Would make my life 100x easier: Keep pasted objects in same loc'n

Sep 26, 2012

I wish I had a way of making it so that when I selected an object (like an illustrated character), chose copy, and then chose PASTE, that the newly pasted character would NOT be spaced downward and to the right but rather be in precisely the same spot.  That would make it so much easier for creating continuity in changing expressions, poses, etc, using the timeline.

I know that for novices that could create confusion to have the pasted item be right on top of the previous. For that reason, perhaps something like a special "paste in same location" command, or a control-key to hold when pasting, would provide that different behavior.

That way I could just copy a person, paste it 4 times, drag to a new time, change his face, and do that with the others -- I would suddenly have a quite animated guy with 20x less of the hassle.


31 Replies
Jamie Morgan

Hi Eric,

If you're just looking to change the expressions & poses for the characters, why not use states instead? That would be so much easier and then the character is in the same place and you only have one object on the timeline to deal with. If you're wanting the state change to happen timed to the audio when nothing else is trigger on the timeline, simply put a shape somewhere off the canvas and add a trigger to it to "change the state of" your character to whatever state you want on the start of the timeline for the shape. This off-screen shape can be timed to your audio.

Just something I wanted to share if your primary issue is with the characters. Obviously you can also duplicate objects by holding Ctrl+Shift and dragging it down or up, which will retain that horizontal or vertical alignment.

You may already know these 2 tricks, but wanted to share in case you didn't.

Eric Stephan

That's the best advice I've gotten in a while!  I knew that using states was a better way of changing emotions and so forth -- but I couldn't figure out how to get states to change based on the timeline.  So I guess you are saying that I would configure the character's state to remain one basic state, with the exception that if invisible shape "a" had started, then the character's state would be a second state, and if a second invisible shape was active in the timeline, then the character's state would be a third state?   ... this way the method could be used for multiple states?

exciting stuff -- let me know if I'm missing something (can't get to try this just now, will soon.)

Eric Stephan

I just tried the great tip above, "use an invisible shape in the timeline to help trigger state changes."   Kind of disappointing that I can't just say "change state of the character to "confused" while "invisible triangle" is ACTIVE in the timeline.

Instead I have to make two triggers.  "change him to confused when triangle starts in the timeline" and then "change him to normal when the triangle ends in the timeline."   ayayay.   But better than nothing:

Just to entertain a dream scenario:

What I would love: many more very flexible triggers. Imagine triggers like this:

Change state to "confused" when...

** a random number 1-100 equals 1


** the timeline clock time is an exact multiple of 10 seconds  (would be great for making a character blink)


** at every exact one-fifth of the timeline duration

or... as I was wishing above

** when the object "invisible triangle" is ACTIVE in timeline


** when timeline is at cue point: 14   (I realize this would mean that cue points become more of an actual timeline element rather than convenient thing to help ENTRY of the timeline items.)

ALSO, the trigger calls could be more flexible, in an ideal world... things like

-- Toggle between states "confused" and "happy" when: user hovers over triangle

OK, enough fantasy I guess...

... I could think of other dreamy ones but better go work on my slide...


Jamie Morgan


Please add a feature request for anything you'd like to see. I agree that having timing available for triggers would be great. I've worked in Lectora land before and that was one thing that I loved about their actions - you could time them without having to use objects off the canvas. 

You can submit a feature request HERE.

Trace Main


I have been working on the same type of character animations, a la Southpark.  I tried the above and it is all too time consuming and clunky.  My best practice so far, is to create a string of different poses and expressions, group it, then copy and paste this group in strings to create longer animations.  This way you are able to make a few rapid fire character changes/animations quickly.  For example, create the same character with 5+ different poses and expressions over a 2 second period, then group it.  Copy and paste and you can make multiple different groups.  You still need to realign each newly pasted group, however, that's much faster than creating multiple triggers, or characters, especially when you have a dialogue of 15+ seconds.

I hope this helps.  If anyone finds a better/faster way, please let us know here.

Thank you!

P.S. I already made a feature request as well.

Jay Sprout

This makes me sad as well. While having to use both Align Center and Align Middle each and every time is frustrating, I've at least learned that if you make sure the pasted object is down and to the right (which it is on the same slide but not always on different slides) of what I'll call the "anchor object" (the one that is already in the correct location) then use the Align commands, it almost always moves only the pasted object which is some consolation.

Carolyn Dolan de La Tour

Thank you Ashley. This just pertains to blocks of text that I want to time with audio. For instance, I would like to paste line 1 at top and paste remainder of text blocks underneath it in order, align them afterwards. Now when you paste, it forces each text block to the center, you have to move it and then paste another- move that one, so on and so on. I will fill out the request. Much appreciated. Carolyn

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Bruce, 

That should do it at the very top of a thread - but you'll also want to check that you're not subscribed to a forum section as a whole. Also, from your profile you can see all your subscriptions and then hovering over each one you'll see a small X button at the far right of the title and that would remove it as well. 

Carolyn Dolan de La Tour

It would be a scenario like this; I have a power point slide that has many bullet points. I want to c&p each one into Storyline 2 so that I can then time it with the audio. The way it is now, I c&p a line of text in on a blank template and it snaps to the center. Now I have to move it up or po the side- wherever I want it, then continue to do that for maybe the next 11 lines. I can align and tweak afterwards, but it would be nice to c&p in the general area the first time and in order of where I want them without having to move each line every time I c&p. Does that make sense? Thank you, Carolyn

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Carolyn,

So you're not copy and pasting into a text box, just directly to the slide itself? I think this is going to be the standard behavior as if your cursor isn't in a part of at text box it doesn't know where to drop the copy to - so it just includes it directly in the center. As mentioned you're welcome to share your thoughts on changing that in the form of a feature request. 

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