A timeline can be a useful way to visualize changes or events that occur over periods of time. Although there may be better tools for creating timelines, Excel can be handy, particularly when you want to perform date calculations, or take advantage of the drawing tools within Excel. See below for some example timeline templates to help you get started.


Common Uses for Timelines

  • Chronologically arrange past events.
    - Innovations in science between 1800 and 2000 - World history -
  • Represent a person's life history.
    - Depiction of life events along with historical time periods or local events -
  • Map historic events and time periods.
    - History of the universe - Theory of evolution - Geologic time -
  • Create a project schedule.
    - Deliverable dates - Task completion -

Example Timeline Spreadsheets

Example Project Timeline
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Example 1: Project Timeline

A Gantt chart is typically used in business and engineering to plan and schedule projects. However, if you need a special project timeline to include in a presentation or some other document, you might want to try creating it using the drawing tools in Excel. This free spreadsheet below contains two example project schedules.

No macros, No VBA, Just a simple spreadsheet

Bar Graph Time Line
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Example 2: Time Period Comparisons

In geneological (family history) research, timelines are particularly useful for comparing events and people's life spans. This example spreadsheet uses stacked bar charts to compare a few different people living before and during the civil war. By the way, if you're into family history, you may also want to try the new Family Tree Template.

No macros, No VBA, Just a simple spreadsheet

Project Schedule Template

Project Timeline / Schedule

This project schedule template can be used for creating nice looking project timelines. It is very similar to a gantt chart but it doesn't have all the features that a typical gantt chart would have.


Automated Timeline Template

Timeline Template

Excel Timeline Template

Create a historical or project timeline quickly and easily using this original Vertex42 timeline template. This page was originally an article explaining how to create a timeline using an XY chart and error bars for leaderlines, but now you can download the time line template and get a huge head start on your project!

Related Content


Cite This Page

To reference this page, please use something similar to the following citation:

- Wittwer, J.W., "Timelines in Excel" from Vertex42.com


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