Excel Timeline is a new pivot table filter introduced in Excel 2013. It automatically evaluates date data and provides year, quarter, month and day filters with a scroll bar lookalike interface. It saves you from creating calculated year, quarter and month columns each time.
Similar to slicers, it is very easy to apply and use excel timeline. Just click on any cell of your pivot table and insert your timeline from pivot table tolls / analyze ribbon. Below, you can find an example application of inserting and using excel timeline.
Important: Excel Timeline will only work with Excel 2013. Earlier versions doesn’t support it.
We are going to analyze our sales data for different time periods with a pivot table. Here is our data:
Here is our data summarize as a pivot table:
Now, in order to insert an excel timeline, click on any cell of your pivot table and navigate to ANALYZE ribbon of Pivot Table Tools. You can insert one from here by clicking Insert Timeline button under Filter group.
When you click on Insert Timeline button, Excel will evaluate your pivot table fields and determine fields with date data. Then will ask you for which date field you would like to apply timeline.
After selecting your date field for your timeline, click ok and an excel timeline will be placed into your worksheet.
As you can see from the picture, excel timeline comes with different filtering options such as year, month, quarter. All of which you would have to calculate manually.
You can change filters and select multiple periods at once.
Timeline also comes with its own ribbon which includes a decent amount of options to adjust and style your timeline.