Inserting a PDF File into Storyline

I would like to insert a one page PDF into a Storyline course and then add two buttons, and a trigger for each button. I would like participants to be able to view the file, which I may need to do a screenshot and insert picture. Here is where I'm running into a problem. I want to add two buttons; one that will allow the participant the ability to save the file to their computer, the second button would allow the participant the ability to print the file. Or maybe a button that would allow them to email the file to themselves.

I'm not able to save the file to a shared drive and add a trigger to link to a url. Any suggestions? I would really appreciate anything you can do for me.

Thank you,

Ricky Fowler  

40 Replies
Bret Maukonen

I have a fair number of PDFs (some with multiple pages) to add to my e-learning website and will be trying to upload the Storyline file to WIX. I know that it is easy to place PDFs and links in Wix website screens. Question: Can PDFs be placed in Storyline "Resources" and then be linked through an icon/button on one of slides?

What has been found as the best way of providing e-learning users with access to PDFs through a button on a Storyline 2 screen?

Thank you!

Walt Hamilton

Set a trigger on the button.  Jump to URL/file, and navigate to the PDF. When you publish, SL will package the file and include it as part of the published package.

It works best if the file is local to where the .story file is located. If SL has to authenticate, or go through firewalls to get it, sometimes the results are not everything you anticipate.

Christie Pollick

Hi, Haarl -- I see that Walt has offered a great suggestion for what it sounds like you have in mind! Please let us know if that will work, or if you still need suggestions, perhaps the following may help:

Sam Carter

I'd like to publish a pdf with my course, easy enough, just create a button to link to the pdf.

Now, I'd like to point a web object to that pdf.  I can test and find it but maybe someone knows the relative path to the pdf folder?

Since this is being loaded on a LMS the full path won't be known when the course is published.

Sam Carter
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Sam,

I wonder if you were to look at another file you've created if you could find the file path - similar to this discussion here on how to link to a resource from within the course player. 

I thought of that and it should work.  The problem is Storyline did some unnecessary checks.  The path to the web object has to be an absolute URL.  A relative link is flagged as an invalid link.

 

Walt Hamilton

If i understand correctly what you want, I would anticipate problems, especially if your LMS requires authentication. I'm guessing that the request for a web object would strike the LMS as a new connection that needs authentication, which if it works would be a significant load on the user. Also, I would think that path is something that would only be known to the LMS IT staff, if at all.

If I were trying this, I would upload the pdf as a stand-alone file, then access it in a browser. You might be able to read the URL that way.

Sam Carter

We first published the course with a pdf that opened a new window with a clickable link. Chrome opens the pdf in the LMS window as a new tab. The LMS window then covers/hides the course window. Not all learners are so astute as to understand what has happened, so we were asked to open the pdf on-the-slide, not in a new window.

To open the pdf as a web object on-slide, Storyline requires an absolute link. This put us in an awkward position of finding someone at the client location that could install the pdf on a server. 

To your point about authentication and issues retrieving content cross-domain, the learner encounters no issue loading the pdf in the slide this way.

Another observation: SL web objects can serve up both html and pdf files given an absolute link, but when inserting a web object from a local disk, SL only recognizes html files. Are local pdfs as web objects something SL should support?

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Sam,

I wasn't sure if that was a way to workaround the absolute URL requirement here, and I know I've seen other examples in the community of ways around it, but not one that stands out at this time. As far as something we could support in the future, I'd leave that up to our developers to decide - but we'd be happy to know more about how that would solve some of the situations you've run into and would love for you to share your thoughts here. 

As for the tab vs. window, that's also driven by the browser itself and the settings of each individual user. So it may be that it's going to open in a new tab for some and a new window for others. As far as I've seen there isn't a way to control or change that behavior. 

Hopefully you're able to find a solution that works and p lease let us know if you need anything else. 

Denise Brummond

I have added a few PDFs through resources to a course I created in StoryLine 2, I saved the file and publish it, saved as a zip file. When I review the course in the folder, all the PDFs open. As soon as I load the zip file into our LMS, all but one of the PDFs open. I get an error message for the one. Any thoughts?

 

Walt Hamilton

SL handles this really nicely on its own.

Set a trigger on an object. Use "Jump to URL/file", and navigate to the PDF. When you publish, SL will package the file and include it as part of the published package.

It works best if the file is local to where the .story file is located. If SL has to authenticate, or go through firewalls to get it at publish time, sometimes the results are not everything you anticipate.

Sam Carter
Walt Hamilton

SL handles this really nicely on its own.

Set a trigger on an object. Use "Jump to URL/file", and navigate to the PDF. When you publish, SL will package the file and include it as part of the published package.

This can be a problem on some systems when SL opens a new window to display the pdf, covering the course window, or worse, bringing the LMS window forward with the pdf in a new tab hiding both the course and the LMS. Either way, opening a new window in the middle of an eLearning session creates confusion and problems for a subset of learners.

If the web object could open a pdf in the current window, maybe in a layer, problem solved.  Don't hold your breath though. This has been the status quo for many years.

While it is possible to create an html frame to display the pdf and include that as a web object, it is hurtful in the derriere and has issues around maintenance and revisions.