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 Word

While Word is a powerful tool, it's usually not the best option for managing projects and processes. However, it can be a great solution for sharing timelines as part of client status updates.

Want a head start? Download our free template.


Create or open an existing Word document

If you already have a document you want to insert a timeline into, open your existing Word file, and place the cursor where your timeline should go. Starting from scratch? Create your document now by opening Word, and clicking File > New Document.

Insert the timeline from the Smart Art menu

With your cursor placed where you want to insert the timeline, 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 [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.

Get started for free!