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Inside Timeline Maker
February 2010

Placing Events on a Flag Chart - Best Practices

Flag charts with many events grouped together can tend to display as long lists of events as the program attempts to place all the events in their most relevant position on the timeline.

To the reader this can appear confusing. Since everyone's event data is different, there are no hard-and-fast rules, but there are some best practices, that when applied, will give you great results.


Flag Chart Before Editing


Make the event boxes fan out to the left or right and up as shown below. Generally you will want to place the events from earliest on the left to latest on the right. It is also best to avoid overlapping events on the connectors. This allows the eye to follow the event line back to the timescale and reduces the height of the chart.

Next, select and drag up anything else that stayed too far below the chart, such as the legend, annotations or images you may have added.

Following these simple guidelines will allow you to not only make a chart that is much easier to read, but also it will be easier to share and print.

You may find that expanding the timescale helps. To do this, click Timescale > Expand or select the timescale (on the chart image) and use the right arrow key on the keyboard. Use the left arrow key to compress the timescale. Look for more tips and techniques on using the timescale in next month's issue.


Flag Chart After Editing

Test Drive this Technique

Test drive this solution using the sample file included with the program.

  • Click File > Open > My Timelines > Examples > Ski Accident.
  • Then click Chart > New Flag Chart. Create the chart with all events.
  • Experiment with the new chart by moving events to the left or right as shown in the example above.

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