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Creative PowerPoint Timeline Graphics – Ultimate Collection of Tutorials, Templates and Ideas

Ultimate Guide To PowerPoint Timeline Graphics

Timeline Graphics for PowerPoint are a great way to add that visual impact to your next presentation.
We’ve rounded up our top creative ideas for creating Timeline slides in PowerPoint. This post provides suggestions like Infographics, Photos,  Software, PowerPoint tutorials and ready to use Templates, to save you some serious time creating your slides.

What is a Timeline?


timeline is a display of a list of events in chronological order. It is typically a graphic design showing a long bar labelled with dates alongside itself and usually events

Take your presentations to the next level with these creative Timeline Ideas and Tutorials. Whether you are looking for just inspiration, images, step by step tutorials or ready to use templates, you can find them all here.

Timeline Background Images

Use Stock Images as Backgrounds

You can get creative by using free or premium stock images online and use them in your presentations. Here are a couple of example slides we have created to illustrate this idea.

Example 1: We created this project timeline slide by using a clock image from a free stock photo site. Can you see that, just by adding some elements to show the sequence of events, your timeline slide gets ready in no time.

Timeline Photo from Pexels

Stock photo used as background for a timeline slide.

Example 2: To show the concept of growth of a company over time, we downloaded this growth photo and used it as a background. We then added some text callouts to complete the slide.
The callouts are from the Comprehensive All In One Bundle for PowerPoint

Timeline Growth Photo

Stock photo used as background for a timeline slide.

PowerPoint Tutorials for Timelines

Quick Timeline Graphic Using SmartArt 

For a quick and easy visual representation of a timeline, you can insert a SmartArt timeline. There are some basic options available inbuilt with Microsoft PowerPoint software. 

SmartArt Timeline in PowerPoint

SmartArt Timeline in PowerPoint

You can learn how to add this timeline from Office tutorials in Microsoft website.  Instructions for different versions of PowerPoint ( 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016)  are given there. 

You can also go beyond the usual timelines and design creative Timelines in PowerPoint yourself. Here are our Most Popular Timeline tutorials below.

Video Tutorial 1: Creating Custom Timeline with SmartArt 

In this video, learn how to create a SmartArt project timeline quickly and easily.  You'll also find creative alternatives to the regular timelines in the second half of the video.

Video Tutorial 2: How to Create An Easy PowerPoint Timeline 

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a simple Timeline using Auto Shapes in PowerPoint. You will not only find a step by step demonstration of how to create a simple, scalable timeline graphic from scratch - but also see some useful applications of the graphic in business presentations.

Video Tutorial 3: Create Animated Timeline in PowerPoint

In the following video, you will learn to create a visually stunning Animated Timeline Graphic in PowerPoint 2013. This tutorial can be followed in other versions of PowerPoint as well. By animating the timeline you can narrate your story step by step. Such animation is great for engaging audience in e-learning and training situations as well.

Video Tutorial 4:  Step by Step 3D Timeline in PowerPoint

Learn to create a 3D timeline diagram in PowerPoint with this tutorial from our 3D  Graphics series.
The diagram shows a series of rounded text boxes linked by an arrow. You can customize the diagram based on your requirement and add more boxes as per the number of years you want to present.

Additional Resources for Tutorials:

You can get Structured and Comprehensive PowerPoint Training with Ramgopal’s PowerPoint Mastery Program. Details about the PowerPoint Training program here.

Need a dose of creative inspiration to create your own timeline slides in PowerPoint?  
We got you covered.

Take a look at some of our...

Creative PowerPoint Timeline Ideas

15 Creative Timelines in PowerPoint

We uploaded a useful slide deck on Slideshare that got quite a few excited.  You can check it out here:

PowerPoint Templates showcased above are from PowerPoint Charts CEO Pack 1.

Now, it's time to check out a few creative ideas you can use in your next presentation...

5 Ways to Make Your Timeline Memorable

Creative Timeline Idea

A timeline is probably one of the most used diagrams in a business presentation. Whether you want to represent milestones of your organization’s growth or Year wise progress of your project, you can’t do without a timeline chart.
Discover 5 simple ways to represent timeline in PowerPoint slides. Get inspired to create a number of variations of your own.   
Read the article on Timelines here.

Examples of Timeline from Infographics

Here is inspiration from timelines from different industries. You can draw ideas from them to create your own presentation slides. This includes ideas from Medical Science, Computing, Engineering , personal history & more.

Click on a infographic image to preview the infographics timeline in detail. 

Ready PowerPoint Timeline Templates

Free PowerPoint Timeline Templates

If you don't have the time to design your own slides or are looking for quick and easy ways to make over your slides, you can download ready to use PowerPoint Templates. 

Microsoft offers some free timeline templates ready to download on their website. You can access these PowerPoint templates from Microsoft here.

Timeline Templates from Microsoft Office

Free Timeline Templates from Microsoft Office

There are additional templates available on sites like FPPT. You can download timelines like these from their site.  Here is where you can find these timeline templates on FPPT.

Free PowerPoint Timeline templates from FPPT

Free PowerPoint Timeline templates from FPPT

Premium & Creative Timeline Templates

If you need more creative timeline options, you can download these premium PowerPoint Timeline Templates included in our Comprehensive All In One PowerPoint Templates Bundle.

Animated Timeline Templates
Animated Colorful Timeline template
4 Events Along A Timeline Animated Template
Creative Timeline Template options
PowerPoint Tree
Editable Hand Drawn Templates for Timeline 
PowerPoint Hand Drawn timeline

PowerPoint Hand Drawn timeline

Creative PowerPoint Hand Drawn Timeline

Creative PowerPoint Hand Drawn Timeline

PowerPoint Templates for Timeline with 3D & Advanced Effects
PowerPoint 3D Timeline Template

PowerPoint 3D Timeline Template

3D Start to Finish PowerPoint Timeline

3D Start to Finish PowerPoint Timeline

PowerPoint Template  3D Calendar

PowerPoint Template 3D Calendar

PowerPoint Project Timeline Template

PowerPoint Project Timeline Template

Cool & Modern Style Flat Design Templates
Flat Design Timeline for PowerPoint

Flat Design Timeline for PowerPoint

Flat Design Timeline with Photos

Flat Design Timeline with Photos

All the templates showcased above are from the Comprehensive All In One Bundle - a collection of 4020+ ready to use PowerPoint templates. 

Creating Project Timeline or Gantt Charts


A Gantt chart, commonly used in project management, is one of the most popular and useful ways of showing activities (tasks or events) displayed against time.

Source: Gantt.com

Data-Driven Project Charts

Project Timelines or Gantt Charts can be created in PowerPoint as data-driven charts. Here are some examples of Data Driven Project Management Charts.

Data Driven Project Management Chart

Data Driven Project Management Chart

Burn Down Chart from Visual graphs Pack

Burn Down Chart from Visual graphs Pack

Detailed Gantt Charts

It is possible that you want to show extensive Project Timelines for 5 years or a Project Gantt. These type of detailed slides may be difficult to create in PowerPoint.

The Office Timeline Maker plug-in is a useful option in such cases.   It plugs into your PowerPoint. There are free and paid versions of the software available. (The plugin is not owned by Microsoft)

Office Timeline Maker

Office Timeline Maker

Timeline Graphics Guide as an Infographic

The following infographic captures a quick summary of many of the points in this post. You can also download it and save it to your desktop!

So, we hope you got a good number of creative ideas and inspirations from the useful collection of video tutorials, slide deck, articles and pins we put together from various sources.

Hope you found some new ideas to use in your next presentation, from this comprehensive post about creating and using Timeline slides in PowerPoint.

So, what are some of the unique ways you use to represent a timeline graphic in your PowerPoint presentations?

We are eager to learn. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Oh! By the way...
Do leave us a comment below or share the post if you found it useful!

Note: All trademarks are property of their respective owners. Images are screen grabs from respective sites.

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