Timeline View (iOS)

Timeline View provides a linear, visual representation of all dated items in your timeline (that is, all items that have been given a start date). Items are laid out horizontally by date, with their vertical position determined by the chronological order of events (as laid out in the Spreadsheet View on iPad, and Chronological List view on iPhone portrait). 

Timeline view makes it easy to compare the dates and durations of individual events and view trends over time such as increasing and decreasing frequency of events.

Timeline View Interface

The components of the Timeline View shown above are:

  1. Timeline Header: The header at the top of the Timeline View shows the dates associated with your current scroll position, as well as any relevant calendars markers you have added to your timeline
  2. Timeline Area: The timeline view where items are drawn on the item. This top view is filtered to show only items associated with the person "Hector MacQueen".

On iPad, it is possible to divide the screen into two split views. If the split views are stacked vertically and both showing timeline views, the views will scroll together and a single Timeline Header will be shown for both views.

Calendar Markers

Calendar markers are additional markers that you can add to the timeline header (and optionally, extending throughout the timeline) to mark important dates in your timeline.

Typical uses for calendar markers vary depending on your use case, but would typically involve either important global events that are relevant across all aspects of your timeline, or recurring events such as holidays or seasons that you don’t want cluttering your main timeline view. 

Comparing Filtered Timeline Views 

On iPad, Aeon Timeline allows you to view multiple timelines in different Split Views, with each view filtered to show a different subset of items:

This replaces the earlier “group by” functionality in version 2, and allows you to visually compare the timelines of two or more people (e.g. characters in a novel, or employees in a project), or view items grouped by different story arcs, projects, or any other filter criteria you wish to apply.

For simple filtering of the active view, you can open an Entity Panel (e.g. People) from the Sidebar and then click on the filter icon next to an entity. The filter will be altered to show only items associated with that entity. By default, this replaces any other relationship-based filter that already applies, or you can use the Ctrl/Cmd key to add or remove from the existing filter instead.

For more complex filtering, you should use the Focused View tab in the Filter Panel instead.

By default, the Timeline Views will scroll together horizontally, allowing for easy comparison, as long as the  Lock Scrolling option in the view options remains active. The views will scroll independently in the vertical direction, making it easier to keep the relevant content on screen in each view.

Manipulating Items In The Timeline

There are multiple ways that you can manipulate events directly inside the timeline. 

Adding Items to the Timeline

Any item with an assigned start date will be shown on the Timeline View automatically, provided it matches the relevant filter and display settings for the view.

To add a new item to the Timeline:

  • Make sure the Timeline View is selected as the active view, click the + Icon in the sidebar, and choose the item type you wish to add. This will create a new item with its date set at the centre of the visible Timeline View.

To add an existing item to the Timeline, you can:

  • Select the event in another view, and use the Inspector to assign a start date to the item.
  • (iPad only) Assign a date to the item in the Spreadsheet View
  • (iPad only) Split the screen in two, select the item in any other view, and drag it into the Timeline View.

If your newly added item does not appear in the Timeline View after setting its date, it is most likely because the item does not match some other part of the filter that is active for that view. In that case, you should either adjust the item properties to match the filter, or remove the filter on the view.

Selecting Events 

  • Tap on an event to select an event and immediately open the inspector to edit that event
  • To select multiple events, press and hold on the Timeline View until the app enters Edit Mode. Once in edit mode, tap on each item to add or remove it from your selection. 

Moving Events To a New Date

In Edit Mode, you can move items by dragging them to a new location on the timeline. 

Press and hold on the Timeline View to enter Edit Mode (vibrant blue toolbar).

When moving items, both the start and end date of the item will change, keeping the duration of the item the same. You can move events in several ways:

  • Move one or more selected events by dragging them to the left or the right of the timeline. A line will show you where the events will be moved to, and a tooltip will show the distance the events will be moved by, and if a single event is selected, the new start date it will be set at. 
  • If dragging a single event, if you move it close to the x-axis location of the start or end of another event, the event will ‘snap to’ that location. This is indicated and “Snap to XXX” displayed in the tooltip. 

Changing Events Duration and End Date 

To change the duration or beginning/end date of an event: 

  1. Tap the item to select it and open the Item Inspector
  2. Tap on the Date & Narrative section of the Item Inspector
  3. Modify either the duration field or end date. 

When adjusting the end date, the duration will be recalculated automatically.

Navigating Your Timeline 

There are a number of ways to navigate your timeline to show a different area of your timeline. These include:

  • Use a horizontal scrolling gesture on your device
  • Tap the Scroll to Date icon () in the Sidebar (iPad), or in the overflow () menu on the iPhone toolbar, and then enter your target date. 
  • Use pinch gestures on your to fluently zoom in and out around the current mouse position.

You can adjust the limits for allowed zooming in the View Settings panel (see below).

Adjusting View Settings

You can adjust settings specifically related to the Timeline View by ensuring the Timeline View has focus, and then tapping on the View settings icon (  ) in the Sidebar (iPad) or overflow toolbar menu (iPhone).

Adjusting zoom

The timeline zoom can be adjusted by dragging the knob on the zoom slider in the footer:

The dropdown menus on either side of the slider set the minimum and maximum zoom for the timeline view. This corresponds to the zoom level at either end of the zoom slider, and also limits zooming via other mechanisms (such as pinch gestures).

Limiting Date Range 

Display Settings

In addition to the zoom slider, the Timeline View footer contains the following additional controls:

Item Display Choose which properties are visible on the timeline alongside each item. By ticking  Marker Only, items will be collapsed into the tightest possible space without any extraneous information.
Show Types on Timeline Choose which  Item Types are shown on your timeline. This allows you to hide items such as people from the timeline, even when they have dates.
Layout Select the layout algorithm used to calculate the vertical position of events. The  Compact layout works well with Marker Only enabled, but items will tend to change position much more frequently when zooming in or out of your timeline.
Date Range [From/To] Specify the minimum and maximum date range of your timeline. You will not be able to scroll past the dates specified, unless items already exist beyond those limits.
Zoom [From/To] Specify the minimum and maximum limits applied to the pinch zoom gesture.
Lock Scrolling iPad-only. Choose whether multiple Timeline Views are linked together to share the same horizontal scroll position (defaults to locked). Unlock scrolling if you wish to compare timeline views across different time periods or zoom levels.
Show Dependency Lines Turn on and off the visual lines indicating dependencies between items.
Show Today Line Toggle a visual indicator at the current date and time.

These controls apply universally across all Timeline Views.