Tabbing to hyperlinks (accessibility) not working - Storyline 2

Aug 13, 2015

Hyperlinks are not showing up in the Tab Order dialogue, and I cannot tab to them when running a published course.

Are hyperlinks not officially supported as accessible content? The official documentation states that only Drag and Drops and Hotspot interactions are not keyboard-accessible ( But I'm at a loss to figure out how to navigate accessible content to get to a hyperlink and trigger its action (Show Layer).


26 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Kevin and Keith, 

Do you have a example that you've set up that isn't working as expected? To open the hyperlink you should tab to it and then use the enter or space bar key to trigger it and open, and since it's a hyperlink you'll need to open while testing within the intended publish environment as detailed here. 

Keith K.

Hi Ashley,

I've created a quick example. Even in Preview, there's no way via keyboard to get the yellow box around the hypertext or actually trigger its trigger. We have published content that is in the intended publish environment that is behaving in exactly the same manner.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Keith,

Thanks for sharing that sample here. It seems that you've set the hyperlink as a part of a larger text box, and as such that is what the tab key is highlighting, so yes there isn't a way to get to the individual text. I'd suggest look at using individual text boxes for when you need to hyperlink or using transparent shapes (like hotspots) over text so that the user can access those with the tab key. 

Keith K.

I think if this is considered intended behaviour, then the documention should be updated to list hyperlinks as non-keyboard accessible. We have already had to change our scripting process to remove drag and drops and hotspots, so it should be made clear that hyperlinks also do not support (and there are no plans to support) keyboard-enabled navigation.

Kevin Brake

Hyperlink Alternatives

Does not work: 

  • In our courses we first attempted to use the default hotspot within Storyline 2.  It did not appear in the tabbing order!

Does work: 

  • 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. 
  • 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.

Just sharing some ideas, while we wait for this issue to be corrected.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi all,

Thanks for sharing those additional workarounds too. I've reached out to our Quality Assurance team in regards to this issue to confirm if this is working as expected (in that the text within the box is hyperlinked, and therefore the accessibility tools can only highlight the text box) so that if it's not, they can investigate it further. Since I cannot offer a time frame in regards to an update from them or a potential fix, please continue to use those workarounds as mentioned. 

Once I have additional information to share, I'll post here for all subscribed and if it's determined to be working as expected we'll be able to have documentation updated as well. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Keith,

I don't have an update to share and unfortunately I don't have a timeframe in regards to when I'll hear back from our QA team. Since it was a behavior I was unsure about (in that you're tabbing to the correct element - the text box, and the link only exists on the text) I did reach out to our team, but I'd advise going forward with the workaround mentioned. 

Brian McSkane

Hi Ashley, any update?

Myself and my colleagues have just recently upgraded to Storyline 2 and when we open our old (Storyline 1) projects in the new software we noticed our old hotspots are no longer accessible. Having to do the workaround for all of this is a considerable amount of work for us.

Thanks, Brian.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Brian, 

Hotspots were never set up to be accessible as per the documentation here on Storyline 1 and Storyline 2.  So instead you'll want to look at using a transparent shape. 

The issue with hyperlinks is still with our QA team and I don't have any updates to share. If you have a sample Storyline 1 file where tabbing works as expected and then is broken in Storyline 2 I'm happy to include that as a part of the report.

Seth Merriam

bumping this post... I think this is still an issue in 360, yes? I can't access hyperlinks that are inside of text boxes. Above Ashley states that its because the hyperlink trigger is associated with the whole text box, but only the specific text of the hyperlink makes the item react when hovered over (i.e., the trigger specifies what text the link should work for, and only that text acts like a link/rollerover)... so is there some other way to access links with a keyboard only? I tried the tab key, and the arrow keys, and pressing L (in JAWS) and nothing worked. Does this mean links are still not accessible?

Ren Gomez

Hi Sam,

Sorry if the workarounds for the hyperlinks aren't helping you. I wonder if anyone who's used it in this discussion can provide a little more insight into their approach.

I do want to share some movement we've had with accessibility as a whole and would direct you to this discussion, where one of our product experts has detailed our commitments to improve features surrounding accessibility!

Lauren Connelly

Hi everyone! 👋

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!

Derek Ecklund

Greetings.  I am using Storyline 360 v3.51.24979.0    However, I am still  unable to get my hyperlink text to be selectable in the tab order. It appears to have been fixed? I have a later SL360 version(so thought it would be working), but I cannot tab to hyperlinks in text boxes and activate them by pressing the Enter key. Is this still an issue?

Leslie McKerchie

Hello Derek,

Thank you for letting us know that you're still experiencing an issue with this functionality.

Accessible text styles, including hyperlinks, must use the modern text feature to make your text styles accessible. Making this adjustment allows your content to work as expected.

Storyline 360: Accessible Text Styles