Create a Timer for Storyline Any Version
Jul 27, 2018
I have done a lot of research over the last few years on creating a timer that can count down or up on a slide or even a project. Since what I wanted was something at the slide level for activities or games, I wanted something simple that I could replicate.
I started with this article in the community by Paul Alders Timer to use in Storyline. This led me in several directions including the article by Swift Elearning Services. This last article is very comprehensive, but it was a lot more than what I wanted. It is a great idea for a timer that does hours, minutes, and seconds. You can also use the Quiz timer in Storyline.
I had also taken a course (on Udemy) from Alexander Salas where he used images on layers and had them appear with triggers and variables. That process works with multiple layers but was not as simple as I wanted.
I realized I wanted a process that would work on only one slide and one or two layers. It would probably also use variables. At first, I decided to use the multiple layer process putting a number on each layer that appears on the base layer as the slide runs. Each layer was only one second so I started with 5 as a test. What I liked about this approach is I only used triggers to show each layer.
First Timer Attempt
To start, I added the five layers with the numbers from five to one and set the first trigger to show the layer for 5 when the timeline reached a cue point.
I put two triggers on each layer, one that hides the layer and then shows the next layer when the timeline ends.
I liked the way this worked because it was simple and I could just copy this setup to other slides so they could have a timer as well.
I then tried to put all of the numbers that count down all on one layer. I added ten text boxes each one second long to the layer as I saw in one of the examples.
I added a trigger to start the layer when the timeline starts and then show an ending layer when the timeline ends. Again, this is simple and it can be copied to other slides.
Third Attempt uses a Variable
I liked the approach from Swift Elearning Services using a variable to count the time. I created a layer and set it for one second. I created a variable titled Timer_Down. I set a trigger to Show Layer with the timer when the timeline starts.
The triggers on the loop layer are the most important. One trigger subtracts a number each time the timeline starts. Another trigger hides the layer, the another trigger shows the layer and finally a trigger shows an ending layer when the count down reaches zero.
I had this idea from Jeff Kortenbosch’s video on how to create a looping animation. It made sense to me that looping the layer would do the same thing for the count down and it did.
As with the first two attempts, I liked the simple way this works and I can extend it for longer times or shorter times by setting the triggers.
If you want to download an example of all three, click Storyline File.