It seems we could all use 30 hours in a day to help get everything done, but there’s no use in hoping that dream will come true—we’re left to our own devices to make everything fit into our busy schedules.
Keyboard shortcuts are one way to do that. Back in March, Diane wrote a post about keyboard shortcuts that work in most software. And be sure to check out our reference guides for keyboard shortcuts for Storyline, Lectora, and Captivate.
I’ve spent most of my time lately in Storyline. While authoring tools don’t get much more user-friendly than this, there are a few ways to cut down on development time. In addition to keyboard shortcuts, here are a few tips I hope you find as useful as I do.
1. Insert Cue Point.
If you press the C key while playing the Timeline, a numbered marker is inserted into the Timeline. This is a great way to visually mark where objects need to come in or out, and it’s MUCH better than watching and listening to the preview 12 times to get it right. Once you have the cue points, you can either manually line up your objects, or right-click the object and select the cue point you want to align it to.
2. Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts.
You can open the Insert Picture dialog box when you click CTRL + J on your keyboard. I find that I’m adding, on average, between two and five graphics per screen—and the little time I save with the keyboard shortcut really adds up.
The option to preview the current slide is available on every ribbon menu, but it takes a few clicks to get there. Why not press CTRL + F12 on your keyboard to preview the slide quickly?
Have you noticed when you use the arrow key to move an object, the object moves several pixels to that direction? Well, what about when you want to move it only one or two pixels? Hold down the CTRL key when clicking arrow keys to move the object one pixel at a time— perfect for getting the object optimally aligned!
3. Format Painter for States.
Many people are familiar with using the Format Painter in PowerPoint to apply formatting such as font or drop shadows from one object to another. The same tool exists in Storyline. One of the ways I use it is to copy the states of one object over to another. For example, if I have a button that I’ve given a checkmark to for a visited state, I can use the Format Painter to change another button’s state to look the same way.
4. Set Default Shape.
If you find yourself always reformatting buttons, rectangles, or captions the same way over and over again, then perhaps you need to set a new default. For example, if my buttons are usually navy blue with light yellow text, I can set one button up the way I want it, right-click it, and select Set as Default Button. Now every new button I add will look like that one. (States are not included in the default shape settings.)
5. Editing Action Descriptions for Screen Recordings.
If you do any screen recordings with captions inside Storyline, you’ve noticed that the default text may not coincide with your organization’s style guidelines. For example, Storyline’s default caption is “Double-Click” but what if your style guide requires “Double click” be used? You can either edit every caption in your screen recording to match, or you can edit the ActionDescriptions.xml file in the Articulate program files. For more information about how to do this, go to the Articulate support site here.
Do you have any great time-saving tips you’d like to share?