28 Replies
Paul Engle

I was very excited to start using Storyline (after seeing how gorgeous e-learning content was with Rise and using Camtasia), and I was ...very frustrated by the Timeline workflow. 

I don't know if the goal was to make Storyline as close to "PowerPoint" UI, but it's clear to me that the creatives responsible for creating the timeline had probably never edited a video in their life.

The timeline is probably the single most problematic feature of Storyline: 

1) I need to be able to scrub the timeline to preview in real time.

Related but worth mentioning: 2) I need assets on the timeline to appear on the canvas when they're present on the timeline and to not appear on the canvas when they aren't present on the timeline. Seriously, having to insert a shape as a layer just to cover up items that I'm not working on is ....a surprisingly poor experience for how expensive a product Articulate is. 

3) objects on the timeline should be able to snap-to/align

4) I should be able to split items on a track, and I should be able to put unrelated items on the same track (e.g., putting pictures on the same track). 

I don't want a complicated video editing process like Adobe Premiere Pro, but I also want something similar to camtasia or an entry-level non-linear video editor. Given the option to add video and audio to Storyline projects, I'm perplexed that more thought wasn't put into the design. 

Crystal Horn

Hi Paul. Thanks for being honest about your experience. I’ll add your thoughts to our feature request for timeline scrubbing.

I wanted to mention that Storyline 360 includes object editing enhancements, including more snap-to points when moving your shapes.

Please let me know if you need any help!

Paul Engle

Hi Crystal, 

Thanks for the reply. I took a quick look at the video you hyperlinked; I'm talking about Timeline. You're talking about Canvas

And yes, I can add cue points and then align media/objects on the timeline to it...but given that there's no snap-to/aligning in the timeline, it's an imperfect workflow to get items to flow together the way I'm looking for them too. 

Fred Good

This! A million times this! " I need assets on the timeline to appear on the canvas when they're present on the timeline and to not appear on the canvas when they aren't present on the timeline." Please, O gods of Storyline, I beg you! Please bring this capability before I retire! :D Thanks!

Paul Engle

Storyline is a desktop application, and for better or worse, the timeline is an editor whose function is to allow the user arrange the media to be shown in the final product in a certain order.

Given that the preview function takes a second or two to buffer, why didn't they add a method to scrub the timeline? 

Do we have any sense of the why? Was it too complex? Respectfully, this seems like a pretty big miss. 

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Thanks, Fred for adding your voice here - it's helpful for our tracking and we'll keep folks posted if this feature is added.


I can understand the confusion and frustration around this - but I don't have a why to offer you. We're working hard to better capture customer sentiment and thoughts, especially around feature requests. This is one we've passed along to our team and will continue to share customer thoughts and experiences with them. 

Eric Etkin

Scrubbing is extraordinarily helpful for timing elements, and would help push SL to next level functionality.

Anyone coming into SL from a video background (and I imagine there's quite a few of us) would expect scrubbing capability if you're presented with a timeline. It's a pretty basic ask, available on nearly anything else featuring a timeline. 

Having to position the playhead, click play, and then wait for SL to clumsily load a preview everytime you want to review callout timing, animations, or whatever is extraordinarily inefficient. : ( 

Timeline = Scrubbing

Robert Watkins

It is really hard for me to fathom why the play head on the timeline is useless for seeing what's on the stage at a given point. Having come from the world of media production into the world of instructional design, I find it gob-smackingly mind boggling that SL can't do this and that after what, FOUR YEARS, this feature is not here. Every single media creation or playback program I can think of does this. 

It was so shocking that I got my company's IT department involved as I was sure it was a problem with our older laptops. Oh, and I really like the way the support department doesn't bother to respond when asked about this. Gives me a great sense of confidence in the product we just purchased for my company's group of 10 developers, and that we'll be able to get any kind of support.

You owe us an explanation. Not "Oh well, we'll put in a feature request." After almost five years, I think your community is well past believing that, and believing that your development team has any intention of addressing this. Otherwise, something so obvious, so frequently called out, and so blindingly obvious would be addressed. That's how it works. Just ask Adobe. So how about y'all come clean as to why we're made to suffer this way. You do use your own product, correct? And understand how negatively this impacts your users' ability to accurately create what they see in their mind? Quite the dirty little secret you have. And being a new user, it seems like quite an insult to your users as well.

Ren Gomez

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the added insight into the ability to scrub the timeline. While we acknowledge this feature has been discussed for years now, we're committed to making sure its impact and benefit for the majority of users come first. We do this, as well as evaluating where a feature stands among planned new features and bug fixes. You can read more about our process here.

We don't have plans for this feature yet, but we'll continue to track requests and update this discussion if anything changes!

Fred Good

I think if scrubbing the timeline is a huge dealbreaker for you, you should probably look into using an alternative that can, like Adobe's Captivate. While my team is OK with having to deal with this major fault, if it's something you can't live without, I strongly suggest switching tools. Not to sound negative, but complaining about something they are not going to change is pointless, and will only continue to frustrate you.  Best of luck! :)

Robert Watkins

Adobe was my first choice. Not only for things like this, but also for the superior stock collection, integration with Creative Cloud workflows and some other very basic features you would expect from an eLearning tool in 2020, like the ability to import layered psd files. But sadly, I do not run my company, so the decision was not mine. It is only mine to bear the repercussions of said decision.