Use the Articulate Storyline timeline to control the duration and timing of slide elements, adjust the layering of objects, and sync animations. In this tutorial, we'll discuss the following topics. Click any topic to jump directly to that section.
- Opening the Timeline
- Resizing and Undocking the Timeline
- Hiding Objects
- Locking Objects
- Renaming Objects
- Expanding Grouped Objects and Answer Choices
- Changing the Order of Objects
- Changing the Timing and Duration of Objects
- Using the Playhead to Sync Animations
- Using Cue Points to Sync Animations
- Zooming the Timeline
- Previewing a Slide
- Working with Audio
- Working with Video
The Timeline, States, and Notes panel is only accessible in Slide View. If it isn't visible at the bottom of the screen, click the arrow in the lower right corner of the slide stage to open it.
Then select the Timeline tab.
It can be helpful to enlarge the timeline panel or even undock it to make working with numerous slide objects easier. To resize the timeline, drag its top boundary up or down.
To undock the timeline panel, just click the word Timeline and drag it to a new location—or even a different monitor.
To redock the timeline, click the Redock button in the panel's upper right corner.
You may find it useful to temporarily hide some objects so you can focus on others. To hide an object, click the eye icon to the left of its name. Click it again to unhide it.
To hide all slide objects at the same time, click the eye icon at the top of the panel. Click it again to unhide all objects.
Tip: Hidden objects won't appear in your published output, so remember to unhide them before you publish.
To prevent an object from being moved or modified while you're working with other slide elements, lock it in place by clicking the box before its name. It'll change to a padlock icon. Click it again to unlock it.
To lock all slide objects at the same time, click the padlock icon at the top of the panel. Click it again to unlock all objects.
We recommend giving objects recognizable names so they're easy to identify when working with triggers and freeform interactions. To rename an object, double-click its name, or right-click it and select Rename. Enter a new name for the object and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
If your object names are too long to fully display on the Timeline tab, hover your mouse over the beginning of the timeline (i.e., the 0-second mark) until a two-headed arrow appears, then click and drag to the right.
When you group objects together, they appear as a single item on the timeline. Likewise, many question slides in Storyline automatically group answer choices together as a single item on the timeline.
You can expand the grouped object to work with individual elements. This is helpful if you want to rename, reorder, or animate each item in the group separately. To expand a grouped object, click the triangle to the left of its name. Click the triangle again to collapse the group.
All slide objects will be listed on the timeline. They'll be listed in the same order in which they're layered on the slide, with the topmost item in the list at the front (or top) of the slide. To change the order of an object, just drag it up or down the list.
To adjust when an object appears (or animates in), drag it left or right along the timeline.
To change the duration of an object, drag its right edge along the timeline to adjust when it disappears (or animates out).
When you right-click an object on the timeline, you'll see additional options for managing timing and duration:
- Align to Cue Point: This moves the object along the timeline so its starting point lines up with the Cue Point # you select.
- Align to Playhead: This moves the object along the timeline so its starting point lines up with the current position of the playhead (blue vertical line).
- Show Until End: This displays the object until the end of the slide's timeline.
- Show Always: This displays the object for the entire duration of the slide, from beginning to end.
- Timing: This opens the Timing window (shown below), where you can specify the Start Time and Duration of the object (in seconds).
Perhaps the quickest and easiest way to synchronize animations is to use the Align to Playhead feature. Here's how:
- Click the Play/Pause button in the lower left corner of the timeline to play the slide audio.
- When the audio reaches the point where you want an object to animate in, click the Play/Pause button again to pause the playhead (blue vertical line). Tip: You can also press the spacebar on your keyboard to play/pause.
- Right-click the object on the timeline that you want to animate and select Align to Playhead.
- Repeat steps 2–4 until you've synchronized the entire slide.
Another way to sync animations is to use cue points. Cue points let you precisely align objects on the timeline.
First, you'll need to place cue points on the timeline where you want animations to occur (see details below). Then, right-click each object on the timeline, scroll to Align to Cue Point, and choose a cue point.
Here's how to add, delete, and move cue points:
- To add a cue point, right-click anywhere in the Timeline panel and select Create Cue Point at Playhead.
Tip: To add cue points on the fly, click the Play button in the lower left corner of the timeline, then press C on your keyboard at any point where you want to insert a cue point.
- To delete a cue point, right-click the cue point marker and select Delete Cue Point.
- To delete all cue points on a slide, right-click anywhere in the Timeline panel and select Delete All Cue Points.
- To move a cue point, drag it left or right along the timeline.
To get a closer look at a portion of the timeline, drag the zoom slider to the right. To zoom out, drag the zoom slider to the left.
You can preview a slide using the player controls in the lower left corner of the timeline.
- Click the Play/Pause button once to start the playhead (blue vertical line) moving along the timeline.
- Click the Play/Pause button again to pause the playhead at its current location.
- Click the Stop button to end the preview and return the playhead to beginning of the timeline.
When you right-click an audio track in the timeline, you'll see the following options for editing and exporting audio.
- Edit Audio: This opens the selected audio track in the built-in audio editor. To learn how to use the audio editor, see this tutorial. (Tip: You can also double-click an audio track to launch the audio editor.)
- Export Audio: This exports a copy of the selected audio track. You'll be prompted to browse to the location where you want to save the exported audio file. Give it a file name, select the file type (MP3, WAV, or both), and click Save.
When you right-click a video in the timeline, you'll see an option to Edit Video. This opens the built-in video editor, where you can trim, crop, adjust the volume, control brightness/contrast, and insert a logo. Learn more about the video editor. (This option isn't available for website videos, SWF files, or FLV files with alpha channel transparency.)