Slide Pause Problems

Hello everyone,

I have a moderately interactive module I created for my client. It uses a pause button to stop playback at certain points in the lesson, so the user can interact with the content. Unfortunately, my customer encountered some problems with the pause function.

Here is how my pauses are set up:

  1. I've added a "Pause" Slide Layer with the following properties: Allow seeking = No, Pause timeline of base layer = checked, and When revisiting = Reset to initial state.
  2. On the main slide layer I have an invisible object.
  3. When the play head reaches the invisible object, a trigger on the object "Shows the layer Pause" when the object's timeline ends.

So far, we've encountered two problems.

Problem #1) When the pause is triggered the first time, it works well. If the user navigates away from the slide and then returns, the pause will not work again. I have the slide's "When Revisiting" property set to "Reset to initial state". This should force the slide to start over as if it had never been played, but it doesn't seem to affect the pause.

Problem #2) If the user clicks the Replay button on the Seekbar, while the main timeline is paused, the slide will replay without audio. If the audio starts, it is multiplied, playing two or more tracks at once.

Has anyone else experienced these problems, or is there any advice on how I might go about getting the main timeline to pause without errors?

Any help is appreciated.

18 Replies
Julia Koller

Hi Rebecca, thanks for taking a look at this. I'll posting two files, one for each problem.

In both files, the middle slide has the pause. I've done this so you can experiment with navigation.

The first file will be "Pause Bug.story".

Play the timeline past the pause. Then, click the replay button on the seekbar while the timeline is still playing. The slide will start from the beginning, but will not stop for the pause.

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi Julia,

I just looked at the 2nd upload: Pause Bug No audio.story

I edited it so that (I think) it's working, at least for your first sound file. Did you also have trouble with the audio for the 2nd and 3rd files? If so, perhaps you can apply what I did. If that's not working, please shout out.

So, what I did.

What didn't work

Initially I added a trigger to the timeline to Play Media Sound 1 when the timeline starts. BUT, when clicking the rewind button, the audio was cut off part-way through.

I wasn't sure why, but then I noticed that after adding this trigger, the Sound 1 file was extended the whole length of the timeline, instead of its initial 12 or so seconds. So, I think it was cutting out the audio because the audio couldn't finish before the pause layer opened, which of course paused the audio.

What did work

My next trial was to place a shape offstage, Rectangle 3, at 0 and add the trigger here instead: Play Media Sound 1 when the timeline starts for Rectangle 3.

That seems to have worked. I tested both by clicking the rewind button after the pause and by clicking the PREV button on slide 2 and then the NEXT button on slide 1.

Further explanation

The reason I included what didn't work was simply to share what had initially confounded me. Swear I've done that in that way, but maybe not. I use offstage objects a lot, so maybe that's how I've done it before.

And, just an FYI, I prefer using offstage objects to "hidden Object on the timeline", because they don't need to be hidden, so I can SEE them when I'm trying to figure out what's going on. Just a tip for you in case you want to try that instead of hidden objects. But, it's all personal preference, and we all need to use what works best for us.

Please shout out with any questions. I don't think I'll get to your other story tonight...tomorrow's another day!

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

OK...I couldn't let it go.;(

I'm uploading your a new version of your first story. I honestly couldn't get it to behave, so I recreated it step by step, mostly copying and pasting items onto a new slide in a new project (I resized the story to match yours, but you'll probably want to check stuff).

I did make a few changes, but I'm not sure what "worked"

  • moved the "check complete" audio button onto the pause layer, and I made that layer much longer than it was.
  • didn't include some of the hide layer triggers that you had on the next button; I wasn't sure why they were there - but you may have a reason and of course can add them back in
  • substituted your "transparent/hidden button on the timeline" that showed the pause layer for an offstage shape

That's all I remember at the moment!

I tested it

  • by rewinding after the pause
  • Going to prev from slide 2 (to slide 1) and then next (so back to slide 2)
  • Going to next from slide (to slide 3) and then prev (so back to slide 2)

and in all cases it pauses.

Julia Koller

Hi Rebecca,

I really appreciate the time you've put into helping me figure this out. My contract requires that I work remotely, and I really miss being able to bounce ideas around with co-workers.

Pause Bug

It works!! Amazing. Thank you!!! Thank you!!!

The only differences I could find between your file and mine were:

  1. The addition of a second pause in the volume Slide Layer properties
  2. The pause slide layer was set to Automatically decide when Revisiting 
  3. And, you had "Hide other slide layers" checked in both layers

Why any of the above options would make such a huge difference, I don't know. It seems overly complicated to pause a slide.

Pause Bug No Audio

The Play Media idea is a good one; unfortunately, it introduces yet another problem.

It is separating the audio from the main timeline. Here's the sequence of events where it becomes a problem:

  • Audio is playing
  • User clicks the pause/play on the seekbar to pause
  • User clicks to another time on the seekbar
  • Then they click pause/play again to resume
  • The visuals and audio no longer synchronize
  • Again, it probably seems a bit silly to keep presenting these user scenarios when the module is working 95% of the way. But, I know that if there is a problem, the customer will find it and ask me why its not fixed. (Actually, that's already happened, which is why I'm on the forums).

Julia Koller

Ashley, thank you for keeping track of this discussion. Rebecca's fix for the first problem has worked well, but the second issue is still not solved. I'm very frustrated. I've already spent several days (and quite a bit of stress) trying to track down and fix these problems while under a deadline. Not to mention missing holidays because of them.

Having the ability to pause a slide seems like it should be a basic user function.

Of course, I say "basic" because I don't know the programming involved in creating this functionality. I recognize that it could take a fair amount of programming for Articulate to offer this feature. I'm not complaining too much. On the whole, I'm very satisfied with Storyline. It's certainly a much better product than Captivate.

Unless you have some other ideas on how I could get this to work, I'll probably submit a support request. I'll be very surprised if someone can find a solution. Captivate has this exact same issue and is not able to address it either.

I did deliver the module to the customer, and my fix was to divide slides with pauses into multiple slides. This is not an ideal solution. It creates extra work both in managing content and navigation. In a 100+ slide, branching, module, having to track extra slides becomes very tedious and introduces room for errors. 

This is the first in a series, so if a solution were to be presented in the near future, it would definitely be helpful.

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi All,

Julia, first regarding this statement:

Again, it probably seems a bit silly to keep presenting these user scenarios when the module is working 95% of the way. But, I know that if there is a problem, the customer will find it and ask me why its not fixed. (Actually, that's already happened, which is why I'm on the forums).

No, never, EVER silly! My firm belief is that not enough people take the time to try out all those user scenarios. I hope your client appreciates all that you're doing. Unfortunately, most people have no idea how much time it takes to do all this kind of testing.

So, it's totally important that if a suggestion I make ( or anyone for that matter) isn't work, that you say so. No offense taken, at least on my part.

Interestingly, I've gone through your sequence several times, and I'm not running into visual/narration sequencing issues. This is in preview mode (haven't taken the time to publish). Weird, eh?

Mike, when I look at the file I uploaded last night, both layers ARE set to pause the base layer AND they're both set to hide other layers. Did I upload the wrong one? Egads.

For the sake of sanity, I'm uploading it now. If you check the modified date, you'll see I'm being truthful: 12/12 at 11:32 pm (WAY past my normal bedtime

Julia Koller

Hi Mike,

Thank you for taking a look at this. Rebecca actually helped me get the first file, "Pause Bug" working. That's one issue down. It's the second file, "Pause Bug No Audio" that still doesn't work correctly. Maybe I should have put them in two different discussions so it's easier to track. I was going to do a screen recording this morning and send it off to support, but I'll hold off in case you look at it and see something that I'm missing, or could do differently.

The problem I'm experiencing can be duplicated like this (on the second slide in the scene):

  • Let the slide play until it is paused
  • When it is paused, click the replay button on the seekbar

The slide will replay, but the audio will be gone. Rebecca's first solution was to separate the audio from the timeline and use a Play Media trigger instead. But, this causes further problems if the user decides to pause/play the slide at any point. 

The customer told me that when she first played the module, it worked fine. On her second attempt, ALL module audio was gone. I wasn't able to duplicate the issue she experienced, but I wonder if it isn't somehow related to the issue above.