How to Create a Chronological Chart

by Allison McCalman; Updated September 26, 2017

Chronological charts are used for a variety of purposes that involve the arrangement of events in the form of a time-line. They are used to display historical events and map dates of a time period in the order of their occurrence. They are also useful for designing a project schedule with task start and task completion dates. Chronological charts can be created using Excel to draw up a time-line of events.

Step 1

Plan your chart so that you have an idea of how to plug in the information in Excel. You can list it by pairing the dates and the events in order of succession. Write out or sketch a time-line on paper listing the information for your chronological chart in order of dates.

Step 2

Determine how you want the layout of the chart to be depicted in Excel. If you want the information to be across the page in a landscape orientation, use the horizontal format. For a portrait-page orientation use the vertical format.

Step 3

Open Excel and start with a blank worksheet. Write a title or heading such as the name of the chart across the top of the worksheet.

Step 4

Put the dates or times in a row for a horizontal landscape layout or in a column for a vertical layout.

Step 5

Type in the information of the event associated with the dates in the rows under the dates for the horizontal layout, or the rows in the column next to the dates for the vertical layout.

Step 6

Conserve space for the horizontal layout by using the orientation feature to adjust the event description at an angle. Highlight the data and go to the "Format" option. Select “Cells” and choose the “Alignment” option from the dialog box.

Step 7

Look under “Orientation” box to align the text at an angle by dragging the line next to “Text" up or down; or simply type in the number in the “Degrees” box to manually set the angle you prefer.

Step 8

Format the font, style, color and size of the text in columns and rows of the chart. Highlight the data in the chart that you want to format. Go to the "Format" option at the top of the worksheet and click to view the selections in the drop-down menu.

Step 9

Select the “Cells” option to format the font, color, alignment, border or patterns.

Step 10

To automatically format the entire chart; highlight the information and select the “AutoFormat' option from the "Format" drop-down menu and choose a layout option.

Step 11

Change the height of rows and width of columns by selecting the “Row” or “Column” option.

Step 12

Save your chart so you can retrieve it for later use. To get a hard copy of the chart, print it out using the "Print Preview" selection to choose the best page alignment for your chart.

About the Author

Allison McCalman has been writing professionally since 2009. Her expertise is in business, media, intellectual property law and tourism. McCalman's work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism.