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How to Create a Timeline Or Milestone Chart in Excel?

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Creating a timeline or milestone chart in Excel is useful for tracking project progress, highlighting key events or deadlines, and communicating the project timeline to stakeholders. The horizontal axis represents time in this chart type, and the vertical axis shows different tasks or events. As we Know Timeline is a display of events in chronological order. Kutools for Excel has an independent function of the Timeline Chart to create a Timeline or Milestone Chart in Excel. Let’s step into this article and follow the instructions below.

Steps to Create a Timeline/Milestone Chart

To create a timeline or milestone chart in Excel, you can follow these steps:

  • Step 1Open Excel and create a new workbook.
  • Step 2 – Enter your data in a table with the following columns: Task, Start Date, End Date, and Duration.
Data range
  • Step 3 – Select the data in the table, including the column headings.
Selecting the Range
  • Step 4 – Click on the Insert tab and select the 2D Stacked Bar chart.
Insert > 2D Stacked Bar Chart
  • Step 5 – Right-click on the chart and select Change Chart Type.
Change Chart Type
  • Step 6 – Select the Stacked Bar Chart and click OK.
Selecting Stacked Bar Chart
  • Step 7 – Right-click on any of the bars and select Format Data Series or Format Chart Area.
Format Chart Area
  • Step 8 – In the Format Chart Area dialog box, set the Gap Width to 0%.
Format Chart Area dialog box
  • Step 9 – Click on the plus icon next to Chart Options and select Data Labels.
Plus icon > Data Labels
  • Step 10 – In the Data Labels options, select Category Name and Value.
Format Data Labels
  • Step 11 – Right-click on the chart and select Select Data.
Select Data option
  • Step 12 – In the Select Data Source dialog box, click the Edit button next to Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels.
Data Source dialog box > Edit
  • Step 13 – Select the cells containing the Task names.
Selecting the Task names
  • Step 14 – Click OK and OK again to close the dialog boxes.
  • Step 15 – You can further customize the chart by adding titles and legends and changing the colors of the bars.
  • Step 16 – Your timeline or milestone chart is now complete.

Steps to Create a Timeline/Milestone Chart using Kutools

Kutools is a Microsoft Excel add-in that provides a wide range of features and tools to enhance the functionality and productivity of the software. It is designed to simplify complex Excel tasks and streamline common operations to save time and effort.

  • Step 1 – You have to create a table of data that you want to make a chart.
  • Step 2 – Refer to the following example image. We created an event list based on college events.
Data range
  • Step 3 – On the Kutools tab, the Select Charts option will open the menu.
  • Step 4 – Choose Timeline Chart from that menu.
Kutools > Charts > Timeline Chart
  • Step 5 – It will open the Timeline Chart dialog box.
  • Step 6 – Select Chart Type either style 1 or style 2.
    • Events Box – Select the column of events.
    • Dates Box – Select the column of dates from your Excel table.
  • Step 7 – Hit the OK button.
Timeline Chart dialog box
  • Step 8 – It will open the Kutools for Excel dialog box like below. Click the Yes button.
  • Step 9 – Now, it will display the Timeline Chart for your data. If you choose the Style 1 Chart type, it will display like below.
Style 1
  • Step 10 – If you select Chart type as Style 2, it will give the output a below image.
Style 2
  • Step 11 – Now you can get the output as your preferred style.


  • If you want to see an example timeline chart, use this option.


Creating a timeline or milestone chart in Excel offers several benefits:

Visual representation

A timeline chart visually represents project progress, which is easier to understand and communicate than a text-based report.

Better organization

A timeline chart helps keep the project team and stakeholders organized and focused on the project’s goals and objectives.

Clear milestones

A timeline chart helps identify key milestones and deadlines, allowing project managers to track progress and identify any potential delays.

Easy customization

Excel provides several customization options, such as adding labels and formatting options, allowing you to tailor the chart to your project’s needs.

Easy updates

Excel makes it easy to update the timeline chart as the project progresses, ensuring that everyone is up-to-date with the latest information.

Improved decision-making

A timeline chart can help project managers and stakeholders make informed decisions that keep the project on track by providing a clear overview of project progress and potential issues.


Creating a timeline or milestone chart in Excel has its benefits, but there are also some demerits to consider:


Creating a timeline or milestone chart in Excel can be time-consuming, especially if you add or modify data. Adding or removing tasks can require significant manual effort.

Limited customization

Although Excel provides basic customization options, creating complex designs or charts may not be possible in Excel. Excel may not be the best tool for creating highly detailed or stylized charts.

Limited collaboration

Sharing and collaborating on an Excel chart can be difficult, especially if multiple people need to access or update the chart simultaneously.

Data accuracy

Maintaining data accuracy in Excel can be challenging, especially if multiple people enter data. Errors can be difficult to spot and correct.

Not suitable for large projects

Excel may not be the best tool for creating a timeline or milestone chart for large or complex projects. As the project size increases, the data can become overwhelming, making it difficult to manage and visualize in Excel.

While Excel can be useful for creating simple timelines or milestone charts, it may not be the best tool for complex or large-scale projects.


In this article, creating a timeline or milestone chart in Excel is a straightforward process that can help you visualize project progress and identify potential delays or issues. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily create a timeline chart displaying key milestones, project timelines, and other important information. For more articles, you can visit our homepage.

Video Tutorial

Here is the video tutorial to Create a Timeline/Milestone Chart in Excel for your better understanding.

To Create a Timeline/Milestone Chart in Excel


What is a timeline Chart?

A timeline chart represents a project schedule or timeline, displaying important events or milestones along a horizontal axis.

Why is a timeline chart useful?

A timeline chart can help project managers and stakeholders visualize project progress, identify potential delays or issues, and communicate project timelines more effectively.

What types of data can be included in a timeline chart?

A timeline chart can include project start and end dates, milestone dates, task durations, project phases, and other important events.

Can I customize the design of my timeline chart in Excel?

Yes, Excel provides various customization options for timeline charts, including adding labels, formatting the colors and fonts, and adding other design elements.

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