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How to Create a Timeline or Milestone Chart in Excel?

Last Updated : 31 May, 2021
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A timeline is a type of chart that visually shows a series of events in chronological order over a linear timescale. The power of a timeline is that it is graphical, which makes it easy to understand critical milestones, such as the progress of a project schedule.

Benefits of using Timeline / Milestone Chart:

  1. It’s easy to check the progress of the project with a milestone chart.
  2. Easy for the user to understand the project schedule.
  3. You have all the important information in a single chart.

Steps to Create a Timeline / Milestone Chart

Follow the below steps to create a Timeline or Milestone chart:

Step 1: Prepare your Data.


 In the above table:

  • The first column is for completion dates of the project stages.
  • The second column is for the activity name.
  • The third column is just for the placement of the activities into the timeline (up and down).

Step 2: Select “Date” and “Placement” column and then from: 

insert-> chart-> select 2d chart

The following chart will appear:

Step 3: From the chart element select data labels then select more options.

chart elements->data labels->more options

Step 4: Now in Format data labels deselect the “value” option and select the “value from cells” option.


Step 5: Then select the “activity” column and then click on ok.

Step 6: Now select bars and on the format tab on the chart tools select no fill-in shape fills.

No fill bars

Step 7: Now for the Error bars, from the chart element select error bars then select more options.

Step 8: Now in “Format Error Bars”  change everything as per the image shown below:

Step 9: Now remove the vertical axis by unchecking the primary vertical option from

 chart element->axes

 And also deselect gridlines option.

Vertical axis Removed

Step 10: To customize the bars, select Horizontal axis and then in format select shape outline color weight and arrow design.

Step 11: Now select the arrow bars and change their color too. 

Both Horizontal axis and arrow bars in the same color

Step 12: The final step is to change the Chat Title. The following would be the result:

Final Chart

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