Syncing Animations with Cue Points in Articulate Storyline

Written by David Anderson — Posted in Storyline

Well-synchronized audio and animation can give learners that smooth flow you want in your course. To synchronize them perfectly, try the cue points feature in Articulate Storyline. Let’s take a look at how easy it is to use cue points to deliver a seamless multimedia experience to your learners.

What are cue points?

Cue points are markers that you insert at precise points on the timeline. They help you visually define when objects should appear and disappear.

Cue Points in Articulate Storyline

Adding cue points

To add a cue point, right-click in the timeline where you want the cue point to appear. From the drop-down menu, select Create Cue Point at Playhead.

If you’re working on a slide where you need to sync multiple objects and animations, you can quickly set multiple cue points while you listen to your slide’s audio. Simply click the Play button in the lower left corner of your timeline and press your C key each time you want to insert a cue point.

Once the cue point is set, you can click and drag the cue point to change its position.

Aligning objects to cue points

Once you’ve set one or more cue points, you can use them to line up the timing for your objects. Simply drag either the left or right edge of the object to align with the cue point in the timeline.

Need a more precise method? No problem. Right-click an object in the timeline and select Align to Cue Point from the drop-down menu. If you have multiple cue points, you can select a specific cue point for your object.

Aligning objects to cue points

Deleting cue points

Let’s say your client sends you an updated audio file that requires you to resync your animations. If the audio changes are small, you can easily click and drag the cue points along the timeline to update their position.

On the other hand, if the updated audio requires a full resync, it might be easier to start from scratch. To delete all your existing cue points, right-click anywhere in the timeline and select Delete All Cue Points.


Are you using cue points for more than syncing animations? Tell us about it! Use the comments section below, or start a new post in E-Learning Heroes.

4 responses to “Syncing Animations with Cue Points in Articulate Storyline”


Nice, David. I’ve known about this feature awhile, but now understand how using cue points at the very least saves a few clicks and thereby speeds up the process of synching. Thanks for sharing. –Daniel

Daniel Brigham // Posted at 5:48 pm on August 3rd, 2013

As a first time user of Storyline, this was extremely helpful! THANK YOU DAVE!

Jenn // Posted at 12:08 pm on December 9th, 2013

Cue points are great for the sort of transitions illustrated. It would be really great if it were possible to use a command similar to ‘align with cue point’ to have the picture disappear, rather than having to shorten the pictures duration by dragging the element from the end of the timeline. Is this possible?

Errol Muir // Posted at 7:01 am on January 2nd, 2014

Hi Errol – The align to cue point option will set the left end of an object to the cue point as you’ve noticed. There isn’t a way to also align the right end of an object to another cue point.

Now, you also have the option of adjusting the duration of an object’s timeline.If you right-click the object’s timeline, you can override the default setting “show until end” and set it to something shorter. That will reduce the object’s duration and possibly make your workflow a little quicker.

The production tip I try to follow when working with cue points and animations is to first set up my object animation and duration before moving along the timeline.

Here are a couple good Screenrs on timeline production tips:

Tips for using the Articulate Storyline timeline to shorten a slide’s duration:

Articulate Storyline tip: trouble shortening the timeline? Try setting your objects to “Show until end”

David Anderson // Posted at 10:05 am on January 6th, 2014

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