Key press triggers not working after an overlaying layer hides.

Jun 04, 2012

If you create a layer on a slide and create a method by which the layer is shown (I'm using a "mouse hovered over" trigger connected to a show layer action, with "restore on mouse leave" enabled), when that layer closes, any "key pressed" triggers on the underlying slide or layer will not function.

At this point, if you click anywhere on the slide the key press triggers will begin working again normally.

This leads me to believe that the layer that was previously showing still has 'focus' despite being hidden. This only seems to affect the key board triggers, because mouse click triggers obviously establish the correct focus and activate the right triggers to begin with.

Is this a bug? Is there a workaround or a way to force the underlying layer to 'grab' the focus? Is there something mystical and esoteric that I'm failing to account for?

61 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Quentin,

Based on this thread, I see that Peter and Brian were having difficulty replicating this but that neither of the other users shared a file to look at. Since this thread was over a year ago, I'd also like to confirm which version and update of Storyline you're using? Storyline 1 is now on update 7 and and Storyline 2 is on update 2. If you have a sample file to share, can you post it here for us? 

Quentin Hua

Dear Ashley,

We are on SL1 Update 5 (will update to 7 soon ;-)

Here is a sample file:

- you can show and hide layer 1 as much as you want playing with keys "1" and "X"

- but after showing and hiding layer 2, no keypress will be allowed unless you click on the screen (layer 2 has the "Prevent the user from clicking on the base layer" checked)

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Quentin,

Yes, I'll be sharing it with our QA team, as I was doing some additional testing to see how it worked in Storyline 2 as well. Within SL2, for both layers you actually have to click back on the slide to be able to use the key press triggers again - although you can toggle back and forth with 1 and 2. 

I don't have a timeframe to offer in regards to when I'll hear back from our QA team, but I've linked it to this thread so that I can update you here once information is available. 

Mark Gretzinger

Ashley linked me here because I am running into the same issue.

Just to weigh in... we have some pretty big (fortune 100) clients that we develop training courses for on a regular basis. Storyline is an excellent tool for this, but for sure, the accessibility issues need to be resolved.

Seeing as this original post is over a year old I am curious if any progress has been made in resolving this.

Attached is my simple example of the issue if that is at all helpful.

I have grown to really love Storyline, and look forward to it becoming even better!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Mark, 

Thanks for sharing here as well - and I linked both threads to the QA report I mentioned. As you'll see in my replies with Quentin, it's about the slide not having focus any longer so clicking on the slide allows you to continue with the keypress triggers ( I know, defeats the purpose of solely keyboard navigation) but we don't yet have any updates to share. We'll update both threads once there is additional information, so please ensure you're still subscribed. 

Lori Weber

Hi, thanks – yes, I did download it, and it actually is more of an issue now! Not sure why – maybe I wasn’t testing it as well as I should have before, but now I can’t really navigate using arrow keys at all unless I tab into the slide each time to create a focus on the slide. Maybe there is another issue going on that I’m not aware of.

The triggers are in the slide, not the master, b/c that causes issues between scenes. I’m also having trouble getting other keyboard triggers to work consistently – press “c” to close a layer, for example, or getting slides to show captions if a certain variable has been set.


Lori Weber

Thanks for the heads up re signatures! Here is the file - it's a rough example just for demo purposes, and a way to try to work out the triggers. Sometimes the arrow keys to nav forward and back work, sometimes not. Sometimes the key press interactions work, sometimes not. Also trying to get the tabbing issues worked out - looks like when a block of text animates by paragraph, the whole text block as well as each paragraph are tabbed to (get the yellow rectangle).

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Lori,

Thanks for sharing your file here. I'm seeing the behavior you're describing, and I found an almost identical issue reported to our QA team two days ago. 

In the scenario we shared with our QA team, it never works in preview, but it does work in the published output if there are slide and key press triggers are associated with custom navigation buttons vs. the player buttons. I tested a brand new file and was able to replicate your issue with the player navigation buttons, so you may want to look at utilizing custom navigation buttons as a work around. 

I also found that the keyboard triggers do work in the HTML5 output, so it seems this is Flash specific. 

I've shared all this with our QA team, so I'll keep you posted if there is any other information to share. In the meantime, please look at using the workarounds above. 

Lori Weber

Thanks so much! I used to have custom nav buttons, but they cluttered the screen and I was hoping to make them unnecessary with keyboard nav. However, it's easy enough to put them back.

Did you find any issues with the keyboard commands like pressing c for close, or s for submit? They usually work for me once I got the trigger applied correctly, but there were occasions they seemed to fail.

I removed the file; if needed, can send again.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Lori,

I didn't experience the same difficulty with those triggers although I didn't see as many of them so it was more difficult to test if it was the same issue with the 2nd click/press as I saw for your navigation triggers. You may want to indicate to the user that clicking on the slide or tabbing to it will also ensure it has the focus so in case they get "stuck" they know a way around it. 

Scott Conrad

I'm having similar issues with an accessibility project and I just figured something out (and by just I mean minutes ago so I might have to do some more testing).  I originally built in triggers so that the user can navigate from slide to slide by pressing the right and left arrow keys, but the success of these triggers were sporadic. 

I decided to create an object in the middle of each screen for testing purposes (a circle) that would change colour when the user pressed the right arrow key.   The interesting thing that happened is now when I press the right arrow key the object changes colour, but the slide does not always advance.  So I added one more trigger to have the slide advance when the state of the object changed.  It seems to be working.  My plan now is to hide the object off screen and use this workaround.

Ashley, I'm not sure what the plan is for future releases, but if the team can work on building in keyboard controls for the player that would be awesome.   I submitted this as a feature request sometime ago, but I'm not sure where it fits in the priorities.  

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Scott,

We'd be happy to take a look at your project file to see how it's behaving as well - but as you'll see in my reply to Lori above, it was an issue in regards to issues with the prev/next button associated with the right/left arrow triggers it's something we've shared with our team but I don't have any further updates to share on that. 


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