Quick Tip #3: Add Notes and Links

Step 1: From the Milestone or Task Wizard, click the Notes icon.

When editing a Milestone or a Task, click on the Notes icon to bring up the Note feature.

project management application

Step 2: Type or paste right into the Notes box.

This can be text from documents, tables from a spreadsheet or URL’s linking to important files on your desktop, team portal or internet.

Project management app for PowerPoint

Step 3: Save Notes by pressing the Finish button.

Remember these last two steps to make sure your Notes are properly saved.

See these quick videos for more tips:

Quickly turn project data into professional timelines

Build stunning, uncomplicated timelines and Gantt charts that are easy to make and simple to communicate. Get the advanced features of Office Timeline Plus free for 14 days.


Quick-Tip #2: Position Milestones Exactly Where You Want Them

Step 1: Manually re-position your milestone markers.

Click on the text box of the milestone you want to re-position and drag it vertically to a new position as shown in the image below. This can be done for both milestones that are positioned above or below the time band.

Project management tools for PowerPoint

Step 2: Click accept and choose Accept Manual Changes.

Once you have moved your milestone to the desired position, click the Accept button on the ribbon to save and to automatically create a connector from the timeband to your newly positioned milestone.  You can see the changes in the image below.

Gantt chart software for PowerPoint

Watch this quick video to see how it is done.

See these quick videos for more tips:

Quickly turn project data into professional timelines

Build stunning, uncomplicated timelines and Gantt charts that are easy to make and simple to communicate. Get the advanced features of Office Timeline Plus free for 14 days.


Quick Tip #1: Copy and Paste from Excel

Step 1. Copy from Excel.

Organize your Task and Milestone data into two Excel tables as shown here.

Task tables should include a start date, end date and a description arranged next to each other. Milestone tables should have a milestone date and description also arranged next to each other.  Now copy your first table.

Step 2: Click the Paste icon.Paste from Excel into PowerPoint Timeline Maker

From the Office Timeline Milestone or Task Wizard  paste your copied Milestone table, and then paste your copied task table.  See how in this video.

Project management software that pastes from Excel into PowerPoint

Step 3: Create your slide by pressing the Finish button.

Click the green check box to finish turning your tables into a professional looking timeline slide or Gantt chart. It is just as easy as that.
Project management software for PowerPoint

See these quick videos for more tips:

Quickly turn project data into professional timelines

Build stunning, uncomplicated timelines and Gantt charts that are easy to make and simple to communicate. Get the advanced features of Office Timeline Plus free for 14 days.


Quickly make a Pharmaceutical timeline slide in PowerPoint

Updated on 15 May 2020

Make Pharma timelines in PowerPoint

In clinical trials and Pharmaceutical research, high-level timelines and roadmaps that look and feel professional are considered instrumental. Why? The short answer is that research teams are often required to present – and explain – their progress and findings to audiences with varying degrees of scientific knowledge. 

These audiences consist of key stakeholders who make effective and time-sensitive decisions, so the way complex data is delivered and received can have a major impact on the future of the project. It goes without saying that integrating project timelines, Gantt charts and swimlane diagrams into a PowerPoint slide will considerably streamline any presentation.

This post aims to show you how quick and easy it is to build a clinical trial or Pharmaceutical research timeline using the Office Timeline free PowerPoint add-in. You will also see just how customizable these visuals are, and how you can update plans with just a couple of clicks.

Creating a Pharmaceutical timeline has always been painful

Historically speaking, creating timelines and Gantt charts that depict the discovery process and clinical trials has always represented a pain point in the Pharmaceutical industry. There are a number of applications designed specifically for project management in this field. 

However, the excessively complex diagrams they generate make them unsuitable, particularly when it comes to creating the high-level overviews required in board meetings with management or agency execs. Not to mention the learning curve that rivals a degree in biochemistry!

Alternatives exist, of course, in the form of Microsoft Project or Excel, which you might already be using for collating some research and patient info. Applications in this category do include some features for rendering graphical representations of data. 

Unfortunately, they end up being extremely time consuming due to limited automation and lack of templates designed exclusively for Pharmaceutical research roadmaps or clinical trial timelines. Complications increase tenfold whenever you need to update plans, to the point where it’s often easier to rebuild the timeline from scratch.

And, since you’ll probably want to use PowerPoint presentations to showcase your progress in meetings with your stakeholders, the lack of integrations is yet another spanner in the works. In short, the conventional options just aren’t great for presenting, sharing and collaborating on a timeline that’s ultimately designed to bridge the gap between researchers, managers and sponsors.

A smart PowerPoint add-in can solve these problems

What makes the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in different? It’s the ability to aptly address all of the aforementioned issues that make the existing options painful, perhaps even more so for the Pharma industry.

Lightweight yet robust, sporting a sleek and intuitive interface, the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in has everything you need to easily create clinical trial roadmaps and swimlane diagrams of drug research as native .PPTX slides. Not only that, but the slides can be edited and shared within minutes, facilitating communication and collaboration between all the teams involved. Let’s find out more.

How to use Office Timeline to build impressive Pharmaceutical timeline slides

Step 1: Get the add-in

Before you can enjoy the virtually limitless customization options and numerous pre-built templates, you’ll first need to have Office Timeline installed on your machine. You can download the trial version of the add-in from our website. After completing the installation, a new tab will appear in your PowerPoint menu (shown below). Congratulations, you’re on your way!

Office Timeline in PowerPoint

Step 2: Choose a template

The best place to start creating a timeline or Gantt chart are the built-in templates and styles created by our professional design team to accommodate a wide array of scenarios.

Select new template in Office Timeline

But that’s just the beginning. You can also find additional templates – including Pharma templates – in our free Gantt chart and timeline templates gallery or in this blog post. These templates are all completely free, easy to download and we’re constantly working to expand the list so check back regularly to see what’s new.

Step 3: Edit the data

Once you decide on a template, it’s incredibly easy and intuitive to modify the default milestones or tasks or delete them and add your own. Check out how quickly you can update a milestone name, shape, color and even its date directly from Edit Data menu:

Edit Data view in Office Timeline

If your patient or research data is already available in another application, you’ll be happy to know that the Office Timeline add-in allows you to import it directly, so you won’t have to type it in again. We support integrations with Excel, Microsoft Project, Smartsheet and Wrike:

Import from Excel in Office Timeline

Step 4: Style and design features

Visuals like the color theme used, the shape of the elements and their contrast against the backdrop play a major role in what you’ll highlight during the presentation and what you’d like to emphasize. The templates are a great place to start, but every single element of the graph can be customized separately as well. 

You can radically alter the default design of the timeband, milestones, tasks or swimlanes with just a couple of clicks, to bring in your own branding and breathe life into previously sterile sets of data:

Style Pane options in Office Timeline

Step 5: Share and collaborate

We cannot stress enough how vital communication and collaboration is in the Pharmaceutical industry, which is why the Office Timeline add-in integrates a feature for sharing your work via different channels. 

Emailing your roadmaps to team members and stakeholders as an image, PowerPoint slide, or even the entire .PPTX file is simple and can be done directly from the add-in’s interface. Check it out:

Share options in Office Timeline

To sum up

In terms of breaking down complex Pharmaceutical research and clinical trial data, the Office Timeline add-in is just what the doctor prescribed. Creating roadmaps and swimlane diagrams from scratch is a breeze, thanks to its clear interface and comprehensive list of dedicated templates

With Office Timeline, PowerPoint becomes a one-size-fits-all powerhouse of designing, updating, presenting and sharing timelines, all without the downside of a prohibitive learning curve. Download the 14-day trial to get started, after which you can continue to use the free version or take the next step with the extra features of the Pro Edition to wow your stakeholders and transform boardroom meetings into your favorite part of the day.

More resources

Quickly turn project data into professional timelines

Build stunning timelines, roadmaps and Gantt charts that are easy to make and simple to communicate. Get the advanced features of Office Timeline Pro free for 14 days.


Change the timescale of your project’s timeband.

If the duration of your project spans multiple years or just a few days, you can change the date intervals on your timeband to match by setting it to Days, Weeks, Months, Quarters or Years. (To make a dateless timeline that presents a project without defining a specific start or finish date, please see this blog on dateless timelines.)

1. Open your timeline slide in PowerPoint and select your graphic's timeband.

Timeband Scale in Months

2. With the timeband selected, go to the Timeline Scale section in the Office Timeline Style Pane on the right (pictured below). Here, pick a new timescale from the options available (Hours/Minutes, Days, Weeks, Weeks (ISO), Quarters or Years). The add-in will automatically update your timeline. You will also find the language control for the timeband here. Use it to change the language of your timeband’s scale if you have an international audience.

Change Timeband Scale

In the example below, we have switched the timescale from months to weeks.

Timescale in Weeks

Are you running the latest version? Check our Updates page here.