Visual representation of biographical and other data can be a very potent analytical technique as it can bring out relationships and give context to otherwise disparate pieces of information. Did that make any sense to you? Well, here's the good news. Regardless of whether it made sense, the Timeline Constructor can draw up, at the touch of a button, timelines of varying proportions and date ranges incorporating personalities or events, categorised by colour coding. If you use Timeline Constructor for biographical details, you will be able to quickly see who are the contemporaries of a given person, record short notes for each person which are easily accessible, use background colour to categorise individuals according to discipline of expertise or school of thought or any other criterion.
This tool can also be used to make timelines of events, such as all battles of early Islamic history or revelations of individual verses or chapters of the Qur'an. Once you create a timeline that you want to keep, you can copy it using standard Excel functionality and save it as a separate file.
Please send copies of any interesting timelines you create with the Timeline Constructor to email@example.com
Simply download this Microsoft Excel file and open it. You will see instructions on use and some sample data to get you started. Very basic knowledge of Excel is assumed.
The Timeline Constructor is based on a Microsoft Excel template as well as Visual Basic for Applications code. It has been developed on Microsoft Excel 5.0 and tested under Windows. It should work on higher versions of Excel though it has not been tested.
The Timeline Constructor comes with a sample data list of names and birth/death and other data. It is also set up with default settings for the various parameters that can be specified such as choice between AH (Hijrah) or CE (Christian Era) years, width of cells, start and end years and interval between them. At the touch of the 'Generate Timeline' button the data items are inserted in the correct places on the grid. The 'Grid' button toggles the grid on the 'Timeline' sheet.
To enter your own data, delete or overwrite the sample entries (though leave the headings intact) on 'Data' worksheet. You are free to choose different, or no, colours for category. You are free to specify any font, size and colour for 'Name'. Choose the appropriate View magnitude from the toolbar.
Bug reports and Comments:
Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This application is "Freeware". You may use it as you may find fit.
Timeline Constructor is Copyright (c) 1998 by the Ahlul Bayt DILP (http://al-islam.org)
Permission for nonprofit use and redistribution of this Excel application and its documentation is hereby granted without fee, provided that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright notice and this permission notice appear in supporting documentation.
No representation is made about the suitability of this software for
any purpose. It is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.