Storyline Hotspot question


I am considering switching from Captive to SL and cannot find a feature in SL that I have been using in Captivate.

I have a software simulation and have filmed customised menu tabs in Word 2010.  I want to hover, or click, on a button on the tab and have a hidden slide appear with content explaining the use and purpose of the button.  I also want to be able to include pictures of the results of the button press.

It does not necessarily have to be a hidden slide, it could be some other way of displaying the information.

I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.  I have browsed the user forums and can not find anything.  The Hotspot feature seems to be associated only with questions.



8 Replies
Andrew Sellon

Hi, Ken!  If I understand correctly, you used Storyline's screen capture, and now that you've got your captured slides, you want to be able to have a user hover or click one of the areas of a slide to see more information--whether it be a look at what happens next, or some text information about the button, or whatever.

While Storyline doesn't have a Rollover Slidelet feature per se, the big difference to get used to between Captivate and Storyline is that with Storyline, you can have multiple layers on a single slide.  You also have triggers and object states.  And a hot spot can trigger all sorts of things, not just questions.  So, usually, you can find more than one way to achieve a certain effect.  One thing to keep in mind is if you're building for something that also needs to play on a mobile device, not all elements translate to mobile (this is true of Captivate as well).  Articulate has a helpful page about that:

To give the effect you're seeking, for example, you could:

1) Have more than one layer of a slide, and then create hotspots and add triggers to tell Storyline that when the user clicks a certain hotspot (for instance, one over a button on your menu tab), it shows a different layer (revealing a different version of the same slide that you've put on that layer, with added images, info about that button, etc.).  Or, for that matter, you could

2) Use triggers to show and hide objects on the base layer.  So you could have an object that is another shot of your tab, with an info box next to it (or whatever you want to create), and set its default state to "hidden".  Then you create a hotspot on the main image area, and a trigger it to change the state of your hidden object to "normal" when that hot spot is clicked.  And so on.

It all depends on the look you want, and what you're comfortable creating as you get used to the differences between Captivate and Storyline.  When working with layers, you will also want to be aware of the nifty options that lurk under the Properties (gear icon) of each layer; there are some very important features tucked away there!

I daresay others will chime in with better explanations, but I hope you see what I'm driving at, and that it answers your question.    It took me a little bit to get used to layers, triggers, and states, but now I love them and am always finding fun new things to do with them.  It's easier than it sounds in my description!  You can see a couple of basic examples on my consulting site:  

The "Sample Two" demo on that page uses a hot spot in the quiz question on the first slide as part of a drag and drop game, and then also uses hot spots for the simple interactive timeline on slide three ("Our history").  On that latter slide, each date on the base layer has a hotspot over it, and each is triggered to show a different layer that talks about what happened that year in my fictitious company.  And you have multiple options for how you return to the base layer, you just need to play around a bit and see what works best for you.

I hope this helps!

ken Chandler

Hello Andrew, 

WOW what can I say?  You have certainly answered some questions for me and given me a lot to have a think about.  I will go through your email and try the scenarios that you describe see what works for me.

Thank you very much for your lengthy and informative response.  I will let you know how I get on.



Andrew Sellon

I'm glad if my reply was helpful!  If you haven't already gone through a lot of the "how to" content on the Tutorials tab ( of the Articulate web site, I would encourage you to do so.  While Articulate doesn't provide a traditional "manual" for Storyline, the Tutorials include a host of Screenr recordings so that you can see features like triggers, states, etc. in action, both how they're built, and the end result in action.  I imagine that watching a few of those on these topics will let you know what approach might work best for your needs.  You should also look at the Markers feature, as that may offer some of what you want.  And like Captivate, Storyline also has variables, which add another whole element to what you can do.  Both Captivate and Storyline have things the other software can't do, or can't do as well, so it's always a balancing game.  Enjoy playing around!

Andrew Sellon

Hi, Emalyn!  What you describe is normal behavior for a Hotspot question. The ugly little rotating disc indicates what area of the screen your learner selected as the answer. Then when they press the submit button, your feedback tells them if hey made the correct choice. Did you read about question types in the tutorials?  I sent a feature request to Articulate to come up with a better icon than that tiny rotating disc, and I encourage you to do the same. 

Did you perhaps want to createt just a regular hotspot to show more information, rather than a question hotspot?  The Tutorials can explain the different uses of he two types of hotspots. 

Hope his helps!


Steve Flowers

One way I've dealt with this in the past is by making multiple objects with multiple states within the same button group. This way I can make my hotspots look like whatever I want when they are selected.

For grading logic, I overlay the whole enchilada over the top of a true / false question. I use triggers to set the answer to true if the correct hotspot is selected and false if any other object is selected. 

Larry Huff

Steve can you provide more info on how you do the hotspot questions?  I am currently creating some practice college math entrance tests.  The issue is that when there are square roots, fractions, etc. I have to use an outside program to create the question and then take a screenshot of it and create hotspots for the multiple choice answers.  The spinner confuses my students.  I would like for the hotspot area to light up or something.  So that it is clear what they have selected.  Any advice.  One of my practice tests can be found at  For example, question in the Elementary Algebra section.  Thanks a bunch.