Tabbing Order Highlight Not Working Correctly

We're still seeing an issue with the tabbing not working correctly - actually, it looks like just the focus highlight itself does not show initially.

I have a layer being launched from a hot spot on the main slide. The layer that appears has a Text Block and Close button to hide the layer. If you "tab" to the hot spot and hit enter, the layer appears. Hitting tab again visibly selects the Close button. If you shift tab, the text gets selected. (so the text was focused first but the highlight did not show) If you use your mouse to select the hot spot on the main slide, the popup layer appears but this time hitting tab highlights the focused text block. Both selection options and resulting behavior should be the same. Starting the sequence with the keyboard vs the mouse shouldn't affect the object highlight.

This failed a reviewer's 508 check because the keyboard focus highlight does not appear on the first object in focus.

12 Replies
Crystal Horn

Hi there, Bob.  Tell me a little more about your setup so I can test this behavior the right way!

  • How are you tabbing to a hotspot?
  • What do your layer properties look like?  Can you click on items on the base layer?
  • What does your tab order look like?

With your permission, I could also take a look at your project file to investigate what's happening. You can share it publicly here, or send it to me privately by uploading it here.  I'll delete it when I'm done troubleshooting. 

Bob O'Donnell

Not much to tell other than the tab highlight doesn't appear to be working properly.

I just published it to test  it out and it shows the same behavior as a preview. If you tab and select the first object the popup layer appears, however the first object on the layer (text block) should get highlighted next. It does not. Tab jumps you to the Close button. If you shift tab you can see the text block gets highlighted.

If for some reason you click the first object using your mouse and then use the tab key, the text on screen magically gets highlighted. The behavior is not consistent and it hurts my head as to why it would not work the same.

Published Test file is here:


  • Tabbing - Using the "Tab" key on keyboard
  • Properties - As far as I know the slide properties don't affect the tab order/highlight.
  • Tab order is set to the objects on screen in a logical order they are presented both for the base slide and the popup layers.

Have a look at the test file as well. Its attached. There's not much to it.


Bob O'Donnell

Update... So, I was partially wrong.... if you DO change the layer properties to allow the user to select the base slide that first object on the layer highlights! What a pain.

This is a bit of programming headache as we really didn't want the user to select anything on the base layer. I shot a note out to the programming team about it. Why in the world the layer properties affect that tab highlight is beyond me. It may help the programmers troubleshoot the issue though.

Leslie McKerchie

Thanks, Jon.

This is an issue that we have reported to our team.

I've added this conversation as we track user impact and so we can share any updates with you here.

We do have a few workarounds shared from other community members:

  1. Insert an object on the screen and then set the transparency to 0% and/or no fill. The object is placed over the location of the on-screen hyperlink. That is how we accomplished a tab-based application.
  2. The other option was to put links in the resources tab. This is the option that really seems to make the most sense, instead of a link in the text. State: Please refer to the resources tab for more information.
  3. Insert hyperlinks associated with individual text boxes vs. text.
  4. Add a trigger to Jump to URL when the user clicks the text box with the hyperlink.
Lauren Connelly

Hi everyone! 👋

Thank you to everyone who took the time to troubleshoot this issue with us where hyperlinks in a text box weren't activated when using the SPACE bar or Enter key.

I'm happy to report back with an update regarding tabbing to hyperlinks in Storyline 360!

We just shipped Storyline 360 (Build 3.47.23871.0) today, and you'll see that included in this release are many accessibility features. Learners can now tab to hyperlinks in text boxes and activate them by pressing the Enter key. 

Make sure to update Storyline 360 in your Articulate 360 desktop app to check out all bug fixes and features included in this update!