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
Chris Pim

It is so good that a forum exists with a workaround - so thanks. This problem affected me today and I got an instant workaround. Have not checked it yet but all reports seem to be that it does work.

Whilst I love Storyline - this is just one of so many annoying bugs that never seem to get patched with updates. It's a shame.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Chris,

I'm glad that you were able to find this set up, and although it's a workaround for the behavior the change in navigation methods was something that was by design for Storyline 2 based on feedback within Storyline 1. With that being said, its clear that there were enough other users who wanted to have it continue the way it was and that's where it's become a feature request in terms of a change to that navigation element. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Chris,

The next button should allow you to jump to the next slide once the timeline has ended if you've set up locked/restricted navigation in your menu. That was the design that folks asked us to fix, allowing the menu restriction to apply to the slides as well so that users could just keep clicking "next" if you had locked down the menu. If it's working unreliably, I'd want to know more about what that means in terms of allowing the user to jump to the next slide before the timeline ends? Or are you seeing it on a revisit to a slide you've already played? The latter question would be expected if using "restricted" navigation, the former would be something that would be a bug and we'd be happy to investigate the file in question. You can share it here using the "add attachment" button at the bottom of the reply window or send it along to our Support Engineers here. 

Chris Pim

Thanks for taking the time to reply.
Ok so it's not a bug. But not what I would want at all (obviously personal choice).
I simply would want a user to not be able to skip content using the menu first time through. Then after that jump in and out as they want. Hopefull the workaround solves that?
If users wanted another implementation of restricted why not offer that as another option and call it something else?
I would have thought what I was asking for would be the most obvious implementation. The other way to do it would be to hide/disable the menu until a specific slide/time and then enable it. But I don't think that is possible?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Chris,

The restricted menu and the workaround should allow for the set up you described here.

There isn't a way to disable or hide the menu until a specific time on the slide, but you can disable it on certain slides - although no way to make it appear after they've viewed the slide as the player elements can't be trigger. 

I can't say for certain why it was done this way (I'm not on our Product/Development team) but we continue to share the feedback of users such as yourself here. 

Chris Pim

Re: workaround for restricted menu in SL2.

Having tried this now, I can say it is partly working in Flash and HTML. In the sense that the menu is restricted and the next button works as expected. However, when I return to the course and proceed where I left off the menu appears restricted again and I can't leap in and out of slides thet were previously visited.

Could this be a problem with our Moodle set up or something else?

Or is this not how it is supposed to work anyway?


Alyssa Gomez

I can't speak to SCORM Cloud's security because we don't permanently host content there. Instead, we upload it temporarily for testing purposes, and then remove it.  You're welcome to take a look at SCORM Cloud's security information here. I'm sorry I'm not able to offer more information, but if you have further questions about it, I'm sure the folks over at SCORM Cloud would be happy to assist! 

Wendy Farmer

Yes Leslie, as people start to search 360 stuff would be good if things were tagged so it's easy to find. I remember when we changed from SL1 to SL2 and people would do samples in SL2 only to find the post was about SL1 but that hadn't been mentioned. Just thought it might save time to have the post title spell it out. 

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