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
Carrie Albin

Hi Wendy,

I was able to get it to work in Storyline 3.  I posted my response a few months ago above.  The main difference was it seems that Storyline 3 puts the frame.js file in an HTML5 folder. So in order to do this workaround correctly in Storyline 3 you need to change the frame.xml file in the story_content folder and the frame.js file in the HTML5 folder. That seemed to do the trick. I published with the setting Flash with HTML5 fallback.  

Hope this helps!


Wendy Watson

Hi Carrie,

I tried making changes to both files and it was a no go. I'm onto another course and will try it again when I publish that.  

I'm looking forward to the update for SL3 that was recently done with 360 related to this. Sure be nice to just have the feature and skip the work-around given how many of us are wanting this.

I appreciate the response - will be back when I publish this next course to report on it if worked.


Leslie McKerchie

Hey Ros :)

I know I reached out to you here, but for anyone else following along in this thread:

Great news! We just released another update for Articulate 360, and included a few important fixes and new features that you'll see in the release notes here

The Storyline 360 item you'll be interested in is how:

Learners couldn't swipe between slides in HTML5 output when navigation was restricted.

Just launch the Articulate 360 desktop app on your computer and click the Update button for each application. Details here.

Please let us know if you have any questions, either right here or by reaching out to our Support Engineers directly.

Chris Barnett

Wanted to share some good news re: the Restricted/Locked navigation: I was reading the Release Notes for the SL3 9/11/17 update and noted the developers were able to incorporate our request to CHOOSE whether the menu is locked, the navigation buttons are locked, or both.  Details here:

Thank you, Articulate Support!

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Roy!

The information that Bobbi shared was quite a while back. 

Could you share some additional information on what you are trying to accomplish so that we could help you out?

You are certainly welcome to reach out to the user directly via the 'Contact Me' option on the user profile if you do not hear back soon and wish to hear from them directly though.

Roy Saunderson

Hi Leslie:

I am having the problem of when saving a course in Restricted mode the Next buttons are not consistently working.

The Restricted Menu navigation in this post suggested starting with Free navigation and then altering the frame.xml file to restricted.

Having done this I am still having troubles.

Thanks for any guidance you can give.


Roy Saunderson, MA, CRP
Chief Learning Officer

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Leslie McKerchie

Hi Roy!

What version of Storyline are you using? We added a new feature to Storyline 3 and Storyline 360 to allow you to manage the menu and prev/next buttons as needed.

Modifying the published output is not something supported by Articulate.

It looks like your email signature came through when you replied via email. You can remove that if needed by clicking ‘Edit’ beneath your response. Here’s a quick Peek video if you need help.

Erik Abasciano


This seems to be the appropriate thread for this question. I'm new to Articulate, we have the latest version of 360. Loving all the options and the wealth of information provided by the community. 

I am hoping I am missing a simple step and there is an easy answer to my problem because I have searched everywhere and read many threads but this one seems the most active with some very smart people with great workarounds. 

I started using Articulate Presenter to republish a bunch of our prior courses to HTML5 for our new LMS. The navigation settings worked exactly how we wanted them too and very easy to setup. 

We set the menu to Restricted and checked the "restrict next / Previous buttons" box. 

We set our slides to auto advance and kept the players prev & next buttons on all slides. 

The next button and menu were disabled if the user tried to move ahead or advance to a slide not viewed yet. They were only allowed to click the previous button to review slides they completed.

BUT when they revisited a slide already viewed the Next button was now enabled for them to use to move forward until they got back to the last slide that haven't viewed. So, this now allows a user who goes back to a module they viewed in full to be able to use the next & previous buttons to move freely throughout the module. 

The problem is we can not accomplish the same results Storyline. 

We did all the same steps but as soon as we add: Slide Advances "Automatically" this adds a trigger to Jump to next slide when timeline ends. Everything works besides the "Next" button stays disabled when going back to any slides that is viewed. 

The weird thing is the menu functions the same way as it did in Presenter and will allow to navigate back and forth to slides viewed but not jump ahead to slides not viewed.

And if we don't select the "advance automatically" option, the previous / next buttons functions the same way as Presenter but the user has to click next button at the end of each slide to advance. 

If anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated. I have tried many options suggested with variables and trigger with no success. 

The only workaround, that may work if its the only option, suggested on this thread here is to duplicate the main scene, one locked and one with open navigation for reviewing purposes but this could make for large files size for our courses with videos embedded. 

I just feel i am missing something that is really easy to use in Presenter with many less options that can't be done in Storyline with all the options available. 

I would have continued to use Presenter but we wanted to start taking full advantage of Storyline to make our courses more interactive and less linear moving forward. 

Thank you in advance for any help! 


Erik Abasciano

Well I think I found a resolution to my problem to my previous post and wanted to share my workaround because I know I have seen others that had similar questions. 

We currently have linear style courses. Voiced Over slides, some videos, that we set to advance automatically to the next slide. 

We didn't want them to move forward until the slide was viewed but we wanted them to be able to review slides already viewed and have the ability to use the players next button to move forward again to the last slide viewed. 

This is explained in more detail in my previous post. 

The problem was as soon as we added the trigger to jump to next slide when timeline ends the next button would not work for slides already viewed. It would allows stay disabled.

After playing around I found that if I change the trigger from time line ends to Jump to next slide when media completes and select the the mp3  or video file for that slide everything is working as we wanted. 

 media completes

I set the menu to Restricted and checked the "restrict next / Previous buttons" box. 

We set our slides to auto advance and kept the players prev & next buttons on all slides. 

This now allows a user who goes back to a module they viewed in full to be able to use the next & previous buttons to move freely throughout the module.

I hope this helps anyone else that was in a similar predicament and I am still open for other suggestions to accomplish this using a different method. 



Cyntia Paré

Hi everyone,

For my part, to get the player to work like it used to (unlock the next button, once the slide has already been viewed - let's say when you go back, and don't want to see the slide entirely again) on slides with a "jump to next slide when timeline ends", we had to switch our trigger to "jump to next slide when timeline reachers "the end + .75 sec""

That way, Storyline has the time to receive the call to unlock the next button. It seems that when it automatically jumps to the next slide at the end of the timeline, something isn't sent and as result, Storyline doesn't know that you've already seen that slide.

Maybe something in the order the triggers are set in the programmation or something. Maybe the Storyline team should look into this. (Because I think it should be normal that the next button is unlock when you come back on a slide, if you follow the same logic of the menu that unlocks himself as you advance in the course. If I wanted it to be all locked, I'd pick Locked instead of restricted.)

I am using the latest version of Storyline 360 as of today (V3.12)

Hope this can help someone !

Deborah Cassidy

Hi Bobbi,

We used this in our SL2 course and it worked beautifully. However, Chrome updated to Version 69.0.3497.100 (Official Build) (64-bit) two days ago and it no longer works. It literally worked earlier in the day, I watched Chrome update, and it changed the functionality. Any suggestions? Any new code to change? Ideas? We really liked this functionality!


Erik Abasciano


I posted to this forum awhile back and I don't know if this applies for many others that posted but on a separate forum discussing the conditional seekbar update, I brought up this issue with the next button when in restricted mode not working correctly. And a few weeks later they posted this:

Katie Gokhshteyn

Hi, folks!

Some of you reported an issue where the next button would be disabled when revisiting slides that advanced automatically in a course with restricted navigation. That button is now enabled in this scenario in update 24 for Storyline 360; check out all the new bug fixes and features here!

Here’s how you can update Storyline 360  to see everything this release has to offer. Let us know what you think!


I updated storyline and it works as promised! I hope this helps other out. 


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