When a Video Timeline is created in Photoshop, there are 2 options for viewing time units:

  • a Frame Number mode (which is pretty self-explanatory), and
  • the Timecode mode, which I don't understand.

There are 2 kinds of suffixes there : -f and -s, at first, I thought that the -s suffix is meant to mark seconds, but it's not the case. The -s suffixes appear only when I open a video file like .avi in Photoshop but the -s units are much longer than 1 second, the -f ones appear when I create a Timeline within a standard Ps document.

What's the difference between them, and generally what's the concept behind such an unintuitive time units for video in Photoshop?

Edit: A screenshot with -s units:

enter image description here

Eidt2: There are -m suffixes as well (movie duration was about 1h 30 mins, so the suffixes mean probably seconds and minutes, taking into account bigger units in front)

enter image description here

  • Cold you please add a screenshot of your timeline panel? I don't see any -s suffixes on mine Feb 5, 2021 at 20:53
  • Interesting.. I can find no information on this, nor can I get my version to show an -s in any way. I only see the -f (avi, mp4 both tested). I've tried just about every setting including a smart video layer... always see the -f.
    – Scott
    Feb 5, 2021 at 21:08
  • yes, I also can't make my timeline to show -s even if I open videos Feb 5, 2021 at 21:10
  • ah! I see -s if I compress timeline and they are seconds. I guess the question is: what do you mean by "these units are longer than 1 second"? Could it be that your video isn't cached so it plays in slower speed? Feb 5, 2021 at 21:11
  • @SergeyKritskiy How are you "compressing the timeline" I've tried.. still no -s.
    – Scott
    Feb 5, 2021 at 21:16

1 Answer 1


So, not sure what would be 'intuitive time units' but the units PS uses are common (at least between Adobe apps). Each second consists of N-number of frames, say, 25 like on your screenshots. So when your timeline is zoomed in you have

  • Frame 0 is 0:0f
  • frame 20 is 0:20f
  • frame 30 is 1:05f

etc. When timeline is compressed, seconds start to appear, then minutes — hence is -s and -m suffixes. The reason why the seconds didn't feel like seconds could've been because the video wasn't playing in real framerate: notice the value in the bottom of the panel: it shows the actual framerate. Here I'm playing a 4k video in Photoshop, not the best idea:

enter image description here

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