Issues With Variable References Since Update 12

Jan 24, 2018

I wanted to check whether anyone else has noticed any issues with the display of variable references since updating to the latest version of Storyline 360 - January 23, 2018 (Build 3.12.14533.0)?

I've found a couple of things that are creating issues in a few of my existing courses, listed below.

Issue 1: Font size of variable references shrinks instead of resizing the shape to fit the text, despite this option being selected.

SL360 Variable reference text shrinking

Issue 2: Long strings of text no longer wrap in the shape despite this option being checked. 

SL360 Variable reference text over running

Both issues suggest that the text boxes may be ignoring the parameters set by the user.

I attach a sample file below.

34 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi David,

Thanks for reaching out and sharing these two examples! I tested it in Storyline 360 Update 12 (the latest update) and compared that with two other baselines Storyline 3 Update 2 (which would be the same fixes as Storyline 360 Update 8) and Storyline 360 Update 9. 

With the text shrinking in example #1, that has been consistent across Storyline 3 and 360 (even back to Storyline 2).

  • This is based on variable references not updating dynamically.
  • Since you set the reference box to be a particular height and width, Storyline will keep that setting at publish. The box size is then defined, and the variable reference will shrink to fit inside of it.
  • If you are expecting there to be a larger section of text, you'd want to design a box that could accommodate that keeping in mind that text will shrink to fit. 

For the #2 example, where the text does not wrap, that seems to be a new issue in Update 12.

  • What I'm seeing is that if the text is one long line of letters (no spaces) the variable reference will display it on the same line and therefore outside the box and likely outside the player as a whole based on the placement. 
  • If the text is broken up by the usual spaces, the variable reference also does not wrap, but does shrink the text to all fit inside the box. It does become quite small, and depending on the amount of text is unreadable. 
  • This also only occurs when the variable reference box is one line in height and there are no spaces (If you include spaces in your text entry, and the box is larger than one line it'll wrap per normal and continue to shrink text to fit the box). 

I'll report #2 to my team, and we'll look into a fix for it. In the meantime, please look at using a larger variable reference box and reminding users to use proper spacing for their text entries (no run on of all the words together.) 

I'll let you know as soon as I have any other info or updates to share here. 

David Tait

Hi Ashley, thanks for your detailed reply.

Re: Example 1: The shrinking is a new behaviour to me which is why it stood out. Previously if a variable reference was larger than the container it overflowed like this example from a pre-update 12 course:

Storyline 360 Text Entry Field Overflow

My ideal solution would be for the container (text box) to resize accordingly, this way I could put it inside a scrolling pane to handle the overflow without having to give the text field containing the reference an enormous height to minimise the chance of shrinkage.

Another new example of shrinkage that has occured since update 12 is shown below.

Prior to update 12 my screen counter displayed like so:

Following the update it looks like this. Look closely and you'll just about see the text in the middle:

All that is contained within this text box is the following:


As always I appreciate your help.


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi David,

Could you share a copy of your file pre-Update 12 or even a link to the hosted course?

The shrinking isn't a new behavior as I mentioned variable references haven't ever been dynamic and adhere to the text box you've set it to display in. That dates back to Storyline 2, and I confirmed it in my tests in Storyline 3 Update 2 and Storyline 360 Update 9 (I skipped a couple updates apparently!). 

Could this be a text entry that you're using the variable reference in? I know you mentioned that set up in another discussion. 

If you have those links or files, that would help us track it down and determine what's going on. 🙂

Ted Nguyen

I am having the same problem with the last two updates.  Just referencing the variable onto the side.  It shrink to point of un-readable size.  It only work if I put the reference variable inside a shape object.  In ref2.png, you can see the variable on the slide but doesn't show when preview on ref.png

Ted Nguyen

HI Zsolt,

I never have this problem with the last 200+ courses I built.  All from SL1, SL2, and now 360.  I used variables in all my courses.  Since the last two 360 updates, I have noticed this strange behavior with variables. I removed the % from the variable and the text would show during preview. See attachment.

Ted Nguyen

Ok, I went back and drag out the text box after removing the reshape text. The variable show up during preview. I then enlarge the font to 40 points, preview no-show unless I drag the text box bigger.

This it is ideal to have to drag the text box every time you need to display variable. This is a software bug. I want to report this bug to my Case #01244637. Yet, my IT department will not allow me to go to the page to do so.

paul conway

I have a similar issue regarding the published text size when including a variable within the text.

Where a variable is used, the published variable and all the accompanying text is larger by approx. 2pts.

Using the current release of Storyline 3.

Anyone else encounter this or is it something I have missed?

Example: Multiple Choice.


Slide Preview

Published HTML 5


Ted Nguyen

Paul, I tested Alyssa's link just by clicking on it.  All the fonts are the same size for me.  I used  Google Chrome
Version 64.0.3282.167 (Official Build) (64-bit)

IE version 11.0.9600.18893 
Update Versions: 11.0.50 (KB4056568)

56.0.2 (64-bit)

You could try making the text boxes not to resize to fit text.  Good luck.

Crystal Horn

Hey everybody. I'm excited to let you know that we just released update 13 for Storyline 360! It includes new features and fixes - check them all out here.

One of the fixes addresses an issue where variable reference text wasn't wrapping properly.

Here’s how you can update Storyline 360 to take advantage of everything the latest release has to offer. Let me know how you make out!

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