How to create a timeline in PowerPoint with dates? Have you ever wanted to make a timeline for your project in your university, school, or even the company you are working at? For example, you want to make a graph showing the quality and number of sales on certain dates to your clients or managers. Or you just want to show your class the dates on which certain events happened (such as important wars or revolutions).
The objective of this article is simple. I am going to show you how you can create a simple and fast timeline in the PowerPoint that you can add to your presentation later. The good thing about this timeline, which you will have as an add-in element in the PowerPoint, is that you will be able to update the information inside regularly based on your needs.
Before we begin, note that I am using the 2016 version of this application. Although there may be some differences, the process of creating such a timeline would be similar.
How to create a timeline in PowerPoint
- You should first open the PowerPoint, right-click on the blank part of the window and create a new PowerPoint by going to the “New” section.
- Open the PowerPoint, go to the tabs located above the PowerPoint page (such as Home, Insert, Design, etc.), and select the “Insert” and then click on the “Chart” as shown below.
- As you can see, a number of charts will appear on your page from which you can choose whatever you want for your need. Right now, since we need a timeline, I choose “X Y (Scatter).”
After clicking on the chart, you will see that the following figure will appear on your PowerPoint.
- Here, you should do a simple job. You should add numbers (dates) as the X-values and for each one and 0 for the Y-values. I added the dates related to the history of Iranian kings who ruled over this country during certain periods. Look at the following result:
Now, we should delete everything that we don’t need, such as Y-axis, Grid Lines, and the Title, just by clicking on them and then hitting “Delete Button” on your keyboard. Look at the following result where you can only see the dates (blue dots).
Reposition your chart to wherever you need it. I brought it to the middle part of the page. Now, I am going to make some changes to the figure. For this, double click on the figure, and you will access more options to edit your figure.
- Using some of these options, you can change the color of the circles (or markers), size, and general shape (such as triangles and other shapes). To do this, just double-click on the markers and the options will appear on the left side. There are other options that you can play with in order to get the final result. For now, I just changed the color of the markers and made them look bigger by changing the size. Look at the following image.
To change the size, color, and shape of the markers, just double click on the markers figure and then the Color Figure that will bring two options: Line and Marker (Look at the above image). Click on the Built-in option first from the “Marker Options,” and then, you can change all the settings you want.
I also change the axis to be black and bold. Change the options based on your needs, and do not change too much.
If you want to edit the text, just click on my figure and change the size and format for the normal texts. I changed the color and text format to be “Time New Roman” and then made my texts (numbers) bold. Look at the following result.
Now, all we have to do is add some text boxes to complete our history of Iranian dynasties and kings ruled over Iran. You may need to change the size of the figures and the texts you want to add based on your need in order to fit everything together. Or else, the result will not be as stunning as you think, and it will be just a messed-up figure full of numbers and words mushed up together, and the person will not understand what you are saying on the timeline.
Now that the numbers are on the figure, we need to add texts to explain all these numbers. The best option is using a “Text Box” in which you can add your text. To do so, go to the “Home” tab, and on the left side, click the “Shape” options and choose the “Text” box as shown below.
Click on it and then, you will be able to create the text box by dragging your mouse to the size you want. Look at the following image:
As you can see, I added a text box in which I also specified the year and explained the Dynasty, Period, and The Last King/Emperor of Iran in that period. To link the date to the Market, I added the year (Orange) to ensure there is no confusion with other markers. Now, I will do the same thing for other markers.
You can apply other changes to the text boxes too. You can actually generate lines around it, change the color lines, and other options. To do so, you just need to click on the text box, and another tab that is named “Shape Format” or “Drawing Tool” will appear, from which you can edit the box. Look at the following image:
Now, I add other texts and finish the timeline.
As you can see in the above image, I created a timeline for the dynasties and rulers of Iran between 651AD and 1796AD. You can also connect the boxes to their respective markers using the “Line” shape. The following image is the final result.
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