select your spreadsheet, size the window (or the spreadsheet) as needed, and set your record options

  4) Record the step-by-step of clicking into the spreadsheet and selecting the values

  5) When prompted to insert choose "Video on a single slide" (straight vid viewing) or "Step-by-step slides" which gives you the ability to let the user click through the video just as you did to try it on their own.

In the latter option, you'll see some pretty cool stuff: Storyline automatically creates hotspots and triggers to guide the user to do exactly what was done in the video, including feedback to let them know they're in the right place, and even provide feedback if they get it wrong!

Vajra San

Thanks Andrew.  I am creating the training within Articulate and it's critical that the DDL's be interactive, and there will be literally hundreds of these examples.  The format you have created above is perfect, but, when I create 3 options in the DDL function in Articulate, there seem to be 3 DDL's that appear.  So, how do I get 2 DDL's on the screen, each with three options within it?

Andrew Elder

There isn't a default 'insert dropdown' option in Storyline that I know of, but you could accomplish what you're trying to do in a variety of ways. Mel's example above is a great way to do this using hotspots and triggers (his example coincidentally includes 2 buttons with 3 options each). You could also create a quiz (select Quizzing when creating a new slide and choose "Sequence Drop-Down"), but I think this isn't what you're looking for. If the final result is the learner performing work in a specific outside program (ie; Excel), then my software simulation example above would be the best method, along with ensuring they are learning in the exact format they'll be working in. Here's a link to a great step-by-step tutorial to create screencasts and simulations.

One thought: you mention you intend to have hundreds of examples in your training. That could be an exhaustive process no matter how simple the tools you use. Are you trying to illustrate to the learner how to do the data entry task, or have them simulate a complete job? I would suggest using a small example of the skill/process they are learning rather than re-creating the scope of the total project in your training. It will be more engaging for the learner and far less time-consuming for you.