Scrubbing the timeline : actual view ?


I think it would be great if you could scrub the timeline in Storyline.

Being used to Flash, I find having all object at once confusing (and actually I don't see the point apart from a visual mess).

The problem is you can't see what you actullay get under playhead unless you play your scene.

Could you consider having a mode where you only see on stage what's under the playhead ? I recently had a busy timeline with many speech bubbles and I spend my time hiding/unhiding layer to get everything in place.

What do you think ?

51 Replies
Kevin Darbro

I absolutely would love this feature.

I'm currently working on my first Storyline project, and having come from a Flash and Director background, not to mention Premiere, Logic, Final Cut Pro, etc., I'm surprised that Storyline doesn't work this way. Logically, where the current time indicator is located in the timeline should show the appropriate things at that moment in time in the preview window like this:

It's nearly essential to have this functionality to make sure things happen when I want them to happen. The lack of this ability is going to add serious production time and frustration while I build this course. I mean, for a long slide with several elements, having to show and hide them like Pierre states, and then previewing the slide to see if it all works as I intend it to every time I make a slight tweak is extremely counter-productive and time consuming.

PLEASE implement this scrubbing feature, or play from current time indicator type of thing with Preview!

I'd like to think you folks are already working on it, but haven't worked the kinks out yet.



Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Kevin and welcome to Heroes! 

If you haven't done so already, you'll also want to log this as a feature request as those go to our product development team. 

I do know that our team is hard at work on some exciting new things which we are looking forward to sharing with the world, just not right now. If you would like to be the first to know about updates and product releases, I would encourage you to subscribe to Gabe Anderson's blog:

You can also follow us on Twitter:
Andrew Kay

From someone that does a lot of video editing work in Final Cut Pro, this would be something that would be very useful from a production point of view.  Being able to scrub back and forth over a small portion of the timeline to make sure that graphics, text etc are appearing when expected would be invaluable.  Yes you can place the playhead where you want it and play from there but it is a very clunky way to do it.

Incidentally  and with all due respect to the Articulate staff that post on here, I really wish that every comment was not answered with the stock "log this as a feature request" response.  Quite honestly I have little faith that the majority of 'feature requests' will ever see the light of day especially when we're still waiting for fixes to basic things like animations, text box fixes etc.   Sorry if this causes offense, but it's just the way I feel.

Mark Brown

Scrub is an absolute must have!! Synchronizing visual events to sound events is excessively cumbersome as it is. I am opening up my sound files in Audacity to write down the timing events (or memorize the sound wave image) and approximate them in Storyline.  When you consider all the editing and flash/swf software that uses scrubing..... well you get it.

I would move this to the TOP of the to-do list.

Katherine Murphy

In definite agreement,  this is pretty basic.  I'll add to the feature request to make this time-based application actually show the time...  However it's been 2 years.  Why would this very basic option be so difficult to implement?  When I used Director (ahem) a bajillion years ago you were able to scrub the timeline... I don't think it's a feature requiring the greatest minds of our time to implement.  2 years?

Greg Eales

Holy Cow! Give me some scrubbing action!  :P

But seriously, I think being able to scrub the timeline (graphics and audio) would take Storyline to the next level for development. Every program I use for animation has some sort of timeline that I can actively scrub through. I think it's time for Storyline to stand up and become all it can be...SCRUB-TASTIC!

Ted Coffman

Scrubbing the timeline is a must. Without the ability to scrub the timeline, Storyline will not remain competitive with other tools. It would be good, since Storyline outputs swf files and HTML5, if the designers and developers would look at other popular tools that have timelines you can scrub, particularly Flash. Not doing so, would be like starting a car manufacturing company, and deciding that it would be a good idea to swap the placement of the brake and gas pedal. 

Angie Harsh

I just added a feature request for this.  I'm doing my first storyline project, converting an old presenter course so it can be HTML 5.  This is super frustrating that this basic feature isn't available AND that it's been 3 years in the request pipeline for such a request that should have been part of the software when it was released.  Why have a timeline if you can't scrub it?

John Morley

Agreeing with Andy: Despite Articulate tech support being excellent otherwise, how is posting to a forum not a "feature request?" And when a staff member obviously recognizes it as such: by replying "suggest this as a feature request," why don't the dots get connected within Articulate with the staff member entering the feature request?

Articulate--Your customers are busy using your products. Expecting us to both point out a problem and then make the additional effort to log in somewhere else to essentially repeat the same post is annoying, a waste of your customers' time, and a sure-fire way to keep you from learning all you could about how your products can be improved.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi John! This thread is a bit older and we are working better to handle this now.

You have made a great argument and I totally understand and agree.

We now have an article here that explains how we handle feature requests internally. 

I can tell you, that we do place feature requests on behalf of our customers when we can. I say 'when we can' because honestly there are times that the customer is able to explain a feature better than I could. If I need more information to file a request, it seems reasonable to allow the customer to submit directly. 

I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and perspective on this matter. 

David White

I submitted the scrub/timeline playback feature as well.

It's understandable if "High Level" functions don't work due to needing specialized code when in "preview" mode, but just to playback the basic screen elements LIVE. This feature is Desperately needed. I had this feature in Captivate 3.0 back in 2007, so SL is already a Decade behind this particular curve. (Great product otherwise, but sheesh!)

Scott L

I have also submitted a feature request for this ability. As I mention in my request, I say that I'm not looking for 100% real-time scrubbing (a la Flash or video editors), but for the stage to show the "current" objects only where the playhead it placed "once the SL author stops moving the playhead".

The way things are currently, with 100% of all objects stacking on top of one another, is sways me away from creating more complex timeline animations. Of course we can decide to constantly hide/show layers, but that gets pretty cumbersome.

Perhaps between 2018 & 2019 - depending on the priority of this request - we might see such a feature in updates.

Darrel S

As this request was documented several years ago, I am also curious as to whether there has been any traction on implementing this feature request?

The ability to have real-time scrubbing would vastly improve accurately timing animations to audio.

The current “Play Preview to Sync” method is far from efficient.