How To Create A Timeline In PowerPoint And Google Slides? [2024 Guide]

Timelines effectively summarize a set of events or dates for a specific project. It creates a chronological storyline with visual elements to capture the audience's attention. This blog will take you through the methods to create timelines in PowerPoint and Google slides.

How To Create A Timeline In PowerPoint And Google Slides? [2024 Guide]
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Last Modified :  April 11, 2024

Timelines serve as a guide for success, leading initiatives from start to finish. They are a shared reference point in a fast-paced business world, facilitating teamwork and allowing for successful decision-making. Hence, it would be best to learn how to create a timeline in PowerPoint.   

Timelines are essential instruments in business communication because they provide clarity and efficiency. They illustrate project milestones, deadlines, and work sequences, assisting team members in aligning with project goals. Timelines increase productivity, eliminate misunderstandings, and allow for better time management. 

Let’s easily understand how to create timeline in PowerPoint and Google Slides.

What Is A Timeline?

What is a timeline?

A timeline is a graphical representation of your past and future events or activities in a sequential order. Timelines are an excellent tool for concisely communicating complex information, historical data, and project timelines. 

For example, if you are a product manager, you can create a timeline for all the previous development phases denoting the release of each version of the product. You can also define the upcoming versions of this timeline. Hence, timelines are essential for tracking progress, defining goals, and ensuring team alignment on the same page. Therefore, you should consider learning how to create a timeline in PowerPoint.

Professionals from different backgrounds and industries can use timelines. For example, business professionals and project managers can use timelines to plan and track tasks. Teachers and researchers can use timelines to show historical events or research in a time sequence order. Individuals can also use timelines to plan and track achievements.

How To Create A Timeline In Powerpoint?

Now, we will discuss how to create timeline in PowerPoint. You have two options for creating a timeline in PowerPoint:

  1. Create your timeline from scratch using SmartArt
  2. Utilize a pre-made template from PowerPoint

Let’s discuss each of the two methods for PowerPoint in detail.

How To Create A Timeline In PowerPoint Using SmartArt?

Follow the below-mentioned steps to learn how to insert a timeline in PowerPoint using SmartArt:

  1. Open MS PowerPoint and create a new slide. Choose the layout as “blank.” Navigate to the “Insert” Tab and select “SmartArt.” It will show you multiple graphics, which you can use to create a timeline.
  2. Now, navigate to the “Process” Menu, and it will show multiple graphics that you can use to create timelines. Select the one that fits your ideal design.
  3. You will see the designs with placeholders in your slide. You can change the text and add more elements from the pane on the left side. Simply, press enter to add more elements to your timeline.
  4. Now it’s time to add content to your timeline and customize the fonts.
  5. Format the elements and add colors as per your requirements. Right-click on the component, and it will show your formatting options.
  6. You can also customize your timeline from the “SmartArt Design” Tab. This tab gives you more options to design your timeline according to your preferences.
  7. Review your timeline and save it to present in your meetings.
How to create a timeline in powerpoint from scratch

How To Create A Timeline In PowerPoint Using Templates?

Another option for creating a timeline in PowerPoint is to use the templates offered by MS PowerPoint. You can customize them for various purposes. 

Follow the steps below for creating timeline in PowerPoint:

  1. Open MS PowerPoint and select New Presentation.
  2. You will see a search option. Type “Timeline Template” and press Enter. It will show you all the templates offered by PowerPoint. 
  3. Choose a template that you like and hit “Create.” It will open the design in a new slide for you to use.
  4. Now, you can customize this slide and input your data.
  5. Modify the colors, shapes, and positions of elements, and adjust the timescale (for instance, from months to quarters). 
  6. Review the changes and save your presentation.
Shows how to create timeline in powerpoint

How To Create A Timeline In Google Slides?

We discussed how to create a timeline in PowerPoint. Now. let’s take a look at how to create a timeline on Google Slides. A timeline made in Google Slides from scratch gives you a lot of freedom to add data, and visuals and update the layout as you need. follow the steps below on how to create a timeline in Google Slides:

  1. Choose the slide where you wish to add the timeline diagram.
  2. Click “Line” and draw a horizontal line. You can customize the line’s color and thickness using the toolbar.
  3. Go to the Shapes icon in the toolbar > “Shapes” and select the circle shape to create circles on the line. (You can use oval, rounded rectangles, hexagons, or other shapes.)
  4. Select “Shape” > “Shapes” > “Callouts” from the toolbar and place it at the top of the first circle. This completes the outline of your timeline. Duplicate the circles and callout shapes using “Ctrl + C” and “Ctrl + V” in Windows or “Cmd + C” and “Cmd + V” on Mac.
  5. Create four additional copies to have a timeline diagram with five milestones. Position all the circles evenly along the line, maintaining equal spacing between them.
  6. Modify the circle’s appearance by adjusting the “Fill color” and the “Border weight” from your toolbar.
  7. To enhance the visual appeal, match the circle’s color palette with the line, and make the circle’s border invisible by selecting the “Transparent” option under “Fill color”.
  8. Select “Text Boxes” from the toolbar to enter text. Click and drag the text box into the callout box, then insert your concise text.
  9. Customize the text using the options in the toolbar while staying consistent with your presentation’s design. Copy and paste the text boxes into all callouts and insert the necessary text.
  10. Position each callout box above each circle, maintaining a uniform design and size in alignment with the template. To add a dynamic touch and create more space on the slide, position one callout box above the circle and another below it.
  11. Select the callout shape and use “Arrange” > “Rotate” > “Flip Vertically” to direct the callout box towards the circle. Alternatively, you can rotate the object by selecting the callout and dragging the farthest dot while holding the ‘Shift’ key in 15-degree increments.
How to Make Timeline in Google Slides from Scratch

If you opt for personalized callout shapes, select the entire callout area and group the elements by going to “Arrange” > “Group”. You can use pre-formatted callouts with tails from Google Slides’ library or create customized boxes by inserting square or rectangular shapes from the toolbar. Now, you have learned how to create a timeline in Google Slides.

How To Create A Timeline In PowerPoint And Google Slides Using Slideuplift’s Templates?

We discussed methods on how to build a timeline in PowerPoint and Google Slides. All the above-discussed methods are good for creating presentations. But, creating presentations from scratch can be time-consuming for busy professionals like you. Moreover, The templates offered by PowerPoint are limited and might offer you fewer creative options. Hence, you should try better options. has got your back, they offer multiple templates with creative designs targeting various industries, themes, and backgrounds. 

Follow the below steps to learn how to create timeline presentations using Slideuplift’s templates:

  1. Visit Slideuplift and search “Timeline Templates” in the search bar provided on the homepage.
  2. You will see hundreds of timeline templates. Choose the one that best fits your requirements.
  3. Download the template for PowerPoint or Google Slides format.
  4. Open the downloaded template in Google Slides or PowerPoint.
  5. Customize the template and add your data. All the templates come with placeholders and are easy to edit.
  6. Add your brand logo, images, and colors to align the presentation with your brand identity.
  7. Review and save the presentation for use in your meetings.

Tips On How To Create A Timeline In Powerpoint

A well-drafted timeline presentation helps to streamline communication between the stakeholders. Follow the tips below to create an easy-to-understand timeline in PowerPoint:

  • Choose a template that matches your presentation’s tone and purpose, keeping it simple and uncluttered.
  • Use descriptive titles for timelines, specifying time frames, project names, or topics. Follow a format like “Date – Event Description.”
  • Arrange events in a linear, clockwise, or anticlockwise order, and create a visual hierarchy using font attributes for emphasis.
  • Provide background information for key events to aid the audience’s understanding.
  • Use colors to distinguish event groups, highlight milestones, and make essential accomplishments stand out.        

Best Timeline Templates from SlideUpLift

We discussed how to create a timeline in PowerPoint. Now, let’s consider some templates. Pre-designed templates streamline the process of creating a timeline. They save you time by eliminating setting up from scratch, enabling users to input project or event details swiftly. Additionally, pre-made timeline templates enhance the overall quality and audience appeal with visually appealing elements, thoughtfully chosen color schemes, and typography. 

Timeline Template

Transform your timelines and history into engaging journeys (along with images) with this template. It’s an ideal choice for professionals seeking to convey their data and information with clarity and impact.

Timeline PowerPoint Template
Like This Template? Click Here To Download!

Vertical Timeline

Effortlessly present your journey or project timeline with this Vertical Timeline. It is a user-friendly tool designed for professionals seeking a fresh, engaging way to tell their stories.

Shows Vertical Timeline PowerPoint Template
Like This Template? Click Here To Download!

Progress Timeline

With this template, you can achieve your goals and showcase your journey toward success. This dynamic and intuitive tool allows you to track your accomplishments and milestones visually with finesse.

Shows Progress Timeline
Like This Template? Click Here To Download!

Creative Timeline

With this animated timeline, you can effortlessly create stunning visual timelines. It’s the go-to choice for professionals looking to enhance their presentations with a clear and engaging chronological narrative.

Shows Creative Timeline PowerPoint Template
Like This Template? Click Here To Download!

Pipeline Timeline

This template streamlines project tracking and showcases different stages. It’s designed for professionals seeking to convey complex workflows and timelines clearly and engagingly.

Shows Pipeline Timeline
Like This Template? Click Here To Download!

Timeline Templates Collection


We discussed the various methods on how to create a timeline in PowerPoint and Google Slides. You learned about all the methods, including creating timelines from scratch and using templates to effortlessly create timelines. We also provided you with some templates which you can use to get started. This blog enables you to deliver amazing presentations by teaching you to create timeline in PowerPoint.


  1. What is the significance of a business timeline?

    A timeline lays out your business milestones – the number of workers, locations, sales targets, net revenue forecast, and other targets – and specifies when they are expected to be met.

  2. how to create a timeline on PowerPoint?

    Using a premade timeline template is the quickest method. Visit and search “timeline” in the search bar on the homepage. Now, select an appropriate timeline template, download it and customize it to your specifications.

  3. How do I precisely match events on my timeline?

    To ensure that events are appropriately spaced, utilize alignment guides in Google Slides. Enable them by navigating to “View” > “Grid and Guides” and checking the box next to “Snap to guides.”

  4. How to add a timeline in Google Slides to an existing presentation?

    Open your presentation, navigate to the slide where you want to place the timeline, and then follow the steps above to construct a timeline from scratch or use a template as needed.

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