When moving events around in time (horizontally) or from one row to another (vertically), you normally simply grab them with your mouse and drag them there. While doing so, TimeStory will help you align to time boundaries and avoid overlaps; when you need to be more precise and direct in your placement, all of this can be controlled by holding a combination of Shift, Option, and Command while dragging. This tutorial explains these rules and how to control them.

We’ll demonstrate each of the dragging controls by dragging an event around a simple document. (You can download the document here.)

The default—just dragging an object around with no special keys pressed—should do the most reasonable thing. The modifications described below are for fine-tuning your timeline layout.

(It’s easiest to describe these features with short video clips. Below, you should see a sequence of videos, each one about 8 or 9 seconds long. There is no audio.)

Vertical dragging

Normally, when dragging an event around, TimeStory tries to avoid any overlapping events in the same row. It does this by inserting new, empty rows whenever there’s an overlap detected. The following video shows this default behavior:

Allow overlap (i.e., prevent automatic insertion of new rows) by pressing and holding the Shift key while dragging:

Or, force the insertion of a new row (even when there’s no overlap) by pressing and holding the Option key while dragging:

Horizontal dragging

As you drag events horizontally, they will normally snap to boundaries of the current time unit. In this example, notice that “Months” are selected for display; as the event is dragged to the left, it snaps to the first of each month as it gets close:

Override this by pressing and holding the Command key. This completely disables snapping behavior, so you can drag it smoothly or select other days near the time unit boundaries: