Using SmartArt Graphics to Make a Timeline in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

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A timeline can be very useful to display a list of events in chronological order using a graphic design. Recently we have published an article explaining how to use editable timeline templates in PowerPoint to make timelines. Naturally there are other approaches that you can follow to make event timelines in PowerPoint.

If you are using PowerPoint 2011 for Mac and want to insert a timeline design into a PowerPoint presentation then you can either use an editable timeline template for PowerPoint like the vertical rocket timeline template for PowerPoint, create a custom timeline from scratch using shapes, or insert a SmartArt graphic to make a visual timeline easily with a few clicks.

How To Make a Timeline Design in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac using SmartArt Graphics

In a timeline design it is common to find a long bar labelled with dates and text descriptions representing milestones or events labelled on points where they would have happened along the time.

1. Click SmartArt menu in the PowerPoint Ribbon.

2. Click to insert a Process SmartArt Graphic.

timeline-mac-smartart-object

3. Enter the Milestones or Timeline Events in the Text Panel. As soon as you add data to the list, the SmartArt graphic inserted into the slide will refresh showing the latest changes.

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The final result in the picture above shows a very basic timeline inserted as a SmartArt graphic and containing three events for a IT project or software development planning.

You can now customize the timeline colors. The easiest way to change timeline colors is changing the color combination used for the SmartArt graphic. You can do it from the same SmartArt menu by clicking Colors option. This will open a new popup showing several color palettes to use in your graphics.

timeline-smart-art-mac-colors

If you want to customize the timeline design even more, you can convert the SmartArt graphic to PowerPoint shapes and then ungroup the shape to change the shape properties individually.

There are plenty of timeline designs including 2D timeline, 3D timeline, timelines with arrows, simple timeline designs with rectangular shapes and more. To get more ideas about what other timelines you can use, feel free to browse more timeline examples in our PowerPoint templates catalog containing hundreds of timeline PowerPoint templates that you can download and easily edit in PowerPoint.

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