Tab Highlighting / Focus order

Jun 10, 2022

This has been discussed previously but the posts are 7-10 years ago and I cannot find a solution. 

I am running the updated version from May 2022. 

I am creating a System Sims elearning programme which required the use of the Tab key to move to the next field, which in my case will show the next layer (or slide, I don't mind)

I want the user to press tab to start typing in a data entry field. No what matter I try, pressing tab in previewing kicks in the accessibility focus yellow box.  I have tried:

  • unchecking the Object is visible to accessibility tools for the text field. Make no difference. Text field still highlights pressing tab. 
  • Tried as many combinations playing around with focus order. Makes no difference.
  • Tried putting shapes in the top left hand corner to move the focus away. Makes no difference.
  • Switch to a classic player - an older system sim program we made does not suffer from this infliction, the only difference is that it uses classic player. Switching to classic player in my project, makes no difference.
  • I experimented with blank slides only, just one trigger, press tab to move to next slide. Player controls start highlighting - and so this started the cycle again that I tried above, which resulted in the a never ending circle of yellow highlighting tabs, and the user being unable to move to the next slide despite there being trigger.

I am out of ideas, and not sure how I to progress forward with a system that using tab on every other functions.

Suggestion / advice are greatly appreciated.

7 Replies
Elizabeth Young

Hi, sorry I'm not able to share it. But obviously you can recreate the yellow boxes just by pressing tab. I just want to get rid of it... But there is an update. 
In the previous storyline project where pressing tab did not highlight anything with yellow boxes at all; I attempted to recreate exactly the same classic player settings. This still didn't work. So I exported the player, and imported it into my project. Now pressing the tab doesn't start the yellow highlights. 
And I have no idea why. I wouldn't know how to see why an exported previously classic player file would work.  I can attach the export if you want to import it and see that pressing tab does nothing... 

Daniel Canaveral

Ok, I think I got something put together that checks off each of your requirements:

• Pressing the Tab key moves the learner onto the next layer

• Pressing the Tab key moves the learner from one data entry to another data entry field


The trick here was to ensure a custom focus order is in place that only cycles through the data entry fields and the DONE buttons...

custom focus order

...Why a DONE button? In order to take advantage of the when "User presses a key..." trigger, it requires something to be clicked first.  By incorporating a conditional button, and triggers noting those conditions, moving from slide to layer to layer is now possible. 


Let me know if that makes any sense 😅

Elizabeth Young

Thank you. What you're saying makes sense. Unfortunately, the issue is the yellow highlighting box, and even with a custom focus order, if you keep pressing tab, you'll start to get other areas of the player and the screen even into Edge (in my case).
I imported the old player that was used, so although I'm stuck using a classic player (not just selecting classic player in my current version, but actually importing an old one from a previous project), I can use the tab key to move to the next slide without using a done button and with no highlight anywhere. Though I would have been happy using a button, the software we are simulating is operated by keyboard only, mainly enter and tab. I'm assuming there is a change in the coding of the player XML file somewhere that either engages the use of tab  key as an accessible feature or disables it? Since I'm not going to  compare the codes line by line, and I'm sure it's changes a lot since my older project.. I'm happy with this 'solution'. For the future though, I'll bear the custom order in mind when clients are happy with the yellow highlighting boxes. It's not a bad feature, but I'm surprised the tab key is used for this, it would be good to have a choice of using a chosen key to help highlight where someone is if they get lost. I understand why it's the tab key, but unfortunately so many systems use the tab key for data entry, and clients may not want the yellow box at all because it doesn't appear in the real thing.
Thank though for taking the time to answer. 

Luciana Piazza

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Elizabeth, and Daniel for popping in to help. This Storyline feature (tab key for interactive navigation) is in alignment with accessibility tools.

The Tab key is commonly used for accessibility and reads the next focusable item (link, button) in screen readers:

I hope this helps!