Is it possible to add a progress bar in Storyline?

Jun 25, 2012

Is there a way to add a progress bar to a Storyline course? I see there's the seek bar that plays for each slide; however, coming from Captivate, we're used to the progress bar on the bottom that shows the learner a general idea of where they are in the course. I know the TOC can serve this purpose, but I'm not sold on that as a solution for the course I'm working on.

I've found a few resources that show using variables on a menu slide to show progress, and perhaps there's a way I can create my own progress bar that displays on each screen with a similar process. But I thought I'd check here first to ensure I'm not missing an easy way to add a progress bar.

Thanks in advance for any input!

20 Replies
Bruce Graham

Hi Tessa, 

I guess the easy answer is "not really" - you are not missing anything.

The main way to check progress on a course is via the menu, the items change colour (by defeult) as you navigate your way through.

Saying that......

When you add in Layers, Branching etc. the concept of "% progress" begins to diminish. There are a few threads on this in the forum, as it starts to become an exercise in educating our clients.

We have come from a very linear "%-based" PowerPoint-led background that is rapidly dissappearing, it's now more about progress against learning objectives.

That said - there are a few "custom solutions" that are available which you seem to have found already.


Tessa Maki

Thanks so much for the quick reply, Bruce!

What you shared makes perfect sense. Developing the course I hadn't even thought about the lack of a progress bar; however, once an end user tested it out, she noticed it right away since it's what they're used to seeing. We'll have to figure out if it's really necessary for the learners to know approximately where they're at in a 10 minute compliance course. In larger courses, I think the TOC will be great; but like I said - for this short course, I'm just not seeing it as the best solution.

Thanks again!


Chris Wall

I know what you want is more global than this (you appear to want what I'm about to suggest for the entire course; my suggestion applies to the individual slides), but you can add a seekbar to the slides that shows progression through that slide's timeline.

When you're in the course, click on Player, and from that pop-up dialog, check the Seekbar option. You'll see the impact it has on the slide.

Learners can then use the seekbar to drag their way through the slide (this is particularly useful when you're reviewing content).

Brett Rockwood

I'm all about branching and variables but I also agree with Tessa that a seekbar that covers more than an individual slide can sometimes be very useful. This becomes apparent when doing screen recording for software training. The ability to scrub back and forth (ala Captivate) is very useful for user trying to see how a process works. So for me, it's not so much "how far am I along in this course" as it is the ability to scrub back and forth at your own pace to review sections that went by too quickly or you'd just like to look at again (and again and again if necessary).

Tessa Maki

Great input, Chris and Brett!

Yeah, I've seen the seekbar for the slide; I was just hoping that there was one for the entire course. What I ended up doing was putting a series of twenty dots in the boarder of my master slide in the bottom right corner. Then after the course is done, I go back in and have the dots fill in to show progress as the learner goes through the course. Depending on the length of the course, one dot might fill in per screen, or there might be a few slides before a dot fills in. Or on some slides with more layers, I'll have a dot fill in once they've viewed half the layers. It's not an exact science and at this point I'm not letting them use the dots in anyway to navigate, but it at least gives the learner a visual cue of how far they are and how much there is left.

Brett - I hadn't even thought about how much I'll miss the seekbar when doing simulations. I haven't needed to do one yet. I know there's a way to save the simulation as a video and then insert it back into the course (this lets you resize it). I know it has a play and a pause function on the video player, but I can't remember if it has a seekbar. I'm thinking it doesn't. Hmmm...

I'm very interested to see if anyone has any ideas!

Bruce Graham

I have recently been building a series of courses with another member of this forum for a well known food and drinks company.

We have a "hub" menu, using bottle-tops as the icons that you click to get to the various sections, (and they make the "Pfzz" noise that a bottle does when it is opened too!).

These are arranged in a circle, and as you progress through the course, a bottle in the centre of the hub "circle" fills up with liquid to represent the % of the course that is complete

Looks rather cool and funky!


Tessa Maki

That is a great idea, Brett! The idea of showing progress by something disappearing or dimenishing is really creative. With the thought of drinking something, the phrase "drink the kool aid" comes to mind...too bad that would be even more inappropriate than the beer. Not exactly the correlation you want to make to training.

Like Chris, this (along with Bruce's idea) has me could really do a lot with either building, filling, emptying, or a number of other visuals to show progression through a course.

Great discussion for a Friday!

Lynn Guida

Chris Wall said:

Sort of like a seekbar for a simulation or a scene rather than an individual slide?


This is a HUGE issue for me too.  I have to remove the seek bar from my simulation slides because it gets very distracting - which means the pause button also disappears.  I'm creating software training so there are a lot of simulations.  I have had many users complain.  I'm trying to figure out how to solve the problem...  I need the ability to pause and resume on every slide - without having to add extra layers and buttons on each and every slide. 


You can accomplish that by adding a Pause button to the slide master. This button will show a layer, also added to the master slide, that will have the "Pause base layer" option checked in its setting and will thusly pause the base layer when it appears. On this layer you will add a Play button that makes this layer hide, consequently resumes the timeline on the base layer.

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