SL2 & SL360 "Restricted" Menu Navigation and Next Button - Solution / Workaround

Nov 13, 2014

Many developers are having an issue with the new "restricted" menu navigation logic in SL2.  I have come up with, what I think is a very quick, simple and viable solution.  To re-cap the issue:

  •  In SL1 the Menu Navigation options include “restricted” which allows learners to view the current slide and any slide they've previously viewed, but not use the menu to jump ahead or skip over slides.  This only restricts the learners' ability to click on menu items to navigate. If the slides included a Previous or Next button, users can still be click those to freely move forward and backward in the course at will.  Content developers could add triggers/variables to control the previous/next buttons, as they saw fit.
  • In SL2 the Menu Navigation “Restricted” logic was changed.  The restricted option still allows learners to view the current slide and any slide they've previously viewed, but not use the menu to jump ahead or skip over slides.  However, this now also disables the Next button and does not allow users to advance forward until the timeline ends.  Triggers/variables do not work to over-ride this logic change.

Here’s what I have come up with:

  1. Create your .story project and set the navigation menu options to “Free”.  This will ensure that the next and previous buttons are not restricted.  (Don't worry, we will adjust the menu navigation itself in a bit).  If needed, go ahead and create triggers/variables to control the previous/next button navigation as desired.
  2. Publish your .story project.  Go ahead and “zip” if the course will be uploaded to an LMS.
  3. In the “publish successful” pop-up window, click “OPEN” to open the Storyline output directory.
  4. Double-click and open the story_content folder.
  5. Open the frame.xml file (this can be opened with Notepad)
  6. Find and replace the following:
    <option name="flow" value="free" />
    <option name="flow" value="restricted" />
  7. Save and close the frame.xml file.
  8. Launch and play your course.  The navigation menu is now restricted, but the previous/next buttons can be used at will.  (Any triggers/variables that were added to control the previous/next button navigation should work as developed.)

If uploading to an LMS, you have a couple more steps.

  1. In the file directory, right-click and "copy" the modified frame.xml file.
  2. Navigate to the story_content folder in the ZIPPED file.
  3. Right-click and "paste" (replace) the modified file here.  You can now upload to your LMS.

This seems kind of tricky, but it is actually very easy!  And once you’ve done it a couple of times, you will see that it literally only takes a few seconds to do!

Hope this helps,


Addendum for HTML 5 (added 10/11/2016)

If publishing to HTML 5, the frame.js file must also be changed.  This can be done by following the below steps.  (NOTE: These steps must be done prior to uploading to LMS, if launching through an LMS.)

  1. Open the frame.js file (recommend opening with Notepad)
  2. Find and replace the following:
  3. Save and close the frame.js file.
192 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Ken,

The "why" behind the change is not an easy answer to offer, but we did have a lot of feedback from users that they wanted the navigation of the menu and player to also impact the slide's navigation buttons. As you'll see with Bobbi's set up, there are ways around it and it's dependent on what overall behavior you're looking for in the course. You could also disable the navigation settings of restricted or locked within the player menu to allow the user to proceed at their own pace. 

Jon Hill

I did a little digging and it looks like you can use this same technique for fixing the HTML5 output too. In the same location as frame.xml there is a frame.js file that the story_html5.html uses, if you search for "flow" in that file you'll see a similar set of values.
I changed "free" to "restricted" and it appears to have the same result. I have not yet tested this on all devices and browsers.
This is a great hack too bad it's needed rather than an option in the menu dialog.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Jon, 

Thanks for sharing your steps here for the HTML5 output - and although we don't support modifications of the published output you may also want to test it in the supported browsers here as those are the ones that we've found offer the best set up for our HTML5 output. 

Also, you're welcome to share your thoughts on this behavior in the form of a feature request here. Those go directly to our product development team and we are always interested in hearing ideas about how we could make creating your e-learning courses easier. 

susan samsonow

I am one of many that are having this issue with the Next button not working until the Timeline (audio files for my project) are finished! I've read previous responses from Bobbi and others. So i just decided to remove the Menu all together (previously was Locked) from my project, and the Next button still doesn't work until the Timeline/audio file is done. Hopefully Articulate is actively pursuing changing the settings to more closely matched what worked in SL1! thanks

Angelia Devisfruto

Hi Bobbi- Thank you for this work around! Quick question, i have an assessment at the end of my course and if the user misses more than 4 questions, I have triggers set to make the retry quiz button change to retake course and jump them to the beginning of the course. However, when the course restarts the user is able to click the menu and jump straight back to the knowledge assessment. Any ideas on how to restrict the menu navigation on that 2nd attempt? 

Thank you for any help you have to offer!

This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.