Pause Layer timeline

Jul 19, 2012

Hi community,

I try to find a solution how to pause a layer in a slide.

I created my own navigation on the master slide with previous, next and pause/play.

The pause button has a trigger that shows the "play" layer (this is in the master slide too).

This play layer holds a button which hides this layer.

So this works very well for the base layer. But when using more layer on my normal slide, the pause layer hides all other layers instead of pausing them.

So I tried to add the same funcitonality in the feedback master for having a master for my layers. but unfortunately, this doesn't work.

Do you have any ideas?



33 Replies
Geert De Rycke

Hi All,

Mine works, here's what I did

On the master slide, I added  a pauze layer.

In the properties winidow of the pauze layer, all but the 'pause timeline of base layer' is ticked

I added two buttons to the master slide too  (pause & resume)

When you click pauze, the pauze layer is shown (show layer when user clicks...)

When you click resume the pauze layer is hidden (hide layer when user click)

I guess the trick is in the properties of your pauze layer



Dennis Hall

Hi all:

I have a solution to this that will automatically pause the main timeline for you even when you use animations and such. It can automatically pause movies as well.

In my scenario, I have a 5 second long base layer with a zoom region that is 2 seconds long in the middle of the timeline (starting at 1 second and ending at 4 seconds). I have a layer added with a Play button on it. The play button trigger is Hide this layer.

I inserted an empty png file to use as my trigger object, set the start and end of the png file to 2 seconds and 2.25 seconds respectively, then added a trigger to it as follows:

Action: Show Layer

Layer: Play

When: Timeline starts

Oject: empty.png

Play layer properties have only the following settings done:

Allow seeking: no (this will not display the layers scrub)

Pause timeline of base layer (this will pause movies, animations, etc).

I've included this jpg file to help demostrate this. Note the triggers and layers.

As an added bonus...

If you copy and paste the Empty.jpg object in the timeline, you can pause and play teh slide anywhere and as many times as you like using the play layer button to resume it. I just placed this object at the 1 second, 2 second, and 4 second times on the timeline and it works perfectly allowing me to pause teh main timeline 3 times in the five seconds.

I've attached an example storytemplate.

Dennis Hall

Hi SinchuRaj:

I've attached a story example that automatically jumps you to layer 1 while pausing teh base layer, then you click an object to jump to layer 2, then you click another object to return to the base layer.

The trigger of the object is what pauses the slide layer until the user clicks. You can use the empty image file to do the same thing in the layers, however, you will need a user action to advance the timeline.

Hope this helps.

nai p.

Hi Dennis,

Thank you for your tips. They are very useful.  But I also have projects that I put several layers in the same slide, and each layer has its own presentation, which I would love to give the ability to the viewer to pause.  Do you know if  there is any way that we can pause the timeline of the LAYER in addition to the Base timeline?

Thank you!


Wendy LaPlaca

What I've done is add a layer to my Slide Master called Pause. On that layer, I changed the settings to "Pause timeline of base layer". I also changed Allow Seeking to "no".

I added a trigger on the layer that if the user presses the spacebar, the layer will be hidden. Back on the Slide Master main slide, I added a trigger to show the Pause layer when the spacebar was pressed.

Note: I didn't add a Pause layer to any individual slides outside of the Slide Master.

It seems to work like a champ. I have a slide within my course that shows a layer when the user presses pause, and the settings on the master do not seem to affect it. I think a trigger at the slide level supersedes the one on the Master.

I used the spacebar because so many web videos pause if you press space, so it seemed the natural selection.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Eric! Everyone is posting/sharing their various solutions for their specific needs. There is not a standard feature that does this, but if this is something that you would like, then you could submit that as a feature request.  If you are still searching for a solution for your situation, please share what you are trying to accomplish/having difficulty with and hopefully someone can assist you with some brainstorming and solution ideas. There is also another thread here with some helpful links as well.

David Sensenig

Eric, the answer appears to be that there is no way to pause layers other than the base layer. I have submitted a feature request for this.

I'd also like to see a way to access a variable linked to the timeline (i.e., tell the playhead to go to a certain point on the timeline, or read a value that tells at what point on the timeline the user is). Perhaps if enough people request it we'll see features that provide more manipulation of the timeline. 

Dustin Norwood

After searching and searching on these forums with no luck, I think I finally found a workaround that works for my project and may work for yours as well.  It's a little bit of a pain, but it works if you have audio or other objects on a layer don't want to use the seekbar to pause..

1. Insert a play and pause button to show and hide a pause layer that pauses the main timeline per the methods outlined in other forums.

2. Make a copy of those buttons and layer them exactly over the  original play and pause buttons.  Adjust the timing and timeline position so that they are lined up completely with the object that triggers the slide layer (in my case hot spots trigger additional layers).

3. Make sure to update the triggers on the copied buttons so that they are not referring to the original buttons.

4. Add a trigger on the copied pause button that hides your layer and a trigger on the copied play button that shows your layer.

5. Set the layer properties to the following: enable "Hide other slide layers," Allow seeking "no," enable "Pause timeline of base layer," and When revisiting should be "resume saved state."

Basically you are creating an additional fake set of buttons that hide/show your layer and also show/hide the pause layer.  When you hit play you are returning to the saved state of the layer so the timeline picks up where it left off when the user clicks play.  The main timeline never plays since the both layers (the original layer and pause layer) both pause the main timeline.

Sorry, I know that's very convoluted, but it was the only thing that worked for me since the seekbar was not an option.

Dustin Norwood

OK, so here's a possibility.  Follow the process I outlined above, but instead create a unique pause layer that has all of the objects of the original layer.  That way you can use the pause trick above, and it would appear that you are still on the current layer.  Just make sure you show and hide the unique pause layer instead of the generic one (which will still be used to pause the base layer).  Of course, this would only work with objects that are displayed the entire time on the layer.

Kevin Hart

I've tried a ton of work-arounds on this one.  Gave it another shot tonight.  To no avail.  Like Dustin said in his last comment, duplicating the layer and thus "Pausing" it works if the entire layer is static.  If your layer has animations or variable changes, it won't work.  

I was working on an animated infographic as a course intro.  I realized I had a few choices.  I could build it and record it and put it in as a video.  But the size of file it would take to keep the quality of the video as good as a slide build was too big. (I'll also fully admit that there's probably a way around that but my video skills and research into those options is lacking).   Or I could build it as a series of slides but not have any background music.   Or I could build it as a slide with layers and have background music but no pause.  I opted for the latter.  Personally, I think music is crucial for infographic animations.  

I did did give the user the option to replay.  But a pause would be nicer.  

Stephan Sinka

Dennis Hall said:

If you copy and paste the Empty.jpg object in the timeline, you can pause and play the slide anywhere......

The same Idea  will work with any "Off Screen" object instead of the empty J-Peg. ( just drag a small object out of the participants view- off of the main frame). Whenever it appears in your timeline it can be set to trigger your 'pause' layer to show.

  • Add a shape and move it off the slide into the grey area of the screen
  • Adjust the starting point of this shape by dragging it to the right within the timeline
  • Create a new layer and add your additional information to it, and also a way of closing the layer
  • Create a trigger that shows the layer when the timeline of the shape starts
  • In the layer properties make sure your layer pauses the timeline of the base layer

So bottom line is we can pause the Slide Base easily, but not any layer ( at least not while you are on it-)
i.e. I've placed a trigger on layer A that moves you to layer B and layer A pauses while you are away, provided you have enabled  "When revisiting Resume saved state" on the layer properties, meaning Storyline will pause the layer (save the state) when you leave it only until you return and then the timeline starts immediately!

It would be great to specify where to resume in the timeline upon return ( I'll add it to the feature request) but I think other more pressing features are needed like a Font Style selection such as preset  Header or Title similar to MS Word that is available automatically  whenever a text box is worked in.



This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.