Once you start developing e-learning courses, it doesn’t take long to learn that certain parts chew up your dev time and leave you wishing you could speed things up. One such activity is syncing animations with your audio. Here are a few tips to help you quickly sync your animations with the audio in Articulate Storyline.  

Let’s start by focusing on the timeline. You may not have realized it, but Storyline gives you the ability to add something called cue points to your timeline. Cue points are visual indicators (“cues”) for when you want something to happen, and using them is a big time-saver. Let’s look at an example.

Adding Cue Points in Storyline

Say you have a bulleted list and you want each bullet point to animate at a certain point while the audio is playing. First, we’ll add cue points to our timeline, which show us when we want the bullets to appear. Adding a cue point in Storyline is really easy. All you have to do is drag the playhead in the timeline to the location where you want a cue point and then press the “C” key on your keyboard. Now, to sync the cue points with our audio, we’ll take advantage of a great time-saving feature: the ability to add cue points while previewing the audio in the timeline.

To do so, we simply press the Play button in the timeline (see image below) and then, while the audio plays, we press the “C” key whenever we want a cue point to appear.

As you add cue points, they will have a numeric indicator that will increment higher with each successive cue point that you add (see image below). This is a great way to help keep track of cue points—especially if you’re adding a lot of them to the timeline.

Aligning Elements to Cue Points in Storyline

Our next step is to align the timeline starting point of our text items so that they appear (pardon the expression) right on cue. To do so, we have two options. Our first approach is to drag the starting point of each item to the associated cue point. As you do so, the starting point will not only snap to the increments on the top of the timeline, but also to the cue points as you cross their path. This feature makes it really easy to get crisp, precise placement of your audio.

The second approach is to align the items to the cue points using the Align to Cue Point option. Simply right-click, say, Item 1, and then choose Align to Cue Point>Cue Point 1.

This will automatically align your timeline item with that cue point. Then, you can use this method to swiftly align the timeline items to their associated cue points.

By taking advantage of cue points in the timeline, you can very quickly get your slide items synced with your audio and save precious development time.

If you’d like to try out these cool cue points but don’t have Articulate software, go ahead and download a free 30-day trial. And don’t forget to come back to E-learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. Questions? Comments? Please share them below!