Tips on Using Triggers and Variables in eLearning

Updated: Apr 11, 2019


Triggers and variables are a powerful programming feature in Storyline that can allow your elearning to have more complex interactions than the built-in ones available. Here are some tips to make using these features easier when using them.

Make reference variables

Variables are normally invisible, hidden in the background of the program. However, if you want to see what a specific variable is doing, you can create a text box and type %variablename%, (where variablename is the name of your variable,) or select the variable you’d like to see from Reference in the Insert toolbar. This will pull up the list of all the variables currently in your course, select one and click OK to insert it into any selected text box.


This way, you can see the variable change in real time when you test the interaction, and know where to start looking to troubleshoot if it isn’t working.

Once you’re done testing and bug fixing, you could delete it when you’re ready to publish the final version, or just turn them invisible or move it out of frame if you feel like you may need to do more edits in the future.

Of course, you can use this to display any variable you want the learner to see, e.g. if the learner enters their name which will be populated into other parts of the module, or keeping track of a score, etc.

Naming timeline objects, layers, and variables

Often, when there are a lot of objects and layers involved in an interaction, it’s best practice to name these, or at least the ones that have a lot of triggers attached. It’s easy to get lost in which trigger is attached to which object, and which other object or variable it affects, or is activated with. So having everything clearly named makes things much easier when you have to link them up in specific ways.

So if you need help making complex interactions for your elearning, contact us today to see how we can add more feature-rich programming to your content!

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