1 Reply Latest reply: May 6, 2009 7:08 PM by Badunit
RckStwrz Level 2 (415 points)
I haven't found any timeline software that I'm impressed with so far, so I've made it my goal to create a basic timeline with Numbers. My dates are years, not specific days. (It's for an Old Testament class so some examples of my dates are the Edict of Cyrus in 539 BC, Completion of the second temple in 515 BC, Death of King Uziah in 740 BC, etc.)

I'm using negative numbers for the year. I've plotted the events on a line graph, however I want to have each event labeled accordingly. Does anyone have an idea of how to do this? Thanks!


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Badunit Level 6 (11,615 points)
    Well, here's what I might do to create such a chart:

    In my table I would have a column (B) that has the years of each event I would want to plot. Next to it, in column C, would be all zeros. I'd put the event names in column D, though this is only for reference, they won't be plotted. I would create a scatter chart from columns B and C.

    In the chart inspector I would set the Y axis Min to be zero, the Max to be 1, no grid lines, not show the Y axis, no title or legend, etc. I would use the default + sign for the data points but I would perhaps make them larger in the Chart Inspector. I would make the data point lines wider in the Graphic Inspector so they show up better.

    For the text, I would create a text box. In the Graphic Inspector I would turn it 90 degrees (vertical). I would copy this box and paste it repeatedly so there are a bunch of them to work with. I'd put event names in each one. Then I'd put them all on the graph above the correct years. You may have to hold down the command key while dragging the text boxes to be able to align each one exactly over a data point.

    That's the basics. You might want to fancy it up a bit more. One thought would be to create a custom format for the X axis so the years display as "500BC" vs "-500". Do this in the table inspector in the Axis tab. Choose Custom and the custom format pane will open. Click on the plus sign and add the condition "if less than zero". Type BC at then end of the #,###. Right click on the #,### and click to remove the separator (the comma). You can change the "positive" dates in a similar fashion so they will have an AD (if you have any positive dates).

    Message was edited by: Badunit