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How to create a timeline in PowerPoint?

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Timelines show a general pattern to any topic that you have to present. They are handy for topics such as History, Geography, Sociology or any other subject where you are demonstrating the flow of data. It also facilitates an easier understanding of the subject by breaking it into smaller pieces.

Read this article to know how you can create a timeline in PowerPoint to enhance your presentation.

Create a timeline in PowerPoint

You can create a timeline in PowerPoint by following the steps mentioned below.

Step 1: Open PowerPoint and then open a new presentation.

Step 2: Now, click on Insert from the top ribbon and then click on the SmartArt option under the Illustrations tab. Take a look at the screenshot below to get an idea. Step 3: After that, select Process from the list of options and then select the graphic type that you need for your timeline. To keep things simple, we have chosen the first design type for our timeline. To create a circular timeline, you will have to select the Cycle option. When you are done, click on OK. Step 4: Now, type the text for the timeline. In the screenshot that we have posted below, we have typed Indus Valley Civilisation, Rig Vedic Age and Magadh Empire. Note how the text appears on the presentation when you type the text in the foreground window. When you are done with adding text, close the window. To add additional text, press Enter after the completion of each text. Step 5: To change the shape of the box, right-click on it and then choose Change Shape. After that, select the shape that you want in your timeline. Step 6: To change the colour of the timeline, go to SmartArt Design > Change colours. Here, you can change the colour of the boxes. Step 7: To add bullet points in your timeline, right-click on the box > SmartArt Design > Add Bullet. Now, write the text and then press Enter to add bullet points. Similarly, click on another box and then follow the same action. This is what the timeline will look like after you have added bullet points. Step 8: To move a bullet point up or down, right-click on the box > SmartArt Design > Move up or down (as the case may be). For example, we have clicked on the second box, and then followed the steps as mentioned. As you can see, the second bullet point is now at the top of the first one. Also read: How to change slide size in Microsoft Powerpoint?


Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: