How to Make a Timeline in Word

Note: What some people call a timeline is actually a gantt chart. If you're looking to build a gantt chart, we recommend you build one in TeamGantt. You can also use our free Excel gantt chart template to build a bare-bones gantt chart in Excel.

How to create a timeline in PowerPoint

PowerPoint isn’t often thought of as a project management tool, and for good reason. It’s not the most flexible solution for managing projects. But it can be extremely helpful in displaying project timelines to clients, management, or other stakeholders, as well as creating client presentations.

Want a head start? Download our free template.

Download Word Timeline Template

Here are the basic steps for creating a timeline in PowerPoint:

Create or open an existing PowerPoint file

If you already have a presentation you want to insert a timeline into, open your existing presentation file, and select the slide where your timeline should go. Starting from scratch? Create your presentation now by opening PowerPoint and clicking on File > New Presentation.

Add a blank slide and insert a Smart Art timeline

Now go to the Insert tab, and add a new blank slide. With the new blank slide selected, click Smart Art, and choose a timeline style from the Process menu. Select any design you like—it can always be changed easily later.

Customize and add timeline events to fit your project

The timeline comes preloaded with a few basic events. You can edit these events to match those in your project. Simply click on [Text] in the first placeholder event, and rename it. Repeat the process for the remaining two default entries. Once you’ve edited the final default entry, just hit Enter or click + to create a new event. Continue this step until all your main project events have been added.

Create a beautiful project plan in just minutes

When you’re a project manager, every minute counts. So why waste time building out a bunch of complicated spreadsheets just to keep tabs on a project?

At TeamGantt, you don’t have to. Our free online gantt chart software enables you to stay focused on the tasks that move the needle. Whip up a project plan in minutes, and watch your team cross the finish line faster. It really is that simple.