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  • Adam Behringer

    Seattle, Washington USA

    Adam is the founder of BEEDOCS, an artisan software company that makes great timeline software for Mac OS X.

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Timeline Presentation

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We've been experimenting with some interesting new ways to display timelines. In particular, I have been playing with design ideas that will allow the presentation of large timelines one event at a time in a classroom / lecture type setting.

I would love to hear your feedback about the ways that you present your timelines now. Are you printing them out, putting them into a PowerPoint, or displaying them in the full screen Presentation Mode? How do you share your work with your audience and what are the challenges? Would you find value in a mode that allowed you to step through each event one at a time in a presentation? I'd really appreciate your feedback using the blog comments or in e-mail.

Also, as I am working on new designs it would be very helpful to have a selection of real-world timelines to test against. If you are a Bee Docs' Timeline customer and reading this blog, would you take a minute to send me a copy of your favorite timeline document? It would be great to have a variety of subjects and timeline styles to test against.

My e-mail is Adam at Bee Documents dot com. Thanks!



Anonymous AnonymousJanuary 24, 2008 12:56 PM

Hi Adam,

excellent update re PDF - thanks

re timelines

why not start a library of timelines prepared by customers?

I'm currently preparing on various English Lit. authors (Austen etc). Happy to hsare when finished.

Advantage: avoids duplication by busy people :-)

b) various designs, colour schemes and level of detail etc can give inspiration both neg and positive re one's own efforts

c) re detail - one's links might be useful to other e.g. Austen timeline designers which they might not have considered or discarded

'Timeline Library' - you heard it here first! :-)



Anonymous AnonymousJanuary 28, 2008 10:14 PM

This would be wildly helpful. I'm a university prof and regularly make timelines that I need to present via LCD projector.

When I need to mush them into Keynote presentations I've been nabbing the timeline either via screen captures (Skitch) or pulling in a pdf.

It would be very helpful to have the ability to easily and directly transport timelines into Keynote, with the formatting set to fit in a single presentation page.

That said, now that there's the new functionality of linking to dynamic images in timelines, I think for the first time I might keep some timelines out of Keynote and enjoy the rich media I get by displaying them via Timeline.

One frustrating quirk of Presentation mode in Timeline: it doesn't let me Command-Tab over to Keynote. I have to hit ESC to exit the full mode and only then will it let me Command-Tab back to my presentation.

Thanks for all the great development you're doing on this.

Blogger Adam BehringerJanuary 29, 2008 2:55 PM

Thanks for your feedback!

Blogger mistersquidJanuary 31, 2008 1:54 PM

I teach cultural studies in a University setting and being able to step through a timeline event by event would be a godsend. It also would be nice to have some kind of interface so that event selection could be random access (as opposed to sequential).

Anonymous AnonymousJanuary 31, 2008 5:54 PM

Hi, Adam. I bought your software today and I must say I'm impressed with the look of timelines. I tought in an University and I find your software very useful to combine with apple keynote.

I only find one issue. When you have a lot of events in a long period of time (e. gr., 1450 to 1600) I would like to have the possibilite to make them fit in one window and don't have an extremely long image. Would this be possible?

Thanks in advance and congratulations for your terrific software.

Blogger Adam BehringerJanuary 31, 2008 7:32 PM

Page layout depends on the way that the events fit in the given space, not on the date range of the timeline.

Please see the documentation (in the Help menu) for more information on how auto-layout works.

You may also send me an e-mail if you have specific questions.

Blogger racemaseFebruary 01, 2008 3:45 AM


IMHO for Keynote an export-to-quicktime feature, that scrolls through the timeline (at a given speed, maybe adjustable) would be very handy. For the web a flash file would be even better.

Thanks, Marco

Anonymous AnonymousFebruary 01, 2008 5:51 AM

re Anonymous "When you have a lot of events in a long period of time (e. gr., 1450 to 1600)"

say you have 50 events to cover

create the baseline and break them into e.g. 5 sections and hyperlink each section to seperate timelines each containing 10 events which (or parts thereof) could in turn be hyperlinked etc etc


create further rows dedicated to a specific period above the base overview line breaking down as outlined above

Blogger UnknownFebruary 14, 2008 8:04 AM

As far as export and presentation, I would love for Timeline to be able to export into Simile's Timeline, so that timelines created in your software could then be viewed in web-browsers, posted on the net, and be "interactive" (i.e. where whatever is typed into the "notes" pane in Beedocs' could then be clicked on for the pop-up in Simile's.)

Don't know much about it, but could the new AppleScript be used for this?

Blogger Adam BehringerFebruary 14, 2008 8:40 AM


As I understand it, creating a timeline in SIMILE involves two parts. The first is an XML which contains the event data. This part should be fairly easy to create using Applescript and Bee Docs' Timeline.

The second is some custom javascript which sets up all of the formating information such as tick mark intervals, size of the timeline, etc... This part is less easy to automate as it involves making design decisions based on your particular timeline.

I probably won't make export to SIMILE a built in feature unless I can make it as easy as a one click export which is going to be difficult. However, if you are willing to do the javascript by hand and export the data using Applescript I think that would work well.

Also, SIMILE is an open source project that is still being developed. If it gains better automatic formating features, integration with Bee Docs' Timeline would become easier. Last year I contacted the lead developer of SIMILE and he was very supportive of integration with other applications such as Bee Docs' Timeline.


Blogger UnknownFebruary 14, 2008 9:35 AM


The positive response by the SIMILE dev is good news, and your possible work even better. I really feel that a major bastion for TL2 export is some type of HTML-based presentation, so that's why I suggested the already developed SIMILE.

For now, if we could use the Applescript for the events, and hand-modify the javascript file, that would be a good start!

Thanks again.

Blogger DeanFebruary 14, 2010 10:12 AM


Any more thoughts on exporting to Simile Timeline XML format? http://www.dipity.com looks like something that could be a cool way to display my Timelines I create online. I know you are looking to do web export but this might be interesting as well?

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