Highlighting and Shading Dates

Highlighting a day, or a range of days, applies a background color the entire height of the document, letting you call attention to that region. You might use this to apply a visual shade to a blocked-out holiday on a project plan, to point out a critical point during a presentation, or just to add color and interest to your timeline design.

There are a few ways that time highlights are created in TimeStory.

Today’s Date

TimeStory can automatically add a highlight to today, in which case it will automatically move that highlight as days pass. Toggle this special highlight from the toolbar, or with View ▸ Highlight Today, and adjust its presentation from the Document Inspector, under “Today’s Date”.

There are two ways to highlight today’s date, chosen by the “Style” field. Choose “Fill” to fill the region from the start of today to the start of tomorrow; that is, to fill the width of today’s date. Choose “Line” to place a single line on today’s date; depending on your current point event placement, this will visually lie either at the center or the start of the day’s width.

You can also configure the highlight’s color and, if Style is Line, the line’s width.

Finally, you can choose where to mark today’s date, with the “Show” field. Choose Full Height to draw the highlight across the full height of the timeline, including its header; this is the default. Choose Below Header or Only in Header to limit the highlight to the body or header of the timeline.


On daily or weekly views, you can set an alternate background color to apply to weekends, when mapping ot your workweeks.

On the Document Inspector, under Background Colors, choose a new color for “Weekends”.

Weekend background colors are only available when your timeline is configured to show days or weeks; they are not enabled on monthly, quarterly, or yearly views, as the weekend spacing on those views would be uneven.


Any event can also be made to highlight its underlying date range. For example, you might create an event representing a holiday, and tint the timeline grey to emphasize the fact that nobody will be available.

To highlight the time range of an event, go to “Date Range Highlighting” in the Event Inspector, and choose a color. If the event is a point, the highlight takes the form of a vertical line; if it’s a span, the highlight extends from the beginning of the event to its end.

Screenshot of TimeStory, with one event selected, its date range highlighted in a pale blue, and the Date Range Highlighting section of the Inspector visible

Use the “Show” field to set where the highlighted range appears, vertically. “Full Height” applies the color the full height of the timeline, including its header. Choose “Below Header” to apply it only within the main document body, “Only in Header” to just color the corresponding region of the timeline header, and “Only in Section” to just color the date range within the same section (or subsection) that contains the event itself.

Manual Date Ranges

You can also manually highlight a range of dates, for example while showing your timeline to someone. Just click and drag in the timeline header. The “Range” toolbar item, and View ▸ Manual Date Highlighter menu item, will become active, and your region will be highlighted. Click on that button or menu item to hide this highlight.

In the Document Inspector, the “Highlighted Range” color, under Background Colors, lets you choose a color for this highlight.

The Past

To visually separate past dates from upcoming dates, for example on a project-tracking timeline, you can select an alternate background color to use for past dates. Find “The Past” in the Document Inspector, under Background Colors.