Importing a CSV file

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

You can access the import feature by clicking  Settings > CSV Import above your timeline.

CSV File Format

Here is an example of a valid CSV file:
You can download this example CSV  here.
A few notes:
  • There are 11 columns: the layer name, the event id, the event name, event notes, event start date, event start approximate, event end date, event end approximate, milestone, event symbol, and event color.
  • The header row is optional. If the value of the first column is "Layer Name" then that row will be considered a header row and it will be ignored during the import. 
  • Most of the values in each row are optional. The only required values in each row are the layer name, event name, and start date.
  • If you specify a layer name that does not already exist on your timeline, it will be created during the import. If a layer with that name does exist, the event will be added to that layer.
  • The event ID represents the ID of an existing event on your Preceden timeline. When you perform an import Preceden will check to see if an event with that ID already exists and if so it will update it instead of adding a new event to your timeline. You'll likely only use this if you're importing a CSV that you exported directly from Preceden.
  • Any field that accepts yes/no will also accept true/false. You can also leave the column blank which cause it to be interpreted as "no".
  • There is no way to specify layer notes in the import.
  • The event color must be a six digit hex color code or "random" (without quotes) or blank (which is the same as specifying "random"). The leading # is optional. If you specify random or leave the color blank, a color will be chosen randomly from the normal event color picker.
  • Start and end dates must be in a format that we support.
  • The event symbol should be blank or contain a code representing which symbol to display when the event does not have an end date. For example, a solid circle (●) is Unicode character U+25cf, so you'd put 25cf in this field. Likewise, a blank circle (○) is 25cb and so on. If you leave it blank, we'll default it to a black circle.
If there are any problems with the data in the CSV file, Preceden won't import any events and will let you know there is a problem.
If all went well, you'll be redirect back to your timeline with the new events:


Can I import Excel files?

No, currently Preceden only supports CSV uploads, but the good news is that you can save your Excel file as a CSV file and import that instead. If your file ends in ".csv" it is a CSV file. If it ends in anything else (".xls", ".xlxs", ".xlsm") you won't be able to import it.

Is there a limit on the number of events I can import?

Timelines do have  a limited number of events for performance reasons. If the number of events on your timeline plus the number of events you are trying to add exceed that, the import will be stopped.

If there is a problem during the import, will the valid events still be added to my timeline?

No, if there are any problems with the data in your CSV file you will be shown an error and none of the events will be added to your timeline.

My imported timeline is missing letters, what can I do?

This can happen when there are problems with CSV file's encoding. On Windows, try saving the CSV file with UTF-8 encoding and trying 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: Please include the CSV file you are trying to import and any other pertinent information.

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