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.
The CSV file must have exactly 11 columns, though only 3 are required to have values. The header row is optional.
# 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 likely only have this set if you're importing a CSV that you previously exported from Preceden.
3 Event Name (required) The name of the the event.
4 Event Description (optional) The description of the event.
5 Start Date (required) The start date of the event.

The date must be in  a format that Preceden supports.
6 Approximate? (optional) Whether or not the start date is approximate. 

Valid values are yes or no. Defaults to no.
7 End Date (optional) The end date of the event.

The date must be in   a format that Preceden supports.
8 Approximate? (optional) Whether or not the end date is approximate.

Valid values are yes or no. Defaults to no.
9 Milestone? (optional) Whether or not to designate the event as a milestone.

Valid values are yes or no. Defaults to no.
10 Icon (optional) One of the following values:

solid circle, regular circle, solid star, solid triangle, solid play, solid diamond, solid bolt, solid check square, solid cloud, solid hand point right, solid heart, solid sun, solid arrow alt right, solid times, solid crosshairs, solid certificate, solid smile, solid flag, solid check, solid file, solid comment, solid shield, solid exclamation circle, solid bullseye, solid bell, solid bullhorn, solid burn, solid calendar alt, solid chevron circle right, solid chart bar, solid gift

Defaults to solid circle.
11 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 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?

CSV imports work well for up to 200 events, but after that you may see an Application Error or duplicate events on your timeline after attempting an import. It's on our roadmap to fix this, but for now importing large CSV is a bit buggy.

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 and attached your CSV and we can take care of it.

My imported timeline has events that are 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 relevant information.

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