Best 5 Free Gantt Chart Templates for PowerPoint

The fastest way to create a Gantt chart and visualize project plans and progress is to use a pre-designed Gantt chart template. Period.

Whenever I have to quickly generate a Gantt chart in PowerPoint for a project review or another upcoming executive meeting, I feel more relaxed knowing that I can count on a ready-made template with editable graphics to help me deliver powerful presentations every time.

And the best news is that since these templates are designed directly in PowerPoint, which most professionals already use, it’s super easy to get my team members to collaborate on my project visuals.


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Top 5 free Gantt chart templates for your next presentation

Here are 5 free Gantt chart templates you can effortlessly customize for your projects:

  1. PowerPoint Gantt chart template
  2. Basic Gantt chart template
  3. Project outline template
  4. Project status report template
  5. Project management plan template

1. PowerPoint Gantt Chart Template

A simple yet powerful template every project manager should have in their management tool kit. This PowerPoint Gantt chart template offers you full customization of colors, fonts, shapes, and designs so that you can make it the perfect match for your projects.


PowerPoint Gantt chart template

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2. Basic Gantt Chart Template

Get a Gantt chart template that includes all the essential elements you need when planning and communicating a project at a high level so that non-project people can quickly check if things are on the right track.


Basic Gantt chart template

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3. Project Outline Template

This template breaks your project down into main stages, steps, and milestones, providing you with a detailed visual sketch to serve as the basis of your strategy. In just a few clicks, you get an easy-to-follow overview of your project that ensures all stakeholders are on the same page.


Project outline template

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4. Project Status Report Template

Summarize the project progress at a glance with this project status report template that lets you keep team members, executives, and clients updated on critical tasks and project milestones.


Project status report template

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5. Project Management Plan Template

Optimize your stakeholder communication strategy with project management plan visuals that help you make things clear for everyone involved. This Gantt chart template enables you to lay out your project plan and monitor progress while presenting only the information that’s relevant for clients and executives.


Project management plan template

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Stunning PowerPoint presentations with little effort

One thing I’ve learned over the years while preparing hundreds of presentations for executives and clients is that Gantt chart templates are a project manager’s best friend.

Using ready-made templates lets you cut your learning curve while enabling you to create eye-catching project visuals in just a couple of minutes. Plus, you get no more death stares from your audience when getting to that Gantt chart slide.

Office Timeline was designed to help professionals like you and me effortlessly create roadmaps, timelines, and Gantt charts in PowerPoint and communicate complex project information in the best way possible. To edit the PowerPoint templates presented above, simply go and install the Office Timeline Pro+ 14-day trial version.

Check out Office Timeline’s entire collection of free Gantt chart templates and pick your favorite.


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Guest post: Why stakeholders regularly ignore your project reports – and how to fix that

by Peter Taylor

The #1 way to improve the success probability of your project is to nail stakeholder buy-in - but how do you do that? The #1 way to nail stakeholder buy-in is to give them uncomplicated visual project updates so they actually understand your project – but how do you do that?

Project Gantt chart

To effectively communicate something requires all four of the following to be correct, providing the right information, providing it to the right person, delivering it in the right way, and delivering it at the right time.

Get any of these wrong, and you will fail to effectively communicate. For example, deliver the right information to the right person, in the right way but at the wrong time, then you have failed to effectively communicate. Or deliver the right information in the right way, and at the right time but to the wrong person, then once again you will have failed to effectively communicate.

I was taught a truth in my early project management days – reporting is not communicating! The fact that the critical facts and important truths are buried somewhere in a report that the right people may be in possession of does not, in any way, mean that they have received the message.

This is a harsh reality all of your busy, busy project managers out there. The fact you can produce the most wonderful 16-page report with graphs and diagrams and every single data point included, designed with beautiful font layouts, a rainbow of colours, and high-definition images, and you email it every single stakeholder (and their best friend) actually means you have probably effectively communicated to absolutely nobody!

Why? Because you have failed to deliver the right information, to the right person, in the right way, and at the right time.

The Project Reporting Challenge

When I was leading some very substantial PMOs, global in nature, hundreds of project managers around the world, leading thousands of projects on an annual basis, we had this fundamental issue of effectively communicating to a whole range of stakeholders but particularly to the executives inside the organisation. All of my project managers were incredibly busy and yet they all had the challenge of how to represent the key aspects of their projects to the business executives, who in turn were busy people who did not have a lot of time and who were overseeing many, many projects at any given time.

Every project manager was being asked to share information with people internally, people externally, clients, sponsors, internal executives, and, of course, the PMO on a regular basis. The risk was that the project managers could so easily have been consumed by regular and disparate reporting demands and had no time to actually manage their projects.

The key here was to both make sure that the project manager did not waste their time and the executives (and other report consumers) received accurate, up-to-date information that they could act on.

We learned that this could be achieved by visually representing the information in the simplest way possible, and in a consistent format for easy reference and understanding. Most often this format was PowerPoint. Our stakeholders were familiar with PowerPoint, comfortable receiving reports this way and very often they wanted to roll-up our project slides into the information they presented to their executives.

Now, on a day-to-day basis, the project managers were typically working with something like Microsoft Project, so they had a detailed project plan but the executives neither had the time nor the inclination (or often the understanding) to look at such a plan, such detail. The reports were complicated, did not get read, or worse led conversations down a rabbit hole.

What we needed was a more simplified timeline and a much-simplified visualisation of where the project was, what was the progress, what were the challenges, what were the issues, what were the constraints, and therefore, what were the decisions that these executives had to make to support the project managers in being successful. And we needed it in PowerPoint.

Strategic Roadmap

The Picture Superiority Effect

There is a thing called the ‘Picture Superiority Effect’, something that I use regularly in my own lectures and keynotes. Simply put, picture superiority refers to the phenomenon where people remember pictures better than they remember the corresponding words. Put in another way, pictures are superior to words when it comes to recalling and recognising information…they get more attention than text or lists.

Picture superiority effect

Taking this knowledge and acting on the principle in regard to project reporting means that you need to represent your project timeline in a clear, simple, and compelling visual in order to get the attention and understanding of your executives, and other stakeholders.

We learned that it is all about delivering the right information, at the right time, to the right person and in the right way. In this case, the right way is a visual way.

Which brings us back to my opening arguments: It is all about improving the success probability of your project by nailing that stakeholder buy-in, and my advice is to give them uncomplicated visual project updates, so they actually understand your project.

How We Added Picture Superiority to Project Reporting

One solution my team found useful is the Office Timeline add-in for PowerPoint. My project managers found it valuable for quickly creating project slides that our VPs and executives loved. The visuals were uncomplicated and impressive and the automation saved our PM’s lots of time.

In fact, originally it was one of my project managers who started using the tool and shared their positives experiences with the rest of their colleagues, and myself, to the point that we standardised on it for executive reporting.

Try out Office Timeline to improve project planning and communication with clear, convincing timelines, Gantt charts and swimlane diagrams that are easy to follow, but hard to forget.


Peter Taylor
Speaker, Consultant, Trainer and Coach, Peter Taylor is the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’. He has built and led some of the largest PMOs in the world with organisations such as Siemens, IBM, and Kronos. In 2020 he was awarded the PMO Global Alliance ‘PMO Influencer of the Year Award’.







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What Is a Timeline (with Examples and Templates)


10 timeline examples

What Is a Timeline?

A timeline is a type of graphic that arranges a chain of events in chronological order. Perfect for telling stories and visualizing projects and processes, timelines are generally used to:

  • Give an overview of events;
  • Detail an agenda;
  • Highlight critical points in time;
  • Depict different temporal relations;
  • Track progress over time of multiple events happening simultaneously;
  • Identify specific patterns within a course of procedure in a streamlined format.

What Should a Timeline Include?

Representing an alignment in time and making a chronological statement, a timeline should include the series of events and activities (milestones and tasks) that you want to display on your graphic, along with their dates to mark their occurrence over a particular phase.

Whether you employ this type of visual content for knowledge sharing or tracking the progress of a plan, here are the two main things you need to consider in order to outline the structure of a basic timeline:

  • Listing out the main steps/stages of your plan and setting clear deadlines/time reference points – break up your work into tasks with start and due dates to estimate how much time each of them will take;
  • Figuring out the logical order in which your tasks will occur – determine which of your tasks need to be completed first and whether there are any that can’t start until others are completed.

How to Create a Timeline

Now that we’ve covered what a timeline is and should include, you can create one from scratch or starting from a template. There are a variety of purpose-built tools to help you achieve this goal, and one of most accessible ones is our online timeline maker, that you can try for free right from your browser.

If drafting a timeline from start to finish is too time-consuming, opting for a template might be the better alternative. Below, we’ve put together a varied collection of 10 timeline examples that you can customize depending on your needs to effectively convey project plans, team schedules or workflows, and other similar chronologies. These are:



All of them have been designed natively in PowerPoint so that you and any team member who uses the presentation platform can contribute, edit and share them with ease.

Each of the templates can be customized in PowerPoint either:

  • by manually replacing the placeholder texts with your own data and restyling any colors, shapes, and positions;
  • or automatically, by using a PowerPoint add-in called Office Timeline.

If you opt for the second option, you need to install Office Timeline, which will add a new tab to the PowerPoint ribbon.

Office Timeline menu

Once the plugin is installed, follow these steps to quickly build, customize and update any of the timeline examples presented below:

  1. Click on the Download button under the template of your choice.
  2. Once downloaded, double-click to open it in PowerPoint.
  3. Select the Office Timeline tab on the PowerPoint ribbon, and then Click the Data Edit button.
  4. Edit the data with your own milestones and tasks.
  5. Click Save to instantly update the template.

Timeline Examples to Bring Your Plans into Action


1. Project Implementation Plan Timeline


Project Implementation Plan Timeline Example

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Designed to help project managers and team leaders create clear tactical plans effortlessly, the project implementation plan template provides the much needed bird’s eye view of an entire project. By turning strategic goals into actionable steps, it enables all team members to quickly see what they are expected to deliver, when, and what tasks they need to complete. The easy-to-follow format makes this graphic a good tool not only for internal communication, but also for presenting the overall picture to management, clients and other non-project audiences.

Since effective planning lies at the heart of successful project management and delivery, this template can also be used to show relationships between activities, track individual task progress as the project moves forward, or identify at-risk tasks.


2. Gantt Chart Template


Gantt Chart Template Example

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Including a timeline with editable milestones to highlight key events, this free Gantt chart template outlines a project schedule at a high level in a simple and user-friendly manner. Unlike most Gantt charts that are complicated and difficult for other people to read and understand, this timeline template maps out the essential and can be easily included in communications such as project reviews, proposals, plans, scorecards and status meetings.


3. Marketing Plan Timeline


Marketing Plan Timeline Example

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Any good business initiative relies on a solid marketing plan which usually takes pages of documents to be detailed. This timeline example offers an effective reference point to support the delivery of your marketing plan and assess its progress. Use this free marketing timeline template to present important marketing strategies and communicate with clients, management and other high level audiences that need to be briefed in a clear, easy-to-understand way.


4. Sales Plan Timeline


Sales Plan Timeline Example

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Having a good sales plan is essential to achieving sales and marketing goals. This timeline template enables sales leaders, marketers and account executives to illustrate theirs with clear objectives laid out monthly, quarterly or annually and present it to staff, sales teams and management. Used as a visual aid in important meetings, it helps align organizations and management behind the key targets and deadlines of sales campaigns. Alternatively, it can serve as a scorecard to present a plan’s progress against its objectives.


5. Year Timeline


12-Month Timeline Example

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Since many business initiatives, campaigns, marketing programs, and personal projects are created over a 12-month term, the year timeline example is ideal to plan and outline your objectives before embarking on the actual venture. It gives you the visual aid to share and present your plan to stakeholders in a familiar graphical way to obtain the buy-in, state your intentions or update others on the progress that has been made.


6. Event Planning Timeline


Event Planning Timeline Example

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Illustrating all the major deadlines on a single summary slide, the event planning timeline was designed to give planners, their teams and partners the ability to keep track of what items need to be done and when. Easily accessible and shareable, this template helps you never lose sight of pending milestones and is a resourceful tool to manage teams and vendors.


7. Crime Timeline


Crime Timeline Example

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Providing a linear outline for events, this timeline template will help attorneys lay out the key facts and circumstances of their case in a way that is simple for any audience to understand. Use this timeline example to better structure arguments, analyze events, and prepare for trial with a chronological, visual exhibit that increases the jury’s understanding of your oral discourse.


8. Daily Schedule Timeline


Daily Schedule Timeline

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Graphically displayed as an hourly Gantt chart rather than as a spreadsheet, this downloadable timeline template can be easily be printed in full color, shared in emails or included in presentations. Unlike most list-based daily schedules which don’t accommodate schedule overlapping, this graphic comes with a simpler, easy-to-read layout that lets viewers check the calendar at a glance.


9. Pharmaceutical Product Discovery Timeline


Pharmaceutical Product Discovery Timeline

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This timeline template was designed to help pharma professionals involved in the development of a new drug to stay on track in this complex, multi-staged process. Covering the key phases of the discovery of pharmaceutical products, along with major milestones such as drug selection or approval, it documents the journey from research to commercialization and lays out a clear roadmap for a project of this magnitude.


10. Generic Timeline


Generic Timeline Example

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With a basic structure that displays a series of milestones and an elapsed time indicator on the timeband, this visual is suitable for historical presentations, project reviews, status reports, plan presentations, scorecards, or for any other effort that requires a simple project schedule or the illustration of a plan.


Check out more templates

For more examples to get inspired in building stylish timelines, visit our timeline gallery or explore the free, simple-to-use built-in-app templates offered by our online timeline maker.



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Top free timeline templates for your business continuity planning

When a crisis or disaster threatens to flip your whole world upside down, it’s hard to know how to respond. Luckily, more and more organizations across the globe are discovering just how important it really is to have a business continuity management system that helps you adapt quickly and keep your business running in times of uncertainty.

If your organization doesn’t have any risk management or contingency plan, the good news is that it’s never too late to start. “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” Benjamin Franklin reportedly said, so any time is a good time to start planning your crisis response. On this page you’ll find guidelines, basic information, but also some useful resources and templates to help you build your organization’s resilience in the face of stress.

What is a business continuity plan and why you should have one

A business continuity plan is a document (or collection of documents) that explains what the organization and the employees are supposed to do in case of disruption. It identifies the major risks that can affect day-to-day operation and establishes clear procedures on how to keep the business running during an emergency – which can range from a global pandemic to more common incidents like flooding after a storm or an internet outage.

After being presented to upper management and other stakeholders to get their agreement, the business continuity plan is communicated to all the employees, but also regularly tested and improved. This continuous review process is part of what is called business continuity management system and, in case of emergency, it’s what makes the difference between a company’s survival and sudden death.

Every organization, big or small, public or private, should have at least a basic contingency plan. No company is completely safe from a disaster, so make sure you are always prepared. Business continuity planning is not a nice-to-have, it’s a must.

Benefits of including a timeline in your contingency plan

When it comes to presenting your business continuity plan to your executives, clients or team, efficiency is key. Nobody wants to be stuck in an endless meeting where you read off a bullet-heavy PowerPoint slide or browse dozens of pages. Time is essential, both in meetings and in disaster recovery. And when plans change, as they often do, you need a quick and easy way to update them.

That is why we recommend creating a timeline or Gantt chart for your presentation, to better illustrate the series of events and your planned response by minute, day or month. Here are three clear benefits of including a timeline when you present your business continuity plan to your stakeholders:

  1. Timelines – especially the ones that feature swimlanes – can effectively portray the different phases, tasks or milestones that make up a process. In the case of business continuity, it can show, on one slide, a snapshot of your plan, with just the right amount of detail.
  2. When you represent it visually, the information included on the timeline is better absorbed by the brain. You need all your stakeholders to understand and agree on the business continuity plan, and a timeline or Gantt chart can help you make your point clear.
  3. You can save hours of work preparing for your meeting, since you only need to create one good slide to present your plan. And if you use a timeline or Gantt chart template like the ones we’re about to show you, it will make your work significantly easier.

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Best PowerPoint timeline templates for business continuity management

Whether you want to create a timeline for your business continuity meeting or to review an incident with the upper management, using templates can give you a head start. So, we’ve made a list of the best PowerPoint templates for roadmaps and timelines to get your business continuity management system in shape:

  1. Business Continuity Plan
  2. Crisis Management Timeline
  3. Incident Response Timeline

1. Business Continuity Plan


  • Designed as a swimlane diagram that outlines the major components of a business continuity plan, from business impact analysis to disaster recovery.
  • It’s useful when you present your contingency plans to your stakeholders so they gain a better view of your risk management strategy.
  • This business continuity plan example is a PowerPoint file, so you easily include it as a slide in your presentation or save it as an image on your company portal.
  • You can download it for free and use the Office Timeline add-in to adjust the generic categories or include data that is specific to your organization.

Business Continuity Plan

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2. Crisis Management Timeline


  • Created to help you get over the initial panic (which is natural) and guide you on your road to resuming your business activity.
  • Covers the entire crisis management process, from when the crisis occurs to response, business continuity process, recovery, and review.
  • It’s an effective, free PowerPoint tool to help you prepare for any crisis, regardless of nature, industry, or duration.
  • The crisis management timeline was made with the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in and it’s easy to customize it to suit your business, industry or include your branding styles.

Crisis Management Timeline

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3. Incident Response Timeline


  • Built on a shorter timeframe (hours and minutes) to give you an example of how to react fast when an incident occurs so you can limit outage.
  • It’s suitable for IT security incidents as both a planning and review tool, but also for other industries as well.
  • This is a free PowerPoint file, which means you can download and modify the data right away – either by moving the shapes on your slide or automatically with the Office Timeline add-in with just a few clicks.

Incident Response Timeline

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To sum up

Disruptions, disasters and emergencies are the type of challenges every organization needs to prepare for; it’s not a matter of “if” they’re going to happened, but more like “when”. And when they do, the companies that stand most chances of survival are the ones than quickly respond to rapidly-changing conditions.

These templates can help you face the unknown with a plan and support you in building up resilience. They were created with the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in, a professional timeline maker that turns complicated data into clear, crisp visuals with just a few clicks.

You can download them for free and customize them using either the add-in’s free version (with certain limitations) or the more advanced Pro Edition, which gives you all the power you need to take your planning to the next level. If you’re looking for more templates, you can find dozens of other models in the template gallery, so you’ve got plenty of ideas to explore.



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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.

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3 Best Free Templates for Pharmaceutical Timelines

Medical treatments have evolved a great deal since the time of Hippocrates and Paracelsus. Leeches, bloodletting and potions have given way to an industry strictly controlled by regulatory bodies where only the safest and most effective solutions are accepted.

Breaking ground on a new drug or device takes years of testing and collating immense quantities of data from numerous sources. Not only is planning ahead more important than ever, but the manner of presenting the data to your stakeholders can help you secure that critical funding necessary to keep your projects on track.

Why is a Pharmaceutical timeline useful?

One of the best ways you can organize ideas, measure progress and ensure compliance with regulations is by creating a roadmap. Managed correctly, a timeline for your Pharma project can help you:

  • Evaluate the recruitment of patients for the clinical trials to ensure the proper amount of testing meets the prerequisites of regulatory bodies or if efforts in this direction must be intensified.
  • Determine if the results are on track according to the originally planned research phases of the project.
  • Check deadlines for industry-mandated certifications and patent renewals that allow the legal manufacturing and distribution of medical devices and drugs.

Therefore, given the benefits of using visual representations in the lab and the boardroom, it’s definitely a planning solution worth considering. Start organizing your development process with these powerful and easy to use visuals and you’ll soon see all the pieces of the puzzle falling into place.


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Top 3 Free Templates to make Pharma Timelines

In this post, we have assembled three free templates that can really make a difference for anyone conducting clinical research or managing development of pharmaceutical drugs or medical devices:

  1. Clinical Trial Roadmap
  2. Medical Devices Timeline
  3. Pharmaceutical Product Discovery Timeline

1. Clinical Trial Roadmap


  • Created for professionals who need to observe and present the three stages of clinical trials and important milestones associated with them in a clear and concise manner.
  • Using this diagram, project managers can more easily evaluate the progress of the trials and estimate the best time to apply for an NDA, as well as the date when the drug could become available for production and distribution.
  • The clinical trial roadmap was made in PowerPoint, which makes it easy to integrate in the next boardroom meeting with your stakeholders.
  • Download it free of charge and update the default information manually with data relevant to your specific product or use the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in to considerably simplify this task.

Clinical Trial Roadmap

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2. Medical Devices Timeline


  • Made for pharmaceutical companies developing MDR and IVDR technologies that must respect the deadlines imposed by the EU Parliament.
  • Using the template allows keeping track of upcoming dates when changes to the business practices or the documentation of medical diagnostic and in-vitro diagnostic devices become mandatory.
  • The timeline was created in PowerPoint and supports the customization of dates formats and elements using the native controls.
  • You can download it free of charge and modify it with Office Timeline, and you can save it as a slide or an image format that can be shared in other documentation or meetings.

Medical Devices Timeline

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3. Pharmaceutical Product Discovery Timeline


  • Designed for manufacturing companies that handle end-to-end discovery, development, licensing and production of pharmaceutical drugs.
  • This template helps project managers in the Pharma industry to optimize the selection process for the most promising substances and to improve the rate at which brand new treatments hit the markets.
  • It is a free native PowerPoint template which means you can customize it easily and replace the default data with your own, either manually or with the Office Timeline add-in.

Pharmaceutical Product Discovery Timeline

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Summary

A graphical representation of your progress not only helps you figure out how efficient your current practices are, but also confers you a powerful tool to convey complex data in a simple and comprehensible manner to stakeholders without a technical background. In a highly competitive line of work, it is an edge to help fast-track your projects, so you can focus on making the world a healthier, safer place. These templates are built in Office Timeline, a powerful tool that integrates with the PowerPoint environment to generate stunning visuals at the touch of a button.

Download any of these templates now and edit them with the free version or take advantage of the Pro Edition’s extra features to really make your next project planning and presentation come to life. There are also numerous other templates we offer free of charge in our template gallery so the possibilities are endless.


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.

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