Often you may want to create a timeline in Excel to visualize when specific events will occur.
Fortunately this is fairly easy to do and the following step-by-step example shows how to create the following timeline in Excel:
Let’s jump in!
Step 1: Enter the Data
First, we will enter the following data into Excel:
Step 2: Insert Bar Chart
Next, highlight the cell range A2:B11.
Then click the Insert tab along the top ribbon and then click the icon called Clustered Column:
The following bar chart will be created:
Step 3: Add Data Labels
Next, click the green plus sign in the top right corner of the chart, then click Data Labels, then click More Options:
In the panel that appears on the right side of the screen, uncheck the box next to Values and then check the box next to Value From Cells.
In the window that appears, choose the range C2:C11 and then click OK:
The values from the “Task Name” column will be added to the chart:
Step 4: Modify the Bars
Next, click any bar on the chart. In the Format Data Series panel on the right side of the screen, choose No fill:
Then click the tiny plus sign in the top right corner of the chart, then click Error Bars, then click More Options:
In the Format Error Bars panel that appears on the right side of the screen, choose Minus as the direction, then click Percentage as the Error Amount and type in 100%:
The bars in the chart will now appear as lines:
Step 5: Customize the Chart
Lastly, feel free to customize the chart by making the following changes:
- Click the horizontal bars and delete them.
- Add a chart title.
- Make the font bold to make the labels easier to read.
The final timeline will looks like this:
Note: If you don’t want any events to be shown below the x-axis, simply make all of the values in the “Height for Task” column in the spreadsheet positive.
The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel: