Storyline 360: Elapsed Time Variables

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Looking for time-specific data in a Storyline 360 project? No need to embed web-based timers or use JavaScript anymore. The November 2021 update introduces three built-in variables to help you easily track the total time learners spend on a slide, a scene, or an entire course. Use them to create timed interactions, conditional triggers, and more! Read on for details.

Benefits of Elapsed Time Variables

Without time-specific data, it's hard to get a sense of learners' progress. However, with that timing data, you gain more insight into your learners and where there's room for improvement. For example, are learners spending a lot of time on a particular question slide? Try rewriting the question or creating a conditional trigger using an elapsed time variable to display a hint after they reach a certain amount of time on that slide. Or, are some learners finishing a quiz under a specific amount of time? Consider giving them extra points.

From the learner's perspective, displaying an optional time tracker on a layer as they navigate your course can help them manage their time more efficiently. This lets learners take ownership of their own progress so they can set appropriate goals.

Using Elapsed Time Variables

Storyline 360 now includes these built-in elapsed time variables:

  • Project.ElapsedTime: Cumulative elapsed time spent on an entire course
  • Scene.ElapsedTime: Cumulative elapsed time spent on a scene
  • Slide.ElapsedTime: Cumulative elapsed time spent on a slide

Elapsed time variables are just like any other variable in Storyline 360 so they're easy to use. Just refer to our user guide on working with variables.

Want to see elapsed time variables in action? Check out this sample project.


Find answers to common questions about using elapsed time variables in Storyline 360 below.

Are timed interactions accessible?

Time limits aren't a good idea for accessible courses. (Refer to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2.1.) Some learners who use screen readers or keyboard alternatives require more time to complete a task. It's best not to use elapsed time variables to impose time limits but rather for informational purposes, such as monitoring how long learners spend in an interaction.

What measurement do the elapsed time variables use? Is it adjustable?

Elapsed time variables report time in milliseconds. When creating conditional triggers, make sure the value of the elapsed time variable is in milliseconds (e.g., 1 second is equal to 1,000 milliseconds).

If you prefer to use a different measurement of time, variables and triggers can help! Erik Digre created this downloadable sample project showcasing a timer that uses minutes and seconds instead of milliseconds.

Does my timed interaction continue when navigating to a different browser tab or window?

Yes, elapsed time variables continue to report time when navigating to a different browser tab or window.

Can I report the value of an elapsed time variable to an LMS/LRS?

You can report the value of any variable, including elapsed time variables, to an LMS/LRS. View the following techniques, depending on the standard you used.


Install the Storyline 3 April 2022 update or later to restore compatibility with Storyline 360.

You can open and publish Storyline 360 project files with elapsed time variables in Storyline 3. When you preview or publish, they'll display their actual values. However, you can't add elapsed time variables in Storyline 3.

Note that elapsed time variables look different on slide stage in Storyline 360 and Storyline 3. In Storyline 360, elapsed time variables display their default values in a yellow placeholder. In Storyline 3, elapsed time variables show the variable name enclosed in percent signs.

Learn more about compatibility.