Linking external documents to a Storyline product

I haven't found a really clear answer for this issue I keep running into. I have developed some documents that I save as PDFs. I had them saved on my local drive while my produce was in development, and linked to them then, following instructions i found from the Storyline work book and eLearning Heroes. 

The links periodically break, including when I moved my product to our share drive (for back up and permanency). 

How and where, exactly, am I supposed to save these documents? Please be specific, I've spent hours on this issue and no one in my area has an answer.

Thank you!

Edit: we don't use an LMS, our final products are linked to our website, from Articulate.

3 Replies
Troy Broas

Hi Joanne, when you say you are "linking" to the files, are you using the attachments feature in the Player options, or are you linking to the PDF file via a trigger? (Or are you doing something else). 

When you publish a Storyine project that links to a PDF or other file via the attachments option or via a Trigger, the PDF will be placed into the external_files folder of your published output, see screenshot:

PDF Path


If AFTER you publish your course and it's on your server and the PDF link seems to have broken, you will want to check to make sure that the PDF is still in this folder on your server (you can FTP into server and look). If it is not there, added it back and you should be good to go. 

When you are moving around your actual Storyline project to the share drive for backup, etc... you also want to make sure you move the PDFs that you linked also in case you ever need to update and publish the course again. Just because you linked to the PDF file once, it doesn't mean you no longer need that PDF. 

For example, in the screenshot below, I used a Trigger to jump to a PDF file. Notice it has the path to the PDF in the "File" field. This path always has to point to the PDF you were linking to. If you are going to move that PDF, then you also need to update this path before you publish again to point it to the new location of the PDF file so Storyline can grab it when it publishes. This path does not automatically update when you move your files. 


Hope that helps a little. 


joanne k

Hi Troy,

This helped a lot. I thought that once a document was uploaded by publishing, it was "in" Articulate, someplace magical, and stayed there. So yes, after publishing my product I did move it and the documents to the share drive, and deleted it from my local drive...this must have broken the links. 

I also just learned about uploading a "file" to the Resources tab in my Player. I always just used hyperlinks from URLs, not from documents. Now I know and can use this to assist in how I design my products.

Thank you so much, Troy.