Storyline 360 Tab Order

I have a freeform quiz question that I have alt tagged in my course. I have updated the alt tagging in the master slide and feedback slide settings. I have reviewed the items on my base layer and slide layers to verify the settings of what I want hidden and what I want visible. The slide layer properties are set to prevent using from clicking on base layer.

 When I click on Tab Order, the layers come up first on the list, not in order, and then the base layer is at the bottom. How can this be fixed to have the base layer appear first on the list.




17 Replies
Daniel Cooper

Hmm... just discovered this. It's my first experience of Storyline, and I'm updating an existing course. There's a quiz base layer/correct/incorrect/hint stack of layers. The previous person seems to have neglected accessibility altogether! The tab order is currently stacked the same way, so will screen readers be reading the hint layer first, which is on top at the moment? Do I flip it all? Or do I just sort tabs in each layer and leave them in the stack order with the base at the bottom?

Lauren Connelly

Hi Daniel!

I'd recommend customizing the Tab Order to reflect which objects the user will move to when using keyboard-only navigation.

For example, if the Hint layers are shown after the user clicks a button on the base layer then the button needs to be in the tab order above the objects on the Hint Layer. 

If you have a sample project we can look at, feel free to attach it to this discussion!

Lauren Connelly

Hello Daniel!

Thank you for sharing your project!

It looks like the text boxes are behind the other slide content. The order is why NVDA isn't reading off the text first. It also looks like the first items in the Tab Order are from Speak up Instructions 2, which is the third layer. Make sure the Tab Order reflects the path a user needs to go to understand the content. The text on the first slide should be at the top of the Tab Order rather than content on an additional layer.

I'd also recommend moving the objects to the beginning of the timeline unless it is necessary for understanding the content.

I've recorded a quick Peek explaining how to make these changes! Here's the link.

Teresa Vanderpost

Hi there, is there any update on requests to have the Base Layer Focus Order be on the top of the list.  I have a slide with 11 layers, and I have to click each object on the slide one click at a time to get to the top of the focus order and it is so time consuming.  Would be nice for them to default on the top or at least drag them all at once to the top. 

Also, could you confirm my actual questions. If I have 11 buttons on my base slide, each button takes you to a layer with information.  When doing the tab order, do I do  the base layer first including all buttons?  or do I do the slide then button 1, then layer 1, then button 2, then layer 2....I still find it confusing.  Would love some help.  I attached my complicated slide, if you could help me figure out how to put it in the right focus order I think this would help so much for future work.  Hope you don't mind instead of creating a new trail, I joined this one.

Lauren Connelly

Hello Teresa!

Great question! The Focus Order should start with the objects on the Base Layer and continue with objects on each layer. I noticed in your project that when entering each layer, the items on the base layer appeared when navigating through the slide. It looks like you'll need to change the Slide Layer Properties to Hide Objects on the Base Layer, Prevent User from Clicking the Base Layer, and Pause Timeline on the Base Layer. I've recorded a short demo of my testing. Here's the link.

I've also added the updated file to this reply. 

Teresa Vanderpost

Thanks Lauren, I am going to take a closer look at your file on Monday.  I have to watch it more closely.  So, if I understand correctly, if my layers are below buttons on my base layer so you can always see everything, I don't have to do what you mention above, but if my entire layer covers my base layer I have to hide the base layer so it doesn't read the information in behind?  And yes the Base layer objects should be at the top, I just really wish articulate would get that working in an upgrade soon, I think I put it in as a request years ago, when you have this many layers it can take 10 minutes just to get all of your base layer objects to the top of the table because they default at the bottom doesn't make sense to me.  Also would love to see the name of the slide move out of the first column as well, as you can't expand that cell so you sometimes can't even see the name of the object, but again I sent in this request years ago.  But focus order is becoming more important so I am really trying now to make sure I have it right on each slide.  I will watch the video again, and if I misunderstand I hope I can reach out hear again.  Thanks for going through all that work creating the video for me.


Teresa Vanderpost

Hi Lauren, I am attaching a one slide example of a base layer with the layers not hiding any objects on base layer, do I have to use the hide option?  I put the focus order in the order I think is correct.  You mentioned to put all the base layer buttons up first then the layer content, if I understood correctly.



Lauren Connelly

Hello Teresa!

If you're not choosing to Hide Objects on Base Layer as well as not using a button on the layer to return to the base layer, then the Focus Order needs to reflect how a user will move through the course. Using your course as an example, the Focus Order should be:

  • Button One- What is Hematoma?
  • Text box- What is Hematoma?
  • Text box- It is a localized pooling of blood outside the vein.
  • Button Two- Signs and Symptoms
  • Text box- Signs and Symptoms include: 
  • etc.

I've recorded a Peek of what this quick change looks like when using a screen reader. Link

Teresa Vanderpost

Hi Lauren, first off thank you so much for taking the time to help me figure this out.  So, I understand the second one perfectly.  If layers come up on a base layer and you can see everything then I put base layer button, then layer items, then next base layer button, then layer items and so forth, and I don't have to go into any of the hide settings.

For the first one.  I understand now that if my layer covers the entire slide up the screen reader still goes back to the base layer and through the whole thing, where I just want them to go to the next button, so we hide the base layer specifically for the screen reader to ignore it while the learner is on the layer.

Do I have this right?

So I think my last question is for the first recording.  Do I do Base slide button 1 in the focus order followed by the layer 1 , then Base slide button 2, or when layers cover a full base slide do you put the order as all the buttons first and then all the layers in order.  Does that make sense?  If I can understand that part then I think I get focus order better.

Also, do you know where articulate is on requests that have been submitted on focus order?  The top recording slide is a perfect example of how articulate puts the base slide objects at the bottom of the list and the layers in reverse order, so for a slide like that it can take a while to clean up, plus you can only click one item at a time.  I submitted requests years ago, and this one I am surprised they haven't reversed it yet.  I also submitted a request about the naming of the first column.  If you have a long slide title it takes up the whole column and you don't even see what the object is.   So just curious on that stuff.



Lauren Connelly

Hello Teresa!

Yes, you'll want to hide the base layer for the first course, so the screen reader will ignore the base layer content when the focus is on the layer.

Next, for the focus order in the first course, it sounds like you'll need to arrange the Focus Order, so it reads. Button 1, layer content of Button 1, Button 2, layer content of Button 2, and so on. 

We are still looking at adding customizations to the Focus Order, but it isn't a feature we have on our current roadmap. When we have more information on a timeline, I'll keep you updated in this discussion.