Textbox different font color within variable

Aug 12, 2014

Hi all,

I just recently updated to Update 6. Something appears to have broken.

Previously, I could embed a variable in a text box, assign a different color to the variable, and it would display the variable value in the assigned color.

Now the variable font color remains white.

Any suggestions on how to fix this would be appreciated. The attached story file should demonstrate the issue.

Thanks in advance.


18 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Chris,

Thanks for sharing the file here. I took a look and saw the behavior on your slide, but could not tell where the variable was being adjusted - I added a new slide with a text entry variable on the slide, and the colors for that appear as normal.

I'd like to confirm that you're working on project files as described here:

  • Work on your local drive (your C: drive).Working on a network drive or a USB drive can cause erratic behavior, includingfile corruption, loss of audio, and other unexpected behavior.
  • You should also make sure the directory pathto your project files and your published output is less than 260 characters(for example C:\Articulate).
  • Avoid using special characters, accents orsymbols in your file names.
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Chris,

Sorry for the delay - and I appreciate the additional images here. I tested this again using Update 6 and Update 5, and based on your additional examples I was now able to replicate the behavior using Update 6. I've shared this with our QA team for additional review, but I do not have a time frame to offer in regards to a fix, so in the meantime I'd suggest to continue using update 5.

Once I have additional information to share I'll post it here.

Jennifer Murberg


In Storyline 2 there seems to be formatting issues when a font is set in a variable. It looks like the issue only appears in languages such as Japanese, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional). Please see attached Storyline file & publish for reference.


(The text on top is shows how the correct font "MS PGothic" should look.)

Any insight on how to fix this would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Jennifer,

That font looks a little pixelated even before showing the variable reference and  may be displaying oddly based on the % included which previously users had utilized to show the text in a crisper way. Have you tried in a few other fonts? I seem to remember the SimSun font being a good one for Chinese/Japanese characters. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Jennifer,

Sorry for any confusion - yes, the % sign is needed to reference the variable, but it does adjust the crispness of the text slightly and is something that other users have implemented (in terms of including a fake variable reference) to ensure there was consistent text across the slide(s) and using the variable in this case you can see the change to the text on the slide stage even prior to publishing.

I was not aware that SimSun was exclusively a Chinese font, based on some previous issues we had with Japanese and Storyline 1 where Windows was defaulting to SimSun, although it displayed fine in the published output. 

Looking at your slide again, with that font setting and text in English as a comparison it seems that the variable reference for English text and the same text outside of a variable reference also do no match - so it may be something specific to that font as well.  Previously we've recommended Arial MS Unicode as a font option for Japanese or Chinese characters. 

Laura Brunning

Hi, I'm also on SL1 Update 8 and I'm having the same issue - whole text box reverting to black text when a variable is in the sentence (although I'm convinced that I have had different font colours in the same text box as variables before).  I am about to submit a support case to go to a lower update version, but is this going to be looked at in a future update? My organisation has no plans to upgrade to SL2 any time soon.

I have used a work around of having the variable in a separate text box, and I have left a gap in the sentence in the first text box and put the variabletext box over the top (as suggested in a different post), but... as the variable text will change length depending on what the user inputs, it's very difficult to judge the gap I need to leave for it.  Really could do with being able to just change the font colour of it in the same text box.


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Laura, 

Yes, this is still an issue that exists in Storyline 1 Update 8. I don't have any additional information in regards to if it'll be fixed, so we'd suggest continuing to use the workaround in the meantime. 

If you'd like to connect with our Support team, please feel free to reach out to them here and I'll also be sure that this thread is included in the report we filed with our team so that if there is any additional information to share we'll be able to post here. 

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