Timelines

The Timeline shape library allows you to easily create timelines to show past events or future plans. Use them for project management, school projects, or presentations.

The Timeline shape library is available to users with a Professional subscription or higher. To upgrade, visit our pricing page.

More Shapes Lucidchart

To access the shape library:

  1. Click on “+ Shapes” in the Toolbox, or press the “M” key.
  2. Select Timeline and press “Save.”

With the shape library pinned to your Toolbox, it’s easy to drag and drop elements of the timeline onto the canvas.

Timeline elements include:

  • Timeline block: This is the base of your timeline. When you drag this shape onto the canvas, you can set the start and finish dates of your timeline, specify date formatting, and choose the length of time markers (seconds, days, years, etc.).
  • Milestone: This marker allows you to record a significant event. It will snap to position when you change its date in the Advanced Shape Menu or when you place it into position on the timeline.
  • Interval: This shape allows you to show events that span over a period of time. Use the Advanced Shape Menu to enter start and end dates or change the length of the shape on the timeline until it reflects the correct timespan.

To set or change the start and end dates for a timeline block or interval:

  1. Click on the timeline block or interval shape. The Advanced Shape Menu will drop down at the top of the editor.
  2. A start time or date may never be later than a finish time or date, so change your finish time and date first. Click on the date or time listed above the word “Finish.” Use the dropdown menu to select your finish date and time.

    Start and End Date for timelines
  3. Repeat step two to set a start date and time.
  • Markers divide your timeline into regular intervals. They may have the value of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, quarters, or years. To mark your timeline using seconds, minutes, or hours, the total time interval of your timeline must be relatively small. If those options are not available to you, try setting the start and end times of your timeline a day, hour, or minute apart.

    Set Markers in your timeline
  • Labels write the day and time below each marker on your timeline. Use the Labels Format drop-down menu to choose how your labels are written. You may also choose to turn labels on and off.

Stacking timelines is useful when you need to show multiple projects of teams working at the same time.

To stack two or more timelines:

  1. Drag a timeline onto the canvas. Set the start date and finish date, and choose your desired time marker.

    Select Start and End date of your timeline
  2. Copy and paste your formatted timeline shape until you have the desired number of timelines. This step is important because it ensures that all of your timelines have the same start and finish dates and time markers. If these things are not the same, it will be impossible to format interval blocks correctly.

    Turn labels off
  3. Turn the labels off on all of your timeline shapes except for one.
  4. With the labeled timeline on the bottom, stack your timelines on top of each other so that time markers are hidden on all of the other timelines.

    Stacked Timeline
  5. You may choose to give each layer of your timeline a name using text boxes drawn to the side of your timeline.
  6. Drag and drop time intervals onto each layer of your timeline and format them as normal.

    Stacked timline Finished Product

 

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