Text Entry Boxes and Accessibility

Dec 18, 2019


We have been testing some of our content with a JAWS screen reader and we noticed that when the screen reader encounters a text entry box nothing happens. This is no indication that it is a text entry box or what to do. Even if I add ALT text this is not read out. I am right in assuming that text entry boxes in Storyline 360 are not accessible? If so, are there any plans to fix this?

17 Replies
Leslie McKerchie

Hi William,

Thanks for reaching out and sharing what you are running into. 

I just did a quick test and my text box is being read by JAWS. Here is a link.

Can you share a bit more information about your:

  • version of Storyline 360
  • version of JAWS
  • browser where you are experiencing this issue

I'd be happy to take another look.

Katie Riggio

Hi there, Shannon!

Issue Summary

In Storyline 360 and Storyline 3, JAWS does not read the alternate text for a text entry field. Instead, JAWS will announce the placeholder text.

In the sample below, JAWS will not read "cherries and ice cream" and read, "type your text here."


This is still an open bug, and we'll update this discussion of any changes. 

However, it sounds like you could be running into something else. What screen reader are you using? Also, is the tool reading the text entry field's placeholder text or nothing at all?

Katie Riggio

Hi Virgil,

Thanks for checking in, and I'm sorry you came across this bug.

We're still monitoring its impact, where I've shared your voice in our report. We'll keep this discussion updated on any changes!

This idea from a community member is the only workaround we know of right now. This approach should let the learner know that they'll need to enter text in the entry field.

Let me know if there's anything else I can do. I'm happy to help!

Lauren Connelly

Hi Micaela!

Great question! A screen reader will first read the text in the Text Entry field. If you have the variable located on another slide that it will read the text that was typed into the Text Entry Field. You won't hear the variable unless that's what you typed in place of "Type your text here."

Karin Carlson

On a related note, I have an entry box for a number.  Long instructions won’t fit in the field. Also, once you type in the field, the placeholder text doesn’t read anymore (so, if you were to go back to the field to edit it, you wouldn't know which field you are in). And putting instructions just before the field, which is the workaround mentioned above, does nothing if the user tabs between fields -- unless they are using arrow keys to move through pages, they'd never hear it.  There doesn't seem to be an option anywhere to add a label (!) which is what we'd typically do on a website. Storyline -- PLEASE make alt text work in fields!!!! Right now, accessibility and usability is TANKED without it.

Steven Walsh

Is it just me? I cannot successfully use a numeric input field with JAWS.

I’m using the latest SL 360, JAWS, and Chrome.

We have a series of questions where the student is asked to input a number based on the question and a chart. The Focus Order is correct. With JAWS on, when I enter a page with an input field, the focus skips everything before the input field and snaps into it. The down and up keys do not allow me to access the question or chart.

Is this a bug? Please let me know.

I have included a test story file.

Lauren Connelly

Hi Steven!

Thanks for reaching out! I'm happy to help.

I've noticed the same in your project. I found a simpler solution by using a Numeric Graded Question and customizing the Feedback Layers. This way, the learner can move through the Feedback Layers to see if the question was answered correctly or incorrectly. I've also tested this with NVDA, and it worked perfectly. I'll attach the updated file here. Let me know if you have any questions!