One layer for all

Today we had a wonderful Dutch Storyline meeting (

One of the presenters was David Anderson (thanks for the inspiring presentation). I presented (on paper) a way to use one layer on multiple slides (ideal for popups etc.).

You can read and download the example from my (Dutch) site ( This is how it works:

  • Add the universal layer to the top masterslide (including a button to hide the universal layer)
  • Add a true/false variable triggerLayer.
  • Add a trigger to the base layer of the masterslide:
    Show layer universal layer When triggerLayer changes.

Now everything is prepared to use the layer. On each slide you want a popup add the next trigger to a hyperlink, button, hotspot etc.

  • Toggle variable triggerLayer When the user clicks


True becomes False and False becomes True. The operator you need for this is ‘= NOT Assignment’.

And Lightbox slides....?

This method has two advantages to Lightbox slides:

  • Lightbox slides are often used for extra (non-mandatory) information. The slides however do count for the number of slides viewed. So when the student does not open the information slide the percentage of viewed slides will not be 100%.
  • Lightbox slides are presented in a fixed way. With the universal slide you have more flexibility.

I attached the SL1-version of the demo to this post. Hope this helps you.

Ps. Jeff Kortenbosch and The Courseware Company thanks for this inspiring event! 

2 Replies
Steve Flowers

Hey Chris -

T/F variables are one way to do this but I find it's a little more flexible to use a number variable to transmit into the master slide.

When variable changes ANumberVariable show the layer customOverlay

By using a number you can add one to the value. One advantage here is you can see how many times the box has been triggered. I also find it's a little easier to trigger this type of variable from a JavaScript trigger.

Same end result, another option. T/F toggles do work as well as number variables in most cases. Especially if it's just for a show action.