Timeline Appearance

You can customize the look and behavior of your timelines in a variety of ways using the Appearance button above your timeline.

Clicking on Appearance will bring up an interactive dialog where you can preview one or more changes made to your timeline's appearance. Click Save Changes to close the dialog and apply your desired changes or click Cancel to close the dialog with no saved changed. 

Here's an overview of each setting and its impact on your timeline:


The theme settings let you adjust the color palette and overall layout of your timeline.


Here you can choose the color theme for your timeline.The theme will adjust the timeline background, font color as needed, and the timeline lines.

For example, here's the default white theme:

And here's the same timeline with a light gray background:

Event Color Palette

This option sets the colors for events when they are added to the timeline.

Custom Event Color Palette

This option lets you add custom colors for events when they are added to the timeline.

Date Format

Display Format

Preceden will use this format when displaying an event's dates on the timeline, as well as in the list below the timeline.

By default, the "Use the same format you specified for the event" option will cause Preceden to use whatever format you used when you set the dates for the event. However, you may wish to format it differently when displaying it on the timeline. For example, instead of displaying the full date like "May 18, 2021" you may want to display it as "May 18" or "5/18".

We recommend choosing an option other than the default option to ensure dates are formatted consistently on your timeline.

Date Picker Format

Preceden will use this format for the date picker and when you change an event's dates with drag and drop.


The language you chose here will determine what language the event date picker will use when selecting a date for an event. It will also determine the language used for the dates displayed on the timeline and the list below the timeline.

When you sign up for an account, Preceden automatically sets this based on your browser's language settings. When you create a new timeline, we'll use the same language you used for the last timeline you worked on.

Approximate Format

For approximate dates, whether to display them on your timeline with a leading "Approx. " or "~":

  • Approx. March 3, 2021
  • ~March 3, 2021

Week Start

This setting determines, when your timeline displays events using a weekly scale, whether the weeks start on Sunday or Monday.

Quarter Format

This setting determines whether quarters are displayed as months (January, April, July, October) or Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4. 

Fiscal Year Start

This setting determines whether the Fiscal Year starts in January or some other month. For example, the US federal government's fiscal year runs from October 1 of one calendar year through September 30 of the next.


Content Visibility

This section lets you choose whether you want to display the event dates, durations, notes, percent completes, and/or images on the timeline.

Default Shape

This setting applies a default shape for new events that contain both start and end dates.

Note that if you specify either the start or end date is approximate for the event, Preceden will display the corners for that event slightly rounded regardless of what setting you choose here.

Color Style

This setting determines how the color you select for an event with a start and end date is applied to that event. Solid means the bar will be entirely that color and and Horizontal Gradient means a subtle horizontal fade is applied.

Past Events

If you're using Preceden to plan a project, you may want to display past events in gray to make it clear that they're complete. Rather than adjust each event color manually as the event finishes, you can use this setting to automatically display those events in gray.

Bar Name Position

Controls how Preceden deals with event names that don't fit within its colored bar. More info with examples in this support doc: Change the Bar Name Position.

Date and Duration Position

If you choose to display the event details on the timeline, you can choose where you want those details to be displayed relative to the event names: below, to the right (default), or left.

Duration Format

You can choose to use the largest units possible for displaying duration or choose to always see this information in days. 



Checking this option will automatically compress the timeline, placing as many events per row as possible. Learn more in our Reposition Events with Drag and Drop guide.

Layer Name Position

Choose whether the layer name should be displayed Above the Layer or to the Right of the Layer.

At the top of the layer

To the left of the layer

When the layers have a transparent color (which is the default) Preceden will simply darken the color of the theme to determine background color for the layer names:

If you set background colors for the layers Preceden will use them here:

Layer Spacing

This setting controls the distance between each layer. Select either no distance, small or large to change the distance.


These settings adjust how colors are displayed based on the layer and its color. You can:

  • Apply the layer color to the layer's background
  • Preceden can also apply the layer's color not only to the layer name, but to the layer itself:

    For example, here's what it looks like with the layer names at the top:

    And here's with layer names to the left:

  • Alternate layer colors for layers without a background color
  • When the layers don't have the color applied to the background, Preceden will slightly darken every other layer to make them easier to distinguish:

    Milestones and Free Plan are white, Existing Customers is light gray:

    You can uncheck this setting to use the theme color for all of the layers (white in this example):

  • Override event color with the layer color
  • You may want to have all of the events in each layer use the same color. This setting allows you to do just that: apply the layer color to the events themselves.

    For example, here's a timeline with layer names to the left, no layer background color, but overridden event colors:

    And here it is again but with the layer color applied to the layer background:



Set the axis color with this option.;


Set the axis shape with this option when the Axis color is set.


Set the size of the axis bar as thin, regular size or thicker.


These settings allow you to specify where you want the axis to be displayed: at the top of the timeline (default), at the top of each layer, and/or at the bottom of the timeline.


You can also control the following options:

You can control the display of axis gridlines.

You can also display or hide the timeline border.

The Weekends setting will cause Preceden to darken weekends on your timeline:

This setting has no impact at larger scales (like years and decades) or very small ones (like minutes). 

Preceden also provides you with a way to display a thick vertical line at today's Current Date:



By default Preceden will automatically figure out the best scale to use to display your timeline based on its content. If you'd like to manually set the scale (because, for example, Preceden thinks  weeks is best but you want months) then you can set the scale here.

Note that Preceden won't always be able to display your timeline at every scale. For example, a timeline that spans years won't be able to be displayed with the scale set to   days because it would result in hundreds of axes. When this happens Preceden will display a notice on your timeline and give you an option to change the scale back to automatic. Learn more about resolving scale issues.

One other tip: sometimes the axes might extend far into the future. For example, your last event might take place in 2020, but your timeline shows dates across the top going out to the 2060s. The reason for this is likely because you have some events with long names and Preceden has to extend the dates to make sure those names are completely displayed. To address this, you can simply shorten the names of the events which will make it so Preceden needs less room to display them.

Date Range

By default Preceden will automatically adjust the dates on the timeline so that all of the timeline's events are visible on the timeline. If you'd like to zoom in to a portion of the timeline or have the dates be relative to today's date, these settings let you do just that. Learn more about zooming.


Font Name

The font name lets you select the name of the font to use for your timeline and the list of events below it.

Font Size

The font size lets you adjust the size, in pixels, of the font used on the timeline.


You can add a legend for any event colors to indicate the meaning of the colors you've chosen. 


You can upload a logo for each timeline you create. The logo is displayed when you share a link to your timeline or when the timeline is downloaded as a PDF file. 

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