How to Make a Timeline in Powerpoint 2010

Powerpoint 2010 is a very useful program. If you use it with regularity, then you are probably aware of many of the ways that you can quickly customize and design your slideshow presentations. Many of the options are easy to work with and feature a professional design, which will drastically reduce the amount of time that you spend on the visual element of the project. For instance, you can embed a Youtube video into a Powerpoint slide as a great method for engaging your audience without unnecessarily adding more slides to your presentation. One particularly useful tool, however, is not immediately easy to locate. But you can learn how to make a timeline in a Powerpoint 2010 presentation using the default tools, and the resulting effect can be beneficial in a lot of situations.


Insert a Timeline in Powerpoint 2010


While there are a number of scenarios in which the use of a timeline might be appropriate, the ability to quickly add one as a graphic is incredibly helpful. Add in the fact that the timeline looks cool and is customizable, and you may find yourself with a tool that you go back to frequently to help convey a series of events that need to occur in a project.


Step 1: Open the Powerpoint presentation into which you wish to insert the timeline, or launch Powerpoint 2010 if you are creating the presentation from scratch.

Step 2: Browse to the slide into which you wish to insert the timeline.

Step 3: Click the Insert tab at the top of the window.

Step 4: Click the SmartArt button in the Illustrations section of the ribbon at the top of the window.

click smart art icon


Step 5: Click Process at the left side of the window, click the Basic Timeline icon at the center of the window, then click the OK button at the bottom of the window.

how to make a timeline in Powerpoint 2010


Step 6: Type the first timeline item into the bullet point at the left side of the graphic, then click the [Text] item on the next bullet point to edit the next item. Note that you can add items to the timeline by pressing Enter at the end of an item line. You can also make a bullet point a sub-item of the item above it by pressing the Tab key on your keyboard.

enter timeline text


Step 7: Use the options on the SmartArt Tools Design and Format tabs at the top of the window to adjust the appearance off your timeline. There are a lot of different ways that you can customize the way that the timeline looks, so experiment with all of the different options until you find something that you like. Note that you can undo any change by pressing Ctrl + Z on your keyboard right after you perform the change.

customize timeline appearance


Step 8: Click outside of the graphic once you have finished adding the contents and customizing the appearance. This will remove the border from the outside of the timeline and will also eliminate the dialog box from the left side of the graphic. If you need to edit the text in your timeline at any point, simply click the timeline to restore the dialog box.


Is your computer running too slowly when you have all of your Microsoft Office programs only? It might be time to look into buying a new computer. There are a lot of great options right now in many price ranges, but one of our favorite ones here at SolveYourTech is the HP Pavilion dv4-5110us 14-Inch Laptop (Black). It is a great value for a computer with an i5 processor, 6 GB of RAM and a battery life over 9 hours. You can read our review of it here. newsletter

Disclaimer: Most of the pages on the internet include affiliate links, including some on this site.