How to Create a Simple Timeline with Excel

By Techwalla Computers Editor

Timelines are useful in showing events as they occur over a period of time. Excel is a great tool for creating simple timelines, thanks to a Microsoft Office template available at

Things You'll Need

  • A working copy of Microsoft Excel 97 or later
  • Internet access

Step 1

Open a Web browser. Go to and conduct a search for "Excel timeline template." From the resulting list, find the template titled "Timeline" for Excel 97 or later.

Step 2

Download the template. Select the template link, which will take you to the template's Web page. Click "Download Now," accepting any Web browser prompts regarding downloading a file. Excel should open with the template selected.

Step 3

Modify the template. Select the years along the timeline and change them to relevant dates. Make sure that your dates make sense for the timeline. Copy and paste text boxes to create new events, and modify existing text boxes as necessary. Move them by left-clicking and dragging to the right location. Copy and paste the lines that connect the events to the timeline, and move them as required.

Step 4

Delete the instructions. Once you are familiar with how to manipulate the template, delete the instructions by selecting the text box and hitting "DEL."

Step 5

Save the file. Select "File," and then "Save As...", and give the file a name and location. In Excel 2007, select the Office Button and then "Save As."

References & Resources