Create & edit a Timeline View

To track and visualize tasks easier and faster, use Timeline View.

Timeline View is an interactive visual layer in Sheets that can help you manage many project parts, such as:

  • Project tasks
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Schedules
  • Cross-team collaborations
  • Any future plans

Eligibility

These Workspace editions can use Timeline View:
  • Essentials
  • Business Standard
  • Business Plus
  • Enterprise Essentials
  • Enterprise Starter
  • Enterprise Standard
  • Enterprise Plus
  • Education Fundamentals
  • Education Standard
  • Education Plus
  • Business Starter
  • Frontline

Prepare your data

Important: To create a Timeline, you must have at least one column of data in date format. If you're using formulas in the date columns, the output should be date values.

To create a complete Timeline View, you should include separate columns for:

  • Card title: A name for each task
  • Start date: Start dates in a date format
  • End date: End dates in a date format
  • Card detail: A summary of each task
  • Duration: The amount of time your tasks lasts

Tip: Enter the amount of time either as a number of days or in hours, minutes, seconds format (hh:mm:ss).

  • Include weekends: After you use Duration instead of End date, weekends are enabled. To remove weekends from the Duration, uncheck Include weekends.

Tip: For Start date and End date, the DATEVALUE formula can help ensure the output is the correct value type.

Timeline overview explained

Create a Timeline View in your spreadsheet

  1. On your computer, at the top of your Sheets menu, click Insert and thenTimeline.
  2. Select your data range.
  3. Click Ok.

Tip: You can also select from the suggested data range.

Edit your Timeline View

Edit your Timeline View by column
  1. On your computer in your created Timeline View tab, click Settings Settings.
  2. Select the columns to use from the options below:

Required fields:

  • Card title: A name for each task.
  • Data range: The data used to build the Timeline View.
  • Start date: Start dates in a date format.
  • End date: End dates in a date format.

Tip: The start date for each task must be earlier than the end date. Otherwise, the card won’t show a length. Learn how to troubleshoot cards that show only a single day range.

Optional fields:

  • Card color: Card color only appears in Timeline View after you choose the column as the source of your card background. The color of the column can be inherited from:
    • Cell background color you applied manually to a column in your data.
    • Conditional formatting of the column in your data.

Tip: You can also change a specific card background directly from the card in the Timeline View tab. Learn how to edit your specific cards.

  • Card detail: A description of each card.
  • Card group: Group multiple cards on the same Timeline View row based on a column.
Timeline overview explained
Edit or access your specific cards
  1. In the Timeline View, select the specific card you want to edit.

Tip: If you enter a URL in a cell in your selected range, it automatically hyperlinks.

  1. At the bottom right of the Card details window, click Edit Data.
    • This opens the source data of your Timeline View.
  2. Edit the selected row of the source data tab.
Edit a specific card’s background color

Important: Do not apply conditional formatting to the source data or you can’t change the card color.

  1. Select a card you want to edit.
  2. Select an option:
    • To change the background color from a preset list, click Card color and select a column from which color will be inherited.

Tip: Any color changes made to the card in the Timeline View will change as well in the source data.

  • To change background color with a color spectrum, click Customize.

Edit a specific background color by data source format

Important: In the card color you select, you can also use conditional formatting.

  1. At the bottom of your spreadsheet, select the tab that contains the Timeline’s source data.
  2. In your Timeline’s settings, click Card color and select a column from which color will be inherited.
  3. Change the background color of the cells in the column. The card’s new color updates in the Timeline View tab.

Troubleshoot your Timeline View

Card only shows an unexpected single day range

If your card date range only shows a single day, this could be due to:

  • Data isn't in an accepted date format.
  • Start and end dates are the same.

Error messages

If you receive an error message for your Timeline View, to fix your data and correctly display your Timeline View, follow the error message’s instructions.

Related resources

Customize your Timeline View

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