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Quick Tip: Optimize Your Timeline Maker Workflow by Setting Preferences and Options

Posted by:    Category: Tips and Techniques

Timeline Maker is the perfect tool for users who are short on time or have a deadline. We strive to make the creation of timelines quick and easy. This quick tip will guide your through the process of setting your Timeline Maker Tools Options so you can save even more time in your Timeline Maker workflow.

To find the Timeline Maker tool options, select Tools > Options from the Timeline Maker menu. The Timeline Maker Tool Options include the following:

  • General Options – These include the date formats, user defined column names and more.
  • File Location Options – Set folders as the default location for saving different file types.
  • Chart Options – These include setting the default chart type, default theme and more.
  • Presentation Options – All sorts of options for the presentation of the timeline chart. Settings are applied to both the built-in presentation mode and PowerPoint.
  • Spelling Options – Choose your default language and more.

Timeline Maker Options - General Settings

General Options:

  • Open last used file
    This setting will set a default timeline chart to open every time you start Timeline Maker. Especially helpful if you are always using one particular timeline file. This will save you time each time you open the software, because you won’t need to navigate to the timeline file. You can turn it on or off anytime and you can still open other files if you want.
  • Open PDF files
    This option allows you to set whether or not to launch the PDF viewer after saving a PDF timeline file. With the option checked, the chart you created will always open automatically without browsing to the file you saved.
  • User Defined Column Names
    The Place, Note and Source columns can be renamed. This is extremely helpful if you have unique data which has nothing to do with Place, for example, but you need something more useful. All new files will use these column header names.
  • Date display format
    Choose the date format, either day-month-year or month-day-year will be shown. You can also choose between BC/BCE date display. Some users prefer one or the other, but you can ignore this if you do not use BC dates.

Timeline Maker Options - Location Options

File Location Options:

This is where you can set the default location for where Timeline Maker will go to open, save and publish different your files; Timeline Maker files, Pictures and Published Documents (HTML, PDFs, etc.). This will save a tonne of browsing time! But it is also important for companies who need to conform to specific file location protocols or if files are being shared on a shared network folder.

Timeline Maker Options - Chart Settings

Chart Options:

  • Starting Chart Type
    This sets the default chart type. Choose between a bar or flag chart.
  • Create Chart With
    This setting allows you to choose which events are used to create a new chart. Can choose to show only the selected events or all events whether selected or not.
  • Default Theme
    This allows you to choose which theme will be the default theme for any new charts. You can choose your favorite built-in theme or create your own. This is especially important for business users who need have created a corporate theme which matches branding guidelines.
  • Flag chart connector style preference
    You can choose how you would like your connectors to be displayed. This can be set to show a connector arrow for only the start date or both start date and end date.
  • Footer Text
    This is another important option for business users. You can set the default text for the footer of new timeline charts. This is a great place to put copyright information, revision dates, or confidentiality notices.
  • Toggle on/off other options
    Under the Show section, you can choose whether or not to display various chart sections on new timeline charts. This includes the gridlines, borders, page breaks, legend and event info pop-up.

Timeline Maker Options - Presentation

Presentation Options:

  • Fit Height
    With this option checked, the chart will be displayed on fit the entire height of the screen. Tall charts may look small, short charts may look large so use this option with caution.
  • Step Through
    This option turns step through on or off. With the step through on, you can present a timeline by stepping through each event, one at a time with a mouse click.
  • Order
    Choose between presenting the timeline events in the order they all occurred or by category they are assigned. This option is great for law enforcement users who may want to present two conflicting stories of how a crime occurred.
  • Justify
    This is used for positioning the chart during the presentation when the active event would otherwise be off screen. Center shows the active event in the horizontal center of the chart. Right positions the chart so that active event is on the right hand side of the screen.
  • Highlight
    Choose between none, fade or glow. None displays the event without any added effects. Fade lightens events not in focus so that the active event is prominent. Glow highlights the active event with a yellow outline.
  • Include new chart in presentation
    Each new timeline chart will be automatically included in the presentation or not.
  • Advanced button
    This option is for XP users only. This button is only to be used if you cannot run the Presentation in PowerPoint. This will attempt to reset the link between Timeline Maker and PowerPoint.

Timeline Maker Options - Spelling Options

Spelling Options:

Choose from a variety of spell check options, including checking British/American spelling, ie. colour/color and other variations. It is also useful for setting custom acronyms or custom words that your company uses a lot.

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