Slides or Layers

Hey Guys ,

I am in the process of revamping one of my elearning courses. I am curious what would be better to use in Storyline, Multiple layers or multiple slides? My course currently uses both, but As we all know slide give you the ability to add things such as zooms, but I was wondering if they were harder to process than layers. Thanks in advance.

13 Replies
Donna Morvan

Hello Casey,

This is a tough question because in order to decide whether to use layers or slides, one has to have a clear picture of what the project is (a course map so to speak and actions included therein).

All I can say is you are on the right track. All the projects I have created are always a combination of using slides and layers. It cannot be helped because there will be segments in the course that call for slides while others are better much suited to layers. Maybe you can give us a clearer idea of what goes on in the course (activities, animations, effects) then we can suggest whether it'd be better to use layers or slides for them.


casey hillstrom

The course is basically a software tutorial. It consists of sections that contain clickable items that lead to explaining slide or layer.

Im about to try to make an simplified example so let me apologize in advance... 

For example if section 1 is "Types of Cookies", the clickable items might be "chocolate chip", "sugar", and "Peanut butter".  When you click on "chocolate chip" it should lead to a slide (or layer)  about that cookie before returning to the section menu screen.

Again sorry for the example but I hope maybe it helped lol.

Donna Morvan

All my projects are on software as well..

Again, I use a combination but in the example you cited, I may be more inclined to use layers. John made a great point.. I love segregating them in scenes too.

For example, I deal with a software that is used to manage intelligent IP video solutions.

I have separate scenes for: How to add IP cameras, Configuring Storage, Setting recording schedules

I break down into individual slides the steps outlining: How to add the IP cameras

Within each step - there may be various options they can choose from - I use layers to highlight these.. I am also a big fan of Lightbox slides.

Donna Morvan

Hello Casey,

Here's an example of a project that I made.

It's very straightforward..I reserve all of the fun stuff on the other projects because where I work we have a "Challenge" section where all the cool features of storyline get exploited lol.

I recommend you have a separate project for "challenges". It's fun and you can get them to really practice the software hands on.

Anyways, In the "Cameras" section I used lightbox slides then on the "Scheduler" and "Configuration Wizard", I made use of layers.

Hope this helps,


Donna Morvan

Seriously  though.. the advantage of making use of lightbox slides is that you can really take advantage of the fact that it is a slide so you can add layers in it as well. And for tracking purposes, storyline tracks slide views but doesn't track "layer" views so you can have more control in terms on ensuring that the course has been viewed by the learners.