TimeStory iPad Edition Help

A native iPad app, this edition shares many of the core features of the Mac version, rethought and redesigned for touch and for modern iPadOS. Any TimeStory document created by either edition will display and work the same way in both, even where their editing features are different. This page introduces the key elements of the iPad Edition UI. (The Mac edition has a separate User Guide.)

View and Edit Modes

An open timeline can be used in one of two modes.

View Mode is meant for browsing, reading, or presenting a timeline. It disables all editing actions, preventing any accidental changes. It makes a simple tap on any item pop up its details for quick viewing and removes excess buttons and menus for a lighter presentation. (Example documents always open in View Mode.)

Edit Mode is used to create or edit a timeline. It makes all editing actions available; you can now drag events, images, and sections around, you can modify the values shown in the Inspector, and a tap on any item brings up its edit menu. (Other documents always open in Edit Mode.)

When in View Mode, you'll see A blue capsule-shaped button labeled View Mode in the toolbar. Tap on it to reveal a menu containing Switch to Edit Mode. (If you have not unlocked authoring features yet, this option will be greyed out, and there will also be an unlock option.)

The Toolbar

The toolbar extends across the top of any open timeline, providing key options to navigate, view, or edit that document.

The toolbar in View Mode
The toolbar in Edit Mode (with nothing selected and nothing to undo)

Document Controls

The first two elements of the toolbar are the back button, which returns you to the document picker, and the document title. The title is the name of the file (without the .timestory extension). The document title is also a menu, as you can see from the indicator next to it; tap on it to access basic file actions like Share or Rename.

Common Controls

These buttons appear on the right side of the toolbar, and are (mostly) independent of whether you're in Edit or View mode.

A blue capsule-shaped button labeled View Mode

Indicates that you're in View Mode. Tap this, then tap Switch to Edit Mode, to leave View Mode. (If you haven't yet unlocked Edit Mode, this also presents a link to the in-app purchase options.)

Only shown in View Mode.


Pops up the details view for the currently-selected item. This is a compact popover which appears directly next to the item, presenting its title, description, tags, and dates.

Only available in Edit Mode, when exactly one item is selected (event, section, or image). In View Mode, details pop up as soon as you select an item.

 Undo /  Redo

Tap this button to undo or redo the most recent change to the current timeline. Press and hold this button to show the Undo/Redo menu, which shows any currently-available undo and redo options.

Only available in Edit Mode. If there's anything to undo, then Undo appears. After tapping Undo the last time, so there's nothing more to undo, Redo appears. You can always choose either undo or redo via press-and-hold.

Shows or hides the filter bar. This lets you filter the visible events by title text or other, more advanced criteria. Full documentation below.
A menu of timeline-level or app-level actions. Here you'll find commands for scrolling to a specific date, for switching from edit mode to view mode, for globally rearranging events, for exporting your timeline, for accessing your point event icon library, and to access the app's settings.
Shows or hides the Inspector.

Editing Tools

In Edit Mode, a set of editing tools appears in the center of the toolbar. Tap or click on a tool to activate it; then use it, or deactivate it by tapping again or tapping on another tool.

On an Apple Pencil (2nd generation), you can also double-tap on the side of the pencil to cycle through these tools.

 New Span
Choose this tool to prepare to create a new span event (an event marking a timespan, with both start and end dates). Tap on the timeline to create an event with a default duration, or drag across the timeline to draw the event from start to end dates.
 New Point
Choose this tool to prepare to create a new point event (an event marking a point in time, with no duration). Tap on the timeline to create an event at that location.
 Lasso Select
Choose this tool to quickly select multiple events. You can draw a "lasso", which appears as a dashed line, around or through the events you want to select, or you can tap on one event at a time to add it to the current selection.
 Copy Style

Choose this tool to quickly copy style (font, color, etc.) from the currently-selected event, section, or image, and apply it to any other item you tap on.

Only appears when you have exactly one event, image, or section selected; that is the item whose style is copied.

 Nudge Events

Choose this tool to show the Nudge Tool, which makes it easier to push events around one day or row at a time when your timescale or zoom level makes them difficult to drag precisely.

Only appears when you have at least one event selected.

 Move Dividers

Choose this tool to resize left-side section headers.

Only appears when you have at least one section selected, and only if your section headers are set to be on the left side of the timeline (which is the default).

Touchscreen Gestures

Use these gestures to move around and manipulate the document. Whenever a gesture only requires one finger, you can also perform it with an Apple Pencil or with an external mouse or trackpad.

Pan (scroll) around the document with one or two fingers. Two-finger drags always scroll around. One-finger gestures can also drag an item around, if you're in Edit Mode and the item is selected.
Zoom in or out by pinching vertically. This magnifies every element in the timeline—text, images, section headers, and events.
Adjust the time scale by pinching horizontally. This changes the visible time range and the granularity of the timeline header, while keeping the scale of images, event graphics, and font sizes.
To drag an event, section, or image, first make sure it's selected (e.g. by pressing on it until it selects, tapping on it first, or selecting it with the lasso tool), then drag it with one finger.
To drag an event vertically without accidentally changing its date range, first start to drag the event up or down, then, while dragging, touch and hold the screen (anywhere) with another finger. As long as you've moved mostly vertically, the event will snap back to its original date range and it will now only move vertically. You can remove the second finger once this mode is triggered.
To drag an event horizontally without accidentally changing its row, do the same thing, but start by dragging right or left.

The Inspector

The Inspector is a complete, scrolling view of the configuration and style of any item in your timeline, or of the timeline itself. It varies depending on what you have selected; if you have events, sections, or images selected, it configures to show the corresponding properties, and if you have nothing selected, it shows general properties of the timeline itself.

The Inspector, showing document-level (left) and event-level (right) variants

Some values in the Inspector, such as an event's date range or title, may also be changed directly in the timeline; some other values, such as font selections, can only be seen and edited here. The Inspector is available in both View Mode and Edit Mode, although you can only change most values in Edit Mode.

The Nudge Tool

This tool is available whenever you have at least one event selected, and makes it easier to precisely move events around on the timeline when your current timescale or zoom level makes it difficult to drag them directly. Enable this tool by tapping the button in the toolbar; it floats at the bottom of your screen.

Two variations of the Nudge tool: on the left, for span events; on the right, for points

Using the horizontal arrow buttons, you can push the event one day forward or back; choose Start or End to push just that end of the event. Using the vertical arrow buttons, you can push the event one row up or down, space permitting. Tap on the button with two rectangles to choose whether TimeStory should avoid span-event overlaps or allow them as you push the event around.

If you have a point event selected, the tool is simpler. There is no start or end, so you can only nudge the entire event, and point events always allow overlap, so there's no mode selection.

The Event Filter

Open or close the Event Filter by tapping the button in the toolbar. The Event Filter lets you type in text and other search criteria, and hides any events which don't match, shrinking the timeline as you type.

For example, type party to hide all events in the timeline which don't have the word “party” in them. Type birthday party to hide all events which don't have both of those words in them; it doesn't matter if the two words are together or not, so both “Birthday Party” and “Party for our birthday” will match.

Other available search criteria, which you can freely mix in your filter strings:

"multiple words"
Place quotes around multiple words to only match them in that sequence, exactly.
#tagname or #[tag name]
Matches events whose Tags contain “tagname” or “tag name”, respectively. The brackets are required only if the tag name contains a space.
is:span or is:point
Only matches span or point events, respectively.
in: section
Matches events in sections matching “section”. You can use a single word, to search section titles, or quoted text, to look for multi-word phrases, or #tagname, to search sections by tag.
< date
Matches any event which starts before the given date.
<= date
Matches any event which starts on or before the given date.
> date
Matches any event which ends after the given date.
>= date
Matches any event which ends on or after the given date.

Finally, you can build complex filters by combining simpler ones. Just type two criteria next to require both. Separate two criteria with a | (vertical bar) to require either. Type a ~ (tilde) before a criterion to invert it; that is, match the opposite. Group criteria together with parentheses. Putting these all together, ~deliver (pizza | sandwiches) will match events which do not contain the word “deliver”, but do contain either of the words “pizza” or “sandwiches”.