Navigation restriction does not unlock Next button when using layers

Hi all,

I'm using SL360 and having an issue with navigation restriction. I want my learners to complete each page in its entirety the first time they take the course, and then after that, be able to browse the menu and use the Previous and Next buttons at will. I have the menu navigation and the Previous/Next buttons set to restricted. The problem is that some of my slides have layers with audio and animation, and the Next button does not become available when those layers have finished playing. I have the layer properties set to allow seeking and pause base layer timeline.

I see in other articles that this is a known problem in SL2, and from what I can tell it hasn't been resolved for SL360. (Why it hasn't is a mystery to me. This seems like a bug.)

What is the best way to resolve this issue? I thought of turning off the restriction on Next/Prev buttons in the player and instead using variables to control when/if the buttons are disabled or become normal. The problem with this idea is I would need a variable for every slide, which would involve a ridiculous number of variables. I think it would also require me to set the base layer properties to "resume saved state," which might make the slide start replaying at whatever point the learner left the slide the last time they viewed it.

I suppose I could do away with using layers, but they are handy in some areas of my course.


Thank you in advance for your help.


5 Replies
Crystal Horn

Hi there, Lisa.  Hopefully we can work out a solution together!

The one piece that struck me was that you have your base layer set to pause when your slide layers open.  Can you uncheck that option?  Alternatively, can you hide the slide layers when they're finished so the base layer timeline can continue to the end?

Feel free to also share an example slide here!  With your permission, I can look at your project file to investigate.  You can share it publicly here, or send it to me privately by uploading it here.  I'll delete it when I'm done troubleshooting. 

Lisa Spirko

Hi Crystal. Thank you for your response.

I really need to pause the base layer timeline because I have to allow seeking on my slide layers for audio and animation. Without pausing the base layer, the base layer keeps going in the background if the learner pauses the slide layer; the base layer timeline does not pause with the slide layer timeline, so they become out of sync. If you have Next/Prev buttons restricted and the learner pauses the slide layer, the base layer will keep going and the buttons will become unrestricted while the slide layer is still paused.

Hiding the last slide layer is a good solution for me, but only if the slide advances automatically. You can set the base layer timeline to 1 second, pause the base layer timeline, and when the last slide layer ends and closes, the base layer timeline continues and advances the slide.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a workable solution for the restricted Next/Prev button problems on user-advanced slides with layers. If I hide the last slide layer, the learner will sit there and stare at a blank screen. I could put a "click Next" message on the base layer, but that's not an option for me, as this will deviate from the format for 95+% of my slides. (In most cases, I don't use slide layers and everything stays up on the screen with a small "click Next" message appearing in the lower-right.)

I have posted about slide layer/base layer timeline sync issues before; hence my discovery of needing audio and animation to be on slide layers and nothing on base layers. This issue with the restricted Next/Prev buttons is just the latest symptom of a timeline syncing problem that Articulate doesn't seem to recognize. (I'm pretty sure I even submitted a bug report, to no avail.) Unless I can find a workable solution for user-advanced slides, I'm going to have to do away with slide layers (again). I appreciate any further thoughts you or anyone else has, but I seem to have hit a wall.


P.S. I'm unable to upload my project, as it has company confidential content. However, you should be able to recreate this issue yourself. Just create some user-advanced slides with layers, put animation and audio on the slide layers, allow seeking on the layers, turn off the pause timeline of base layer settings, and turn on Next/Prev restrictions. Test it by pausing the slide layer partway through, and you'll witness the Next button become available as the base layer timeline continues to churn in the background and reach its end while the slide layer is still paused.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Lisa,

Manually setting your restrictions and using a variable to control the re-visit would be the best solution for you based on your description.

If you preview the attached course:

  1. Notice the Next button is not available.
  2. Click on the rectangle to view the layer.
  3. The Next button does not appear until the timeline is complete on the layer.
  4. If you move to the next slide and back again, the Next button is available freely.

Hopefully, this gets you headed in the right direction.

Lisa Spirko

Hi Leslie. Thank you for your help! Since the restrictions on the Next button are turned off, it sounds like I'd have to use a variable to control revisit on every slide in my large course, even ones that don't have slide layers and don't have this problem. I was trying to avoid this. However, I guess if this what one must do to use layers on user-advanced slides with some sort of restriction, at least there's a solution.  

Thanks again for your help!