Excel Hints & Tips – Timeline

Timeline – a very nice Excel 2013 feature

We all like a good pivot table don’t we?  But to get the full range of summary option 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.

Pic 1

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.

pic 2


Excel 2013 has a beautifully simple Timeline filter that provides a simple slider type interactive filter.

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

Pic 3


On the insert ribbon you will find the Timeline tool

pic 4

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

Pic 5


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

pic 6

You can change the periods it filters

pic 7

Pick your period, and your Pivot table will be filtered

pic 8

You can move or extend the period filtered

pic 9

Very simple, very nice!


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