SL2: Templates With Variables - Renamed on Import - Next Import Takes on Renamed From First Import

Jan 12, 2019


This is something I've been dealing with for quiet a while and haven't ever seen someone else mention it. FYI - I'm working with Storyline 2, update 11.

Here's the scenario. I've created quite a few templates of various interaction types (Tabs, FAQ, Flip Cards, etc.) that use generically named variables to keep track of progress, or states.

Once a template is imported, let's say a Tabs template with 3 tabs, generally I'll rename the variables to something contextual to the course I'm working on, like the location in the course based on a screen ID.

For example, the variables come in with names like (H = horizontal):






Then I'll rename them to match where they are, using a screen ID that increment by 10, so 030.






So here is the weird part. Let's say I want to import another template of the same type, so I want a Tabs interaction with 3 tabs arranged horizontally. I import the template and go to the variables panel and don't see any new variables available for renaming.

Instead, my newly imported template has taken on the variables already renamed and used for the first template.

I've tried locating temp file to delete, closing/reopening the same file, saving the file with a new name, everything I can think of to be able to import the second template and not have to manually create new variables and go through every trigger and change to my new manually created variables.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to accomplish the easy use of templates without having to do extra effort when using multiple instances of the same template with variables?

I hope I've explained my issue, but look forward to any thoughts on the  matter.


8 Replies
Leslie McKerchie

Hello Scott,

Thanks for reaching out and explaining what you are seeing in your project.

We are aware and have this issue reported to our team. I'll be sure to add this conversation to our report as we track user impact and this will also allow us to update you here when we can.

Manually updating your variables is the only workaround that I am aware of as well.

Katie Riggio

Hi there, Scott!

I ran a test in Storyline 3 and 360 where I'm able to import variables from another .story file – here are 2 short Peek recordings of my test in Storyline 3 and Storyline 360. If you'd like to test your project first-hand, you can sign up for a free Articulate 360 trial here and Storyline 3 one here. We'll create a backup copy of your Storyline 2 file, so you can always continue to use it in this version. 

I promise we'll keep you updated on this Storyline 2 bug's progress; and with your permission, we're happy to take a look at your .story file to see if we can offer any custom solutions while our team investigates this oddity!

Scott Wiley

Hi Katie,

Thanks for your efforts in testing so far.

There is a slight tweak needed to your scenario to mimic what I'm experiencing though.

  • Start with a blank file, no need to create variables up-front.
  • Import the 1st instance of your template that comes in with your pre-made variables.
  • Once imported, open variable panel and rename those to something different.
  • Now import the same template again.
  • Open variables panel to see if you have 2 sets of variables, or only the first set that you renamed after your first import.

Does that make sense?

Katie Riggio

Good morning, Scott. I appreciate you taking a look at my Peek recordings!

Thanks for walking me through the steps you took, too. 🙂I'm now able to see what you're describing: Just the first variable set shows after the import in Storyline 3, but both variable sets show in Storyline 360. So strange! Here's a recording of the retest in Storyline 3 and one for Storyline 360.

I'd like to get a second opinion on this oddity from our Support team and have created a case on your behalf with my testing notes. Someone from the team will be in touch shortly with some next steps to try, and I'll follow along!

Scott Wiley

Thanks for working on the follow-up.

That is exactly as I am experiencing also. And - if you take a look at the text boxes you probably had on the slide itself, the 2nd import automatically changed the variable reference to match the renamed ones.

I hope you can figure this out for those that may not have 360.

Creating reusable templates like this with pre-defined variables has been a huge time saver - except when you run into this scenario.

Vincent Scoma

Hey Scott,

I checked on the status of this issue and our team is continuing to investigate. I wanted to share an inside look at how we tackle bugs when they're reported. You're in the right place, and we'll share as much as we can, as soon as we can!

If you have any questions, just let me know and I’ll be happy to help!

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