Resources attached to courses give error message from LMS

I have 94 courses, all of which should have documents (PDFs) attached. I attach them and get no error messages. I publish the course and then upload to the LMS. Out of 94 courses, 14 had resources that gave me the attached message. Sometimes I get it on 1 of 2 documents for a course, sometimes for both documents, sometimes both documents work. I have cases where a document is available in 1 course but not available in a 2nd course. Once I get the error in a course, I always get it. When I go back to Storyline, delete the resource, the re-add it and publish, I get the error again.  So far my best answer has been to remove the resource from the course so the user doesn't see the error, but the resources are an important supplement to the course. What is happening here, and is there any way to tell if the situation is gong to happen before it gets to the LMS?


4 Replies
Pat McNurlin

Is this a "known error" kind of thing that it would do it seemingly randomly, or am I doing something wrong?

Pat McNurlin
Instructional Designer
Axion Health, Inc.
11001 W. 120th Avenue Suite 315
Broomfield, CO 80021
Phone:303-477-5612 x308


Matthew Bibby
Pat McNurlin

Is this a "known error" kind of thing

Yes... and no.

If you add a PDF to the resources tab in Storyline, a copy of that PDF will be stored in the .story file itself. That means that you can send the file to someone else and they will be able to publish the course which will include the PDF.

However, these resources will only be included in the published output if the resource tab is displayed on the player. More on this later...

If you have a trigger in your course that says something like "Open random.pdf when the user clicks this button", then it is pointing to a PDF that is stored in a particular location on your computer. This may become problematic later, because when you publish the course, Storyline will look in that location for the PDF. If the PDF is still stored in the exact same location, with the exact same file name, then it will be added to the ~/story_content/external_files folder when publishing and everything will work okay... for now. 

However, if you publish the course and the PDF has been moved or renamed, then it'll fail silently. And you'll only know that it's failed when you test your course. This is particularly an issue if you have other developers who may have to republish the course in the future.

To avoid this, you can either package up your external files and carry them on via a web object (as outlined here), or you can follow these steps:

  • Create a new scene in your project.
  • Create a new slide in that scene.
  • Add some text to the slide that says "PLEASE DO NOT DELETE THIS SLIDE" and make it big and red, so it'll be readable in Story View. If you skip this step, another developer may delete the slide as it will appear superfluous. 
  • Make sure that there is no possible way for the learner to ever see that slide (e.g. no triggers taking them to that slide etc.).
  • Then you can go to the slide properties of your new slide and enable custom player features. This way, you can enable the Resources tab for just that slide. This means that because the resource tab is technically included in the course (even though the learner will never see it), that Storyline will include those PDFs when publishing. You can share this project with other developers and these PDFs will be included in the Storyline source file. 
  • Then if you need to link to these from a slide (e.g. the "Open random.pdf when the user clicks this button" type triggers) you can do so by pointing to a relative URL. For example, you'd use a Jump to URL/file trigger which points to a file with the following path: story_content\external_files\random.pdf
  • Note that random.pdf should be replaced with the actual file name... and yes, capitalisation matter. 

Hope this helps. Let me know if any of the above doesn't make sense.