System Variables

Jun 09, 2015

Poking through the archives I see this is a question that comes up from time to time.

It's a feature request I've submitted.

This is just an inquiry as to status.

Is it currently possible to access Storyline II system variables (e.g. slide number)?

63 Replies
Sam Carter
oscar peterson

how is this still an issue 4 years after it was first mentioned? 


It would be easy to implement slide and scene variables. Storyline variables exist.  Slides and scenes are numbered. The framework to deliver this feature exists.  That it isn't available after so many years suggests it isn't on the table for a future release either.

Joseph Benton

I think it's best not to expect Articulate to listen. Even their own staff can see there are things that need fixing or would vastly improve their productivity yet they can't be frank about what they would like to see fixed or how long, if ever, their biggest peaves will be addressed.

Wouldn't it be nice if your timeline didn't shift based on an object you paste from one slide to another? Wouldn't it be nice if your slides could automatically match your longest audio piece? Who hasn't had that problem on slide after slide and found it annoying to have to drag the timeline back where it was over and over? Has it been fixed in the years we've been using Articulate? This is basic, "Wow, what a pain in the ass this is and I wonder if they will ever fix it?" material that is obvious to anyone who isn't a casual user. There are dozens, dare I say over a hundred, of things just like that which would make this software worthy of undying love.

Instead you may just have to live with what I experience: a profitable love/hate relationship.

Justin Grenier

We're always listening, Joseph!

Regarding the request for additional system variables, we have taken a step in this direction.  When we released Closed Captions, we exposed a variable that the author can target with a trigger to display or hide the captions:  Player.DisplayCaptions  A small hint of things to come.  😉

In addition, we don't have plans to introduce a ton of system variables at once.  I say this to point out that if we do expose system variables, it will be in a targeted way that solves real business problems (such as slide numbers/page numbers, for example), not simply giving people access to 100 random system variables so that we can say we did.  😀  We'll deliver them as they are ready, and we hope to be able to share the first of these in the next few months.

We'll be taking a look at the timeline behavior you mentioned the next time we make timeline improvements, which is also on our roadmap.

In the interim, we hope you've noticed the massive amount of new functionality we've added to Storyline 360 since its release, and please do keep an eye on what's coming next across the entire Articulate 360 suite.

Joseph Benton

I find it hard to believe that even you, Justin, aren't dismayed that your own peeves about Storyline; that after years some very basic improvements haven't been made while the focus is instead on new features.

I understand the need for Storyline to compete but it is clearly at the expense of not improving productivity. There are features that are already there but don't work the way they could in a way that would save time and hassle.

If you have ever had a customer ask for page numbers, then you would feel our pain. I have tried variables only to find that after so many times I use them on a new presentation from a template that they are jacked up. The only real solution? Use the built-in variables which aren't available in Storyline but are accessible in competing software.

And it's not just page number variables that would improve productivity. You must have some time-saving pet peeves that are going unappreciated, Justin. If you don't then you can't hear us and if you do then you must feel what we feel.

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