Accessibility: Headings in Storyline 360

Hello everyone,

I am very excited about the newest Storyline 360 update, which now supports semantic markup of slides.

I'm running into an issue with my heading structure being read out by a screen reader - NVDA. 

I have a slide with an H1 (heading 1) assigned by me: Social Responsibility.

Back end of storyline authoring tool with heading 1 applied to Social Responsibility title on a slide.

The problem I am experiencing when testing with NVDA is that the Course Title (Retail Refresh Training: Challenge and Refusal) is being identified as H1, as demonstrated in the Elements List window, and I am unable to get the actual H1 to be recognized as such.  

slide with an h1: social responsibility

Any thoughts on how I can fix this?

Thank you.

17 Replies
Liz Victoria

Would it make sense to change the H1 heading on the slide to H2? 

I *think* what you're seeing is by design. For accessibility purposes, the course title is perceived as the sole H1 tag by the screen reader. It persists across all slides. (I'll be happy to be corrected on this by the Articulate team -- just thinking out loud here.)

So, it may just be a matter of assigning H2 to the top-level text on each slide (and restyling the H2 formatting to suit your design). Does that make sense with the user experience you have in mind?



Matthew Bibby

I don't know Nicki. In my opinion, it shouldn't be there assuming the course title is automatically set as an H1.

However, it is possible that I'm wrong about this and you can have two H1 headings on a page, it's been a while since I've dug into the accessibility requirements in depth. 

I know that Articulate is working with am experienced accessibility company to improve the accessibility of their products and I'm sure that they know what they are doing!

I wonder if NVDA has their own restrictions that mean they only read out one H1? Have you tested using JAWS to see how it responds?

Agnieszka Gorgon

Thank you for your comments, everyone, I appreciate them.

Here are my thoughts:

  1. I did not assume H1 would be automatically applied to Course Title, which is why I used H1 on each of the individual slides (which I consider to be separate pages) - Liz and Matthew - I agree with your thoughts on there only being one H1 on a page 
  2. I did assume based on the most recent update that all headings on individual slides would be read out, even if multiple H1s were assigned, they should all be identified in the Elements List and announced by the screen reader

Here is another slide example from the course. This slide has two headings, an H1 and an H2, neither is being recognized by NVDA, only the Course Title is. The Elements List windows in NVDA only show the Course Title H1 - the headings on my page are clearly not identified as styled headings. 

slide with two headings, H1 and H2, neither of which is captured in the NVDA Elements Window, which only identifies the course title as H1.

I think there is a problem with published output here. The semantic markup of individual slides is missing, at least the heading structure is.

I have not tested this with Jaws yet. 

I submitted a support ticket to troubleshoot this behaviour. I look forward to hearing back from Articulate. 

Agnieszka Gorgon

Upon further testing, I discovered that creating and publishing a brand new project works as expected with screen reader testing. Headings are read out.

I created a sample page with an H1 and an H2, each with supporting text. All headings, including the Course Title (top bar region H1) slide titles and sub-titles (main landmark H1 and H2) are announced and the headings are listed in the Elements List window.

Here's a video of my experience testing this new project.

a sample slide with a heading and a subheading with the NVDA Elements List window open showing all headings

This is interesting, as it demonstrates that creating a brand new project using the latest Storyline update generates the proper semantic structure (at least with headings), but republishing a course built with any previous Storyline versions (marked up with headings) does not seem to have the same result.

Articulate staff- would love some feedback as to why this might be happening. 

Thank you!

Agnieszka Gorgon


Thanks to Articulate Support for troubleshooting and identifying a solution. It appears that custom alt text was causing the issue. Here's what Articulate suggested:

We further dig into the issue and found out that the issue is caused by a combination of custom alt text, text styles in your text box.

 I’ve logged it as a possible software bug.

 As a workaround, you can try to remove the custom alt-text to your text box (headings) and leave it to its default alt-text

FYI and thank you Articulate Support!

Noreen Beckinsale


I am getting similar problems when testing with NVDA - it does not recognise the heading styles (H1, H2 etc) on the majority of the my slides - I have tried renaming the project and republishing but that has not made any difference for me. I also tried converting text boxes to objects as thought that might be the reason but still the screen reader doesn't recognise the headings or the bullets no matter what I use.



Lauren Connelly

Hello Noreen!

We are happy to help troubleshoot this with you! It sounds like the headings styles on your slide aren't recognized by NVDA. Which version of NVDA and Storyline are you using?

Do you mind sharing the .story file with us so we can understand how the course is behaving? You can attach it to this public discussion or privately in a support case.

Eswarkumar Kantheti

Yes, with out editing the alt text it is reading by pressing 'H' key in NVDA screen reader. When we try to edit the alt text it is not reading the by pressing 'H' key in keyboard in NVDA screen reader. 

I attached few screen shots please check once. Is there any solution to fix this issue because sometimes we need to edit the alt text.