Inserting videos that have a shorter duration that the timeline

I’ve noticed that when inserting a video (MP4 file) that it can be a challenge to get the video’s ending to line up with it’s actual duration. For example, if a timeline has 20 seconds of content on it, but I insert a video that is 6 seconds, the video consumes the entire 20 seconds. I know its 6 seconds, and I want it to no longer exist after that point. Otherwise, the final frame of the video just remains onscreen for the rest of the slide’s timeline.

The usual solution that has worked for me is to, right after inserting the video, right click on it in the timeline and uncheck “Show Until End.” This results in the tail (end) of the video getting truncated on the timeline and is now exactly as long as the video’s actual duration. 6 seconds, not 20. Nice!

But an issue comes up when one doesn’t do this right away after inserting video, such as inserting the video and moving it (in the timeline) below some other items. After this, if I right click and select “Show Until End”, the video’s duration doesn’t get truncated, and still matches the length of the timeline. Once I’m in this situation, I’m not ever able to get the video to truncate to its original length.

What I’m looking to avoid is the work-around solution, where you manually drag the tail of the video to where you want it. That’s really hard to do when a video is several minutes long.

How can I properly truncate a video on the timeline so that it ends exactly at the end of the video (regardless of where it is on the timeline)? Is it a bug or a missing feature that this isn’t an option, or is this something I just don’t know how to do?

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12 Replies
Leslie McKerchie

Hi Scott,

You are correct. The default when adding new objects is to 'Show Until End' so that the timeline will extend if needed for audio/video elements.

If you right click on your video in the timeline and use the 'Timing' option, you should be able to turn off the 'Show Until End' and it will adjust to ending when the duration is complete.

Here's an example of a 30-second video on a 56-second timeline and I added another object as you mentioned, but was able to adjust the timeline for the video to end when the video is complete.

Scott L

Hey Leslie, thanks for the reply and the helpful animation - that's great! That all makes sense, and matches what was working for me (but there's a "but").

It seems that the option for "Timing > Show until end of slide" is the same toggle (but different UI) as the "Show Until End" option. That's nice to know we can toggle this setting from multiple places.

So the process of changing the timing - if done right away - works. But... I'm finding that if I move the video object in the timeline (such as below other objects), its timing gets reset from the original video duration to the timeline's duration.

  1. Add a shape, and set its timeline to be longer than a video that you insert.
  2. Insert the video at the beginning. This appears above all other layers.
  3. If you adjust the timing of the video now, it will work well and the video's timeline truncates properly.
  4. But, if you move the video layer down below other layers, and then try to adjust the timing, the video's duration has been adjusted from its original runtime to a runtime that equals the current timeline's length.

This example matches #3. The duration is the video's original 6.18 seconds.Example 1

This example matches #4. The duration is now 18 seconds. This is the scenario that I've run into on projects of mine or of other clients, especially when there are several short videos on a single slide, strewn about the timeline, starting at different spots. Moving videos around, and then trying to truncate the excess time of the video's layer, doesn't seem to work.Example 2

I can see that a workaround might entail manually resetting a video's duration. But it would be convenient to not have to look ath up, and do that move.

Any other thoughts or suggestions? Thanks much!

Leslie McKerchie

Hey Scott,

Thanks for the additional details.

I followed the steps that you shared and have an additional question. After the duration of the video has been set, why would you change the timing again? It seems that this simply overrides your original setting.

Here are my thoughts in a quick Peek video.

If I wait until all the items are on the slide and layer them as needed, I'm still able to truncate the video to the correct length.

Again, I do see what you are seeing, but I'd like to understand the use-case as well to report the potential impact.

Thanks so much!

Scott L

Hi Leslie, you're awesome for making your Peek video!

I didn't see is how you first inserted the video and (if you) moved it below other objects on the timeline to try to replicate my conditions. I made a Peek video showing a success and a failure of truncating a video on the timeline.

The premise of the issue I'm raising is when somebody forgets to truncate the video immediately after insertion. That moment becomes the only opportunity to do so to take advantage of Storyline "knowing" the video's timing/duration. Afterward, one has to know the length of the video to reset its timing which is a bit cumbersome but not impossible. A person would either have to manually type in the video’s original runtime, or would have to drag the video’s tail to match its actual ending (hard to do, especially with very long videos).

  • Imagine a project where videos get edited a few times during development and you have to re-insert a new version (shorter or longer).
  • In some of my project’s cases, there may be up to 8 videos per slide, all along the timeline.
  • The timelines where me/my client have had this issue can be 5+ minutes long with many assets & videos.

My expectation (feature request?): that Storyline should be able to know a video’s duration, and allow easy resetting of its timing. It shouldn’t “forget” a video’s timing or require me to know or lookup the length of the video to reset it myself.

Going through this discussion, I certainly realize there is a “best practice” for inserting videos and truncating their ends immediately. But this isn’t always known or followed by people, and it's comforting to know that there is (or could be) a quick way to remedy a video's timing to make it its actual duration without knowing its length ourselves.


Leslie McKerchie

I apologize Scott. You are correct. It does not seem to be working 100% as you need and I do believe this is a hint of a bug vs. a feature request, but I've submitted this to our team on your behalf. 

This conversation has been attached so that we can pop in to update you here when we can.

I wanted to share some information on how we define bugs and how we tackle them when they occur.

Steven McCartney

This still isn't fixed?  I have a 2:37:13 video which is the only thing on the slide/timeline.  I've unchecked to show until end but the timeline continues after the end of the video when I preview it.  The course menu is restricted so the timeline needs to end exactly with the video so the user doesn't have to wait an additional minute (not sure how much it's actually adding) before they can click next.  We need tighter control over the timeline.

Joseph Francis

I've encountered the same problem; it seems to become more of an issue as the length of a video clip increases. I would like to know how Storyline calculates the displayed duration and how it takes frames-per-second (FPS) into account. For example, the number of frames in a 30-second clip can be:

  • 15 FPS - 450 frames
  • 24 FPS - 720 frames (traditional film)
  • 25 FPS - 750 frames (PAL, SECAM)
  • 30 FPS - 900 frames (NTSC)
  • 60 FPS - 1,800 frames

The timeline in Storyline's video editor is largely useless, IMHO, as it completely ignores 25+ years of digital video editor convention (which was based on decades of analog video editor convention). Below 1 second, the number of frames is displayed, not 1/10's, 1/100's or (inexplicably) 1/1000's of a second.

It reminds me of multiple "conversations" I had as a Value-Added Reseller with Adobe, Apple, and Radius engineers in the early 90s. While Radius "got it," Adobe could not seem to grasp the concept of a 29.97 NTSC frame-rate (the 3/100 of a second needed for the black-burst/video sync/gen lock signal), insisting 30 FPS was exactly the same as 29.97 FPS. It wasn't until version 5 of Premiere that Adobe FINALLY acknowledged 29.97 FPS and could officially state Premiere was, in fact, "broadcast quality."

Francisco Ibanez-Carrasco

Hello Joseph, many thanks for this. However, I am not such an advanced user, and I have wrestled with this issue for two days. do you know of anyone or service where I can send it and it can be repaired? 

I tried to save as video to see if i cut cut the end that way, but I think it is taking way too long and it will not happen.