Using <Tab> as a submit key in a 'Text entry interaction'

Jul 24, 2014

Hi All,

I have a little challenge. In our courses we use a lot of 'Text entry interactions'.

Users should be able to submit the input by the <Enter> and the <Tab> key and by the submit button.

No problem so far, but when users do use the tab key a yellow rectangle appears.

- When the answer is incorrect the rectangle will appear around the Feedback caption.

- When the answer is correct and quiz proceeds to the next slide, the rectangle can appear anywhere.

Does anyone recognizes this problem and knows what the solution to it might be?

All input is appreciated!

Kind regards,


55 Replies
Gayle Monroe

While the article above is good information and a very good video tutorial, it doesn't answer the original question of how do I use the tab key to submit a text entry interaction.

I'm having the same issue. I'd like the user to press the tab key after entering text in a text entry field because it simulates what the user would do when actually using the software. But, even after disabling the accessibility for the on screen elements, the tab key still moves to every other available element in the player, such as the volume control, scroll bar, resources button.

If anyone knows exactly how to use the tab key to submit a text entry interaction, please enlighten us. I'll keep searching. It can be done in Captivate, so I'm thinking it can somehow be managed in Storyline as well.


Emily Ruby

Hello Gayle,

You could set up a trigger to submit the interaction when user presses a key, and add the tab key in. This will submit the interaction, however the text entry is set to equal the typed value when control loses focus, so there may need to be another click to get this to happen. The tab key can then still be used to move around the objects on the screen as designed. If you did not want these items to be shown using the ta key, you will need to follow the steps in the tutorial to remove the accessibility.

i am sure if others have found a way to accomplish this, they will jump in with ideas.

Paul DeHorn

Hello All,

I applied a Tab key trigger to the Numeric Entry interaction directly, not at the slide level, and this seems to work.

I'm creating a software simulation where the user enters a number into a field and then presses Tab to "enter" the value and move to the next field. This is how the software works and how the users are supposed to use the software, so I must use the Tab key (not a mouse click to move from field to field after entry.)

I originally set a slide level trigger for the Tab key to jump to the next slide. My issue was when I pressed Tab the accessibility items on the Player (I disabled accessibility on all my slide objects using the Alt Text feature) were highlighted in sequence (TOC, volume, prev, next) as I pressed Tab until it returned to the slide and then the trigger launched. But this only happened if I entered numbers in the the number box. If I just pressed Tab first, before entering number, the trigger worked and I moved to the next slide as expected - baffled.

After much troubleshooting (and reading other's E-Learning Hero's blog entries on the yellow highlight accessibility issue), I finally tried applying the trigger directly to the Numeric Entry. Now when I enter the number and press Tab, the trigger works and I'm not sent on the accessibility yellow highlight loop - thank God.

I hope this makes sense and helps someone else. :)

Leslie McKerchie

Hey Jes!

This thread is a bit dated and I'm not sure if Paul is still subscribed here. You are certainly welcome to reach out to the user directly via the 'Contact Me' option on the user profile if you do not hear back soon.

I cannot speak on his behalf of course, but it seems that he is speaking about adding it via the Form View of the Numeric Graded Question. This image should assist:

I hope that helps or that Paul will chime in to clarify :)

Paul DeHorn

Hello Jes,

With the numeric entry object selected I create a new trigger. See the attached image that shows how I set the Trigger Wizard. I also add a condition to check if the user typed the correct number. I use a second trigger with a "not equal to" condition that displays an "incorrect" feedback layer when the user types something other than the correct number. I hope this helps.

- Paul

Jessica Feltman

I'm still having difficulty with the tab key and the assignment yellow box that pops up instead. I'm missing something here. Check out the video and screenshot if you wouldn't mind. (I didn't change the wording on the screen yet but I want to change the trigger from enter to the tab key.) 

Paul DeHorn

I can confirm both of Wendy's responses. You must remove objects from the Tab Order (you can also individually de-select objects from the tab order by selecting Format>Size and Position>Alt Text and unchecking the "Object is visible to accessibility tools" option.) And unfortunately, it's not possible to take the Player elements out of the tab order. But I've found that once I remove the objects for the tab order the "tab" action does not jump out to the Player.



Sze Wai Dreger

Hi All,

I've been updating a course today that was originally created in Storyline 2.  I have a slide where the user must enter text in a text entry field and press the tab key to transition to the next slide.  When I created this course in SL2, I had the trigger that Paul described above.  Jump to next slide when the user presses the tab key.  This trigger is on the text entry field and the tab order has been cleared.  This worked perfectly... until today.

I'm now using SL360 and when I tab, the yellow highlighted box goes to all the player elements.  After much trial and error, I decided to ignore the SL2 fix and use the tabbing order to my advantage.  I added the text entry field back to the tab order and also added a highlight box to the second tab order spot.  The highlight box is highlighting the text entry field.  So when the user presses tab, they will be going from the text entry field to the highlight box. 

Since jump to slide when user presses the tab key didn't work for me, I changed the trigger on the text entry field to jump to next slide when the text entry field loses focus.  When the user tabs from the text entry field to the highlight box, the text entry field loses focus.

Tab to navigate now works perfectly!

Screenshots of tab order and trigger are attached.


Ed Crane

I had this working in Storyline 2 and it broke in 360. I would define this as a bug, or at least a missing feature. Unfortunately I may have "cleaned up" the SL2 file and can't find it, so don't remember exactly how I got it to work (probably one of the fixes above). 

So just created a question slide with one Text Entry box. In the Form View of this slide, I have the Field to evaluate: set to Text Entry and the Submit Keys: set to Tab (by clicking inside the box and pressing the Tab key). So Tab is accepted as a submit key, and it works as one...but only after cycling through the Submit button, Menu, Resources, Volume button etc. on the player. Seems that this negates it from being used to submit an interaction...unless I'm missing something. I think it would be a good additional feature to add the ability to turn off the link between the Tab key and the Player features and controls.

As a workaround I'll try Nancy's solution.


Ed Crane

I found a solution for my scenario, which I think might be a bit different from Nancy's as I used a Fill in the Blank question slide and a simulation in Try mode. This requires the submitting of an interaction, which then moves you to the next slide, so you won't need those triggers. I've attached the SL file if you're interested. 

You need to have the text entry at the beginning of the tab order and 'submit interaction when control loses focus' from that entry box. Hope this is helpful. 

This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.