Arbitrary timeline lengths: 179 seconds this time. WHY? Grrrr~~~~~

Hi, folks

This one is really, really starting to get on my pecs, let me tell ya.


This has happened in lots and lots of Storyline files so the request (from Support) to "Send the file in question so we can look into it" is simply not an adequate solution. This is NOT some freakish, isolated problem. It is an endemic issue that is really starting to do my head in.

Case in point...

I'm working on a lesson at the moment in which I would like the Base Layer to display for 8 seconds and then automatically show another layer over the top (when timeline ends).

However... EVERY SINGLE FREAKING TIME I paste some new object to ANY layer on the slide (Base Layer or otherwise), the timeline of that layer leaps to 179secs -- no matter what it was set to before and no matter what the timing of the object copied'n'pasted. 

Now, in the past I've had situations where I've copied an object from another layer and had the timeline expand. This makes sense when the object on the original slide was set to display for a longer period than the "receiving" slide. For example, an icon set to "show always" on a slide whose timeline is 87secs long will carry those settings across to another slide. So if the "receiving" slide's timeline is only, say, 20secs... then the timeline will jump to 87secs to accommodate. I get that. No problem.

But here's what I've done in this case:

  • Manually set the timeline of ALL Master Slides and Feedback Masters to 2secs
  • Manually set the timeline of ALL base layers on ALL slides to 8secs
  • Manually set the timeline of ALL layers on ALL slides to 2secs

This process was particularly tiresome given the awful, awful way that Storyline handles the adjustment of timeline lengths.

Yet... whenever I add a new object or copy and paste an object from another slide, the timeline immediately changes to 179secs -- as mentioned.

What can I do to stop this? I'm wasting a LOT of time here dragging dragging dragging the timeline over and over and over and over again.

If anyone can shed some insight, that would be greatly appreciated.



5 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Leslie,

I haven't seen this before in the forums or run across it in my own files, but if it's something your experiencing regularly having you submit a Support case is our best way to figure out what the "bug" is whether in a particular file or Storyline itself. 

Hopefully the community chimes in as well, but in the event that they haven't seen it, please feel free to share all of this with our Support team and they'll be able to work through what is happening and how to solve it. 


Alexei Hnatiw

Hi Leslie,

Strange one for sure, Would be hard to see without looking at the story file and the objects that you're inserting, which is why I imagine support have requested this...

It sounds as if the problem would occur in copying and pasting elements, as you mention some metadata is being dragged along with the object and the timeline is adjusted based on a perceived 'length' associated with this object. 

I'd be surprised if it was doing this when inserting the object anew as opposed to pasting it from other slides/layers/elsewhere in Stoyline unless this was audio/video/animation with an actual 'length'. What are you pasting and from where? Is this external to Storyline?


Daniel Brigham

Hi, Leslie: I don't have a real fix for you, but if you do have a 179-sec whopper of a timeline on your hands, start dragging it back to the left and then while you are doing so, click the left arrow key. Your timeline should snap back to close to the beginning (depending of course, what you've got on it). This was tip Hero Phil Mayor taught in a screenr. --Daniel