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Make a Timeline PowerPoint Slide from Excel using OnePager Express

How to make a timeline in Excel and present it in PowerPoint

If you keep track of project plans in Excel, it's difficult to get your schedule into a PowerPoint timeline format for presentations. It's easy to make mistakes transferring your schedule from Excel to PowerPoint. And when your schedule changes, you have to rebuild your PowerPoint presentation by hand.

Timeline PowerPoint slide: How to create a timeline in Excel and display it in PowerPoint, using OnePager Express, an Excel add-in.

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With OnePager Express, you can eliminate the difficulties of trying to create a timeline PowerPoint slide for your project. OnePager Express imports your schedule from Excel and quickly creates presentation-ready timelines and Gantt charts.

Simple Instructions

These instructions are designed for people don't already have a project plan in Excel. You can use our example Excel project plan as a starting point and follow these abbreviated steps to create your chart in a matter of minutes.

  1. Start by downloading these two sample files to your downloads folder or to your desktop. The Excel file contains the schedule data, and the *.tat file is the OnePager template that will drive the formatting of the chart you're about to create.

      Project Timeline Presentations using Excel.xlsx (Excel File)
      Project Timeline Presentations using Excel.tat (OnePager Template)

  1. Open the Excel file that you just downloaded. From Excel's Add-Ins tab, click the OnePager Express button:

    OnePager Express add-in launch from Excel.

  2. On the Start screen, click NEW to begin building a new Gantt chart:

    OnePager Express start screen.

  3. On the next screen, locate the Starting Template section, and go to Change > BROWSE FILES. Browse to your desktop and select the Project Timeline Presentations using Excel.tat that you downloaded in step #1:

    Change your OnePager template.

  4. With your Excel file loaded and your OnePager template selected, click Next, and then on the following screen, click Create new chart. OnePager will import the data from your Excel file and create a Gantt chart in just a few seconds:

    Project Timeline Presentation

Now that you've done this, you can go back to Excel and adjust the spreadsheet to match the dates and deliverables of your real-world project plan. Once you've done this, follow the same steps again with your updated Excel sheet, and you'll be well on your way! 15-Day
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Detailed Instructions

These instructions are designed for people who have already built a project plan in Excel and need to import what they already have into OnePager. These instructions also provide more details about customization along the way.

    If you don’t have OnePager Express, download a free trial and follow along. Here’s how to make a timeline in Excel for project presentations:

    1. The first step is to determine how much of your Excel schedule you actually want to present on your timeline PowerPoint slide. The highlighted column here places a simple "yes" next to the tasks that should be included in your presentation:
      Project schedule maintained in Microsoft Excel.
    2. Double-click the OnePager Express icon on your desktop. From the Start screen that appears, choose New, and choose your Excel spreadsheet as the source file for your project timeline. This will start the easy import wizard:
      OnePager Express features a wizard that makes it easy to import your Excel schedule and create a timeline for PowerPoint presentations. Here, you can name your timeline, specify the Excel column you're using to filter your schedule, and give your timeline a snapshot (or status) date. When you're ready, click the Next button.
    3. The next screen of the wizard lets you pick which Excel columns you want to use in your PowerPoint timeline. For example, you might choose to map the "Start Date" column from your Excel spreadsheet to the start date prompt in the OnePager Express wizard.
      OnePager Express makes it easy to select which columns you want to use from your Excel spreadsheet, when building a project timeline for PowerPoint presentations.
    4. Now, just click the Create new chart button and you’ll get a PowerPoint-ready timeline, based on the data from your Excel spreadsheet:
      Timeline PowerPoint slide: How to create a timeline in Excel and display it in PowerPoint, using OnePager Express, an Excel add-in.
    5. You can make some adjustments to your Excel-based timeline if you like. Once you're satisfied, you can copy and paste the chart directly into PowerPoint by clicking on the Copy button shown below:
      Easily copy your OnePager Express timeline into a PowerPoint presentation or e-mail.
    6. The next time you need to make a timeline PowerPoint slide for the same project, it's easy to update your chart. OnePager Express remembers the tasks, milestones, and settings from your original timeline, making it easy to make a quick update before your next meeting.


    OnePager Express is a flexible tool, giving you the ability to:

    • Change colors, symbols, fonts, and layouts
    • Automatically group or color-code by resources, project phase, or any other Microsoft Excel data
    • Show baseline dates and durations
    • Add comment boxes, text boxes, curtains, or background images

    Using OnePager Express will allow you to create easy PowerPoint presentations about your project that are completely based on the data you already have in Excel.

    Now you've learned how to make a timeline in Excel and copy it to PowerPoint using OnePager Express. It's fast and easy! To learn more about making a timeline in Excel, you can read some of our other how-to pages. Or get started today by downloading a free trial or attending one of our demonstration webinars.

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