New Accessible Features 22/01/2020 - Can't Tab through page content

Jan 22, 2020


Am I missing something? I updated Articulate this morning and now I cannot tab to anything on the screen except navigation buttons. Also the screen reader does not seem to read out anything except the alt-text on the buttons. 

83 Replies
Jeff Forrer

Hello, I am seeing the same behavior.  Items not showing up in Tab Order even though they are checked, such as text fields. images, etc.  I thought it was maybe only on old files, but new ones doing it too.

Hmm, I am thinking images/text now may not be tabbed to intentionally a they are auto-read?  See under Easier Navigation here:


William Beardsley

Apparently the screen reader is supposed to read the content on the screen first (text and alt tagged images) but only tabs to buttons. I can't see how this would work when you are revealing hidden text after the fact. I have tested in Preview using JAWS but it is not working properly (i.e. not reading the text). I will now test in Review and see if I get different results. I have advised other members of my team not to update.

William Beardsley

I have just tested this in Review using JAWS and it is either a nightmare or I am missing something. The screen reader reads out everything on the screen and if I go to a layer with text on it, it proceeds to read out everything on the screen before reading the text. A person using a screen reader would usually prefer better control than this so that they can move to the next piece of text or button when they are ready. I hope this can be turned off or I can role back to the previous version.

Bob O'Donnell

A follow up on William's note: You can't rely on review for testing. You must publish your course. Storyline's preview and review publish unfortunately do not work the same as a published course. Kind of frustrating. What you see in preview while developing isn't necessarily what you see when the course gets published.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi everyone,

With the latest update to Storyline 360, which is  Build 3.36.21213.0, we've made some enhancements to accessibility.

You specifically mentioned Tab Order, so I wanted to share this documentation which explains it fully.

In short:

  1. Text and images are read immediately by screen readers so learners don’t have to press any keys to hear the slide content. These objects are read in the tab order you defined in Storyline.
  2. Use your screen reader's navigation keys (e.g., Down and Up arrow keys) to move through the objects on the slide.
Nicki Berry

I get how it's supposed to work and initially I was really excited about the changes but it doesn't work properly. By using the up and down arrows, it reads the word "blank" every other item, which users will find very annoying. Also, the speech just randomly stops mid-sentence and you have to click down to make it continue. This means that it's impossible to know, without seeing the screen, whether you need to click down or tab.

Another issue is scrolling panels. You used to be able to tab to them and use the arrows to show text. A Dragon user for example who navigates through by speech, or someone using keyboard only... now they can't access text that is in a scrolling panel. 

We're currently doing a huge AT compliance upgrade of all our previous courses for a big client. I was really pleased that this upgrade seemed perfect in its timing but now I'm worried that we won't be able to deliver. Like others, my option may be to roll back to the previous version but that has other AT issues. 

Jessi Auslander-Crick

I am having similar issues. The tabbing does not appear to work. When I start tabbing, the screen reader says, "slide" and then reads the title of the slide. and that's all that happens until I start using the arrow keys. There is a text box directly under the slide title that does not get automatically read. I can read the text box via the arrow keys only.

Justin Lovett

I just uploaded a course with the new update of 360. I am able to tab through the course, including the images on the slide. With a screen reader. The only downside is it is quite difficult to revisit information on slides that do not have interactive elements. Or to skip information.


Also Storyline seems to want to read out the identifier and shape name of every shape on the screen top-down, left-right.

Amy Maltzan

Hi Leslie,
I am observing the same behavior with the tab key after the latest update. When I preview the .story file within Storyline360 itself (i.e. not within a browser), the tab key does not recognize most of the fields I have included in the tab order. JAWS will read out the main slide but not the text I have included in the tab order. I tried the arrow keys but they don't appear to be working either. Yikes! Looking forward to hearing an update...

William Beardsley

Thanks for that Leslie but I think most of us have checked the documentation to try and see if we have missed something. My first question is this: should this new functionality work in Preview and/or Review? I hope so because if we need to wait to test it in a published version it makes it longer as far as the design process goes. 

I have published a course into Review and when I start JAWS it starts reading the name of the story file (which is not useful) and then reads out a bunch of stuff that makes no sense. If I use the down arrow it starts to identify items on the screen in the tab order indicated but between each item it says 'blank' which again is not useful. My understanding is that it should start reading the page with no input from the user. Is that right? 

When the first screen opens a lot is read out that has nothing to do with the screen and oft times the title of the screen is repeated over and over. On some screens the title was read out four times. I had to use the arrow keys on the fist screen to go to each item (image and text) and between each item it would say 'blank'. On the first (and only) text box on the first screen it screen reader stopped halfway through and I had to arrow down to make sure it read the rest.

On the second screen there are several buttons that open layers. On this screen the reader actually read the screen but only have giving me the screen name several times. It also read through every button on the screen (which is probably unnecessary). When I tabbed to the first button it read out the alt text correctly, I pressed enter and it opened the layer. Instead of reading the text it read out everything after the text (including all the buttons) and then read the text last (even though it is first in the tab order on the layer). This will make it difficult for the used to know where they are. Also when I tabbed it went to the third button rather than the second. How is the user to know that they are already on the second button?

On the third screen the screen reader read through everything from the previous screen before reading this screen. That didn't happen on further screens. There is a layer on this screen with a video on it. When this comes up the screen reader reads over the top  of the video telling me the name of the video file and all the items on the screen. This is a time when auto start on reading is not useful at all. 

On every screen the screen title is read out at least four times before the content is read out. 

I am not convinced that this change is a winner although it has potential if the bugs are ironed out. We cannot move to it until it works as listed in your documentation and stops reading out superfluous information. 

Here is the file I was referring to if you want to test it yourself: 

William Beardsley

Yes it does Matt but doesn't explain the results I'm getting especially with text on layers not being read until everything else is read on the screen - even though the text is first in the tab order for that layer. I would also think that things like reading the screen title 4 times and other superfluous information could be modified. I still feel that there is too much confusion in here for us to move to this update. I will get a screen reader user to test it too just to see if they have a different understanding of what they are hearing from their reader.