States and Reserve Names

I discovered something new yet again today in Storyline, which might come in handy for others.

I was putting together a set of thumbnail images that would change state via code depending on the value of a slider. Image 1 would be highlighted if the value was one, Image 2 would be highlighted if the value was 2, etc. If the value was 2, Image 1 one would go back to its normal state, which was a dimmed out state, and so on down the list so that only one image in a set was highlighted at any given time.

When I first built this set of images & their states, I created states with pre-existing names such as Normal, Selected, and Disabled. Given the above description, the highlighted image states would use Selected, and the dimmed out state would be Disabled, right?

Nope, that didn't work for me. The reserve names (Normal, Selected, Disabled) mean something else to Storyline; they are more closing linked to button states, and not general-purpose states. Selected worked, but I could never get Disabled to work. And since those were the only two states I was interested in, I didn't deal with Normal

So I made new ad-hoc states ("Lit" instead of Selected, "Dim" instead of Disabled) and hooked these to my trigger-filled layer that fires on the slider variable change. This worked.

So my conclusions are: when building something that needs various states,

  • use the normal reserve word states for buttons
  • use your own state names for everything else

and never the twain should meet.

[I guess I could have built the group as a set of radio buttons that were not clickable (or were covered up with a transparent shape), then skinned them with the images/states. In this scenario, I would have just sent the slider variable to the radio button group and let it take care of everything else - I could have use the reserve states too! Dang - 20/20 hindsight. But, in my case there were times when I wanted TWO images highlighted at the same time, so this idea - while practical for most cases - wouldn't have worked for me this time.]

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