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PowerPoint Timeline

Using a PowerPoint timeline template is crucial when it comes to showcasing important project plans, schedules or workflows to clients or stakeholders. The benefits of a PowerPoint template when creating timelines are clear and concise:

  1. Speeds up the presentation-building process as you work right inside PowerPoint.
  2. Simplifies the efforts to create a clear, crisp timeline by providing an already professionally-designed format to your data.

Including timeline graphics that allow you to represent different activities and milestones within a specified time period, a PowerPoint timeline template may prove useful for a range of cases:

  • Giving an overview of major tasks;
  • Tracking the status of a project;
  • Visualizing how long specific activities/phases are going to take;
  • Highlighting important achievements.

In other words, a PowerPoint timeline template is a very effective way to ensure visibility and communicate a project’s story to those who need to stay in the loop.

Effectively visualize your next project plan with the help of our professional, crisp PowerPoint timeline template that you can download and use for free. As an additional resource, we also offer you the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about this type of project visuals.

Using the PowerPoint timeline template

This free PowerPoint timeline template has been designed for professionals who need to quickly make high-level timeline presentations to important audiences. Clients and executives expect to see clear, intuitive, easy-to-follow visuals when reviewing any project plans, programs, or business summaries. They also expect to see these communications in a way that is familiar to them and in a tool that they are comfortable using. A tool like Microsoft PowerPoint.

Complex Gantt charts or other visuals created by project management software or stand-alone planning applications are complicated, challenging to follow, and hard to work with. The Microsoft PowerPoint timeline can be easily shared and edited by teams, customers and management who use PowerPoint. It will showcase your work in a way that will be easy for them to understand and pay attention to.

The PowerPoint timeline template will be a refreshing alternative for anyone who has been presented typical Gantt charts and project schedules in the past. Once updated with your own information, it will turn into a high-level visual that is clear enough even to those who aren’t involved in the daily detail of your project plan. You can edit the template right inside PowerPoint either by manually adding your project data or automatically, using the free timeline creator from Office Timeline.

This timeline template has been built to work with Office Timeline’s free timeline creator app for Microsoft PowerPoint. The tool is a plug-in, which means you can edit our timeline sample or create other similar ones directly in PowerPoint. Simply add your milestones and tasks to its automated layout engine and see the changes applied instantly. Thus, you will be able to repeatedly update your timeline PPT slide as fast as clients and executives expect you to, without having to rebuild the visual from scratch each time.

Office Timeline Pro also integrates with project management applications such as Microsoft Project. It enables you to import all of your existing project data and create a timeline slide in PowerPoint automatically.

FAQs about PowerPoint timeline templates

Find here the answers to the most frequently asked questions about making project timelines in PowerPoint.

How do I create a timeline in PowerPoint?

You can create a timeline in PowerPoint in two ways:

  • Manually – by using one of the PowerPoint’s in-built Smart Art graphics and formatting it as a basic timeline.

  • Automatically – by installing the free PowerPoint timeline maker add-in called Office Timeline, choosing one of its timeline templates and customizing it to fit your needs.

To learn more about what each of the methods above entails, check out our step-by-step tutorial on how to make a timeline in PowerPoint.

How do you insert a timeline in PowerPoint?

To insert a timeline in PowerPoint, follow the simple steps described below:

  1. Open a new presentation in PowerPoint.

  2. From the PowerPoint ribbon, go to Insert > SmartArt > Illustrations.

  3. Within the dialog box that pops up, click on the Process category.

  4. Select the Basic timeline option.

PowerPoint will automatically add to your slide a default graphic with placeholder text and three milestones that you need to manually edit in order to turn it into a proper timeline. Double-click on the placeholder text to type in yours and add more milestones using the Text Pane of your basic timeline graphic.

Alternatively, you can skip all the formatting struggle and easily customize our pre-formatted PowerPoint timeline template that was designed as a native PPT slide. If you want to explore more examples of such ready-to-use visuals, check out our gallery of PowerPoint timeline templates.

Is there a timeline option in PowerPoint?

Yes, there is – actually Microsoft PowerPoint offers you two timeline options that you can use to create such a graphic. These are:

  1. Inserting a default Basic Timeline in your slide from Insert > SmartArt (Illustrations) > Process.

  2. Using one of the in-built timeline templates that you can find by typing “timeline” in the search box at the top of the New section on PowerPoint’s Home screen.

Is there a timeline template in PowerPoint?

Yes, PowerPoint does have a series of native timeline templates that users can manually format and adjust to create a simple timeline. You can access them from the New section of PowerPoint’s Home screen, after you type in “timeline” in the search box at the top.

However, these in-built PowerPoint timeline charts can prove limited or unsuitable for visually representing more complex plans that need to be regularly updated.

To offer you more flexible and diverse options, we’ve created this customizable PowerPoint timeline slide along with an entire collection of other professionally designed timeline templates.

You can alter any of these PowerPoint timeline samples manually or automatically by using the free timeline maker add-in for PowerPoint called Office Timeline. Automating the entire process of creating, updating, and customizing a timeline chart, the tool helps you save time and effort. It also provides you with additional pre-built timeline examples right inside the presentation platform.

Does Microsoft Office have a timeline template?

Microsoft Office does feature a few simple timeline templates within its suite of programs (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint). However, these graphics need further manual editing and formatting in order to create a basic timeline, which often proves time-consuming.

To get started faster with using these pre-formatted samples, check out our series of free tutorials on how to make a timeline using Microsoft Office tools.

How do I create a timeline from Excel to PowerPoint?

You can create a timeline from Excel to PowerPoint using the free timeline maker add-in from Office Timeline. With its help, you will be able to copy-paste your Excel data straight into PowerPoint and automatically generate a stylish timeline based on the input.

To get a detailed walk-through of the process, check out our tutorial on how to make a timeline in Excel. It demonstrates the easiness of the Excel-to-PowerPoint option as compared to building a timeline from scratch directly in the spreadsheet platform.

How do I make a timeline slide in PowerPoint?

The easiest way in which you can make a timeline slide in PowerPoint is to use one of the platform’s in-built timeline templates. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open a new PowerPoint presentation.

  2. From the Home screen, go to New.

  3. Enter “timeline” in the search box at the top and choose your preferred model from the returned results.

  4. Double-click to open your preferred model and replace the placeholder text with your own specific details.

If you want more timeline examples and more professional layouts to choose from, simply customize our PowerPoint timeline template or browse our gallery of free project timeline templates. All these are designed as presentation-ready PPT slides that can be customized with just a few clicks.

Another method of creating a timeline slide in PowerPoint is to manually format a Basic Timeline default chart from PowerPoint’s SmartArt Process illustrations (under the Insert tab). Our tutorial on how to make a timeline in PowerPoint documents all the steps of the process, along with a more automated alternative.

What is the best Microsoft program to create a timeline?

Out of Microsoft’s suite of standard office programs, PowerPoint is the best one to use in order to create a timeline. Microsoft Project, Excel, and Word can also be used to produce such a graphic, however the final output may not be that professional looking, easy-to-follow, and suited for an executive presentation.

Given that timelines serve as an efficient tool to clearly visualize and showcase a sequence of events in chronological order, the presentation software gives you the means and format to do so.

Check out our comprehensive tutorials and easily learn how to make a timeline with each of Microsoft’s office platforms and other tools as well.

How do I create a project plan in PowerPoint?

Before you create a project plan in PowerPoint, make sure you have the following elements well defined:

  1. Project scope, goals, deliverables, and critical tasks required to achieve your set objectives.

  2. Requirements and resources (that is, the supplies you will need to finish your project on time).

  3. A designated team to carry out your project’s tasks.

  4. A clear project schedule that illustrates the desired course of action once the project is initiated.

Once this information is ready, you can simply download our free PowerPoint project plan template and customize it with your own data. Built as a native PowerPoint slide, our pre-designed project plan sample can be easily shared and updated by anyone who has the popular presentation tool.

How do I make a project timeline for free?

Here are the main ways in which you can create a project timeline for free:

  • By using standard office tools like Microsoft Project, Excel, PowerPoint, or Word.

    Our step-by-step tutorials on how to make a timeline with various productivity tools will help you get started faster.

  • By simply customizing any of our pre-formatted project timeline templates.

    Just download your favorite sample, open it in PowerPoint, and automatically update it according to your own data and style preferences using the free 14-day trial of the Office Timeline add-in.

Updating your template is simple and fast.

Use the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in to quickly update any of these timeline templates or create your own project visuals. Easily change the texts, dates, colors, shapes and styles of your timeline, right from inside PowerPoint.

Free PowerPoint Timeline and Swimlane Maker