Spreadsheet Format

Each row represents a data point on the timeline. The chart below shows what data you should include in each column. Learn more about using spreadsheets with Visualizations at Use Spreadsheet Data.

 Column 1Column 2Column 3Column 4
Data Typedate or datetimenumbertextnumber

The date of your data point in a MM/DD/YEAR format. This sets the x-axis value for your data point.


  • If your data only contains years, assign an arbitrary month and day.

The value for your date on the y-axis. This creates your first timeline.


  • If you do not want to assign a numeric value to a date, type in "null" 

The annotations for your data points.


  • The annotations will only appear on the timeline if you choose true in the "Display Annotations" customization option
  • Learn more about the display annotations option below
A second value for your date on the y-axis. This creates a second timeline.


Use this spreadsheet template to guide your data entry. To use it, just copy and paste the cells into your own Google sheet. You can click on a cell to get more information about a specific column, or reference the table above. 

Customization Options


These options are exclusive to the annotated timeline. Learn about other options at Common Customization Options

Alpha fill 0-100

sets the transparency of the fill color under the graph's curve

  • Type in a number from 0 to 100 to set the transparency
  • "0" makes the area completely transparent; "100" makes the area opaque
Date format 

formats the date that appears in the top right corner of the timeline

  • To enter the date only, type in "MM DD YYYY" 
  • To enter a date and time, use the "HH:mm MONTH dd, yyyy" format
Display annotations? 

controls whether or not annotations appear on the chart

  • "True" shows annotations on top of selected values
  • "False" hides annotations
Display exact values?

controls whether numeric values on the legend are exact or rounded

  • "True" makes values exact
  • "False" rounds values
Display legend dots?

adds ornamental dots to the legend  

  • "True" adds the legend dot
  • "False" removes the legend dot
Display legend values?

shows  a point's value on the legend when your cursor rolls over a point

  •  "True" shows a point's value in the legend 
  • "False" disables this action
Display separator bar?

adds a separator bar (|) between the legend and the date at the top right of the chart

  •  "True" shows the separator 
  • "False" hides the separator

adds shortcuts to different zoom levels within your timeline

  • "True" shows shortcuts
  • "False" hides shortcuts
Dot highlight

determines which point will highlight based on the position of your cursor

  • "Nearest" highlights the point closest to your cursor
  • "Last" highlights the point to the left of your cursor
Legend position 

controls the legends' placement

  • "newRow" puts legend text and legend dates on separate rows
  • "sameRow" puts both items on the same row