Using Timeline Triggers in Articulate Storyline 2

With the release of Articulate Storyline 2 it brought a whole slew of new features that developers can use for their eLearning course creation. One of my favorite features is having timeline triggers that will fire on certain cue points.

This may seem like a small feature but if offers huge potential for what you can do with it. There was a work around in Storyline 1 but it wasn’t the best solution and cluttered your timeline with unnecessary objects. One application of this is to have things happen at certain points of a video. Imagine you are showing your learners a video on a slide, if you have nothing but the video for a long time your students could drift off in thought or get distracted by something else.

One way to keep your learner engaged is to offer interactivity to your video. This could be in the form of a question displaying at certain times or maybe even having your video pause with and having hotspots over parts of the video that the user can click to continue on in the video or it may pop up an activity or game that will engage your learners even more. The possibilities are endless but in this video I am just going to show you how to get started with it.

Step 1: Import the Video

You want to make sure you import the video first. You don’t know where you will have the triggers without the video being in place. You can do this easily within an Articulate Storyline slide by clicking on Insert > Video.



This will allow you to search for a video you may have on your desktop and import it in. This will place the video on your timeline.

Step 2: Add Cue Points

The next step is to add cue points. This will trigger something to happen when the video reaches this time. The way that you add cue points is by clicking on the timeline numbers above the content. This will jump the blue line to that point in the video and the video above will reflect where that video will be at once it is at that point.


Move your mouse to that blue line on that timeline and at the blue triangle point right click and click on Create Cue Point at Playhead. This will create a cue point at that point in your timeline.


The cue point will be a number and that number will be depending on how many other cue points there are. The first one I create will be #1 and the second will be #2 and so on.


From here you just keep scrubbing through your video and inserting cue points at important parts of your timeline or parts you want interactivity to happen.

Step 3: Create the Interactivity on the Layers

From here you will need to create the interaction on the different layers of the page. You will need to trigger these layers to show when the timeline hits the different cue points but you need to be ready with the interaction that is going to happen, whether it be a quiz question, hot spot interactivity or just a fun fact with a continue button to continue.


Step 4: Trigger to Show the Interactive Layers

From here we just need to add triggers on the main timeline to show the layer when that trigger happens. You first click on the new trigger icon in the triggers section.

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This will open the new triggers window and you need to select the trigger to show a layer and make sure that it is the interactive layer for the correct cue point you want to show.

Now here is where Storyline 2 is different. You can select a new option under the When section and that new option is labeled as Timeline Reaches.

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The first default option is to select a certain time. This works well if you know at what time you want this to show but let’s say you change your mind you would have to go into each trigger and update the time especially if you edit your video and it is now shorter. The better way is to select the drop down box where Time is is located and select the Cue Point option instead of the Time option. Once you do that you will see a new drop down box to select which cue point you want to have this trigger at.

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That is it! Go ahead and preview the course and watch the video. As soon as that video reaches that part of the video you will see the video stop and that layer show with whatever activity you on that layer.



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