Timeline Tips and Tricks

Timeline Tips and Tricks in Storyline2

This post was inspired by the ELH Community Screencast Challenge #11 which is all about timeline techniques. One of the key advantages of working with elearning authoring tools like Storyline2 (SL2) is the use of of several time-related features.  There are many adjustments and controls that can be implemented affecting a user’s experience by simply changing an object’s position on the timeline.  In this post, I discuss three simple approaches that can be helpful in your elearning creative design.  First, the manual adjustment of items is discussed on the chronological hierarchy of objects. Secondly, we take a look at timeline based triggers using the starting and ending points of objects in the slide. Thirdly, we look at taking advantage of the position hierarchy of elements from the top to the bottom of the timeline.

Timeline Manual Shift

This is the most basic approach for using the timeline in SL2. Each object appears in the order of their location from left to right.  You can drag each end of an object which determines when it enters and\or exits the slide.

Storyline2 Timeline


As you may know, triggers are configurable commands to initiate an action in SL2.  Triggers can be set depending on a time setting on the timeline, a cue point or the starting or ending points of any object.  On the image below, we use a trigger to play an audio file based on the starting point of a text box.

Timeline Trigger

Position Hierarchy

Just like the chronological hierarchy which works from left-to-right, there’s a position hierarchy that works from top-to-bottom. Solid items at the top of the timeline will cover any item below them.  These can be useful to create some reveal effects or interesting transitions.  The video below explains all three approaches.


In summary, Storyline2’s timeline features are your powerful allies in elearning design.  Here we cover three basic ways to manually shift timeline objects, create timeline based triggers to control audio play and how to take advantage of the position hierarchy.  If there’s anything else you would like to know please drop me a comment and I’ll get back to you ;  )

Posted in Authoring Tools, E-learning, e-Learning Audio, Elearning Heroes Challenges and tagged , , .

Alexander Salas

eLearning, technology, gamification, workplace learning, instructional design and creativity are my enduring passions in life. I breathe when I create. Leave a comment, let's connect on LinkedIn and share experiences. The rest of the time I manage an LMS, eLearning communities and speak at learning conferences #humblebrag