Storyline 2: Adding Data-Entry Fields

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Data-entry fields let you collect information from learners, which is stored in variables, can be adjusted with triggers, and displayed on any slide or layer in your course using references.

Adding Data-Entry Fields

  1. Go to the Insert tab on the ribbon and click Controls.
  2. Choose either Text-Entry Field or Numeric-Entry Field. Text-entry fields accept alphanumeric characters. Numeric-entry fields accept only numbers, decimals, and hyphens (for negative numbers).
  3. Click the slide to add the field, or click and drag to make the field a specific size. (You can always resize it later by dragging its sizing handles.)
  4. Customize the instruction text in the field.

When you create a data-entry field, Articulate Storyline automatically creates a variable to hold the data and a trigger to set the value of the variable to whatever the learner types in the field.

Renaming Data-Entry Fields

Storyline assigns a default name to each data-entry field, either Text Entry or Numeric Entry. We recommend giving fields recognizable names, so it's easier to select them when working with other Storyline features, like triggers and freeform interactions. Use either of these methods to rename a data-entry field:

  • Right-click it and select Rename.
  • Double-click it in the timeline to open its name for editing.

Renaming Data-Entry Variables

It's also helpful to rename the variable that's tied to each data-entry field. Here's how:

  1. Click the Manage project variables icon in the Triggers panel.
  2. Double-click the variable you want to rename, or select it and click Edit.
  3. Enter a new name and click OK.

Formatting Data-Entry Text

  1. Select the data-entry field on your slide.
  2. Go to the Home tab on the ribbon and use any of these formatting options:
    • Font
    • Font Size
    • Font Color
    • Horizontal Alignment (left, center, right)
    • Text Direction (left to right, right to left)

Tip: You can apply some additional formatting to the instruction text in the data-entry field—bold, italics, underline, highlight color, and even bullets. However, these formatting options won't apply to the data that learners enter in the field.

Formatting Data-Entry Fields

Select the data-entry field on your slide, go to the Format tab on the ribbon, then do any of the following:

  • Select a ready-made shape style.
  • Choose your own Shape FillShape Outline, and Shape Effect.
  • Click the arrow in the lower right corner of the Shape Styles group to open the Format Shape window.

The colors available on the Format tab are controlled by your theme colors.

Deleting Data-Entry Fields

To delete a data-entry field, select it and click the Delete key on your keyboard. When you delete a data-entry field, it's corresponding variable and trigger will also be deleted.

Using Variable References to Display Learners' Input

Since data-entry fields store learners' input in variables, you can display the values of those variables anywhere in your course. For example, let's say you use a text-entry field to ask learners for their names at the beginning of the course. You can then use variable references to personalize content with their names throughout the rest of the course. Just add a variable reference to any text box, caption, shape, or button.

Using Data-Entry Fields to Trigger Actions or Perform Calculations

Since the data that learners enter is stored in variables, you can use triggers and conditions to perform actions based on that data. And if you're using a numeric-entry field, you can even perform mathematical calculations on the value that is entered. See this tutorial to learn how.

Converting to Freeform Text-Entry Questions

You can convert a data-entry field into a freeform text-entry question if you want it to be part of a quiz. See this tutorial for details. (Note: Only one data-entry field on a slide can be evaluated as part of a freeform text-entry question.)

You Might Also Want to Explore:

Working with Variables
Adding Variable References
Adding Triggers
Freeform Text-Entry Questions