Excel Hints & Tips - Timeline

In: BlogDate: Jan 31, 2013By: Darren Andrews

How to use the Timeline feature in Excel 2013/2016.

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We all like a good Pivot Table don’t we? But to get the full range of summary options we sometimes need to add more than we’d like.

For instance, in my personnel database I want a summary of salary and bonus for each department. But I also want to be able to filter the results by the start date of the staff.

To do this I would have produced a Pivot Table similar to the one below and then used the custom date filter to filter by the correct period.

 

 

I could group the data, but once again, it’s less than elegant. It would also be possible to create an Activex control or some VBA to make this more flexible but it’s becoming increasingly complex.

 

Using the Timeline feature

To use this just create your Pivot Table as normal. It is not necessary to include the date field, as you will use the Timeline filter on in the Pivot Table:

 

 

On the insert ribbon you will find the Timeline tool:

 

When you use the tool it will identify any fields that the Timeline filter can filter.

 

 

Pick your field, and your timeline is ready for use!

 

 

You can change the periods it filters – choose between Yearly, Quarterly, Monthly and Daily view using the dropdown menu on the top right corner of the dialogue. You can also change the period filtered – just highlight the appropriate period.

Very simple, very nice!

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Darren Andrews

Darren is one of Happy's Senior Trainers, able to train almost every IT course on our course programme. He worked for Happy for 12 years and has been an Associate Trainer since 2018.

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