Storyline 2: How to Customize the Invalid Answer Message

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If learners try to submit a question without answering it, they'll see an Invalid Answer message prompt.

You can modify the text and coloring of this prompt, or create your own custom prompt. Here's how:

Modifying the Default Prompt

To simply change the text and coloring of the built-in Invalid Answer message:

  1. Go to the Home tab on the Articulate Storyline ribbon and click Player.
  2. When the Player Properties window appears, click Text Labels on the ribbon.
  3. Modify the Custom Text for items 21 (InvalidAnswer) and 22 (InvalidAnswerText).
  4. Click Colors & Effects on the ribbon.
  5. Click Show advanced color editing, then change the Editor and Notification Window colors.
  6. When you're finished, click OK to close Player Properties.

Creating a Custom Prompt

You can create your own custom Invalid Answer message by adding a layer and some triggers to your question slide.

Tip: This method works best with question types where answer choices have Selected states (radio buttons, check boxes, pictures, characters, etc.), but it can also be made to work with text-entry questions and drag-and-drop scenarios. It won't work for matching, drop-down, or hotspot questions.

  1. Add a layer to your question slide and give it a recognizable name. 
  2. Customize the layer with "invalid answer" text and other objects.
  3. Add a button to the layer that hides the layer when it's clicked.
  4. Return to the base layer of your question slide.
  5. Add a trigger to show the custom layer when learners click the Submit button on the condition that all answer choices are still in their Normal state (i.e., none of the answers have been selected).
    • If you're working with a question that requires the learner to enter text, the condition would be that the text-entry variable is blank.
    • For drag-and-drop questions, you'll need to add a custom state to each drag item (even if the custom state is simply a duplicate of the Normal state), then add a trigger that changes the state of each drag item to its custom state when it's dropped on a target.
  6. Edit the default Submit interaction trigger so it works only on the condition that at least one answer choice is in a Selected state.
    • If you're working with a question that requies the learner to enter text, the condition would be that the text-entry variable is not blank.
    • For drag-and-drop questions, the condition would be that at least one drag item is in its custom state.
  7. Move the default Submit interaction trigger down, so it's the last player trigger in the Triggers panel.

Tip: To save time, you can copy your custom layer and paste it to other question slides. You can also copy and paste your triggers to other slides, but you'll need to modify their parameters to fit the contents of each specific slide.