File Linking Issue

Mar 09, 2016

Hi There,

Really hoping someone can help me with this one. It's got me scratching my head...

In our Storyline files, we are using videos, images, documents and links to web-pages. All of these are working well, except documents.

Here's the best I can explain for now....

If I set a trigger up to link to a document, SL sees this as a link such as c:\users\ady.howes\dropbox.....

When the SL file is published, provided it can find that file, all is well. But there are occasions where it can't find the file (such as another user is opening the file and their user folder is different, or a folder has been moved etc). SL doesn't produce an error message and sometimes it's not easy to tell this has happened.

As I say, videos, images and web links work fine. It's just documents that seem to be an issue (PDF, Word Docs etc).

The only solution I can think that is relatively pain-free is to host these files on a public domain somehow and instead of link to a document, link to a URL...

Unless anyone else can suggest any other work arounds?

Hoping that makes sense and someone can help.

Thanks loads





8 Replies
Christie Pollick

Hi, Ady -- Thanks for reaching out, and I agree with Walt's recommendation to save your documents in a project folder where you .story file lives, as well. You may also want to take a look at this recommendation to Create, Edit, and Publish Articulate Storyline Courses on Your Local Hard Drive, and here are a few more details regarding linking in general

Walt Hamilton

I keep my documents on a network share that I have mapped to a drive . SL uses that drive letter:     S:\Urology\In Progress\Transcripts\Urology_4_Text.pdf

It's not relative, but it's not a fully qualified URL, either.  The point for me is that the doc only has to be at that location at the exact moment of publishing, and SL will package it and carry it along. Of course, one of the things I'm linking to is a transcript of the videos in the presentation, so I create the doc pretty late in the process. I create it, add the links to it, and publish.

Katie Evans

To follow along so I completely understand, if I were to create a folder that housed any docs or PDFs that I want to link in my SL file, all I have to do is create a folder that sits within the same folder as my .story file on my desktop (for instance), then add the docs/PDFs to that folder, and link it from there? Once I publish my .story file, I don't need to worry about bringing that extra folder along?

Mike Enders

Hi Katie,

I think this discussion is more around sharing the source file between team members. The challenge is that if you link to a file on your machine, but then send the source .story to a colleague, the file is still on your machine and not on their's.  

When it comes to publishing, Storyline will automatically pull the linked files into the published output folder structure. So you shouldn't need to bring them along post-publish.


Walt Hamilton


Correct. Part of the publishing procedure is to pack up the linked documents. You can't link to the folder; you have to link each file individually.

When you publish, Everything is placed in a folder with the name you give it, with "- Storyline output" appended to the name. Inside that folder is a folder named "story_content", and inside that one is one named "external_files" that holds copies of all the files the project links to. They are regular files, and you can change or replace them or their contents. It will still work as long as you don't change the name.

Esoterica: I can't upload the output file to OneDrive because "external_files" is a reserved word to OneDrive, and it rejects that folder with the message that it already exists. i don't know if that is universal to OneDrive, or just my institution's implementation.

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