Sometimes it’s helpful to change the focus order of your slide objects to improve keyboard navigation and make your course accessible to learners with screen readers. With Storyline 3, it’s easy to do.

Tab & Reading Order

The Focus Order window controls the tab order of interactive objects, such as buttons and markers, as well as the reading order for non-interactive objects, such as text and images.


Customizing the Focus Order

  1. Open the slide you want to customize in Slide View.
  2. Go to the Home tab on the Storyline ribbon and click Focus Order.
  3. When the Focus Order window opens, select the option to Create custom focus order in the upper left corner.
  4. To change the focus order of an object, select it and use the Up/Down arrows in the lower right corner to move it to a new location in the list. (Storyline will highlight the selected object on the slide with a red outline, so it’s clear which object you’re editing.)
  5. When you’re finished, click Save.


Removing Objects from the Focus Order

It’s a good idea to remove objects from the focus order altogether if they aren’t crucial to the context of the slide. For example, you might remove background design elements from the focus order so learners won’t have to repeatedly press the Tab key to advance to important elements, such as captions and text-entry fields.

To remove an object from the focus order, select it in the list and click the Remove button in the lower left corner of the window.

Removing an object from the focus order doesn’t delete it from the slide. It only hides it from keyboard navigation and screen readers.

Tip: To remove a slide master object from the custom focus order, you'll need to switch to Slide Master View (press F4). Right-click the object and choose Size and Position, then select the Accessibility tab and uncheck the visibility box.

Restoring Objects to the Focus Order

To restore an object to the focus order that you previously removed, click the Add button in the lower left corner of the window and select the object you want to restore.

To restore all objects at once, click the Add button and choose Add all objects back to focus order.

Resetting the Focus Order to Its Original State

Need to start over? Just mark the option to Use default focus order at the top of the window or click the Reset button at the bottom of the window. Here’s the difference between the two:

  • Use default focus order: This option resets your focus order and remembers your custom order in case you want to switch back.
  • Reset: This option resets your focus order but doesn’t remember your custom order.

Both options reset only the objects currently in the focus order list. They don’t restore objects that you previously removed. See Restoring Objects to the Focus Order.

Adding Alternate Text for Screen Readers

To add alternate text for screen readers, simply enter text in the Alternate Text column on the right side of the focus order window. (Another option is to use the Size and Position window. See this user guide for details.)

If an object doesn’t have alternate text, screen readers will read the name of that object as it appears in the timeline.

Screen readers won’t read objects that you’ve removed from the focus order.

Although slide master objects appear in the custom focus order window, you'll need to switch to Slide Master View (press F4) to set their alternate text. Right-click each object on the slide master, choose Size and Position, and select the Accessibility tab.