Using the timeline option in one of the most preferred e-learning rapid authoring tools – Articulate Storyline – the actions on a slide (such as the animation of an object, image, audio sync, etc.) can be controlled. But if you don’t maintain a proper structure and organize the elements on the timeline, you will end up wasting your time; in case you have to change any element on the slide, searching for that particular object could take time.
Therefore, here I would like to share three quick tips on how to work on Storyline’s timeline and reduce your time and efforts.
1. Using Articulate Storyline’s Playhead Option
Many developers working on Storyline might not know that by default, Storyline positions elements on the timeline in relation to the Playhead. That is, when an object is inserted in a slide, it is placed on the timeline based on the current location of the Playhead.
If you are not aware of this, you might keep wondering where the inserted object is and scroll back and forth on the timeline searching for it; you might have wanted the object to appear at the beginning of the timeline, but it is placed the 10th or 12th second on the timeline and you are not aware of this.
But you can avoid this mess and turn it into a time-saving operation using the Playhead. For example, if you want an object to appear at the 5 second mark, you can position the Playhead at the 5th second on the timeline and insert the required object. In this way, you can reduce the time and effort needed to place the items on your timeline.
Look at the screenshot below to get a clear picture of how to place an object on the timeline using the Playhead.
2. Working from Top to Bottom
If often happens that while working on a slide, there may be many objects and you need to align them according to your requirement. You might have also observed that in Storyline, when you add objects on the screen, they appear on top of other objects on the timeline.
So, if you want to bring the objects which are placed beneath other objects to the top layer, you can drag the objects to the top position on the timeline. And there you go, doing this will automatically change the position of the objects onscreen from bottom to top. In this way, by working on the alignment of the objects, you can save your time.
The other way to do this is by accessing the Format menu on the ribbon and clicking the “Bring Forward” or “Send Backward” option.
3. Labeling Your Objects
As stated earlier, while working on a particular slide/screen in Articulate Storyline, there may be many objects to handle and if you don’t label the objects appropriately, you might end up getting frustrated or confused while selecting objects in the Trigger dialog boxes.
To avoid this confusion, you can rename the objects or label them with names that are easy to identify. This can seem like a lot of work at the beginning, but trust me; it will turn out to be a huge time-saver as you start adding interactions to the slide.
Labeling objects will also help you keep your slides in an organized structure on the timeline so that when you open the story file the next time, you will be able to easily recognize the objects which might need any modifications, etc.
As you can see in the screenshot, I have renamed the objects in the timeline as TAB_1, TAB_2, and TAB_3.
By using these simple tips, you can work with the objects or elements on the timeline of Articulate Storyline very easily which will help you save your time and efforts while developing an e-learning course.
Hope these tips will help you save your development time too. Have anything to say? Please do share!
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