PDF File won't display when attached as a Resource in the Storyline2 Player.

I created a PDF Quick Reference document and attached it as a Resource in the Storyline2 Player but it won't display correctly after publishing to the Web. I tried viewing it on our SharePoint site using my IE11 browser but it still doesn't display. What am I doing wrong?

14 Replies
Christie Pollick

Hi, Susan -- Sorry to hear you are having difficulties! Could you please share your .story file so we can publish on our end and perform some testing?

And just in case you would like to double check our System Requirements for SL2, here is the info on Viewing Content:

Content Format


Adobe Flash Player 10.3 or later, and one of the following browsers:

  • Windows: Internet Explorer 8 and later, Microsoft Edge (latest version), Google Chrome (latest version), Firefox (latest version)
  • Mac: Safari 7 and later, Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Windows: Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mac: Safari 7 and later, Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Mobile: Safari in Apple iOS 7 and later, Google Chrome (latest version) in Android OS 4.1 and later
Apple iOS Articulate Mobile Player in Apple iOS 7 or later on iPad
Android OS Articulate Mobile Player in Android OS 4.1 or later (optimized for tablets)
Susan Seamans

Here is my ZIP file. The course is approximately 16 minutes long. Please let me know if you need something else.

Thanks for your help! -Susan

Susan Seamans
Sr. Instructional Designer, Market Support
214.486.3966 (Office)
214.926.9827 (Mobile)

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Christie Pollick

Hi, Susan -- Thanks so much for your swift response, but I wanted to note in case you weren't aware, when you reply via email, any attachments you intended to share are not accessible here in the thread.

Please click here to be take to the thread itself, and you may then use the gray ADD ATTACHMENT button in the bottom left of the reply box. Also, please be sure to share your .story (or source) file rather than the zipped published output, so that I will be able to open the file on my machine and publish from my local C: drive before upload to test in the web.

Also, replying via email shares the details in your signature publicly, so please use the EDIT button beneath your post to remove that info. if you wish. :)

Judy Nollet

Susan, your ZIP file wasn't attached to your comment. However, I'll take a guess about what might be happening: If you attach a PDF and later move and/or copy the source file or PDF, the Storyline file still lists the PDF when you check Resources, but it doesn't always know where the copy is, so it can't put it into the published files. (I found this out the hard way.) 

Look for the external_files folder in your set of published files. (Well, it's called something with "external" in the name; I can't check because I'm not on the computer with my SL courses.) Is it empty? THAT would explain why the PDF isn't working -- because it isn't there. Quick fix: simply copy the PDF to that folder. As long as you haven't changed the name, the published course should recognize it as the resource. 

Christie Pollick

Hi, Susan -- Thanks so much for sharing your file, and as you can see if you click here after I uploaded your published output file for testing on tempshare.articulate.com (in Chrome in this instance), I experienced the same behavior. 

In addition to Judy's great reply, one other thing to consider may be the information in this article, particularly the 2nd section that states:

Use File paths and Naming Conventions That Are Safe for Windows

Be sure the file paths to your projects and published output are well under the 260-character limit imposed by Microsoft Windows. (Publishing adds characters to the file path you selected. If it exceeds 260 characters, your published output will be incomplete.)

Avoid using special characters, accents, or symbols in your file paths and file names. Learn more about naming conventions in this Microsoft article.

Please let me know if that helps, of if issues persist, please attach just the .PDF here, and I will try to republish on my end. :)

Susan Seamans


Thanks for the article but I'm using very short names and can't believe character length is the problem. As I emailed Judy, I used this feature in SL1 courses but this is my first publication in SL2 and it's not working. So I thought maybe there was some setting or other action needed that was unknown to me. I checked on the external

Christie Pollick

I see, Susan -- thanks so much for your reply! May I ask if you have tried a different PDF during testing to see if you encounter the same behavior across the board?

And if you could share just the .PDF you are using by clicking this link to be taken to the thread itself, you can then use the grey ADD ATTACHMENT button in the bottom left of the reply box to upload from there. I'd like to attach your PDF to a test file, publish and see if I experience the same issue. 

Christie Pollick

Hi, Susan -- Thanks again for your patience while I ran some testing. First, I made sure I saved your PDF down to my desktop, and I grabbed it from there when it was time to attach it, and it seems to have done the trick.

If you click on this link, you will be taken to your published output as it was uploaded to tempshare.articulate.com, and if you click on Resources, you will see that the PDF you shared should be accessible. 

Please check out this info on recommendations to Create, Edit, and Publish Articulate Storyline Courses on Your Local Hard Drive, but then be certain to test for functionality in the intended environment as described here. If you need further assistance, please just say the word! :)