TimeStory documents may be divided into sections. Sections stack up vertically; all sections share the same time index, so they are great for capturing and comparing parallel events, or for grouping different topics together. (Sections are not events; they don’t have start or end dates, and events can be freely edited within them or moved between them.)

Each section gets a title, which is displayed in a header. You can give each section its own header color and background color (behind its events), to provide visual guides to readers. See Working with Style for more details.

At a document level, you choose whether these headers appear to the left of or above each section; this can be done from the Sections menu, the Sections dialog, or from the Document Inspector.

Headers on Left

This mode, which is the default, puts section headers in a panel on the left side of your document. As you scroll, this panel stays in place; if you print or export, it appears on the left edge of the timeline document. You can freely drag the right edge of this column to resize it.

Unlike the headers-above mode, this mode also lets you create subsections; these appear as an additional column to the right of the main section column.

Headers Above

This mode, which was the default prior to version 2.2, shows a “title bar” above each section, acting as a divider between it and the previous section. This takes up more vertical space, but less horizontal space.

Unlike the headers-on-left mode, this mode lets you collapse sections with the +/- button on the right side of each header. A collapsed section just shows the header; its contents are not displayed, and they take up no space.

Creating Sections

A new TimeStory document starts out without any sections. (For many documents, this is all you need: a timeline of events, without any divisions between them.)

Creating your first section will automatically add all existing events to that section; from then on, further new sections will start out empty, ready for you to move or create events there.

You can create a new section in multiple ways:

In any case, each new section is named “New Section”; double-click on the title to rename it.

Editing and Rearranging Sections

To change the title of a section, double-click on that title. (This works both within the main document view and within the Sections dialog.)

To edit other properties of a section, such as its header color, click on the header and use the Inspector.

You can grab a section header with your mouse and drag it up or down in the document to rearrange the order of sections; this can also be done within the Sections dialog.

Expanding, Collapsing, and Hiding Sections

A collapsed section doesn’t show its events, and doesn’t take up any space except for its heading. Use this when you want to focus on a subset of your document. You can use the +/- button at the right side of a section heading to quickly expand or collapse its view. You can only collapse a section in Headers-Above mode, since only that mode has a “title bar” which can represent the collapsed section.

A hidden section doesn’t appear at all, and can’t be selected. Use the right-click “Hide” option on any section header, or the Display value on its Inspector, to completely hide a section.

The Section dialog always shows all sections, hidden or visible.

Deleting Sections

Delete a section by selecting its header and pressing Delete (or using the Delete menu item), or by using the – button in the Sections dialog.

If the section contains any events, TimeStory presents you with a warning message, and the option either to cancel or to “Delete With Events”. If you choose Delete With Events, the contained events are all deleted along with the section.

(You can undo section deletions, with or without events.)

Selecting Section Contents

Quickly select all events within a section by selecting its header, pressing the Option key, and choosing Select All Events in Selected Section from the Edit menu (or pressing ⌥⌘A).

Merging Sections

Select multiple sections (using the Shift key) and choose Merge to combine them. This will move all of their contents into the first section selected (the topmost one in the document), and will remove the later ones.

(If you have subsections, you can only merge two sections if they are at the same level—either both subsections or both main sections.)

Splitting sections

Right-click anywhere in a document body and choose Split Section Here to split the containing section. A new section divider will appear at that location, and every event below that point will become part of that new section.

Removing Sections while Keeping their Contents

If you have both sections and subsections, you can choose Sections > Remove Subsections to remove the deepest layer of subsections, merging their contents into their containing sections. You can also select a single containing section and choose the same menu item to remove subsections from just that portion of the document.

If you have only top-level sections, this menu option appears as “Remove Sections”, and choosing it will remove all sections in the document, leaving all their contents in place. (For long-time TimeStory users, this option was referred to as “Strip Sections” in older versions of the software.)