Add sidecars

Sidecar blocks are a combination of media and story narrative that fill the display, creating an immersive experience in your stories. Sidecars are made up of slides, and each slide has a stationary media panel and scrolling narrative content such as text, media, and maps. As readers scroll through a sidecar, the media panel changes to match the narrative panel content for each slide. With sidecars, you can also highlight map locations and data in the media panel through map choreography and map actions.

Add a sidecar to your story

Use the following steps to build a sidecar:

  1. Click the open button Open block palette to open the block palette.
  2. Select Sidecar.
  3. Choose a sidecar layout: Floating panel or Docked panel.

    A sidecar with one slide is added to the story.


    You can change the layout at any time in the authoring process by selecting Change layout from the Options menu in the slide panel.

  4. Add content to the media panel by clicking one of the available options:
    1. Add image or video—Upload or link to an image or video file. For more information, see What media file types and sizes are supported in ArcGIS StoryMaps.
    2. Add map—Choose a map from the map browser and configure it, or create an express map.
    3. Add embed—Enter a URL link or iFrame code. It is recommended that you also add an alternative image to the embed properties.

      The alternative image appears on smaller screens when there is not enough space to show the full, interactive embedded content.

  5. Add text, maps, and media to the narrative panel.
  6. Click the new slide button New slide in the slide panel to add a slide.

    A new slide is added to the sidecar after the currently selected slide.

  7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 to add more slides.

When the sidecar is complete, continue building the rest of the story by scrolling past the end of the sidecar. The slide panel and the rest of the sidecar will undock and scroll out of view.

Sidecar building tips

Consider the following when building a sidecar:

  • In the docked panel layout, click the Switch panel placement button to switch the media and narrative panels.
  • In the docked panel layout, click the Change panel size button to change the size of the panel to small, medium, or large.
  • In the floating panel layout, click the Panel appearance button to change the color, horizontal position, and size of the narrative panel.
  • Highlight different areas on a web map in the media panel by duplicating the slide and changing the map extent.
  • Sidecars are optimized for tablets and phones. On smaller screens, sidecar slides are stacked with the media panel at the top of the display and the narrative panel below.
  • When building a sidecar, a slide panel appears across the bottom of the display. You can use the slide panel to do the following:
    • Add and delete slides.
    • Duplicate slides.
    • Hide slides.
    • Add background audio.
    • Browse and move between slides.
    • Reorder slides.
    • Change the transition style between slides.

Add map actions


Adding map actions is a beta feature in ArcGIS StoryMaps. For more information about beta features, see Frequently asked questions.

Map actions are a useful storytelling tool that allow you to add simple interactive elements to your story to help your readers get more out of it.

Map actions are not available by default for ArcGIS StoryMaps in ArcGIS Enterprise. To enable map actions, the portal administrator must select Show beta features from Organization settings.

Use the following steps to add a map action:

  1. Add a web map or web scene to the media panel of a sidecar slide.
  2. Choose a button-styled or link-styled map action.
    1. For a button-styled map action, click the open button Open block palette in the narrative panel to open the block palette and select Map action.
    2. For a link-styled map action, highlight the text you want to control the action and click the map action button Map action from the text editing toolbar.
  3. Configure the map action button.
    1. For button-styled map actions, hover the pointer over the action button and click Edit on the toolbar to configure the map action that will occur when the button is clicked.

      If you do not configure the map view for a button, it defaults to an Initial map view reset button. When clicked, this reset button returns the map to the initial map view.

      For link-styled map actions, the map designer opens automatically when you click Map action on the text editing toolbar. This is where you configure the action.

    2. Label the map action button with a description of the map action.

A configured map action is added to the sidecar's narrative panel.


You can add more than one action button to a slide. Be sure to update the button labels so readers understand the actions the buttons perform.

Remove a sidecar from your story

Use the following steps to delete a sidecar and all of its slides:

  1. Click the delete button in the sidecar slide panel.
  2. Select Delete sidecar.

The sidecar is removed from the story.