Excel Timeline Template

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This tutorial covers downloading and using the free timeline template from Microsoft. The timeline template can be used in all versions of Excel from Excel 97 onward.

01
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Downloading the Timeline Template

Downloading the Timeline Template
© Ted French

The timeline template for Excel is available free on Microsoft's website.

Once on the site:

  1. Click on the Download button on the template page.
  2. A notice regarding Microsoft's Service Agreement may appear. If so, you must accept the terms of the agreement before you will be able to continue with the download. Click on the link provided to read the terms of the agreement before accepting.
  3. If you are agreeable to the terms of the agreement, click on the Accept button to begin the download.
  4. Microsoft Excel should open with the timeline template loaded into the program.
  5. Save the template to your computer.
02
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Using the Template

Using the Template
© Ted French

The template is just a regular Excel worksheet that has had text boxes added to it and specific formatting options applied to make it appear as it does.

The timeline itself is created by adding borders to specific cells in the worksheet and by typing the dates in cells below the timeline. Events are adding by typing in the text boxes provided.

Everything in the timeline, therefore, can be altered to suit your needs.

The following pages cover the most common changes people need to make to the template.

03
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Changing the Title

Changing the title.
© Ted French
  1. Click once on the Timeline title.
  2. Drag select to highlight the existing title.
  3. Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the default title.
  4. Type in your own title.
04
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Timeline Dates

Timeline dates
© Ted French
  1. Double click on the date you want to change. This puts Excel into Edit mode.
  2. Double click on the same date a second time to highlight it.
  3. Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the default date.
  4. Type the new date.
05
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Moving Event Boxes

Moving event boxes
© Ted French

The Event boxes can be moved as needed along the timeline. To move a box:

  1. Click on the box to be moved.
  2. Move the mouse pointer to one side of the box until the pointer changes into a 4-headed arrow (see image above for an example).
  3. Press the left mouse button and drag the box to the new location.
  4. Release the mouse button when the box is in the correct position.
06
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Add Event Boxes to the Timeline

Event boxes
© Ted French

To add more event boxes:

  1. Move the mouse pointer around the edge of an existing event box until the pointer changes into a 4-headed arrow.
  2. With the 4-headed arrow present, right click on the box to open the context menu.
  3. Choose Copy from the list of options.
  4. Right-click on the background of the timeline to re-open the context menu.
  5. Choose Paste from the list of options.
  6. A duplicate of the copied box should appear on the timeline.
  7. Use the other steps listed in this tutorial to move the new box and to change the text.
07
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Resize Event Boxes

Resize event boxes
© Ted French

To resize event boxes:

  1. Click on the box to be resized. Small circles and squares will appear around the edge of the box.
  2. Move the mouse pointer over one of the circles or squares. The circles allow you to change both the height and width of the box at the same time. The squares allow you to change either the height or width depending on which one you use.
  3. When the pointer changes to a 2 - headed black arrow, click and drag with the mouse to make the box larger or smaller.

To resize the event box lines:

  1. Click on the box to be resized. Small circles and squares will appear around the edge of the box and yellow diamonds appear on the line.
  2. Move the mouse pointer over one of the diamonds until the pointer changes to a white triangle.
  3. Click and drag with the mouse to make the line longer or shorter.

 

 

08
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Finished Timeline

Finished timeline.
© Ted French

This photo shows what a finished timeline might look like.

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