Launching a pdf via button click

Heard from a Storyline user today who wanted to make a PDF available via a button on a slide. Storyline offers a really easy way to do this, so I thought I'd post here in the forums in case others might be interested.

Once you add a button to your slide, you can add a trigger to the button which  will "Jump to URL/File," and for the File field,  click the "Load file" button (it's the one with the ellipsis) and then select the PDF from wherever it resides on your hard drive. Your trigger will end up looking kinda like this (although in this screen grab, my path is too long to see the actual pdf filename, but trust me, it's there   ):

When you publish, a copy of your file will be bundled along with your other output, so you don't have to host the file someplace else or fuss with relative hyperlinks. In case you're wondering, the file will be in this location within your published output:

[Course Name] output/story_content/external_files/[yourfile.pdf]

You can also use a similar technique to add resources to text or shapes or images - check out this tutorial for details: Insert > Hyperlink trigger.

23 Replies
Jeanette Brooks

Hello Mai. Have you placed your content in the location where you plan to host it? You'll need to do that before you test. Otherwise, restrictions related to your browser & security settings can prevent the file from opening. 

So for example, if you publish for Web, make sure to upload your content to a web server and test it from there (because if you test from your hard drive, you'll likely encounter problems with opening the file).  Or, if you publish for LMS, upload your content to your LMS and then test. If you need to test your content locally, you should publish for CD, since that option prepares your output for local viewing.

Another option is to publish for Web and upload it to our temporary hosting server, Tempshare for testing. Content that you upload there stays active for 10 days.

I should also mention: the "Jump to File" trigger is not currently supported in the Articulate Mobile Player. It is supported in Flash and HTML5 output though.

If you continue to run into issues, I'd suggest submitting a support case so we can help you out.

Kenji Ishikawa

Jeanette Brooks said:

Hi Kenji, great question. I checked with our QA folks and there's really no ceiling on that. It might get a little overwhelming from a user-experience point of view, though, to have tons of resources that learners need to open as part of their learning experience. 


So, it is more a limitation of the web server space.  Thanks Jeannette! 

Kenji Ishikawa

So, hate to raise a thread from the dead, but I have a follow-up to this question.  Many of our learning resources reside on a local windows network drive. I would like to link to those assets from the Storyline output, however, it consistently gives a 404 error in the browser.  I have tried several different ways of calling the file (e.g. file://, http://, and https://), but none of them seem to work.  Is this a limitation of the access permissions selected in the .swf files published for Storyline per this site?

Jeanette Brooks

Hey Kenji,

Here's a previous discussion from the Presenter forum which touches on some of the limitations of linking to a file on a network. Perhaps one or more of these issues is playing a role in your situation? Brian's suggestions in that thread might be helpful to you. You're also welcome to submit a case if you'd like the support team to dig a little deeper on this with you.

Kenji Ishikawa

Jeanette Brooks said:

Hey Kenji,

Here's a previous discussion from the Presenter forum which touches on some of the limitations of linking to a file on a network. Perhaps one or more of these issues is playing a role in your situation? Brian's suggestions in that thread might be helpful to you. You're also welcome to submit a case if you'd like the support team to dig a little deeper on this with you.


Thanks Jeannette.  I tried some of the suggestions in that post. However, the odd part about all of this is that if I enter in the URL of the file (e.g. file://directory/path/somefile.txt) manually in Internet Explorer, the file is accessible.  It is only when published as a link in Storyline, that the link goes dead. 

I'll try to submit a case! Thanks!

Catharine Gruver

Hi! I have another question about this. I created a button to open a pdf per the instructions posted here. It worked great. Thank you! However, I needed to update the pdf, which I did and saved it with the same name in the same location. Now when I publish the course, it is somehow finding the old pdf and opening that instead of the new one that I found.

I have updated the link in the trigger for the button. What else do I need to do to ensure that the updated pdf is opened when the button is clicked?

Mike Enders

Hi Catharine,

Is the PDF on a server somewhere, or are you pulling it from a local directly when you publish?

If you're pulling it locally, I'd check the published output folder to make sure that the new PDF is present.

If you're pulling it from a Web Server, I'd check/clear your browser cache to make sure it's not still present and just pulling up that old version. An easy way to check this is to access via a different browser to see if the old version is still getting pulled up. If it is...then...huh. I'm not sure how the old version would be getting pulled in!

Mike

Catharine Gruver

Hi Mike,

The PDF is local. I checked the output folder and found that it was still finding the old version during publishing. I tried publishing to a new location to see if that would help. It didn't. Then I remembered that I was referencing the same document through the resources button in the player. I changed the link there to point to the correct document. The next time I published both links were pulling up the correct document. I'm not sure why that made the difference, but it did.

Thanks for your tips! It's always helpful to get some ideas for how to start tackling an issue!

Catharine

Katie Riggio

Good morning and great question, Bailey!

When you publish a course, Storyline will create its own copy of the document in the output, and learners should be able to access it. 

Check out this sample slide that I mocked up! In it, I have this trigger:

Trigger 

However, I recommend against linking to documents on a network drive since that can cause erratic behavior due to latency. Are you able to move your PDF file to a local drive?