Import a CSV or Excel File

Preceden allows you to import Comma Separated Value (CSV) and Excel files in order to quickly add events and layers to your timeline.

We recommend trying our Bulk Editor before investing a lot of time into manually creating a spreadsheet, as the Bulk Editor provides a spreadsheet-like interface that's tailored to Preceden.

If you are on a paid plan, you can access the import feature by clicking the Share and Export button above your timeline then the  Spreadsheet item, then Import a Spreadsheet link:

From there, select Choose File, pick the CSV or XLSX file, then click the Import button.

File Format

Preceden expects the spreadsheet file to be in this format:

The CSV file must have exactly 8 columns, though only 3 are required to have values:
# Column Name Description
1 layer_name (required) The name of the layer to add the event to.

If you specify a layer name that does not exist on the timeline already, it will be created during the import.
2 event_id (optional) The ID of the event. 

If set, the import will update the existing event instead of creating a new event. You'll only have this set if you're importing a spreadsheet that you previously exported from Preceden. It's not something you need to come up with on your own.
3 event_name (required) The name of the the event.
4 notes (optional) Notes for the event.
5 start_date (required) The start date of the event.

The date must be in  a format that Preceden supports.

You can prepend this with a tilde (~) to indicate it's approximate
6 end_date (optional) The end date of the event.

The date must be in  a format that Preceden supports.

You can prepend this with a tilde (~) to indicate it's approximate
7 icon (optional) The word "solid" followed by a space followed by a Font Awesome icon name. For example, solid circle.
8 color (optional) A valid six digit hex code with or without the leading #. Example: #FF0000 or FF0000. Can also be random in which case Preceden will randomly select a color from the color palette.

Defaults to  random if no value is provided.
If all went well, you'll be redirected back to your timeline with the new events:


Is there a limit on the number of events I can import?
CSV imports work well for up to 500 events, but after that you may see an error due to how long it takes to process the import. It's still possible to import to your timeline, you'll just need to email it to us and we can import it to a timeline on our end. Email us at [email protected] and attach your CSV and we can take care of it.
I exported my timeline as a CSV, edited it in Excel, and now the date format changed.

Try exporting your timeline as an Excel file (not a CSV) or you can manually import the CSV into Excel before editing it.

My imported timeline has events that are missing letters, what can I do?

This can happen when there are problems with a CSV file's encoding. On Windows, try saving the CSV file with UTF-8 encoding and try the import again:

I'm having problems. Who can I contact?
If you run into any problems with your import, please feel free to shoot us an email at any time: [email protected]. Please include the CSV file you are trying to import and any relevant information about the problems you're running into.

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