2021-04-29: Event Icons for your Timelines

Now that TimeStory has introduced custom point icon support, you can start building your own library of icons to use in timelines. Here are some resources and tips to get you started!

The Basics

For a quick overview, check out this short video introduction to the feature just posted to YouTube. It’s less than two minutes long and shows how you install new icons into TimeStory and then use them in your documents.

An icon file can be almost any image you’d like. Prefer SVG files or PNG files (with transparent backgrounds). If your image is single-color (like a plain shape or symbol), TimeStory will let you easily change that color per event, but you can always choose to use the original color(s) of the icon file itself.

Finding Icons Online

Searching for “icon”, “SVG”, or “PNG” on a particular topic usually turns up quite a few choices. Here are a few sources I’ve used in particular. (Just to be clear: I have no relationship with any of these sites.)

FontAwesome is a fantastic source of symbols and other monochrome icons. For our purposes, you want to use their SVG icons. A good approach is to download the entire package (from this download page), open it in Finder, and look for the svgs subfolder. This will include a couple of variations (line-art or solid), plus a ton of brand logos, if that’s what you need. FontAwesome’s basic set is free and open source. (They also have a paid “pro” version.)

For a very different look, check out Flaticon (by Freepik Company). They offer tons of colorful, detailed icons, from various designers, available for individual download or in packs. Different icons are available under different terms, but quite a few nice ones are available for free if you agree to attribute the author in any published documents.

For more technical, software-focused icons, GitHub has published the free and open source Octicons. (There are some great general-purpose images in there too.) Download the ZIP archive from this link, and check out the “icons” folder inside. (There will be two size variants for each icon; go with the 24-point ones.)

Drawing Your Own

You can, of course, draw your own icons. My tools of choice are Sketch for vector (SVG) drawing and Acorn for image (PNG) editing. But any image editor or drawing tool should work; there’s nothing special required other than the ability to save SVG or PNG files.