Text Entry Box Auto Focus

Feb 23, 2017

Hello, I want to ask if the problem in auto-focusing text entry box when slide starts is fixed? Or the problem is fixed in the new update of articulate storyline 2? I am using Articulate Storyline 2 and i want to auto focus the text entry box when the slide starts. Thank you. :)

32 Replies
Daniel Servan

Hi Wendy,

The Text Entry can be in the base timeline or in a layer for as long as the Text Entry must be loaded last or displayed last.  By the way, how do we call the objects on the Base Timeline? Is it a Sprites? What I really mean is put the Text Entry at the bottom of the Timeline either in the Base Timeline or in the Layer.


Laura Bluem

Using Storyline 3, the 3.4 release.

Similar to others here, I have a software data entry course that needs to assess that data entered in text fields is correct or incorrect - and I want to imitate the text entry focus as automatic instead of a click.

I've been trying this "Put the text entry at the bottom of the timeline" trick, with the the text entry box set at the top of the tab order. However, the text entry DOES NOT get the focus. If I hit tab once, THEN the focus goes to that field. 

If I do shift+tab, it goes back to the player controls.

Has any one else experienced this? Any work-arounds?

Alyssa Gomez

Thanks for bringing this up, Laura. 

We're seeing that the the player Next button is keeping the focus on the player for the next slide.  This means that learners will not be able to immediately start typing in a text entry field. Like you said, they have to hit the Tab key to bring the focus to the field. 

I'm investigating this behavior, and I'll keep you in the loop!  I haven't found a workaround for this yet, but if we uncover something, I'll let you know.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Terry,

I do not have an update on the issue shared here.

Here is some information on how we define bugs and how we tackle them when they occur.

We have it reported for both SL360 and SL3.

Alyssa's response right above yours explains what we're seeing, so be sure to let us know if you're running into something else.

David Price

Is there any update on this issue for SL360?  I have changed the tab order and nothing.  I have tried to work around and it works, however I can't have the entry box as the bottom layer as I have images there that will hide it.  I know I can put it on layers but this won't work for me as I have other layers that have to be open at the same time.  Its really annoying as it means my user has to click twice to get the text entry field to focus so you can type.

My text entry does sit inside a scrolling panel but the scroll panel has been removed from the tab order list.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi David,

The issue discussed here earlier where a text entry field doesn't have the focus at the start of the slide when learners navigate with the player buttons is still open for investigation. 

Here's some more detail about how we tackle bugs. I'm really sorry that I can't say when this issue will be fixed but you're in the right place to stay updated on this bug's progress. 

Kirby Phillips

The workaround that I've been using for years now (for having text entry boxes autofocus) is no longer working. I used to put images in the Slide master so that I could have the Text Entry field on the bottom layer of the slide's timeline, and this always worked...until this last Storyline update. This completely hoses some of the software simulations I've created over the years. I just republished one of my sims from 2 months ago that used this method (and worked fine) to see that the text entry autofocus no longer works. There's also nothing in the Tab order at all (so that's not the culprit). I've also tried just having the text entry and nothing else in the Tab order, and that didn't work either. I should also mention that this module does not use any of the Player features (no title, menu, page navigation, seekbar, etc). 

I saw that the last update (here on Jan 21) boasted about new accessibility/screen reader functionality, which I'm assuming is the culprit. Is anyone else experiencing this and have any work arounds to get text entries to auto focus?  I cannot have leaners click on the fields (it is a keyboard-only simulation that relies on certain key combos to get to certain form fields.)

Kirby Phillips

Here's the reply I got from Articulate:

I have tested it add replicated the issue on the latest Storyline 360 version 36, Build 3.36.21213.0. I’ve logged it as a possible software bug.

As a workaround, kindly re-install it on the previous version, Build 3.35.21017.0 (December 19, 2019). When previewed, the text entry box would allow to autofocus where user don't have to click on the text entry field to start typing.


And here's how to install previous versions:


Janet Chafey

Hi Kirby,

I used the JavaScript provided by Antje in this discussion and it works!

var inputs = document.querySelectorAll('.shown input[type=text][role=presentation]');
if(inputs.length) inputs[inputs.length-1].focus();
}, 90)


I put it in the trigger 'Execute Javascript when timeline starts on TextEntry'