Product Review: Timeline Maker

When you have a complex story to tell that takes place over specific dates, a timeline can help guide your audience if you show a simplified version on screen, and a detailed handout on paper.

For example, one BBP user did a presentation on Mark Twain’s route to Lake Tahoe. A presenter could start with the entire route using a timeline and then use a slide to highlight a stopping point while giving an audience a quick overview of where they are in the adventure. 

But since PowerPoint is limited in its ability to build timelines, you might try a product like Timeline Maker to build your story over time. 

To make a point in time or a specific phase stand out in the chart, double click the event, or right-click on the event and choose the Format Event option. Inside this window you can change the font size, the font, the color, and other styles. You can make the event a bright color or give it a thicker border. When you change the event this way, it only changes that one event so you don’t have to worry about reducing the size of subsequent events.

TimelinerOnce you make this new style for important events, it becomes an option in the style selector window and you can apply it to any of the other events. You can also create categories especially for emphasized events. Call it something like “Highlight.” Do this from the event entry window. You can then apply a style to events you wish to highlight by right-clicking the style to assign it the Highlight category.

You know how some timeline applications overwhelm more than help users start working? Within 10 minutes of installing Timeline maker Professional, I had my first timeline using a software development life cycle (waterfall) process as my example (from my software development department days).

After I put together a decent timeline, I changed the views to see how they look. All show up nice and clear. You can change the style and background plus insert images. Customize the chart elements including the boxes and connectors. Add more information and interactivity by linking events to a document, video, sound, web pages, or other external files. Click the event and fill in the information.

TimelinerI didn’t have to consult a help file or anything to do any of this. The Timeline Maker site has examples of other timelines including ski accident, construction, criminal surveillance, medical history, real estate closing, and Civil War history. The software has a built-in presentation feature for presenting and navigating the chart. It also lets you insert your timelines right into PowerPoint — either by a single chart or all charts.

Timeliner Timeliner

You can try the program for 30 days. If you like it, Timeline Maker has been generous enough to offer BBP readers a 10% discount. Use voucher code BBP0704. Enter the code into the shopping cart when you make the purchase.

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2 Responses to “Product Review: Timeline Maker”

  1. DJ says:

    Erm, I know I could Google it … but there’s no link!?!? 🙂

  2. Cliff Atkinson says:

    oops – links have been added

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