How to Make a Timeline on Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide


Matthew Burleigh

Creating a timeline on Google Docs can be a piece of cake once you know the tricks. First, you’ll need to open a new Google Doc and make use of the Drawing tool to create a visual representation of your timeline. Then, you can add text boxes and shapes to mark different events and dates on your timeline. Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of making that timeline shine!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Make a Timeline on Google Docs

Before we get into the steps, let’s remember that by following these instructions, you’ll create a visually appealing timeline that can be used for presentations, projects, or organizing information chronologically.

Step 1: Open a new Google Doc

Open Google Docs and start a new document.

Starting a new document is your first step. It’s like a blank canvas where you’ll bring your timeline to life. Make sure you’re logged into your Google account, and then head over to to create a new document.

Step 2: Click on ‘Insert’ then ‘Drawing’ then ‘+ New’

Access the Drawing tool to begin creating your timeline.

The Drawing tool is where the magic happens. It’s here that you’ll construct your timeline, piece by piece. Don’t worry; no artistic skills are required – just a steady hand and a bit of creativity!

Step 3: Use the ‘Line’ tool to create the timeline base

Draw a straight line to serve as the foundation of your timeline.

Think of this line as the backbone of your timeline. It represents the flow of time, so draw it as long or as short as you need. You can find the Line tool in the toolbar at the top of the Drawing window.

Step 4: Add ‘Shapes’ to mark events on the timeline

Place shapes along the line to signify different events or dates.

These shapes are your landmarks, denoting key points along the timeline. You can use different shapes for different types of events or stick to one shape for a uniform look. Be creative!

Step 5: Insert ‘Text boxes’ to label each event

Add details to each event by inserting text boxes and typing in the information.

Here’s where you give context to your shapes. Each text box can hold dates, event names, or any detail you want to include. Make sure the text is readable and well-aligned with its corresponding shape.

Step 6: Customize the appearance of your timeline

Adjust colors, fonts, and sizes to make your timeline visually striking.

This is the final touch! Customize your timeline to match your style or the theme of your presentation. A well-designed timeline can be both informative and aesthetically pleasing.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a timeline that’s ready to be used however you see fit. You might add it to a report, a project proposal, or keep it handy for personal reference.

Tips for Making a Timeline on Google Docs

  • Experiment with different shapes and colors to distinguish between types of events or periods.
  • Use the ‘Line’ tool’s arrow feature to create pointers for specific events.
  • If you have many events, consider breaking your timeline into sections to avoid clutter.
  • Remember to use the ‘Undo’ button if you make a mistake – no need to start over!
  • Save your document frequently to avoid losing any progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I share my timeline with others?

You can share your Google Doc by clicking the ‘Share’ button in the top-right corner and adding the email addresses of your collaborators.

Can I print my timeline?

Yes, you can print your timeline by clicking ‘File’ then ‘Print’ or using the shortcut Ctrl+P (Cmd+P on Mac).

Is it possible to add images to my timeline?

Absolutely! In the Drawing tool, you can click ‘Image’ to upload pictures from your computer or search the web for images.

Can I make a vertical timeline instead of a horizontal one?

Yes, you can. Just draw your base line vertically and add your events and text boxes as you would for a horizontal timeline.

How do I save my timeline?

Your Google Doc auto-saves as you work. But to save the drawing separately, click ‘Save and Close’ in the Drawing tool, and it will be inserted into your document.


  1. Open a new Google Doc.
  2. Access the Drawing tool.
  3. Draw the timeline base.
  4. Place shapes for events.
  5. Label events with text boxes.
  6. Customize your timeline’s design.


Crafting a timeline on Google Docs is a straightforward task that can significantly impact how you present information. It’s all about making complex data easy to digest and visually appealing. Whether you’re a student looking to showcase historical events or a professional laying out a project plan, a timeline can be an invaluable tool. With the steps and tips provided, you’ll be well on your way to creating timelines that are not only informative but also engaging. Remember, a timeline is more than just a series of dates – it’s a story. And with Google Docs, you have everything you need to tell that story beautifully. So why not give it a shot and see how to make a timeline on Google Docs for yourself?

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

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