How to Make a Timeline in OpenOffice

Use the OpenOffice Timeline template to create your custom timeline document.
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If you use the Apache OpenOffice open source productivity suite, you can download and apply a variety of templates for designated purposes. For example, if you need to quickly create a timeline in Apache OpenOffice Calc, download and use the OpenOffice Calc Timeline template as a starting point for your own timeline. The Timeline template is delivered in the OTS file format. Once you download the file, install the template to the Calc application, then build your timeline by modifying the template elements.

1 Download and Install Template

2 Open the Apache OpenOffice Timeline Template download site in a browser

Open the Apache OpenOffice Timeline Template download site in a browser (see Resources). Click the “Download Template” icon, then save the OTS file to your hard drive.

3 Open Apache OpenOffice Calc

Open Apache OpenOffice Calc, then click the “File” tab on the top navigation bar.

4 Click Templates

Click “Templates, then click “Organize...”. The Template Management dialog box opens.

5 Click the down arrow

Click the down arrow next to the “Commands” button, then click “Import Template...”. The file browser opens. Browse to and click on the OTS file, then click “Open.” A folder named “My Templates” is created in the Template Management dialog box, and the new template is added to the folder.

6 Click Close

Click “Close” to close the Template Management box.

7 Use Timeline Template

8 Launch OpenOffice

Launch OpenOffice, then click the “Spreadsheet” option to open a new spreadsheet in Calc.

9 Click the File ” tab

Click the “File” tab, then click “New.”

10 Click Templates and Documents

Click “Templates and Documents” to open the Templates and Documents dialog box.

11 Click My Templates

Click “My Templates,” then click the “Timeline” template option. The template opens in the Calc interface. The dates for the timeline are located across the top content column. The template also includes four blocks with stems for captioning the timeline.

12 Edit

Edit the dates in the top content column to the dates you wish to track with your timeline.

13 Right-click on a box and stem combination

Right-click on a box and stem combination, then click “Copy.” Right-click on an empty cell, then click “Paste” to make a copy of the box and stem element. Copy as many box and stem elements as you need to add captions to the timeline.

14 Type caption content

Type caption content into each of the boxes.

15 Drag and drop the completed caption boxes

Drag and drop the completed caption boxes with stems to the appropriate locations in the timeline.

16 Click File

Click “File,” then click “Save” to open the File dialog box. Type a name for the timeline spreadsheet, then click “Save.” The file is saved as an OpenOffice Calc ODS document.

  • Information provided in this article applies to Apache OpenOffice, version 4.0.x. Instructions may vary slightly or significantly for other versions of the software.
  • To make your ODS timeline spreadsheet compatible with Microsoft Excel, click the “Save As” option in the File menu, then click the “Save as Type” drop-down box. Click the “Microsoft Excel 97/2000/XP (.xls) (*.xls)” option, then click “Save.”

Randall Blackburn has worked for several Fortune 1000 companies as a technical writer over the past seven years. He has produced a wide variety of technical documentation, including detailed programming specifications and research papers. Randall has also acquired several years' experience writing web content. Randall lives and works in Austin, TX.