Timer that is always on top while it is counting down.

Hello everyone I am new to the community.I have just begun using Storyline and it has been fantastic.  I am an educator and I teach a program for kids in the inner cities. I am using Storyline to creat content for their lessons. One of the things I have created is a series of simulations however I need a countdown timer that stays on top of the page so that they can complete the simulation over multiple slides. Once the timer is up I want to trigger it to show a slide saying that their time is up and that they did not complete the SIM in time.  Please let me know if such a timer is available if not is there a way to create one. Thanks

11 Replies
Eric Nalian

Hi Alphonso,

I created a simple 10 second timer.

  • The slide has 10 rectangles, all ending 1 second after each other with a variable that subtracts 1 every time the time line for a rectangle ends.
  • There is also a button on the slide, if it is clicked within the 10 seconds, you move on to the Success slide, if nothing is clicked you go to the failure slide.
  • The great thing about variables is that you can have them run across multiple slides

There might be an easier way to do this with Java script, but I do not know how to code with Java.

Check out this Introduction to Variables for more information: http://storylineauthors.com/?p=795

alphonso Brown

Thank you Eric this is great. Thank you as well for directing me to the variables tutorial. I have reviewed your answer and I now understand what you did. I have one additional question. Is there a way to have the timer continue the started countdown over several slides. Using the rectangles I can make the timer work for one slide but lets say I wanted the user to complete an exercise over 5 slides and I wanted to give them 5 minutes total to do this. Is there a way to have the countdown continue without resetting as the user goes from slide 1 to slide 2 and eventually goes through the slides in the 5 slide sequence?

Eric Nalian

Hey Alphonso,

To make it go across multiple slides, you will basically do the same thing except start the variable at a higher number.  On the second timer slide, I added a trigger that says 'Jump to slide X when variable changes' with a condition that says 'do this if the value of the variable is 0'.

That trigger had to be added so that the timer does not go negative.  Because both slides are on a 20 second timer, on the second slide the count would get to -20, with the additional trigger it just stops at 0.

*The challenge is going to be doing this with minutes.

Other information:

  • Set up a master slide with the time on it how you want it and copy and paste the slide.  This way, the rectangles and timeline will be all set up for every slide.  When a slide is copied/pasted, the objects and triggers associated with it copy as well.
  • Depending on how long your projects are, it might be easier to count down by 10 or 15 seconds.
  • To do Minutes, you could have some rectangles in there that adjust a variable for seconds and minutes.  For example, if you count down by 15 seconds, every 4th rectangle could have a trigger that lowers the minutes variable by 1.

Let me know if you need anything else,


Eric Nalian

Randall Sauchuck

You could also do this using 1 second layers. This way you could count down from any number you want without having to make a bunch of shapes. When one layer opens it decrements the amount then it opens the other layer and closes itself. The other layer does the same. I also added a final layer that is revealed when the countdown reaches 0

Marty Deutsch

I notice that these examples are just using the variable reference by itself. Has anyone had issues with using a reference next to other text? My understanding is that variable text isn't addressable by fonts and that they won't always be predictably displayed on output (particularly HTML5 output). And more generally, are there any best practices for trying to format variable references? Thanks

Chuck Nealis

In Storyline 2 is there a way to make the Assessment timer accessible / viewable by JAWs? I would like to be able to take a snapshot of the elapsed time/ total time any time a visually impaired user clicks a button as they are going through the assessment. Is there a trigger that I could use to easily make this happen?

Thank you ahead of time.