Tab Order: Storyline skipping first object on non-base layers?

May 02, 2019

I'm using Storyline 360 v3.26.18601.0 and am having a problem with the tab order.

It appears that when I open a layer from the base layer and hit the tab key, I do not go to the first object listed in my Tab Order panel for that new layer. Instead, Storyline skips the first thing listed in the tab order and goes to the second object in the list. I then have to tab through the entire rest of the page before I am cycled back, finally, to that first object.

Of course, this completely messes up the learner experience since I get to the Next or Continue button before I get to the main content on the page.

Here is a concrete example:

Main Storyline edit screen:

Storyline Edit screen, full

This is a screen from an emergency management course in a module on responding to an earthquake. It consists of a base layer called Drop Cover and Hold On and three feedback layers, one for each of the highlighted regions on the slide. Two are incorrect feedback layers (No: Boxes and No: Bottles) and one is the correct feedback layer (Yes: Good Choice).

Slide Layers

The idea is the learner clicks one of the highlighted regions, and in response, a trigger shows the feedback layer associated with that choice. If the learner clicks the correct place to drop, cover, and hold on, then the Yes: Good Choice layer displays:

Yes: Good Choice layer

This layer is set to Prevent the user from clicking on the base layer in its properties panel:

Layer Properties

This prevents objects on the base layer from being tabbed to while the learner is on this layer. Also, every object on this layer is hidden from the accessibility tools except for the feedback text box and the Continue button.

Here's my Tab Order panel for this slide:

Tab Order Panel

Here's a Peek video screencast of me trying to navigate through this page using the keyboard only (i.e., navigating with the Tab key and selecting with the Enter key):

Peek video of how this page behaves

The little teeter-totter video clip (meant to suggest the earthquake) at the start of the page  in question didn't get captured too well by Peek, but otherwise the video shows the tab behavior quite well. Why does it skip the feedback text box?

Is anyone else experiencing this or am doing something wrong?





48 Replies
Vincent Scoma

Hi Michael and Nicole,

Happy to see your excitement about the accessibility improvements we are working on!

For Storyline 3, we are working on accessibility enhancements as well, and promise to share the news here as soon as they’re ready! 

In regards to the tab order bug, this is now addressed with the latest release of Storyline 360. This article provides more details on how slide navigation has been updated in Update 36 for Storyline 360Storyline 360: Slide Content Is More Accessible

Lauren Connelly

Hi everyone!

You'll want to check out the latest version of Storyline 3 that we released today!

In Storyline 3 (Build 3.10.22406.0), you'll see a fix for the bug where the feedback Layer wouldn't follow the Tab Order specified and the first item wasn't highlighted. You'll need to download the latest version of Storyline 3 to see all the accessibility enhancements included in this update.

Here's a complete list of the release notes!

Lauren Connelly

Hi John!

The bug where the first object wasn't highlighted by the focus rectangle was released in Update 36 (Build 3.36.21213.0). We are currently on Storyline 360 (Build 3.54.25674.0). Which version of Storyline are you using?

If you have a file that you can share, that would be helpful too! You can attach it to this discussion or upload the .story file privately in a support case.

Sasha Malone

Hi Phil, I understand the purpose of that function but the problem isn't to do with the base layer. 

If I have that function turned on my screen reader (NVDA latest version) will skip the first line or item on the layer.  For example if I have a heading 2 saying 'That's Right' as the first item, it will skip that line.  If I turn the 'Prevent user from clicking on the base layer' function off, it will read the first line on the layer as expected.  I want to be able to turn on that function and for NVDA to read all the content on that layer.  

Ashutosh Kapure

It appears that when I open a layer from the base layer and hit the tab key, I do not go to the first object listed in my Tab Order panel for that new layer. Instead, Storyline skips the first thing listed in the tab order and goes to the second object in the list. I then have to tab through the entire rest of the page before I am cycled back, finally, to that first object.


This issue is not yet fixed, any suggestions ?


Lauren Connelly

Hello Ashutosh!

I'm happy to help! The Tab key is used to move to interactive objects like buttons, hotspots, text entry fields, etc. You'll use the up/down arrow keys to move to objects like text boxes. If the first item in the Tab Order is a text box then you'll need to use the down arrow first rather than the Tab key. Can you give that a try and let me know if the first object is skipped when using the down arrow key?

Kevin Nolty

I'm having similar issues in using JAWS and hoping someone can help. I am using Storyline 360 and the Modern Feedback layers (Incorrect and Correct) for a quiz. When a user gets the question wrong (or correct) they are taken to the appropriate feedback layer. When the user tries to select TAB to go to the CONTINUE button, the TAB takes them directly to the "Skip  Navigation..." link and not the CONTINUE button. I have to select CTRL+TAB to get to the CONTINUE button. I'm assuming the Feedback Layer is not in focus, but I can't seem to correct help. I appreciate any help you can provide.

Screenshot of Incorrect feedback Layer

Kuriko A

Hi Kevin, I just wanted to check in to see if your issue was fixed by John? 

I’m using the latest version of Storyline 360 and am finding that the issue originally reported by Ray 4 years ago still exists. Actually, in my Storyline file, NVDA skips over not only the first object on the layer, but the first 2 objects on the layer. These objects are only accessible by pressing the Up arrow on the keyboard. And obviously, accessing the content in reverse order is not conducive to effective learning.

Keen to hear what you and other users are currently experiencing, and if you’ve been able to publish accessible courses using layers?

Hannah Ramsey

Hi Jose,

    I wanted to check and see if this bug has been resolved? I am using Storyline version 3.82.31354.0 and am experiencing the same issue detailed in Ray's initial post, using NVDA (and JAWS), as Kuriko shared. In accessibility testing, I discovered that when advancing through layers, at each new layer the tab order directs the screen reader two items ahead, completely skipping the first two items, forcing the user to tab through everything in reverse order to get to the newly revealed information. 



Jose Tansengco

Hello Hannah, 

Happy to help!

I can confirm that we are still looking into the issue that I mentioned in my previous post. Our apologies for any inconvenience this bug may have caused. If you'd like to share a copy of your project file here or in private by opening a case with our support team here, we'll be glad to check if we have any available workarounds that we could share with you!