Timeline Settings

You can customize the look and behavior of your timelines in a variety of ways using the  Settings link above your timeline:

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


Timeline Color

Here you can choose the color scheme for your timeline. The default is a white background with light gray lines.

Layer Color

Alternate Layer Colors

By default, the layers on your timeline will alternate colors. For example, with the default white theme, every other layer is light gray. You can use this setting to turn off the alternating layer colors so the background is always white or whatever the primary color is for the theme you've selected.

Event Color

The event color palette determines the color of the events on your timeline.

If you have existing events on your timeline and change the color palette, Preceden will update the existing events to use the new color palette as well. When it does this, Preceden will preserve groups of colors. For example, if you have several blue events currently, then change the palette, all of those blue events will use the the same new color in the new palette. Similarly, Preceden will update your legend so that the legend items are correctly updated to use the new colors.

When you are using a legend and create a new event you can make sure the colors match by selecting the color for the event under legend. 

Preceden also lets you specify a custom event color by supplying hex color codes.

For example, to use just green and blue, you could enter:

#1565C0, #66BB6A

The values must be valid 3 or 6 digit hex codes, must include the leading #, and must be separated by commas.

You can also use this to change all of the events on your timeline to a single color by specifying a single hex color code.

Font Size

The font size lets you adjust the size, in pixels, of the font used for the scale, the layer names, and the event names. The default is 14. Preceden does not currently support font customization. 


These settings allow you to adjust who can see your timeline.  Learn more about Visibility.

Event Layout

Event Position

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

Name Position

By default, when you add an event with a start and end date, Preceden will try to place the event's name within the colored bar, if the name will fit. If you'd prefer that the event name always be positioned to the right of the bar, this setting lets you achieve that.

Bar Color

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, Vertical Gradient means a subtle vertical fade is applied, and Horizontal Gradient means a subtle horizontal fade is applied:


This setting affects how the shape of the corners of events that contain a start  and end date.

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

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.

Event Details

Details to Display on the Timeline

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

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.

Date Format

Date Picker Format

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

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 exact dates 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, 2020" 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.

For either of these two settings, if there's a format that you'd like to use that's not on the list, just drop an email to help@preceden.com and we can easily add it.



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. 

Being able to display the scale at the top of each layer and at the bottom of the timeline comes in handy with timelines that contain a lot of events by providing a quick reference without forcing you to scroll back to the top of the timeline.


By default Preceden displays vertical gridlines, but you can turn this off by unchecking this Show axis gridlines setting.

Event Lines

This setting lets you display lines from the start of each event to each of the visible axes:

Current Date

Preceden provides you with a way to display a thick vertical line at today's date by checking the Display a vertical line on today's date setting:


Checking this 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).


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, you can use this setting to specify a start and end date to zoom in on.  Learn more about zooming.


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.

Week Start

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


This feature allows you to work with others on your timeline.  Learn more about how collaboration works.

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