Graph A Timeline In Excel – Video Tutorial & Download

In the post-apocalyptic world, can you visualize how much time would you have before the Grim Reaper shows on your doorstep? Well, you don’t have to worry about it now. Also, given that Oz du Soleil is here, you do not have to worry about making timelines.

Graph A Timeline In Excel
Graph A Timeline In Excel

Oz is taking us through an exploratory (and creative) journey of building timelines in Excel 2013. The end result could look as amusing as the image on our right.

How To Graph A Timeline In Excel

bullet step 1Add Label Height to your Timeline Data

Labels on the bars of your timeline may overlap. Adjusting these ‘label heights’ will prevent this overlap from taking place.timeline3

bullet step 2Create a Scatter Plot

Go to Insert > Scatter under Charts. Scatter plots include a wide array of options which we shall exploit to make our data look like a timeline.

Now within Design > Select Data, click on Add. Select the ‘Dates’ as the X values and ‘Label Height’ as Y values.timeline2

bullet 3Formatting the Scatter Plot

  1. Delete the ‘Chart Title’ and grids as pleases you.
  2. From Chart Elements add Error Bars. Delete the horizontal error bars. Now format the vertical error bars so that they only have minus at 100% error.
  3. Now add Data Labels to your chart above the data points. Edit them to Value From Cells and select the descriptions under ‘Event’.

bMore Formatting

  1. Select any data label and press File under ‘Insert picture from’. Select any picture you want and resize it as it pleases.
  2. Delete the cell containing the event description if you only want the picture to appear.timeline4

iii. Edit other data labels as your desire.

Step 5: Done!

What you have now is a dynamic (and cool) timeline. If the table containing your timeline data is connected to some cells or contains some calculations, the timeline will get automatically updated as these cells or calculations change, respectively. Why else would you want to use the power of Excel to make timelines!

Get the Download

Excel-timeline  <————– Click to download the file that Oz used

What’s next?

The next time you have to make a creative-looking timeline and are worried about the data changing, use what you just learned.

Lastly, share this awesome trick with your friends!

Jamani Arsalan


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