Configure colors, fonts, spacing, shapes, gridlines, and more, to create
attractive, professional timelines. You can find styling options throughout
this User Guide, but here is an overview of some of the key ones.
General Document-Level Styles
In the Document Inspector, you can find these basic style
- Background selects the background color of your document. (Individual
sections can have their own background colors as well; see below.)
- Choose any specific, fixed color, or
- Choose “Use System Theme” to use a light or dark background based on
your Mac’s current light or dark mode settings (and to dynamically
change whenever the rest of the system does)
- Horizontal and Vertical Grid settings let you enable or disable
gridlines. Vertical gridlines align with the date labels across the top of
your document; horizontal ones separate rows of events.
- The Date Labels are the markers across the top of your timeline, based on
your current time units and scales. You can change the base
font, size, and text color here; see also [Date Format &
Language][language], if you need to adjust their format.
- At the bottom of the Document Inspector, find Time Highlighting options;
this lets you adjust the appearance of time highlights.
The Document Inspector also provides control over the basic layout of sections
and events in your document.
- Under Section Headers, you can choose to place section headers on the left
side of the timeline (the default) or in title bars across the top of each
section. This has no effect if you aren’t using sections, and note that
across-top headers can’t be used with subsections. See Working with
Sections for more details.
- Under Sizes & Spacing, you can tweak the height given to each row of
events, the spacing placed between each row, and the default size of
Event and Section Text Styles
Your timeline includes titles for sections and events. You can use the
Inspector to set fonts and colors while events or sections are selected; you
can also use the Style > Text menu, which provides a fuller range of standard
text styling options.
Automatic Text Colors
Text colors all default to “Automatic”, rather than a specific color.
Automatic-color text chooses between white or black to maximize contrast with
its background, and updates as necessary as you change background colors,
title positioning, etc.
You can always instead choose a specific color for any text, if you prefer to
override this. Automatic is just another option within the respective color
Note that, if you choose to use the system theme for your document background,
you almost always want to choose automatic text colors as well.
Copying Styles Between Items
To copy styles from one event or section to one or more others, use Style >
Copy Style and Style > Paste Style.
This will copy only applicable styles; for example, if you copy from a point
event to a span event, the point icon is not used, and if you copy from an
event to a section, only basic color and font information applies.
Event Title Display
Another aspect of event styling is how each event’s title is displayed and
- Inside Left, Inside Centered, and Inside Right: For span events (events with
a start and end), the title is drawn “inside” the bar representing that
- Before Graphic and After Graphic: The title is presented before (to the
left of) or after (to the right of) the event’s graphical representation.
- No Title Shown: The title is hidden. (It still exists; if you double-click
on the event, it will reappear just so you can edit it.)
Regardless of the above setting, TimeStory will cut off any title that it
doesn’t have room to draw, but will always show the complete title if you
double-click to edit the event, or if you hover the mouse over the cut-off
Document Templates and Themes
If you have a document look which you wish to reuse in future documents, you
have a few options.
- Save the document as a template. This preserves the basic theme along with
any content (sections, events, etc.) as a starting point for new documents
in the future. See Document Templates for details.
- Save just the styling information as a theme. Choose Style > Export
Document Theme to File. This theme file contains no content, just style
information. It can be applied to any document using Style > Import Document
Theme from File.
A saved theme contains the following styling information:
- General document styling: background color, gridlines, vertical sizing and
- Font and sizing of date labels across the top
- A default event style, matching the last event you edited
- A default section style, matching the last section you edited; if you have
subsections, it will include one default style for each column on the left