Understanding the Timeline

I upgraded to Cubase 9 from Cubase 8.5 with a free upgrade (as I bought Cubase 8.5 right before they released 9.) on a Mac.

I am having a whole lot of difficulty understanding the timeline functions. There are several things that happen when I place (or hover) the cursor over the timeline. I normally like to adjust the length of the timeline to export sections of the audio or just change the length of the highlighted section etc… However, when I place the cursor over the timeline a number of things may or may not appear with any type of logical rhyme or reason.

  1. A Black arrow
  2. a white four directional arrow
  3. A small white hand with all the fingers
  4. a small white hand with one pointer finger
  5. A pencil
  6. the top 3rd of the timeline will change colour and highlight.

    It seems as though the only way to extend the highlighted section is to try and randomly click things until the white hand with the finger appears and click very accurately on the little white triangle in the top corner of the highlighted section. It is frustrating to say the least.

Anyways, I can’t find a breakdown of how all these timeline functions work. Can someone point me in the right direction to a youtube video or an article. Nothing came up on the help menu in the program.

Hi and welcome,

In general, there are 2 parts of the Main Ruler (Timeline). The upper one, and the bottom one.

The upper part (if you hove over it, the Timeline upper part becomes highlighted):

  • No modifier = Pencil: You can draw the Left-Right Locators position.
  • Alt = Hand with 1 finger: The Left Locator position (once you click, the Left Locator would be placed to the position).
  • Ctrl/Cmd = Hand with 1 finger: The Right Locator position (once you click, the Right Locator would be placed to the position).

The bottom part:

  • No modifier = Crosshair cursor: Click (keep mouse down) and move mouse up/down to Zoom In/Out.
  • The modifiers are the same as in the upper part.

Since Cubase 10.5 it’s possible to switch this Timeline divider off and you can use the old way (without Zoom In/Out) again.