Timeline templates for PowerPoint to jump-start your planning process
If you have a project plan and want to see it through, you need to map out the steps required to achieve it, and then convey them on a timeline. An essential component of the planning process, a timeline allows you to visualize critical tasks and dates, creating an easy-to-follow roadmap for your project and helping you stay on track.
Building a timeline involves taking all the information you have about your project and turning it into a clear schedule of when everything is going to be done. But where and how to start?
The easiest way to make simple timelines is to start with a template and one of the handiest tools is Microsoft PowerPoint. As one of the most popular presentation platforms available, it helps you generate presentation-ready plans that you can easily display to your teams, executives or clients.
To guide you through the process of using timeline templates in PowerPoint, we’ve created this easy-to-follow blog post. Read on to find out the basic steps and don’t hesitate to give it a go yourself.
Is there a timeline template in PowerPoint?
With a variety of features to enhance a presentation, PowerPoint does include timeline templates as well. You can create a timeline either using PowerPoint’s native templates or the more advanced ones which come with the free PowerPoint plugin called Office Timeline. Below, we’ll explain how both alternatives work.
I. How to create a timeline using PowerPoint’s native timeline templates
- Create a new presentation or open an existing one in PowerPoint.
- Click on the File tab on the PowerPoint ribbon and go to New.
- Type ”timeline template” in the Search box at the top of the page and press Enter.
- Double click to choose your preferred template from the resulted examples.
- Start customizing your chosen model.
Although PowerPoint provides a pretty varied range of timeline templates you can choose from, you will need to update them manually whenever a change occurs. This can become not only time-consuming, but also frustrating if you want to apply some more custom updates to the visual.
II. How to create a timeline in PowerPoint using Office Timeline templates
Next, you will find out how to quickly build, customize and update your graphic using Office Timeline, an intuitive PowerPoint add-in that automates timeline creation and management. First, you need to install Office Timeline and you can get started with the 14-days trial for free. This will add a new tab to the PowerPoint ribbon.
You can make a timeline using any of Office Timeline’s built-in-app templates or by downloading one from the wide collection of examples in our timeline gallery.
II.1 Using Office Timeline’s built-in-app templates
- Inside PowerPoint, go to the Office Timeline tab, and then click on the New icon. From the dropdown menu, choose Templates.
2. To select the preferred timeline template from the gallery that appears, double-click and then click on Use Template.
3. In the Data wizard that opens next, enter your tasks, milestones and their set dates or copy and paste an existing schedule from Excel.
4. In the same Data view, make a few styling choices such as changing the shape or color for each item.
5. In the Timeline view, use the drag&drop editor to adjust the layout and move elements around.
6. Once ready, click the green Create button.
II.2 Using a downloaded Office Timeline template
- Go the timeline template gallery and choose your favorite template.
- Click on the Download button under the template of your choice.
- Once downloaded, double-click to open it in PowerPoint.
- Follow the simple 3 steps provided on the first slide of the presentation.
Once created, the timeline can be quickly styled further or updated automatically with the help of Office Timeline. For example, you can change shapes, colors, timescale and dates on the fly, or reposition items on the timeline using the add-in’s intuitive drag & drop interface. Not only that, but Office Timeline also allows you to create and save your own custom templates that you can use for future work.
If you want to build smart timelines as native PowerPoint slides that are easily shared and on which colleagues can collaborate right from the browser, you can also try out our simple, accessible online timeline maker.
That’s it! These are the basics steps to get started with a timeline template for PowerPoint – all you need to do now is to find the one that best suits your project and customize it to fit your particular data. Good luck!