Colors and Keys for Timeline

February 19, 2017
Lieve is a civil engineer (ir) and a professional musician. After years of teaching and research (project management/eLearning/instability) she is now a freelancer specializing in advanced Adobe Captivate as trainer and consultant. Her blog is popular with Captivate users worldwide. As an Adobe Community Professional and Adobe Education Leader, she has presented both online and offline. Since 2015 she is moderator on the Adobe forums and was named as Forum Legend (special category) in the Wall of Fame. In 2017 Adobe Captivate users voted for Lieve as a Top Content Experience Strategist.
Legend 89 posts
Followers: 150 people
Consultant and Trainer for Advanced Captivate. Specialized in personalised training for individuals or groups, live and online.
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Colors and Keys for Timeline

Lieve is a civil engineer (ir) and a professional musician. After years of teaching and research (project management/eLearning/instability) she is now a freelancer specializing in advanced Adobe Captivate as trainer and consultant. Her blog is popular with Captivate users worldwide. As an Adobe Community Professional and Adobe Education Leader, she has presented both online and offline. Since 2015 she is moderator on the Adobe forums and was named as Forum Legend (special category) in the Wall of Fame. In 2017 Adobe Captivate users voted for Lieve as a Top Content Experience Strategist.
Legend 89 posts
Followers: 150 people
February 19, 2017

Intro

This last article about the Timeline is sort of a bonus for those who want to know ‘everything’ about the timeline panel. The color codes can be a quick visual help to recognize object timelines, and I personally use the shortcut keys quite a lot to avoid the many mouse movements to the different tabs in the Properties panel. 

If you have problems with the used terminology, maybe you missed some information from this articles, already published:

Captivate’s Timelines demystified – Intro

Video Timeline demystified (cpvc)

Captivate’s Timelines cptx-project

Pausing Captivate’s Timeline (cptx)

Color coding

The color coding is the same for master slide timelines and slide timelines.  The hexadecimal code is just an indication because a lot of the timelines have a gradient fill. You see the colors in the image following the bulleted list.

  • Audio timeline: dark grey (about #4E5156)
  • (Master) slide timeline: beige (about #DBD7CE)
  • Placeholder objects: orange (about #DCC399) with some exceptions (Content/Rollover Caption/Rollover Image)
    • Content Placeholder: light blue (about #AFD7FF)
    • Placeholders for Rollover Caption/Image: green (close to  #BFDD8B )

  • Static objects: light blue (about #BEE8FB ). Static objects are Text Captions, Text Animations, Shapes (not used as button), Highlight Boxes, Web objects, SVG’s, Images, Videos, Animations, Characters, HTML animation. There are some exceptions
    • Rollover Caption/Image have the green color like for the placeholder (about #BFDD8B )
    • Rollover Slidelet is sort of a hybrid, between static and interactive: is also green (about #BFDD8B )
    • Zoom object: also green (about #BFDD8B )
    • Static widget/interaction: also green (about #BFDD8B )

  • Mouse object: beige like the slide timeline (about #DBD7CE)
  • Interactive objects: green (about #BFDD8B ). Those include the buttons, click boxes, Text Entry Boxes, Shapes used as buttons, Learning interactions (static and interactive)
  • Effect timelines: light red (#FBDAE1), turning to darker saturated red (#F584A7) when selected
  • A selected timeline, with the exception of the slide audio  at the bottom, and effect timelines will always be blue (about #99BCBF)

Shortcut keys

I love shortcut keys, once published my favorites for moving/resizing objects (which are still functional). The timeline panel has also several shortcut keys, which can save time because you don’t have to switch to the Properties panel all the time. Some of the shortcut keys also work for Effect timelines, but not all.
 

Zooming : Zooming in/out has to be done with the slider at the bottom of the Timeline panel. No shortcut keys are available.  

Spacebar or F3: alternative shortcuts for the play button on the timeline panel or the option Play Slide (confusingly stored under the big button Preview). This method (no Preview) can be used for editing timing, for synchronizing. Use this ‘Play slide’ (or scru to position the Playhead, and you can then easily synchronize start times of objects with this Playhead position. Inserting an object when the playhead is at a certain frame will result in having the object timeline starting with that frame.
 
HOME/END: moves the playhead to the start/end of the slide timeline

CTRL-E: to extend the duration of a selected object till the end of the slide.
This shortcut key is not valid for individual Effect timelines
 
CTRL-L: to move the start of an object timeline to the Playhead position, a great way to have multiple objects appearing on the same moment  (still waiting for CTRL-R to align end of timeline with playhead)
This shortcut key is not valid for individual Effect timelines but they’ll move automatically with the object timeline   
 
CTRL-P: to move the start of an audio timeline to the Playhead position

LEFT/RIGHT arrow: moves start of an object timeline 0,1sec in the indicated direction. Applied effect timelines move with the object timeline. Shortcut keys also work for audio timeline.
This shortcut key is valid for individual Effect timelines, after selecting they can be moved independently from the object timeline
 
CTRL-LEFT/CTRL-RIGHT arrow: moves start of an object timeline 1sec in the indicated direction (also audio timelines), applied effect timelines will move along.
This shortcut key is valid for individual Effect timelines, after selecting they can be moved independently from the object timeline
 
SHIFT-LEFT/SHIFT-RIGHT arrow: decrements/increments duration of slide timeline or object timeline with 0,1sec. Applied effect timelines will not be changed. This means that an effect timeline could end up being outside of the object timeline; in that case the effects will play but not with the intended duration or start.
This shortcut key is valid for individual Effect timelines, after selecting you can increase/decrease the duration of the effect timeline independently from the object timeline
 
SHIFT-CTRL-LEFT/SHIFT-CTRL-RIGHT: decrements/increments duration of slide timeline or object timeline with 1sec; same behavior for the effect timelines as described above.
This shortcut key is valid for individual Effect timelines, after selecting you can increase/decrease the duration of the effect timeline independently from the object timeline

 

Conclusion

This was the last article in the (long?) sequence about Captivate’s Timelines.
 
I learned from the contacts with Captivate users, as forum moderator, trainer and consultant, that the Timeline is the most important stumbling block for starting Captivate users. For that reason I spent quite a lot of hours trying to assemble this ‘soap’ about it. Based about that same experience, and the statistics of my blog posts, I see two other similar issues causing problems to Captivate newbies. In the next article I will try to elaborate on those ‘big’ 3 and offer links to tutorials/articles that explain them in depth.  
Comments (9)
2019-01-28 14:37:05
2019-01-28 14:37:05

Hi Lieve,

I find ctrl+E very useful. Still, is there a way to extend the duration of all the objects in the slide to “rest of the slide” using a single command or shortcut key? Thanks!

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(1)
(1)
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saffrondbull
's comment
2019-01-29 09:27:50
2019-01-29 09:27:50
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saffrondbull
's comment

Sure: select all the timelines in the Timeline panel and use CTRL-E. You can use the SHIFT or the CTRL key in the usual way for selecting. Beware: the pausing point of interactive objects will not move but remain at 1,5 secs from the start of its timeline if you didn’t change it.

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2019-01-18 23:18:21
2019-01-18 23:18:21

Is there a way to move 0.1 sec increments either way on the timeline using the keyboard, without affecting the length of the timeline, or any objects on the timeline? That is to say, stepping back and forth along the timeline in 0.1 sec increments.
Thank you!

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ted-thermo
's comment
2019-01-19 10:44:11
2019-01-19 10:44:11
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ted-thermo
's comment

Depends on the setup of the object timeline: fixed duration or timed for the rest of the project. Did you read the other articles about the Timeline?

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Lieve Weymeis
's comment
2019-01-20 02:05:21
2019-01-20 02:05:21
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Lieve Weymeis
's comment

Thank you for your reply.

Yes I’ve scoured the community for info on the Timeline, and read every article I could find, and I haven’t found a way to use arrow keys to step back & forth in 0.1 sec increments along the timeline, without affecting objects on the Timeline, or the length of the slide.

Most often I set the Timing for objects to Rest of Slide, or Specific Time. I rarely set object Timing for Rest of Project.
Thank you again.

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ted-thermo
's comment
2019-01-20 16:41:53
2019-01-20 16:41:53
>
ted-thermo
's comment

For an object timed for the rest of the project, changing the duration of an object timeline has no sense.

For Fixed duration: the slide duration will increase when you move the object timeline with a shortcut key, or increase its length with a shortcut which causes the end of the object timeline to the end of the slide timeline. As I explained in my first article about the Timeline the slide duration is calculated to accommodate all the object timeliknes: the end of the last object timeline will be the end of the slide timeine unless you increase the slide duration separately. Have also a look at that first article to see the difference between Rest of Project, or attached to the end of the timeline.

When set For rest of slide, moving the start of the object timeline will not have any impact on the slide timeline, whether you increase or decrease the object timeline with an arrow or a combination with arrows. That is IMO the setting to be preferred in most cases. You can even set it as default in Preferences.

BTW would like to know if you did find articles written by other authors? I never did see one although lack of understanding that timeline is the cause number one of questions in the forums.

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Lieve Weymeis
's comment
2019-01-21 03:07:55
2019-01-21 03:07:55
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Lieve Weymeis
's comment

Thank you for your detailed explanation. Please let me check my understanding:
When using the timeline controls on any given slide, you can use the:

Space Bar key to Play and Pause the timeline
Home key to rewind to the beginning of it, and the
End key to fast forward to the end of it.

None of these keys will impact the slide length, or the length of any object on the timeline. They’re only meant to be convenient shortcuts to navigate to different points in the timeline. These keys work this way, regardless of whether objects are set to Specific Length, to Rest of Slide, or Rest of Project.

I was hoping that there might also be a means to step forward & back through the timeline, in 0.1 sec increments which, like the keys I’ve listed above, don’t impact the slide length, or the length of any object on the timeline, but only as a convenient way to navigate to specific points in the timeline without having to use the mouse.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe there’s a way to do this. Pressing the right and left arrow keys increase/decrease by 0.1 sec, the length of either an object in the timeline, the timeline itself, or both. Pressing Ctrl + right & left arrow keys does the same, but by 1 second-increments.

But there’s no way to use the arrow keys to simply step forward & back through the timeline. Holding down the Shift key or Alt/Opt key makes no difference. Please correct me if my understanding is incorrect, but it seems that this functionality would be best to bring to Request a Feature.

Btw, yes I found various articles about the timeline by other authors. Most of them covered basic information, and very few mentioned how to use shortcut keys with the timeline.

Thank you again.

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ted-thermo
's comment
2019-01-21 09:40:54
2019-01-21 09:40:54
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ted-thermo
's comment

Please tell me which authors? When I have explored the web before staring my long list of articles about the Timeline I  didn’t find any in-depth article, and even a lot of wrong information which may have been correct many years ago but no longer.

I never felt the need to navigate frame by frame in a cptx project, as I have in a Video Demo (cpvc).  Since a cptx is slide-based, I tend to keep slides pretty short, because you can distribute content over multiple slides which makes it not only lot easier to manage, but audio clips will be shorter and load quickly (important  certainly for responsive projects).  I am perfectly happy with the Playbar to play and pause where I want, where I can then insert an object or move its start to the playhead position. However I would like to have a similar shortcut to align the end of an object timeline to the playhead.

I may be wrong but my intuition tells me you are seeing a cptx-slide too much as a video slide. It is a hybrid,  in between static and video slides.

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(1)
2017-12-23 18:58:49
2017-12-23 18:58:49

Thank you for posting! I am new to Adobe Captivate.

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