Show/Hide Keypress Layers in Storyline 3. Would this only work with Variables?

I have been teaching myself layers and triggers by putting together a Storyline Shortcut Keys project - screenshot attached.

However, whilst I understand displaying Layers, using hover over triggers, which allow you to restore when the mouse leaves, I can't work out how to do the same with key presses.

The example in the picture is I have set up most of the CTRL key presses e.g. CTRL A, CTRL B etc.

If pressing CTRL A displays the CTRL A layer which tells the learner what CTRL A does, I would want CTRL A to disappear when that learner then presses CTRL B, but of course, it stays up and now I have CTRL A and CTRL B layers overlaying each other and making a mess.

Is the answer to use Variables and with a value recorded which increases and decreases as keypresses are made?  I can't see how I would apply that as I have never used variables and a quick look on here suggests it depends on the scenario and they are all different.

Any thoughts from Storyline whizzes out there, please?



10 Replies
Maria Costa-Stienstra

Hi, Steve.

Thank you for reaching out! 

If you want other layers to hide automatically, you can choose that option in the layer properties. You can right-click the layer, choose Properties, then make sure Hide other slide layers is checked.

Screen Recording 2021-03-17 at 04.09.07 PM

Screen Recording 2021-03-17 at 04.10.02 PM

I created a sample file based on your idea, and I'm attaching it here to show you this behavior. If it's still not working for you, would you feel comfortable sharing the .story file here? I'd be happy to take a look to see if there's something else preventing the layers from closing.

Let me know if this works!

Steve Blackwell

The way I have done the layering won't let that work.  I have effectively got a baselayer of the keyboard and then another layer with all the keys that marry up with the CTRL key on top of that with the final layer e.g. CTRL-A and CTRL-Z for hover over/key press to add on top of the CTRL layer which is on the base layer!! :D


Attachment of the project below.  I was thinking, on completion of offering it up to the Community as a learning tool for layers but also to learn visually about keyboard shortcuts as an alternative to viewing your table online.

Maria Costa-Stienstra

Hi, Steve.

Maybe others in the community will have different suggestions for you, but I think if you want to maintain the current structure (one base layer, one key layer, then several other layers for that key layer), you will need to add several triggers to hide other layers after each one is opened. Each combination would need to be a trigger on every other one. 

Another solution would be to have your base layer, and then another slide would act as the Ctrl key with all the Ctrl layers (which would allow you to use the hide other layers property). It would work very similar to what you have now, but the main keys would be in separate slides instead of layers.

I hope this gives you some ideas to work with!

Steve Blackwell

That's great Maria, understood.

Yes, I hadn't considered using separate slides so thanks for that. It certainly sounds like an easier solution than layering up even more triggers within the single slide.

Therefore each Key slide would need the keyboard image in the Base layer to keep the image displayed, right?

I don't suppose there is a way of copy-pasting my work into the new slide with all the triggers intact? I haven't looked to try at the mo, but will do later this afternoon.

A lesson learned and I can leave variables to another day. :)


Maria Costa-Stienstra

Hi, Steve.

There are a couple of ways you can do this. Since you might also re-use some of the layers (all the CTRL ones inside your CTRL base slide), my suggestion would be:

  • Duplicate your main keyboard slide.
  • Delete the layers you don't need (you can hold the CTRL key to select multiple layers).
  • Go into your CTRL layer, click CTRL-A to select all the triggers and content, then copy/paste into your base layer. 

Let me know if this works!

Steve Blackwell

Cheers Maria,

That’s exactly what I ended up doing. Once I have completed it all, I’ll post the finished version back here for people to see, who come across this page.

I realised with all the extra slides I needed to also remove the tailored Navigation Previous and Next buttons out of the Master template, placing the one button I needed on the slide itself.

It will be interesting to see all the new accessibility functions in SL3 that will be with us imminently.

Thanks again for coming back so swiftly.

Steve Blackwell

Here's my final version of having an interaction of Storyline Shortcut Keys.

I am sure I could improve it further so that the top of the CTRL and SHIFT slides weren't so cluttered re: mouse-dragging.

Hope anyone who happens across this page finds it useful.  Cheers.