PDF links not working in web published story

Mar 06, 2013

Hi everyone,

I've come across other people dealing with this but no solutions, when I publish a project that has external PDF links for the web, the links do not work. The links are correct in the storyline file, and the pdfs get published as external materials with the web content, but when viewing the story in either IE or Firefox the links do not work.

Is there a solution to this?

Thanks in advance.

7 Replies
Christine Hendrickson

Hi Harrison,

The first thing I would check is the method you're using to view the content. Are you viewing your course locally, or after you've uploaded it to a web server or LMS? If you view it locally, you may run into some issues with browser restrictions that will cause the hyperlinks to the files to function improperly.

If you view published Storyline content on your local hard drive or send it to someone else to view on their local hard drive, you'll encounter security restrictions from the computer, web browser, Flash Player, and network that'll cause various features of your content to fail.
To properly test your published content and share it with others, upload it to the environment for which it was published. Please review the following article for details:
If you have published the course and uploaded it to a web server or LMS, but still can't open the documents, can you tell me if there are any special characters in the file names? If there are any spaces, underscores, or if the name is simply too long, you may also run into this problem.
If the issue continues after checking all of the information above, are you able to share your .STORY file here, so I can take a look? If you prefer, you're also welcome to send the file to us privately
Cath P


I am having similar issues.   I have been provided with hyperlinks to pdfs on two different external websites.   When I test the hyperlinks using the Check URL/File option within the Insert Hyperlink option,  it works and opens fine.  However when I click on the links once published to either hard drive or even after uploaded to webserver the additonal browser page (selected to open in new browser window) flashes briefly then closes.

It is published for the web. 

I am on a tight timeline to deliver this package.  It was only when I was conducting final testing that I came across this issue.  Any advice you can provide would be much appreciated. 


Cath P

Further to this.   I cannot use Articulate iPad player because I need to execute some javascript at end of an assessment - variable to include date assessment is taken.

As such I have only published for web / html5.   When I review the course via the iPad I can open the pdf links - however not on PC either from local drive or webserver.

Another issue I am having which is frankly frustrating me beyond belief, is that when I include a numbering variable to allow for numbering of the quiz slides randomised from a question bank, it works on the Articulate iPad player  and also via the web but not via html5.   It starts the numbering at 1 of 10 on web and in player, but via html 5 starts the numbering at 0.

We are deploying this to users external to the company so need to provide alternate options for undertaking this training.   I just cannot get any one method that is giving me any sort of consistent / proper finish to this.   I am starting to experience a lot of issues with your software including your new Articulate Presenter 13 so all in all getting more and more disillusioned with products I used to promote with enthusiasm. 

Any advice re both issues above would be greatly appreciated.

With thanks

Sinchu Raj

Hi Cath

If PDF files are not opening in local drive then please add flash global settings from below path


Still if you are facing the issues in webserver then its a problem with your browser.i think browser issue is happening only in IE browsers

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Cath,

I'm sorry to hear about the behavior you're experiencing - and if you're testing from a web server, I'm also going to guess that there is something happening in terms of browser security or flash settings - either within the server itself or from your browser. Have you tried any of the free web servers in this article? Additionally you'll want to confirm you're using a support browser in this article (and here for SL2). 

Please let us know how it's behaving after checking into those elements and we may need to take a look at your .story file. 

Cath P

Hi Ashley

Thanks for the response.   It looks like you are correct in regard to the browser issue.   When I try the links in Firefox they work fine.  Our default browser is currently IE8 however our company is getting ready to upgrade to IE11 in coming weeks so IT may have done something to settings which is affecting the ability to open the links from IE.  

Re the html 5 issue in regard to the variable numbering - do you have any suggestions on how to overcome this?   As previously the numbering starts correctly in web (including FF) but not via Html5 (it starts numbering at 0 instead of 1).    We are opting out of publishing for the player at this point as it will not execute the scripting re creating the date on the certificate. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Cath,

You'll definitely want to check with your IT team regarding the changes to the IE settings - and IE11 should be better than IE8, so that's at least a step in the right direction.  

In regards to the HTML5 issue with variable numbering, it's something I'd want to take a look at in regards to how it's behaving. Do you have a .story file you can share with us here? Also, what browser are you testing the HTML5 content in? You'll want to test in Chrome or mobile Safari on your iPad.

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