Release Notes

Detailed notes for every version of TimeStory ever published.

Mac 3.7

iPad 1.3

This update, for both Mac and iPad editions, brings password-protected file support for private timelines. It also fixes a few bugs and improves a few other things.

Password-Protected Files

You can now protect any timeline with a password when needed. The file will be saved in an encrypted form, and that password will be required to open it.

Important: If you lose a file’s password, there’s no way to recover it or to unlock the file! Choose a password you’ll remember, or use a password manager to securely save it.

A TimeStory window with the Set Password dialog shown above it. There are inputs to enter the password (twice, for confirmation) and an optional password hint.

Other updates and fixes

This update also collects a few fixes across both platforms.

  • Renaming of custom timeline views now works correctly. (Renaming wasn’t working at all on the Mac, and it interacted badly with autocorrect on the iPad.)
  • Changing the language and format for dates in the Inspector on iPad now immediately updates any date labels displayed in the timeline. Previously, you had to make another edit after changing the format before those date labels reflected the change.
  • The section-level standard event text color setting, if enabled, now works correctly.
  • When using an iPad with Apple Pencil, you can now tap to dismiss a pop-up menu without it immediately appearing again.
  • iPad menus now show the various Select All options (such as Select All Events) in more places where they would be useful.

iPad 1.2

This update brings better support for Apple Pencil and trackpads, including the new Apple Pencil Pro, some new editing options, and some important fixes!

Hover to Highlight Dates

Find precise dates by hovering your Apple Pencil or mouse pointer over the timeline. A new vertical line will appear, labeled with the closest date, making it simple to locate event dates when they’re not lined up on the vertical grid.

Partial image of an iPad Pro running TimeStory with a light blue vertical line labeled with a date
The labeled date line, shown under where my pencil is hovering

Note: Apple Pencil hover is available on any M4 iPad Pro, any M2 iPad Air, iPad Pro 11" (4th generation), and iPad Pro 12.9" (6th generation).

Hover for New Events

Tap New Point Event or New Span Event, then hover with your Apple Pencil or trackpad or mouse pointer, and the new event will follow your movements around. Simply move the pencil away or exit the new-event mode to cancel this action, or tap/click to place it exactly where you see it.

Hovering while placing a new span event to see its preview; done with Apple Pencil Pro above the screen

Haptic Feedback

When dragging an event across the timeline with Apple Pencil Pro or the new Magic Trackpad for iPad Pro, you’ll feel haptic feedback whenever the event snaps to a nearby gridline, when a long-press starts editing, and in other state changes. This is a small thing that makes a big difference in the feel of editing.

“Go to Date” now lets you type in a date

The Go to Date menu item brings up a calendar picker, letting you scroll the timeline to any chosen date. New in 1.2, there is also an option to type in a date, when that’s a quicker way to get where you want. (Like any date input field, it lets you type using your language and local settings.) This is great especially when jumping a long distance.

A partial iPad screenshot showing a dialog sheet with two choices in the upper right corner: Pick Date and Type Date. The Type Date choice is active, and there's a text input with a date typed in it
The Go To Date form, with its new "Type Date" option

New Dragging Options menu item

When dragging events around on the timeline, TimeStory normally snaps events to your vertical gridlines and prevents span events from overlapping. There’s a new Dragging Options menu which gives you control over that, when those options aren’t what you want.

Image of an iPad Pro running TimeStory with the main editing menu open and the Dragging Options submenu expanded, showing the on/off Snap to Date Grid option plus three choices for how to handle overlaps
Dragging options on the menu

Bugs fixed

  • Fixed a crash that could happen when using iPadOS’s standard three-finger cut, copy, or paste gestures, or the three-finger-tap menu, in certain cases.
  • Fixed a crash that could happen if you scrolled far enough left into BC dates and then invoked Go to Date.
  • When a section is configured with Standard Event Colors, this overrides all per-event color settings, as it should. But in 1.0 and 1.1, point events placed in such a section would still show an editable Graphic Color setting in the Event Inspector; you could change that, but it had no effect. This setting has been removed when it doesn’t apply, and some wording was clarified on the Inspector to make it clearer that the event’s colors are being overridden from the section.
  • With an event selected, if you were editing its description or title, and tried to use Cut or Copy with nothing selected, prior versions would fall back to trying to cut or copy the event itself. This has been fixed; while you’re focused on a text input, commands like cut, copy, and paste will only apply to that specific input.

iPad 1.1

This version adds a couple of key features, unlocking more uses and bringing the iPad Edition closer to full feature equivalence with the Mac Edition. It also fixes some important bugs found in version 1.0.

CSV Import and Export

Have timeline data in another app or spreadsheet? Want to collect timeline info from external users (for example via the Web-based Timeline Event Entry tool on this site)? Need to export your TimeStory events to share or feed into some other document? CSV (comma-separated values) files are tabular plain text files, supported by every spreadsheet app and many other productivity apps, and TimeStory supports reading and writing them.

An iPad Pro running TimeStory, with a construction timeline opened and the Export to CSV sheet presented atop it. In this sheet there are options including which events to export, whether to include column titles in the output file, what field separator to use, and the list of desired columns. At the bottom is a preview of the resulting CSV file.
The CSV Export sheet

Choose which columns contain event dates, titles, or other optional data like colors or descriptions. Import from any file accessibly by your iPad, or export to a file or share to any other app or sharing destination supported by your iPad (like AirDrop). The column types and default formats are the same as they are on the Mac, but as with the rest of the iPad Edition, redesigned for iPad.

Configurable Date Formats

If your iPad is set for one language and region, but you want a timeline document to use a different, fixed format when viewing or exporting it, you can now explicitly configure that via the Inspector. Select the document, go to the Timeline tab, and choose Date Format to view the format chooser. (This feature has existed on the Mac edition for a while, and version 1.0 of the iPad Edition would respect that setting in an existing document, but lacked any way to change it.)

An iPad Pro running TimeStory, showing the Timeline Date Format sheet. There are two main options, Use System Settings and Use Custom Settings; Use Custom Settings is selected. Below that are independent choices for language (currently English) and region (currently United States), followed by example text showing how dates and weekdays look under these settings.
The CSV Export sheet

Minor Usability Improvements

A few things were updated in the interface to make them more comfortable based on user feedback.

  • The menu shown when you tap on the timeline background inside a section now includes a “Section Actions” submenu where you can directly perform actions like creating, duplicating, and deleting the section. You previously needed to tap specifically on the section header.
  • Tapping on a long event to bring up its menu now shows it close to where you tapped, rather than at the center of the event, which may be elsewhere.

Fixed Bugs

This release also fixes some bugs found in iPad Edition 1.0.

  • When you close and reopen a document, the app now remembers your scroll position in time. There’s still an option in Settings to ask it to always open with today’s date visible, but turning it off didn’t work before.
  • If you edit the title of an event or section via the Inspector, and, before hitting Return or tapping on anything else, select another event or section, the change will now be correctly applied to the item you were editing. Previously, it would sometimes apply the change to the newly-selected item instead.
  • With an attached keyboard, the cursor keys now work properly when editing a section title. In 1.0, the same keys could be used to navigate from one section to another, and these two usages conflicted. In 1.1, you now navigate between sections by holding the command key (⌘) and pressing an arrow key instead, so both actions are now always available to you.
  • While editing an item’s description in the Inspector, each character you typed created a separate Undo action, so to undo the change you’d need to tap Undo multiple times.

Mac 3.6.2

This update brings a number of small improvements and fixes for the Mac edition.

New CSV import/export column options

Include more information in your CSV imports and exports with these new column choices:

  • Use a “Point or Span” column type to explicitly indicate whether a row represents a point event or a span event. Normally, this is implied by whether the End Date column is blank, as a point event has no end date, but this lets you be explicit. If an event has “Point” as its type, the TimeStory CSV importer ignores its end date; if it has “Span” as its type, and its End Date is missing, the CSV importer makes it one day long.
  • CSV files can now contain several previously-missing event style options: Title Position, Date Labeling, Point Icon Height, and Bar Type. As before, if you don’t include these columns in an imported CSV file, TimeStory uses the settings from your document’s default point and span event styles.
  • When using a multicolor point-event icon whose color is set to Original Image Color, this can now be represented in a CSV export or import by a blank value in the Graphic Color column. (Previously, imported point events could only specify a single, flat color for a point event icon.)


  • SVG compatibility, for point event icons, was improved. (Some SVG authoring tools can create files which use a number format that TimeStory didn’t previously recognize, resulting in elements of the SVG missing on screen. This wasn’t a very common case.)
  • Fixed some outdated text in the User Guide.

Mac 3.6.1

Fixed a crash which only occurred on versions of macOS Sonoma newer than 14.2.1, and only for certain document layouts. The crash could occur when editing filters or sections, but was not consistent.

iPad 1.0

TimeStory now has a version for the iPad! Containing almost the full feature set of the Mac app, TimeStory iPad Edition has been designed and built to fit the modern iPad experience, from touchscreen gestures to toolbar and menu layout, from Apple Pencil to Magic Keyboard, from Split View to Stage Manager.

Timelines can be moved freely between the Mac and iPad editions, including via Handoff. You can even open the same document stored on iCloud Drive on both at the same time. There is no difference in file format; every timeline document will look the same on either platform.

V1.0 of the iPad edition is based on V3.6 of the Mac edition. It does lack some features found in the Mac app, notably CSV import and export, and contain some features missing on the Mac app, such as attaching images from your device’s photo library. These gaps will be closed in upcoming releases. But every timeline created by either edition, no matter which features you use, will always work exactly the same when opened on the other.

An iPad version has been in our plans since day one, and it’s exciting to finally have arrived!

Mac 3.6

This version brings a variety of updates, feature improvements, and fixes throughout the app.

Vertical Range Options for Event and Today Highlights

When you set a date range highlight color for an event, you can now specify its vertical range. Full Height matches traditional TimeStory behavior; the highlight ranges from the very top to the very bottom of the document. Use Below Header to color everything below the timeline header; use In Header to color only the header. And, to constrain the colored range just to the section containing the event, choose In Section.

Screenshot of a timeline with four events, labeled with the four date-range highlighting vertical extent options, demonstrating their effects

The Today highlighter has the same options except for In Section (since today’s date isn’t part of any section).

Freely Adjustable Zoom

Use the new zoom slider control for precise and smooth magnification of your document.

Partial screenshot of TimeStory, with the Zoom toolbar item expanded, showing the new slider control, placed above the pre-existing fixed-percentage values

Word Wrap in Section Headers

Titles in left-side section headers now wrap at word boundaries when they’re too long to fit. (You can still use Option+Return to create manual line breaks, just as before.)

Bugs Fixed

  • When you changed a section’s title color, it didn’t take effect right away; you had to do some other edit to see the change.
  • If you right-clicked on the document background within a section, you’d see the “Set Default Section Style” action. This action had no effect here, since no section was selected; you need to right-click on the section header itself.
  • When using a narrow point event icon, when you started editing the event’s title within the timeline, the left edge of your text might have appeared shaved off by a few pixels.
  • Right after opening a document containing tags, if you typed # in the Filter or started typing in a Tags field, the autocomplete menu would be empty. (It would fix itself as soon as you edited anything.)
  • Editing a multi-line event title directly in the timeline could be very slow if you had a weekend background color set.
  • If a span event had a center-aligned title, and there was room for its text to spill out over the document background, it would not do so if there was another event to its left, no matter how far away that other event was.
  • When quickly selecting multiple items with Shift+click or Command+click, the clicks would sometimes not register.
  • In a document with left-side section headers, horizontal gridlines would sometimes appear slightly misaligned between the left-side header area and the main timeline body.
  • When viewing an example document, if you hit Save As, the new file was created but the window title still said “Example Document” and you remained in View Mode.
  • On macOS Sonoma, when you reopened a closed window, scroll position and other state were not always correctly restored.

Mac 3.5.3

This release includes two fixes:

  • When adding new point event icons, if you pasted or dropped the same icon twice into the Point Event Icons window, both it and the Inspector’s icon picker could become blank and nonfunctional. This update prevents that from happening and, if it had already happened, restores the use of the icons you’d previously added.
  • TimeStory was displaying certain SVG icons incorrectly, with extra overlaid content. (SVG authors can sometimes leave extra shapes, lines, etc. in an SVG file for future use, but mark them as not meant to be displayed, and TimeStory was ignoring that marking.)

Mac 3.5.2

This update fixes two important bugs.

  • In 3.5.1, on macOS versions prior to Sonoma, when you completely hid the timeline header, you were unable to select or edit any timeline contents!
  • In some cases, when you click on the app and it automatically pops open a new, untitled document, it would not use the correct default timeline template, starting you with a style different from the one you get by explicitly choosing File > New.

Mac 3.5.1

3.5.1 is a minor update to fix a handful of display bugs.

  • In the Section Management table, long text in the Section Name or Date Range columns could spill over into the next column.
  • With Quick Entry or Filter enabled, and if using the above-section header style, section headers which scrolled off the top of the timeline could incorrectly appear overlaid with those input fields. (macOS Sonoma only)
  • Section headers configured for automatic text color would sometimes switch to the wrong color after scrolling off of, and back on to, the screen.
  • The top and bottom horizontal borders in the timeline header could sometimes be obscured by section headers or the top of the window.

Mac 3.5

Version 3.5 contains one key feature—much improved automatic text coloring over various backgrounds—and enjoys some other improvements as a result.

Precise Automatic Text Colors

Until now, if you selected “Automatic” as an event title’s color, that title would be made entirely either white or black to try and maximize its visibility, even if it crossed over multiple background colors. Starting in 3.5, though, it will switch between white and black anywhere its background changes:

A small screenshot showing a point event whose text switches between black and white as it passes over multiple background colors
Automatic title color in action
The same screenshot as before, this time with text staying black and thus being low contrast over the darker background colors
Automatic title color, prior to 3.5

Between time-range highlights, separate background colors for the past, weekend shading, and more, complex timelines often have rich and overlapping background regions, making this a long-needed update.

This even applies as you type:

Animated GIF of text being typed; as typing proceeds across a white, then dark blue, then white background, the cursor and text colors adapt to black or white for best contrast

Thanks to this new precise coloring, TimeStory now allows, in many cases (but not all), text to flow out of a span event. This can dramatically increase the amount of text you can fit into a timeline at smaller timescales.

Text spilling out of the right edge of a span event; the event's color is blue, the text within the event is white, and the text beyond its edge is black

Finally, this change also fixes a bug where the automatic text-color logic didn’t properly account for overlapping time-range highlights in the past, if you had a separate background color set for it.

Mac 3.4

Version 3.4 is out, with support for weekend colors and a new way to visually highlight and connect event-attached images, plus a handful of smaller updates and fixes.

Weekend Colors

You can now set a different background color for weekends, a long-requested feature useful for anyone doing project schedules.

(These colors are hidden when you switch views to monthly, quarterly, or yearly views.)

Image Borders and Connections

TimeStory allows you to attach one or more images to an event, positioning those images however you like relative to that event. With 3.4, you can now also configure a border around an image, and a line connecting it to its event, for clarity when you have multiple nearby events or images. You’ll now find this in use in the updated example timeline “The Exploration of Mars”:

Images now also support the same Copy/Paste Style, Set Default Style, and Apply Default Style as events and sections, so it’s easy to adopt this throughout your existing timelines.

Fixes and Other Updates

  • If you change the setting in Style > Language and Regional Style for Dates, the change is now saved in your document. Previously, saving and reopening the document would always revert to use your system settings.
  • That setting was also inconsistently applied: it would immediately take effect for visible dates in your document, but not for the little tooltips which appear as you drag or resize events; this has been fixed.
  • If you have today’s date highlighted, or a specific date range highlighted, these highlights will no longer extend the size of your document for printouts or exports. That is, if you have a bunch of events in the year 2000, and turn on Highlight Today for some reason, and then request an export of the entire document, that export will just contain 2000 rather than 2000, then a couple decades of blank space, then a useless vertical stripe.
  • If you use System Settings to change the first day of the week, any open timeline with week gridlines enabled will now immediately update. Previously, it didn’t update until something else changed, or you re-opened the document.
  • Images now support Command+click and Select All, like sections and events, and have a context menu (right-click menu) for common actions.

Mac 3.3.2

3.3.2 fixes a small bug, speeds up large timeline updates during editing, and brings a couple of other minor improvements.

  • If you used a built-in timeline configuration (years, quarters, months, weeks, or days), but customized the labeling (for example by changing “day of month” to “month and day”), there was a bug that didn’t keep that change when you again loaded the document later. Fixed.
  • On a large, colorful, or text-heavy timeline, things like animated timescale changes or drag-and-drop editing are now faster and smoother, thanks to some performance improvements in the code which draws the timeline.
  • The automatic text color logic would sometimes choose black text over some dark colors where white text would have much better contrast; this has been adjusted.
  • CSV files exported from TimeStory now work better when opened in Microsoft Excel. If you’ve ever done a CSV export and seen strange characters while loading into Excel, this is for you. If not, because you use Numbers or something else, this won’t affect you at all.

CSV export technical details: the code now inserts a Unicode byte-order mark to force Excel to properly detect its UTF-8 encoding. Every other modern app usually works fine with or without it. As always, please drop a note to if you ever have problems with import/export or anything else!

Mac 3.3.1

This minor update picks up a couple of fixes for exporting to CSV.

  • If you customize your CSV export setup (columns, separator, etc.), run the export, and then later start an export on the same TimeStory document, it will remember the settings you used instead of starting again with the defaults.
  • There was a bug in the CSV export’s column settings which would sometimes cause the exported CSV to include empty columns, or columns of another type, in place of a column you specified. This bug would be triggered when you inserted, delete, or rearranged columns and then edited their types in certain sequences.

Mac 3.3

3.3 adds a couple of new features to speed up creation of events and sections, and fixes another batch of bugs, including a couple related to Dark Mode.

Drag to Copy Events (Option+Drag)

Have a template event you want to replicate in multiple places? Hold the Option key and drag from that event, and TimeStory will create an exact copy of that event and start dragging it.

This long-requested feature is common among Mac drawing apps, and is a much smoother experience than using Duplicate and then dragging.

Important: changes to keyboard options!

Option+drag in previous versions of TimeStory meant “drag this event and keep it on its own row”. In that mode, as you drag around, new rows will be inserted as needed to keep the event by itself. That function is now Shift+Option+drag (which was also valid in previous versions).

Drag Modifier Previously TimeStory 3.3
Option Create new row Duplicate and drag
Shift+Option Create new row
Shift Allow spans to overlap
Command Don't snap to time-unit boundaries
Event-dragging modifier keys

Since this affects a longstanding and, for some people, often-used shortcut, I added a small notice in the app. The first time you launch TimeStory after updating to 3.3, you'll see it below the toolbar on any open document windows. Once you click on the notice, or on its dismiss button, you won't see it again.

Duplicate Section

Does your timeline need multiple sections following a common design? You can now duplicate a section with the Duplicate command (⌘D); this makes a new copy of that section, with the same style and contents (if any), including subsections and contained events.

You can also use the new Sections > Duplicate without Contents action if you just want an empty copy.

(Note that prior versions had an Events > Duplicate action, which only worked on events; now, event and section duplication are both handled by the single Edit > Duplicate action.)

Bugs fixed

  • The Tags fields of sections were not getting saved in the document file, and were being ignored by the in: #tag filter type. (Hashtags in titles and descriptions worked fine.)
  • In Dark Mode, the Inspector showed the contents of the Description field with dark text on a dark background, and the Sections menu used dark icons on the dark menu background.
  • If you printed a document which has a background other than white, and you chose to omit the background color in the printout, automatic text colors did not correctly recompute for the fact that they were printed on white paper.

Mac 3.2

Version 3.2 brings a great new feature for many common timeline styles, enables autosaving and some iCloud features, and fixes some important bugs.

Setting Event Colors by Section

For a simple, consistent look, you can now set up a standard event color for a section, and have that color automatically applied to any event created in or moved into that section. You can set events to match the section header color, or give events their own, separate color, and you can configure point and span events separately.

The built-in document template named “Colorful Weekly” now uses this feature; create a new document from that template and check it out!


MacOS autosave is now enabled by default for TimeStory. If you quit (or if the app crashes), all your documents (including untitled, never-saved drafts) will still be there when you reopen it. This also enables version browsing and the File > Revert To submenu, and rearranges several other menus (e.g., Save As is replaced by Duplicate).

For those of us who still prefer the old ways, you can go into TimeStory’s preferences and turn off autosaving; the app will now behave just as it always has.

Combine iCloud with autosaving, and you now have automatic sync of your documents between your Macs. Open the same document in iCloud Drive on two different computers, edit one of them, and a few seconds later, after the file syncs over, that edit will appear on the other screen.

Smaller Features

  • If you’re logged in to iCloud and use iCloud Drive, you’ll now see a TimeStory folder there, and have the standard macOS options to move your documents to iCloud. (Prior to this, you could always use iCloud Drive for your documents, but there was no special support.)
  • If you have a section containing some subsections which are hidden, you can now click on that section and use the new Un-Hide All Subsections menu item to reveal them all. (This is a small thing, but many people use hidden subsections to remove completed subprojects or hide archived research, and this makes it much quicker to pull those back into view.)
  • You can now start a CSV import by simply dragging a CSV file into your timeline window.

Bugs fixed

  • The app could crash if you typed in an unrecognized date into the Inspector and then, without clicking anywhere else or hitting Return, clicked on the calendar button next to it. (My code didn’t correctly handle showing the error message and calendar picker on the same field. Apologies to anyone who ran into this!)
  • There was a case where someone created a timeline, saved it, and couldn’t open it again because TimeStory said the file was corrupt. (They sent me the file, and I was able to recover it for them, and add the corresponding recovery code into 3.2. If you have any old TimeStory files which you couldn’t open, try opening them with 3.2. Any file saved by any version since 1.0 in 2019 should always open just fine in the very latest version.)
  • If you added a point event icon from a PNG or JPEG file, and then overrode its built-in color using the color picker in the Inspector, then printed it or generated a PDF export, it would show up as just a colored square on that printout or PDF file.
  • The Point Event Icons window didn’t properly handle keyboard tab navigation between its areas.
  • If you have a document with sections, and you run CSV Import from a file with no section column or with empty section values, the import dialog would say it had imported all events, but any events without assigned sections would actually be lost. The app now correctly assigns them to a default section if they don’t specify one in the file.
  • CSV Import did not respect your document’s default event style, and always used a built-in default.
  • When placing a new event, or dragging an existing one, it was possible to drag it into a collapsed section. This worked fine, but looked confusing, as the new event would seemingly disappear until you expanded the section.

Mac 3.1.1

Version 3.1.1 is a small bug-fix release for 3.1.

  • You can again change the font used in the timeline header. In the 3.1 release, it would let you try, but it wouldn’t take effect.
  • If you change the font, font size, or style of an event or section, it now just affects that one item. In previous releases, this would also update the default for all future events or sections, which is inconsistent with how things like graphic styles work.
  • Replaced some outdated screenshots in the User Guide which didn’t match either the text or the current app.

Mac 3.1

A new Welcome Window

TimeStory’s Welcome Window has been completely redesigned, with previews for recently-opened files, built-in examples, and document templates, in a new, cleaner look.

The new Welcome Window

This window appears whenever you launch TimeStory without an open document (although you can configure this), or when you choose Window > Welcome to TimeStory or File > New from Template.

Refreshed Icons window, and Icon Packs

Point Event Icons

In the Point Event Icons window, your icons are now grouped into sets, which can be easily browsed on in the sidebar on the left. As before, you’ll find TimeStory Icons, the built-in set of general icons which are always available, and My Icons, where you’ll find any icons you individually added in this or previous versions of TimeStory.

And, new to 3.1, you can also use icon packs, which are single-file collections of any number of icons, prepackaged for easy installation, update, and removal.

With 3.1, I’m also releasing the first three free icon packs, which collect the entire set of SVG icons from FontAwesome Free, so you can quickly add hundreds of icons to your library. Download them, and learn more, at Icon Packs.

(FontAwesome Free is a popular, open-source icon set, widely used on the Web. TimeStory isn’t affiliated with that project; I just frequently use and recommend them as an icon source.)

Other updates and fixes

  • You can now import CSVs via Shortcuts, with the new Import from CSV action. This supports custom column lists, just like the GUI.
  • Improved SVG support, fixing some problems that TimeStory had with certain specific SVG images.
  • When you edit an event’s title in the Inspector, mixed fonts (e.g. partially bold or italicized text) in the parts of the title you don’t change are preserved.
  • When you have an event or section with an empty title, then use the Inspector to set it to a non-empty title, its font is no longer reset to a wrong value.
  • Horizontal gridlines which extend into the spaces between left-side section headers are now drawn consistently with the body of the timeline; in 3.0, they would often appear with a slightly different shade or thickness.
  • In the timeline header, the “Year” labeling now always adds the era (“BC”, for example, but it depends on your system settings), to year numbers before 1 CE (1 AD).
  • In the timeline header, the “Year” labeling now displays years 2, 20, and 200 as those numbers, rather than 0002, 0020, and 0200. (When combined with months, the four-digit form is still used, so that 1/2 can’t be confused with 1/0002.)
  • Fixed a couple of issues, which only appear on macOS Catalina, where Inspector fields would not line up with their labels correctly.
  • The Exploration of Mars example timeline has been updated to reflect the end of mission of the Mars InSight lander. Farewell, InSight, and congratulations to everyone involved.

Mac 3.0.1

Version 3.0.1 fixes a crash discovered in version 3.0.

(Specifically, selecting a section and choosing Style > Apply Default Style could trigger a crash. Apologies to anyone who ran into this bug.)

Mac 3.0

Create and update timelines with clean, flexible new options for headers and events. Import and export CSV files with far more power. Manage your document with a more consistent and cleaner user interface. And more!

Configurable Units, Headers, and Grids

3.0 introduces a ton of new ways to customize how your timelines are labeled and divided.

A stack of four TimeStory screenshots showing a variety of timeline heading styles, including background colors, different time units, and a Chinese-language example

You still have the same five built-in views: years, quarters, months, weeks, and days, and you can still freely switch between them and scale up or down. But you can now control text alignment, give the header separate background colors, assign horizontal borders, and specify per-time-unit vertical gridlines of varying style and weight.

You can also create entirely new custom views, with your own mix of time units and label formats. A redesigned Timeline Inspector makes it just a few clicks to rearrange, add, or remove time units, or adjust their presentation.

There are new date formats to choose from (finally, including week numbers), a wide range of gridline weights, and more.

Thin Line Span Events

The new line style for span events give a great, lightweight, attractive look to busy timelines.

A screenshot of a TimeStory window with various thin-line-style events

Because their text is outside their graphics, they allow text to freely flow out and down, when you have lots to say.

Seriously. With the new header styles and the new line spans, TimeStory timelines now support totally new, fresh looks. Check them out.

More New Styling Options

You can now tell TimeStory whether to put point icons at the start or middle of a day. You can mark today’s date with a line, as before, or by filling in that day on the timline.

You can set a separate background color for the past, so you can quickly see how much of a project timeline has passed. (Today’s day, and the future, use the document’s main background color.)

You can now choose from a variety of horizontal gridline styles and mix and match them as row dividers, section dividers, subsection dividers, and so on, making your document’s structure much clearer.

And you now have direct control over the default styles used when adding new sections and events. Select an event or section and choose Style > Set as Default Style to update the defaults, and if you want, choose Style > Apply Default Style to replace the selection’s current styles with your defaults.

More Useful Templates

You can now apply a document template’s style to an existing document, in addition to using it to create new ones. You can also change which template to use, by default, for new documents, if you want to use another style by default in new files.

(This replaces the older and less-capable “exported theme” feature. If you have any older TimeStory theme files, just drag them into the Template Chooser and they’ll be converted over for you.)

Much More Powerful CSV Import and Export

You can now more easily import your CSV files and create exactly the exports you need with a thoroughly reworked CSV feature.

The new CSV import and export dialogs, showing data from a MASSIVE list of the Billboard Top Songs from the '50s through the 2010s

  • The importer now detects the basics, like which columns contain your dates, whether your file has a header, and more, and if the CSV file was produced by TimeStory’s own exporter, it detects everything.
  • Both importer and exporter now support many more fields, including tags, descriptions, colors, and icon names, with a simple, flexible interface, and with exactly the same available column set.
  • CSV files can now represent multiple levels of sections and subsections.
  • When an import has errors, you can now get more exact error information, including the line and column of each error.
  • The importer now handles Excel’s default date format, which omits the year for dates in the current year.

Section Editing

You’ll find sections nicer to work with, too. There are new menu actions, improvements to existing ones, and bugfixes, plus clearer and more consistent main and context (right-click) menus. The context menu is now also available anywhere in a section background, and not only from its header.

Specific bugs fixed include the misbehavior of “Paste Events into Section” when pasting multiple rows; specific new features include more powerful “Split Section Here” and new “Select All Sections” action, and more.

Inspector updates

The Inspector has a new, more compact layout, tidying up unnecessary titles so you can see more of your document with it open. You can now see how many events or other items are selected, at the top. Each segment of the Inspector now has its own expand/collapse button, so you can hide things you don’t care about. And several bugs were fixed, including the presentation of some fields when you have a mix of points and spans selected.

Other, smaller, features

Version 3 contains quite a few minor tweaks and improvements. Here are a couple of key ones:

  • You can now freely drag point events on top of span events, and span events under point events. It’s always been common for people to use points to mark within a span; it’s now much easier.
  • Filtering now allows is: point and is: span criteria, which makes it easy to do things such as “select all the span events and make them into thin lines”.
  • When restoring a previously-open window, your selection is now recovered as well.

Bugs fixed

  • In Quick Entry, the End Date calendar picker would put the next day into the text field after you clicked it.
  • If you enable Viewing Mode on a document, some menu and Inspector items were still enabled which should not have been.
  • The border around a selected section’s header was cut off at the edges of the window.
  • A multi-line event title which flowed down into the next row, and a before-graphic event title in that next row, could simply collide and overwrite each other rather than one of them getting truncated.
  • Automatic text colors for a point event on top of a span event, or for any event’s outside title on top of a range highlight, didn’t take the actual background into account.
  • It was possible to scroll so far leftward, past about 4700 BC, that the built-in date math would start failing, because it didn’t properly handle those dates.
  • Revert to Saved (Cmd+R) would revert the document, but not show the reversion on screen, causing many problems.
  • When placing a new span event, if you click, hold, and drag, there were some odd cases where it would move the start or end dates to unwanted positions.
  • After editing an event’s title, focus didn’t revert back to the document, so you couldn’t immediately start using keyboard shortcuts.

Supported platforms update

TimeStory 3.0 now requires at least macOS Catalina, and includes support for the upcoming macOS Ventura.

Mac 2.8.3

Verion 2.8.3 fixes a couple of uncommon crashes that could occur while editing.

Details, for the curious:

  1. When adjusting font sizes, the Inspector allowed you to step down to zero, and then step again and wrap around to a very large number; this would normally cause a crash. The font size fields are now properly checked.
  2. It was possible to get into a state where edits such as dragging groups of events around would cause a crash. This would only occur after using certain unlucky combinations of section-heading and document-zoom configuration.

Mac 2.8.2

2.8.2 collects fixes for two user-reported problems:

  • Photos could sometimes be shown upside-down or rotated when attached to images, because TimeStory wasn’t properly processing the EXIF orientation value. If you already imported a photo and it was turned around, you need to remove and re-import the photo, because the correct orientation was lost on the previous build.
  • If you passed an unknown section name to the Add Event Shortcuts action, it just gave an “unknown error” message. It now tells you what the actual problem was.

Mac 2.8.1

This is a minor bugfix release. In the previous version’s Event Inspector, the end date field would sometimes diplay the date using the internal format “=date(yyyy-mm-dd)” instead of the normal date format used everywhere else. (The date was still stored and placed correctly.) 2.8.1 fixes this problem.

Mac 2.8

TimeStory 2.8 has been released, with a couple of key new features, a handful of fixes, and a ton of behind-the-scenes improvements.

Document backgrounds which adapt to light/dark mode

When styling a document, you now have a new option for its background color: “Use System Theme”.

If you choose this color, your document background will now automatically switch between light and dark colors, following the rest of the system (and the rest of the app, which always supported dark mode). This is especially useful if you set your Mac to automatically switch between light and dark modes.

Per-document language settings

Normally, TimeStory formats all dates, weekday names, and month names using your system’s current language and region settings from System Preferences, and updates your timeline’s display when you change them.

But sometimes you’re preparing a timeline for another audience, and want it to use their conventions, without adjusting your system settings. This is now easily done, on a per-document basis:

If you choose a language on this dialog, that’s how your document will be formatted on screen or in PDF/PNG exports. This is independent from other documents, or from your system settings, and is saved within the document itself.

Fixes and other changes

  • The “Details” view is now available on section headers; the popup includes the selected section’s overall event count and date range. (Prior versions only enabled event and image details popups.)
  • If you change your system’s language or region, the document now immediately updates on screen to match (unless you’ve used the new feature above to prevent it). Previously, you may have had to close and re-open the document to reflect the change.
  • If an event’s title starts with an emoji, and you enable date labeling on that event, the date label now gets the correct font. Previously, it would try to copy the font from the emoji, which doesn’t work well as emoji come from a special Apple font.
  • If you copied two events from two different sections and then pasted them into the same section, there would be one or more extra rows between them (because the app treated the section border as a row).
  • When you duplicate an event, it no longer gets “Copy Of” pasted in front of its title. I had thought this was a good idea at the time, but it really wasn’t.
  • When dragging or moving events which are attached to today’s date, the app now preserves that attachment when possible. For example, if you have a point event whose date is set to “=today”, and you drag it vertically, it remains set to “=today”. Another example is if you have a span event whose end date is set to “=today” and you drag its start date; this will no longer affect the end date.
  • Fixed the drawing of certain SVGs when used as point-event icons. (Specifically, more types of embedded style information are now correctly processed. As an example, some of Twitter’s brand SVGs didn’t render correctly on the prior version, as I discovered when using them on a private timeline.)

Mac 2.7

Shortcuts are here!

Shortcuts are now available on macOS Monterey, and TimeStory 2.7 is ready!

With Shortcuts for Mac, you can graphically integrate apps and automate your workflows. And with TimeStory 2.7 installed, you’ll have the ability to create, edit, query, display, and export your timelines from within Shortcuts.

Copy events between TimeStory and other apps (like Calendar or Reminders), drive automated processes from a timeline, create quick actions to find, present, or export timeline data for regular tasks, and more.

Check out the Shortcuts pages for example shortcuts, ideas, and documentation. And if you create an interesting shortcut involving TimeStory, I’d love to hear about it!

Other fixes

2.7 also adds a couple of small fixes:

  • Opening a built-in example works more smoothly now. Instead of opening as a new copy of the example document, it just opens, so you won’t be prompted to save when you close it. It also now clearly says “Example Document” in its title.
  • The event filter input field now has its own, separate, undo stack. Previously, if you typed into that field and then switched focus to the timeline, you’d still see “Undo Typing” in the main menu. If the filter input was closed, that Undo may have had undesirable effects.

Mac 2.6.5

2.6.5 is a pure bugfix release.

  • When using a trackpad for horizontal scrolling, the timeline view would sometimes speed ahead, scrolling much more quickly than your fingers were moving. (This was more likely to happen as you reached the start or end of your entire timeline.)
  • On the Event inspector, some new field enable/disable logic would incorrectly enable or disable a couple of fields, notably the Section Name field.

Mac 2.6.4

Verison 2.6.4 includes one brand-new feature plus a batch of smaller enhancements and fixes.

View-Only Mode

Sometimes you’d like to navigate or present a timeline without worrying about accidentally dragging an event or making some other change. You can now enable “View-Only Mode”, from the View menu, to temporarily disable all edits and changes to the current timeline.

While in View-Only Mode, you can still change time units and scale, navigate around, turn on or off the Today line or a time-region highlight. You can also still save the document to make these changes persistent. You just can’t change any event, section, image, or other content.

Smooth time-scale changing with a scroll wheel

You can now hold the Command key while moving your mouse’s scroll wheel to smoothly and precisely adjust the timescale. (This mirrors the pre-existing behavior of a pinch gesture on a trackpad.)

More CSV export control

You can now choose to produce a CSV export of just the currently-selected events, instead of the whole document, and you can choose whether the export contains a header row or not.

Miscellaneous fixes and improvements

  • Using a pinch gesture while editing an event’s title in place will now no longer cause that title to move away from its event.
  • The Inspector color and icon pickers have been improved, most importantly by adding proper support for full keyboard navigation (if it’s enabled in System Preferences).
  • The Today line will again auto-update when midnight arrives; this had been broken by a recent change.
  • When a very narrow span event’s title lies outside its graphic, previous versions would sometimes incorrectly hide that title; this has been fixed.
  • Text in the Manage Sections window is now properly vertically aligned; previously, some fields had been top-aligned while others had been center-aligned.
  • Some button shadows in the Inspector have been fixed.
  • When adding a new event, if you click to place it and then immediately drag to set its duration, the initial click will now stay where you intended instead of sometimes moving a bit in the direction of the drag.
  • A few stale hyperlinks (which went nowhere) have been fixed in the User Guide.
  • When grouping existing sections into a new parent (container) section, the new parent will now inherit its style from the first selected child, instead of from the document default.
  • When copying multiple point events with the same icon, pasting them now preserves their styling; previous versions would incorrectly revert some of them to the default diamond shape.
  • It was possible to make TimeStory crash by copying events from multiple non-contiguous rows and pasting them into an empty section with a left-side header. I’ve received no crash reports from users (I discovered the bug during development), but I apologize if this did happen to you.

Mac 2.6.3

Version 2.6.3 is another maintenance release, catching up on fixes and small improvements, while development is continuing on macOS Monterey features.


  • When placing a span event, you can now click, hold, and immediately drag to set its duration, instead of having to place and then separately resize it. This feels much more like painting events on a canvas. (If you don’t drag, and just click, it works exactly as before; an event is created with a duration of one of the currently-selected unit of time.)
  • Press the new “?” button on the Event Filter to see a brief summary of the main filtering options, or to quickly jump to the detailed documentation within the User Guide.
  • Tags are now shown without # markers in the Tags field and in the Event Details popover. (The #tag form is still how you embed them within titles or descriptions, and the exact tag match option in the Event Filter.)
  • Fit All Events will now adjust both time unit and horizontal scale as needed. (It would previously only adjust the scale, which worked poorly if the timeline was too large or too small to comfortably use the current time unit.)


  • If you dragged a window, and then resized it, version 2.6.2 would often scroll the document unexpectedly; this has been fixed.
  • If a left-side section header contains a long title (longer than fits within the header), it’s supposed to simply clip (cut off) at the edge, but instead it would sometimes scroll or move over to the left.
  • It was possible, after some sequence of actions involving changing the time-range highlight, editing events, and invoking Undo and Redo, to get into a state where the time-range highlight did not paint correctly until you made another edit.

Mac 2.6.2

Version 2.6.2 brings a few usability improvements and fixes a couple of bugs.

Resizing a window, or showing or hiding its Inspector, no longer causes its timeline document to horizontally scroll.

The Details popover is now available for images as well as events, and has been renamed from “Event Details” to “Show Details”. This is a minor change, but makes it easier to see an image’s summary (or “alternative text”) while browsing a timeline.

Copy and Paste Style now works better. If you copy styles between point and span events, it will now avoid applying inapplicable shape styles. Copying now works between section headers and events, for the attributes which are common between them. And Paste Style now works on multiple selections again.

Documents containing images often took up more space than needed if saved by V2.6.1, due to a bug. (They were not damaged, just not compressed as much as possible.) This bug has been fixed.

Mac 2.6.1

Version 2.6.1 fixes several recently-found or customer-reported bugs:

  • TimeStory would crash if you attempted to attach an image file in certain formats, for example WebP. (There was no problem with PNG, JPEG, HEIC, etc.)
  • If you inserted a line break in a title with Ctrl+Enter, that line break would not correctly appear in PDF or PNG output. (Option+Enter worked fine.) Such files will now display correctly in all output; you don’t have to change anything.
  • An event with a short title (e.g. one letter), with that title centered, could sometimes turn into an ellipsis unexpectedly due to an error in its width calculation.
  • The Description text field ignored Dark Mode, making its black text unreadable. It now uses the automatic system text color like everything else in the Inspector.
  • If you typed some text into the Description field, then selected something else so that this field was no longer visible, the Edit menu would still show an obsolete “Undo Typing” which no longer applied or worked correctly.
  • In the Section Management window, dragging a row up or down while still editing its title could cause you to lose your title edits.
  • Importing events from CSV into a document with both sections and subsections could result in those events not appearing, because the app didn’t correctly take the subsections into account.

Mac 2.6

Version 2.6 makes it easier to share timelines, particularly large ones, with new options and features in the Export function.

Exporting by Date Range

The Export dialog now offers an option to choose a particular range of dates to export. This is ideal when you have a longer timeline and want to share just a slice of it, or when you want to break your timeline up into more manageable exports.

Export to Single-Page PDF

You can now also export your timeline directly as a single-page PDF from the same Export window. A PDF-exported timeline can be scaled up or down without losing detail, its text can be searched and selected, and any hyperlinks will be preserved, making it a great option for sharing timelines with others.

(The existing PNG export still works the same, of course, if that’s what you need. So does the traditional “Print to PDF”, which produces a multi-page PDF using print settings such as paper size, margins, etc.)

Other improvements

  • The maximum size of a PNG export is now 10,000 pixels per side. Note that PNGs this large quickly become unwieldy, and can’t always be displayed well by some apps! The default is still 4,096 pixels on the longest side, but if you have a long or tall timeline, you can now extend it if needed.
  • It has always been possible to place a span or point event on top of another span event, by holding the Shift key; TimeStory 2.6 improves the usability of this case by preserving the overlap during editing, and it also fixes some bugs in the title placement of the overlapped events.

Mac 2.5.2

Version 2.5.2 adds a single urgent fix: the color and icon pickers in the Inspector could, in some cases, stop responding to clicks.

Mac 2.5.1

Version 2.5.1 catches up on some bugfixes and user-interface improvements that didn’t make it into version 2.5.

  • In the Point Event Icons window: Added a right-click menu for consistency, made it easier to click between icons when de-selecting or rectangle-selecting, and fixed a bug where deleting icons might not correctly update the window contents.
  • In the Document Templates window: Replaced “Delete” with “Move to Trash”. (This changes both the name and what it does.)
  • In the Inspector: Fixed a problem where color pickers and icon pickers could get into a disabled state.
  • In the timeline: When time highlights cross through sections with background colors, and you’re zoomed in, their edges are now crisper.
  • In the Event Details popup: An event date locked to today’s date with the special “=today” date will now show that in addition to the actual date.

Mac 2.5

Make your timelines more informative, attractive, and unique, by using your own icons to mark points in time! Save commonly-used document layouts as templates, for quicker new-document creation. And, of course, enjoy other fixes and improvements throughout the app.

Use your own icons for point events

Starting with 2.5, you can now add any symbol or image you want to TimeStory, and use it just like one of the built-in icons to mark a point in time.

In the rebuilt Icon Picker, the “TimeStory Icons” section contains the built-in, always-available set. “My Icons” starts out empty, but you can add your own from the new icon window:

When you save your document, it embeds copies of any icons you use, so it will look the same if you send it to someone else, or even if you later delete those icons from your own custom set.

If your icon is a simple, flat symbol, you can set its color with the Event Inspector like always. But if it has its own, built-in colors, you can choose to just use it as it is.

The TimeStory icon library can handle thousands of icons without slowing down. Each icon gets a user-editable name, and the interface offers a search field to quickly find the one you want. Use image formats like PNG or use vector images in the SVG format, for maximum flexibility to create your own or download them from the Web.

And finally, TimeStory now lets you adjust the size of each icon in a timeline individually. (By default, they all still use the common, document-level setting, as before.)

Create reusable document templates

If you often need to create documents with the same sections, layout, or styles, you can use the new “document template” feature.

Set up your document how you’d like it, and choose File > Save as Template. This template will contain everything—any sections, events, colors, or styles—and will now be available from File > New from Template as a quick starting point.

(TimeStory 2.5 comes with “Default Empty Timeline”, which creates the same basic empty timeline that File > New does.)

… and more!

2.5 includes a grab bag of smaller improvements and bug fixes. I’ve been working on this for quite a while!

  • If you’re regularly opening documents to track or update current tasks and projects, you can enable a new preference to always center newly-opened documents on today’s date (instead of restoring the last-viewed time range).
  • The pop-up calendar for date picking has been magnified. (It’s still the standard Apple-designed macOS date picker, just a bit bigger.)
  • The right-click menu below the last section in a document now offers New Section, which creates a new section at the end.
  • Reduced the minimum padding on either side of the event title within an event, allowing, in many cases, a few more characters before cutting the title off…
  • Fixed an issue where using the arrow keys to push an event up into the top row could cause the timeline to unexpectedly scroll.
  • Fixed some bugs that occurred if you hid every subsection of a section. This now correctly hides the outer section, and does not incorrectly narrow the left-side header area.
  • Fixed a slight delay in switching Inspector modes. This delay was not normally noticeable, but it could cause a visible jerkiness while using the mouse to select a rectangular region.
  • Fixed a problem that could sometimes add unwanted borders or lines on left-side section headers on non-Retina displays at non-100% zoom levels.
  • If you had a mix of sections and subsections, and some of them were hidden, and you used the up/down arrow keys to move an event vertically on the timeline, it was possible for that event to disappear into one of the hidden sections. No more.
  • Undo and Redo are now blocked while you’re in the middle of placing a new event or section. Previously, they would work, and undo or redo the last action you took, which was very confusing as you were still in the middle of a new action.
  • Searching for a word via the Event Filter now correctly searches the contents of tags, as well as the contents of titles and descriptions.
  • When tagging an item in the Inspector, you can now use semicolons (;) as well as commas (,) to separate tags.

Mac 2.4.1

Fixes a few bugs just found in PNG export and printing. (These wouldn’t have affected most users.)

  • Across-top section headers were not included in PNG exports at all (although left-side headers were).
  • In a single-page printout, across-top section headers would not extend fully across the page.
  • PNG exports of empty or small documents would not properly respect the “Visible Area” option.

Mac 2.4

This version adds tagging of content, summary text for images, a new span event shape, visual and usability improvements, and more!

Tagging support

You can now tag events and sections, to add small attributes and quickly filter the display.

The Inspector has a new Tags field where you can add and edit tags on sections or events, or you can also simply tag them by typing #TagName in a title or description field. TimeStory keeps track of any tags you add, and provides completion suggestions as you type. Tags can then be used in the Event Filter, as seen above, to quickly limit your display.

See Tagging in the User Guide for more!

(Note that if you have existing documents containing #-style tags in their title or description fields, they will automatically work as tags in the new version; some users have been using a similar technique for a while, and it will now just work better.)

“Jagged” span-event shapes

Span events can now be assigned “jagged” right or left ends; if you have two jagged ends next to each other, they fit together.

Tweaks to timeline presentation

This release sees a few small improvements to the overall appearance of timelines:

  • Some recent bugs which could make text a little blurry (anti-aliased) have been fixed.
  • Spacing around the top of the timeline, between dates, gridlines, and the first section header or topmost events, has been widened out a bit.
  • The border drawn around a selected span event now follows its outline more exactly, when that event’s start or end shapes aren’t simply rectangular.
  • Point events now position their title text based on the actual width of the event’s shape, eliminating extra visual gaps next to narrow point shapes.
  • Event shapes are now crisper on non-Retina screens; the app adjusts the placement of certain lines based on the actual pixels available.
  • Row Height can now be adjusted to smaller or larger values than before.

Info for attached images

Attached images can now be assigned a text summary (which shows up as a tooltip for the image), and you can now place the source of the image and any copyright info if you’d like. If you paste a complete image from a Web browser, TimeStory will often be able to automatically populate some of these fields.

Updates to the Mars Exploration example document

The Mars exploration timeline has been visually refreshed, but more importantly, has been updated with the successful arrivals in 2021 of the UAE’s Hope orbiter, China’s Tianwen-1 orbiter, and the US’s Perseverence rover!

This document now also uses the new tagging feature to tag each mission by country or agency (e.g., #USA, #ESA, and #India), and uses the new Image Info feature to tell you where each embedded picture came from.

Updates to the Event Details popover

Under Preferences, you can now choose to “Show the Event Details popover when hovering over an event”. This makes it behave like a tooltip: just pause your mouse over any event, and its details will appear; move your mouse away from that popover, and it disappears. (The default is still to require a keypress, like before; I welcome any input from users on this topic!)

In addition:

  • The section or sections containing your event are now listed within the details
  • Multi-line event titles are now presented a little more nicely, as a single line joined by “/”
  • The new event tags are now shown
  • If you used the keypress ? to launch the popover, just press it again to dismiss it (you can still dismiss it as before, of course, for example by pressing Esc or by clicking away)

A few other minor usability updates

  • When entering full-screen mode, TimeStory can now keep the toolbar visible. Find this option on the Preferences window.
  • The PNG Export dialog is now properly resizeable; you can stretch it out to see its image preview more clearly.
  • The document icon has been updated to match the current app icon.

Bug fixes

Finally, 2.4 includes a batch of bug fixes:

  • Images could temporarily disappear when increasing the time scale towards its maximum value (they would reappear after scrolling).
  • Clicking in the Event Filter or Quick Entry bars could sometimes register as a click in the date area below them, causing unwanted date highlighting.
  • If you saved a document with one time unit, then switched to another time unit, then quit without saving again, then re-opened that document, events would be temporarily misplaced. Part of the code used the last-saved time unit, while another part used the last-closed time unit.
  • When selecting multiple events or sections with different descriptions, the Description field in the Inspector was just blank. It now shows “multiple values”, so you don’t accidentally edit it and replace your descriptions.
  • When performing a CSV import, with column headers in the first row of the CSV, the preview table in the import dialog would skip an extra row. (The import worked fine, however.)

Mac 2.3.3

Version 2.3.3 is a pure bug fix release. A couple of related bugs were found within the Inspector logic; over time, it could use more and more memory, and typing within an event or section title could get noticeably slower.

Mac 2.3.2

This version collects a couple of small features and a few accumulated fixes.

  • You can now delete a containing section, while keeping its subsections. (This pops up as an option after pressing Delete.)
  • Quarters are now available as a time unit, for long-term quarter-based planning. (Note that the Release and Rollout Plan example shows quarters as events, which is a common approach, since often weeks or months are better time units for editing.)
  • Fixed multiple problems with BC dates. BC dates are now allowed in all text fields (in limited formats); pop-up calendars work better; and a serious bug in saving and loading BC events was fixed.
  • Fixed a problem where the free trial edition would not update the “days remaining” indicator on the Welcome window.
  • Fixed a problem where Highlight Today would not scroll today’s date into view if that date fell in the region “covered up” by left-side section headers.
  • If you use the system color picker (“More Colors…”) and drag a slider around to change a color, then hit Undo, that undo would sometimes be pretty slow. (It was trying to undo each step along the slider, instead of the whole change.) Fixed.
  • Made left-side header title truncation consistent; in prior versions, they used ellipses (…) in PNG and Print output, and no ellipses on screen.
  • Fixed some placement problems when dragging events around on a document with filtered-out rows (via the Event Filter).

Mac 2.3.1

Welcome to TimeStory 2.3.1, updated for the next generation of macOS and Mac hardware! This makes visual changes to sync up with macOS 11 Big Sur, and has been built to run natively on Apple Silicon.

Aside from these changes, there are no other new features or fixes; check out the 2.3 release notes for the latest feature changes and fixes.

New icon

With Big Sur’s new design language come new guidelines for Mac icons, bringing them closer in many ways to iOS icon design. New icons are built within (or around) a consistent rounded square shape and shadow, and abandon the classic 9º tilt. TimeStory 2.3.1 adopts these changes, for the first icon refresh since version 1.0.

The update to TimeStory's icon in this release

Unified Toolbars (macOS 11 only)

With macOS 11, Apple introduced a new unified toolbar style. This puts the document title and the toolbar buttons in a single row across the top of each window, taking up less vertical space. By default, TimeStory now uses this new style on Big Sur; however, you can switch back to the classic layout in Preferences.

(Users of Catalina or Mojave won’t see any toolbar changes.)

New unified toolbars, on macOS 11 Big Sur
Enable "icons only" for an even trimmer look, if you don't need labels
Or go into Preferences and revert to the classic toolbar layout

Mac 2.3

Hiding All Dates

When presenting a timeline, you may want to show the visual layout and relative sizes and orderings of events, while omitting specific dates. This can help focus conversations during early planning or while scoping out uncommitted projects.

With version 2.3, simply choose View > Hide All Dates, and TimeStory will remove the time index across the top and any dates automatically added to event titles (if enabled), and won’t even show the date tooltip as you drag or resize events. (If you enabled vertical gridlines, you still have those to help you visualize weeks, months, or however you set them up.) The dates still exist—every event is saved in the document with a concrete date—they just aren’t visible.

Panning around the document

Press and hold the space bar to enable the panning tool. The mouse pointer will become a hand; click anywhere on the document to grab it and drag the document around. This can be quicker and easier than using the scroller controls, gestures, or arrow keys.

(In the above video, you can see when the spacebar was pressed and released by when the mouse pointer turned into a hand and then reverted.)

Filtering by section

If you maintain timelines with many parallel sections, and use the Event Filter to filter down your document, there’s a new syntax that lets you filter down to specific sections, or to sections whose names match a given term. Combine this with the other filtering options, like event titles, event dates, and Boolean operators, to quickly zoom in and see just what you want.

Have a look at the filtering help in the updated User Guide for full documentation on this feature.

Preferences, including new Paste and Match Style default

When pasting text into TimeStory, it will now by default just paste in that text, not any fonts or colors copied from the origin.

This operation used to require choosing Paste and Match Style; it’s now the default behavior for plain old Paste. If you want to keep the copied styling, just choose the new command Paste and Keep Style.

If you prefer it the old way, however, the new Preferences dialog offers an option to switch it back. This new Preferences feature also collects and exposes a couple of other settings.

Configurable “Today” line width

This is a minor change, but one requested several times: you can now adjust the Today highlight line’s width. This is especially useful to increase visibility when presenting documents on screen, or when using a light highlight color with vertical gridlines enabld.

Grouping sections into subsections

Extending the subsection support introduced in 2.2, you can now select one or more sections and group them together, making them subsections of a new, higher-level section.

This new feature makes it much easier to restructure existing section layouts, or to start using subsections in existing documents. See Working with Sections in the 2.3 User Guide for more details.

Other fixes and improvements

  • Control+Click now works as an alternative to right-click to open context menus in places where it previously did not.
  • When using the Event Navigation tools (First, Previous, Next, Last), the start date of each event is centered in the window as you jump to it, since the start date is how TimeStory defines this sequence. Previous versions focused on the center of the event, which did not look as nice.
  • Fixed some scrolling problems in the Sections dialog when subsections were involved.
  • Fixed double-click auto-sizing of left-side headers with multi-line text, which previously treated the multiple lines as one.
  • You can now click on hyperlinks displayed in the Event Details popover.
  • When placing a new event, if you move your mouse outside the document scroll area, it now automatically scrolls appropriately; version 2.2 didn’t.

Mac 2.2.1

Right after the release of 2.2, a few problems were discovered and fixed immediately in 2.2.1:

  • If a section was collapsed or hidden, and you tried to drag an event around below that section, the event would jump away. (The app was including the hidden rows when placing the dragged event.)
  • It was often impossible to drag a subsection into the end of another section, because it would snap into the start of the next section instead.
  • When using “New Section Below This One”, the newly-created section’s title text font and color may not correctly copy from the source section.
  • The new Merge Sections feature allowed you to merge a section containing subsections with one containing events; this would result in those events being lost.

Mac 2.2

Version 2.2 introduces a new document layout option: the ability to put section headers in a column on the left of the document.

Left-side section headers

You can now put section headers on the left side of the document view, in a resizeable column. This looks great for a compact, clean presentation of parallel tracks. Switch between this view and the classic “headers on top” view freely, by changing one setting in the Document Inspector.

For more complex timelines, this left-side view also allows subsections:

(Note: These two styles aren’t exactly the same; only above-section headers can be collapsed, and only left-side headers can have subsections.)

Event details popovers

Putting lots of content in your event description fields? Have a busy timeline with lots of events next to each other, making dates or titles hard to pick out? Now you can just select any event, press the ? key (or choose Events > Details from the menu), and get a quick pop-over view of title, dates, and descriptions.

Other fixes and improvements

A release in progress for so long will pick up quite a few small refinements as it goes. Here are the ones worth noting:


  • Export to PNG now has a keyboard shortcut (⌥⌘P).
  • “Pointed”-style span events now have nicer looking, sharper arrowheads.
  • The “Today” button in the toolbar now looks better, especially on Big Sur betas.
  • You can now split and merge sections and subsections with new menu commands.
  • A section can now have an empty title; it won’t display as “Unnamed”.
  • You can now select multiple section headers in your document, with Shift+click, to edit them together.
  • Editing and dragging multiple sections in the Sections dialog now works correctly.
  • Enabled multi-line section titles (but this only makes sense when their headers are tall enough, of course).
  • When placing a new section header with the keyboard, it can now be placed at the end of the document.
  • Images attached to events no longer appear on top of section headers.
  • Pasting into a collapsed section will now auto-expand that selection so you can see what you pasted.

Sample Documents

Updated the Exploration of Mars timeline to include the exciting new programs launched in 2020 by the United Arab Emirates, China, and the United States.

Mac 2.1

Version 2.1 brings new features, some customer-requested, along with other improvements and fixes, on top of 2.0’s foundation.

Automatic display of event dates under the event titles

You can now have an event’s date or date range displayed along with its title. This optional feature can be enabled and configured per event.

Full details can be found in the TimeStory 2.1 User Guide under Working with Events.

Event filtering: dates and more

Have a large document containing old, completed events, or events from time ranges you don’t want to see all the time? The Filter Events feature now supports filtering events which have ended by a given date, which haven’t begun by a given date, or any combination of those (and other filters).

Have a large document with many sections? The Event Filter now, by default, hides any sections which don’t contain any matching events, collapsing the timeline to make it easier to spot and navigate the events of interest.

Have a filter you want to leave on all the time? Now, when you save a document with an active filter, that filter is saved too, and re-applied when you later open it again.

Full details can be found in the TimeStory 2.1 User Guide under Filtering.

Window position restoration for documents

TimeStory now preserves and restores the window position and size for any document you close and later reopen, using the standard Mac window restoration system. (Version 2.0 fixed window restoration when quitting and restarting the app, but did not handle regular closing and re-opening.)

Other fixes and improvements

  • You can now place new sections purely with the keyboard, without touching a mouse.
  • Section title text will now always be correctly placed in printouts and PDF exports; the prior version would sometimes offset them to the left or right.
  • Dragging of events now works even if you click and drag on a hyperlink.
  • When using the Sections dialog to rename a section which uses automatic text color, 2.1 fixes a bug which always caused the color to revert to black.
  • TimeStory is now more intelligent about fitting multi-line event titles around other nearby events, showing more text than before in some cases.
  • Previous versions would often not provide tooltips for point events in cases where they were directly next to span events, causing their titles to be completely hidden; this was fixed.

Now requires Mojave or newer

As discussed on the blog, version 2.1 removes support for macOS High Sierra. If you are still running High Sierra, as of this writing, your newest TimeStory version will remain 2.0.1; however, you can still get support if needed.

Mac 2.0.1

Version 2.0.1 contains fixes only for users of macOS 10.13 High Sierra. Catalina or Mojave users should see no differences at all with 2.0.1.

On High Sierra, there were some display problems, fixed in this release:

  • Some of the toolbar buttons were sized incorrectly and unreadable
  • The colors used for marking selected objects were not very distinct on a white background (which is the default)

(This will most likely be the final new version for High Sierra users. If you are still using that version of macOS, version 2.0.1 should continue to work for you, but future versions will soon no longer support that operating system.)

Mac 2.0

(As I write this, our world is in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. I'm happy to be able to release this new version, and I hope you will find it enjoyable and useful. But as I do so, I am mindful of what's actually important right now. Please take care of yourself, and of others.)

TimeStory 2.0 is here! The version increment from 1.x to 2.x signifies some key updates, as well as the beginning of a 2.x journey with some great plans in store. But, as always, the focus remains on simplicity—on the ability to capture your events with a minimum of ceremony and complexity, and refine and grow from there. Read on for the full details!

Image attachments

You can now illustrate your timelines with photos or other images, directly pasting or importing them into your TimeStory documents!

Screenshot: Attached Images

Images are positioned relative to events, and manipulated using direct drag and drop operations. (That presenter icon is one I drew elsewhere and pasted in; you’ll find it in the Example Document titled “Release and Rollout Plan”.)

More precise moving around of events

When moving events or dates around with your mouse (or with the arrow keys), you can now freely pick any day, even when viewing your timelines in a week, month, or year view. (The start and end of each month, week, or year still act as guides, and your mouse will “snap” to them if it gets close, unless you hold the Command key).

The little date tips that show up as you drag have also been improved, including showing up even when you use the arrow keys, and the included User Guide now provides a full breakdown of dragging actions from the mouse and keyboard.

Visible-area image export

Often you’ll have a large timeline, but want to capture only a fixed part of it for presentation or sharing. When doing an image export (Export to PNG), it’s now possible to request just the visible area in the window, saving you the trouble of cropping the image or making a screenshot.

Screenshot: PNG Export of Visible Region

Multiple-line event titles

Event titles can now contain line breaks, so that you can put more details into the visible parts of your documents.

Screenshot: Events with Multiline Titles

(As always, TimeStory will cut off text as needed to avoid overlapping other events, other text areas, or section headers.)

Configurable date label fonts

You can now choose the font used to draw date labels across the top of your document. TimeStory will use variations on this font by size and weight automatically to add other context as needed.

(Event and section title fonts were already configurable. Previously, however, this date-label area across the top was always drawn using your Mac’s system font; if you have existing documents from before 2.0, when you first open them in 2.0, they will be assigned the new default font.)

An improved menu

Throughout the 1.x series, TimeStory continued to use the menu layout set up in 1.0. As its capabilities grew, this buried several important tools for event and section management down inside the Edit and View menus. The menus were reorganized in 2.0 for clarity and discoverability.

Other improvements

  • The “Welcome to TimeStory” window, shown at startup when you have no documents, has been improved.
  • There are a few new Point Event shapes: a vertical line, a pushpin, and more.
  • A new “Select All Events in Section” command helps when you’re rearranging or cleaning up old sections.
  • You can now drag the start or end dates of a group of selected events, instead of just one at a time.
  • New single-key shortcuts speed up the New Span Event, New Point Event, and New Section commands, to accelerate document building. (E, P, and S, respectively!)

Bug fixes

  • TimeStory now follows the “Reduce Motion” and “Reduce Transparency” settings, from your system accessibility preferences, in places where it previously did not.
  • Fixed several cases where the Undo menu item showed an incorrect (or unclear) description of what it was to undo. (The undo would work, however.)
  • When pasting an event using “Paste Here” to place it into a section, where there are collapsed sections above that section, fixed a problem that could cause the event to go to the wrong place because TimeStory counted those collapsed sections as if they were expanded.
  • Fixed the event overlap detection when pasting an event between two existing events—previously, it would detect an overlap even if it fully fit between them.
  • When renaming a section within the Sections window, in some cases, the wrong section would have been renamed; this is fixed.
  • The “delete forward” key on extended keyboards now works to delete items, in addition to the “delete” or “backspace” key.
  • If you quit TimeStory while editing a document, then reopen TimeStory, it will remember the size and position of the document window on screen. Important: This only works if you don’t check “Close windows when quitting an app” on the General pane of your System Preferences. That global macOS setting controls whether apps are allowed to do this. More info on Apple’s help site; note that this setting is currently the default.

Mac 1.7.1

This version contains a few accumulated bug fixes and improvements, and no major new features.

  • If a section title’s text color was set to Automatic, and you edited that title’s text, the color would be changed from Automatic to its currently-displayed color. The Automatic color setting will now be retained.
  • Quick Entry incorrectly allowed you to type =today into a new span event’s start field; it now prevents you from entering this value.
  • If you entered =today into a date field, and then opened the Date Picker (pressed the calendar button), the calendar would open with January 2000 selected. It will now select today’s date instead.
  • “Duplicate Events” has replaced “Duplicate Event”; you can now duplicate multiple events at once, as a group.
  • If you select a group of events in different rows, copy them, and paste them into the last row of the document or into a new document, they would previously all be pasted into a single row. They will now keep their multiple rows. (There were actually a few other variations of this same problem; in general, when pasting events, the software would not correctly insert more than one row at a time.)
  • If an event’s title contained mixed font styles, for example a single boldfaced or italicized word, and you used Duplicate Event, the newly-created duplicate would all be one font style.

Please see the version 1.7 release notes for the recent feature changes prior to this fix release.

Mac 1.7

New shapes for point events

1.7 adds several new shapes and symbols to mark points in time, to liven up and bring more meaning to your documents.

Now, add direct links to Web resources (or to anything with a URL) to provide more context and documentation to your timelines. Any region of text can be turned into a custom link, in section headings, event titles, and description fields.

Finder Thumbnails (for Catalina users)

On macOS Catalina, when browsing TimeStory documents in Finder, you now get a graphical thumbnail showing part or all of your document, instead of just a document icon. (Mojave and High Sierra users will still see the same icon as before; this feature depends on new capabilities in Catalina.)

(That’s Finder, not TimeStory.)

Other improvements

  • If an event’s title is partially scrolled off screen, or is truncated because there’s not enough space, TimeStory now provides a tooltip with the full title if you hover your mouse.
  • The “Round” style endpoints for span events have been improved in appearance. The previous version was not visually aligned with the other endpoint shapes, appearing to end too early or start too late.

Bugs fixed

  • When editing an event’s title within the document, if you deleted all its text, the text cursor could be positioned incorrectly. If you later came back to enter text, the new text could in some cases have lost the color or font styling that was applied before it was deleted.
  • The Today button, when used to activate the highlight for today’s date, should scroll that highlight to become visible if it is not; in 1.6.1, that scrolling was disabled.
  • The “Duplicate Event” function always inserted a new row, even if there was no overlap with an existing event which would require a new row.
  • The pop-up calendar picker next to date entry fields (in the Inspector or in the Quick Entry area) would always open with today’s date highlighted, instead of the date which was already in the field.

Mac 1.6.1

This is a refinement release, with a handful of minor features and bug fixes, and some internal work in preparation for exciting upcoming features.

  • The Sections dialog now shows the count and overall date range of the events within each section (screenshot below).
  • When deleting a non-empty section, you are now given the option to delete the section along with all of its events. (Previously, TimeStory just refused to delete the section, requiring you to manually remove any events.)
  • Merge Events: Select a few events and then use Edit > Merge Selected Events to combine them. The resulting event will begin on the start date of the earliest event selected and end on the end date of the latest event selected. Its text will be taken from the earliest event, as will most of its style: shape, color, etc. It will, however, take the “Span End” shape from the latest event.
  • CSV Import: It is now possible for a CSV file to provide exclusive end dates for events (i.e., to indicate that an event ends before a date, instead of on a date).
  • Fixed: When changing a span event’s end date by dragging it around, the tooltip previously showed the wrong date (it was off by one day, showing Tuesday’s date when the mouse was really really on Monday, for example).

Mac 1.6

Events which keep up with today’s date

To show an ongoing or current event, you can now set an event’s end date to “today”, and ask TimeStory to keep it updated as today’s date changes. You can also create a point-in-time event which tracks today’s date.

Just type =today into the Inspector for the corresponding date field. TimeStory will follow the date, updating your document around midnight or whenever you next open it.

Screenshot: Event ending on today

Multi-touch (pinch to zoom) for time scales

If you have a trackpad, you can now use the two-finger “pinch” or “expand” gesture to smoothly adjust the time scale up or down.

(The existing methods, using the toolbar buttons or the menu, still work as before.)

Automatic text colors for events and section headers

Select “Automatic” as the color of an event title or section title, and TimeStory will automatically select black or white based on the background it’s being presented over. This takes into account your document background, your section background, the graphic color, and where your title is positioned.

This lets you choose your background and graphic colors more freely, and be assured that you can read your title text regardless of position.

Automatic is now the default. If you need to achieve a specific color for an event or section, you can still always pick specific colors, as always.

Refreshed color picker

The color picker has been extended, with a broader and more useful set of default colors, and with a visible selection of the current color, if any. (It also introduces Automatic for all text colors, as noted above.)

Screenshot: color picker

Refreshed default theme

The default theme for new documents has been refreshed, offering a cleaner and more contrasting look, and taking advantage of automatic text colors. The new default theme is visible above in the color picker screenshot.

(Existing documents will retain their current appearance. If you’d like to update an existing document to the new defaults, you can choose Style > Revert to Default Document Theme from the main menu.)

Other fixes and improvements

  • The CSV Import function did not previously detect when an input event had an end date before its start date. Events like this would be “successfully” imported, but would appear as one-day span events. CSV Import now detects and rejects such rows.
  • The CSV Export function previously exported point events as if they were span events with an end date one day before the start date. This has been changed; now, a point event simply has no end date. (This matches how CSV Import expects point events to be represented.)
  • If the entire toolbar does not fit across the top of your window, due to the window size, previous versions produced a non-working spillover menu on the right side. This spillover menu now works as expected.
  • If you selected multiple events with different dates, causing TimeStory to show the “multiple values” indicator in one or both of the Inspector’s date fields, and then entered and exited one of those fields, the Inspector would report “Unrecognized date format:”. This has been fixed.
  • The Date Picker which shows when you press the calendar button next to a date input field would sometimes show the incorrect date for today’s date, due to a timezone offset calculation error in prior versions.
  • When viewing a timeline labeled by Months, if you created two spans with the same end date but different start dates, and those start dates were not the first day of their respective months, the length calculation of the event was incorrect, causing the end dates not to line up.

Mac 1.5.1

Date labeling improvements

TimeStory now uses your system’s language for all date labels, including weekday names and month names. The rules for abbreviating date labels have also been made a little more consistent, and the week view now includes month names for context.

(The following image was assembled from two screenshots, taken with different system language settings.)

Two screenshots, one taken with French dates and the other with Chinese dates, stitched together with a jagged line

Document summary view

You can now use File > Summary to get a quick summary of the size of your document. This includes the total date range, from earliest date to latest date, as well as the counts of events and sections.

Screenshot: document summary

Mac 1.5

Event shape additions

Create a sense of direction and flow across your timeline by selecting inward-pointing side shapes, which complement the existing outward-pointing arrow-style shapes.

Screenshot of a timeline demonstrating the new inward-pointing span event endpoints nestled against outward-pointing spans

Image Exporting

Embed your timeline in another document, a Web page, and email, or elsewhere, by directly converting it to an image in the standard PNG format. Select your desired pixel size, and choose a transparent background if needed.

Screenshot of the Export Image dialog

Jumping to specific dates

To scroll directly to any date, just press G (or use the Go to Date menu) and type in that date.

Screenshot showing the Go To Date dialog

Printout page-fitting with automatic time scaling

When using the “Fit to N x M pages” option in a printout, TimeStory normally just reduces your document proportionally, keeping its time scale. For documents covering long periods, this can make it difficult to fit to a small number of pages. With 1.5, you can choose to have TimeStory automatically adjust the time scale and units to fit to a give page size, if you don’t need to preserve the document time scale.

Other improvements and fixes

  • New keyboard shortcuts to change event title positions: ⌘{, ⌘|, and ⌘}, to put the title on the left, center, or right, respectively, of the graphic.
  • When importing a CSV file, your file may now contain dates of the form “YYYY-MM-DD”, no matter what your computer’s region and language settings are. (It may also, of course, still contain dates in your local style, such as “DD/MM/YY” or “January 1, 2001”.) This is a common format for external date data sources.
  • Printouts of documents at time scales of 5 years per step, 10 years per step, or more, now correctly choose the first year to align on the same increment.
  • When you have a hidden (not collapsed) section within your document, prior versions would allow you to select a visible event in a non-hidden section and use the arrow keys to move it up or down into that hidden section, causing it to disappear from the screen. This has been fixed.
  • TimeStory would previously insert extra, unwanted padding after right-aligned event titles using certain specific fonts, causing the title text to look unevenly placed. It now uses the correct positioning for any font.

A note of thanks

A special thanks goes to the users who have been pushing TimeStory forward by trying new things and applying it to real problems. Your feedback has been invaluable. Every release since 1.0 has had at least one feature or fix driven by unsolicited user feedback.

If you are a TimeStory user with any feedback at all, whether it’s a feature request, a bug, a limitation, please take a moment to send an email to All comments are welcome.

Mac 1.4

Time Range Highlighting

This new feature lets you easily highlight a range of time, to assist in presenting or viewing a document. It also lets you configure any event in your document to highlight its underlying time range, to provide context to other events.

Screenshot: Time-Range Highlight

Configurable Start of Week

TimeStory now saves your preferred start-of-week day in your documents.

When you create a new document, or first open an existing document from an earlier version, TimeStory reads your Mac’s preferences to determine whether you normally prefer weeks to start on Sunday, Monday, or otherwise. You can edit this on a per-document basis, if you want; if you send such a document to someone with different preferences, they will see the weeks as you intended.

(Prior versions of TimeStory always treated weeks as starting on Sunday.)

Date Display while Dragging Events

While moving or resizing events, TimeStory now shows a small date label next to the event, so you can more precisely position it. If you press and hold the Option or Shift keys while dragging, this label also indicates the effect of that key (to allow events to overlap, or to keep the event on its own row).

Animated GIF: Date Label

A New Color Picker (but the standard one is still there)

Color choices now use a new, streamlined Color Picker control, allowing one-click use of existing colors from the rest of the document or from a standard palette. These controls also now clearly present options such as “Automatic” colors for date labels, which previously were hidden behind checkboxes.

Screenshot: Color Picker

Improvements to the Section Manager

You can now perform more section edits within the Section Management dialog itself, including double-clicking to rename a section, deleting an empty section, and adding a new section.

Screenshot: Section Manager

Other Improvements and Fixes

  • Hold down the Control key when copying events to copy a plain-text description of those events, suitable to paste into a text document.
  • Filters containing the # character now work as expected. Prior versions of TimeStory would ignore any word starting with #.
  • When TimeStory encounters a problem in an Inspector input, such as an unrecognized date format, it now pops up a less-intrusive “popover”-style error message, leaving the input field with focus, instead of a dialog which must be dismissed.
  • The Time Scroller control has been tidied up; among other things, it is now slightly translucent, becoming opaque as your mouse moves over it.
  • When your document’s zoom level is not 100%, and you dragged a section header around with your mouse, there were some problems sizing the header and its contents, which have been fixed.
  • When your system uses Light Mode but your document has a dark or black background, the default system cursor was hard or impossible to see when you double-clicked on an event to edit its title. The same could happen with Dark Mode and a light-colored background. The cursor now adjusts to improve contrast when necessary.
  • If you set an event’s title to empty (delete all the characters), then come back to edit it later, TimeStory now remembers the event’s font and text color, instead of resetting them to a system default.

Mac 1.3

New feature: “Show Today”

Use the Today button on the toolbar, or the View > Show Today menu option, to toggle a vertical line highlighting today’s date. This helps you visually separate past from future when working on active projects. Showing this line will also bring today’s date into the center of the view if you’ve scrolled away.

Printing improvements

New custom options were added to the Print panel to allow better control over printing and PDF generation:

  • You can now ask TimeStory to fit the entire document to a single page, or to a specific number of pages tall and/or wide, or to use a custom scaling factor
  • Page margins can now be disabled, fitting more content per page

TimeStory printing screenshot](/img/1.3/printpanel.png

There were also a couple of printing-related fixes:

  • The last-used print settings for each document are now saved into the file along with the document’s contents; previous versions always reset print options at startup
  • Printing now respects the currently-active event filter; previous versions always printed the entire document

Filtering improvements

The Event Filter now supports a “not” operator (using the character ~), so you can more easily exclude events from a view instead of just including them.

General improvements

  • The icons used within buttons have been refreshed for more consistency and a cleaner appearance
  • The Quick Add form has been adjusted to better fit in narrower windows, especially when the Inspector is also active. In previous versions, the large minimum width of Quick Add could force a large minimum width on the overall app window
  • Help content has been expanded for new features, and improved for existing features

Mac 1.2.1

TimeStory 1.2.1 was focused on continuing to refine the app, and does not introduce any major new features.

Timeline Presentation and Editing

  • When you save and reopen a document, TimeStory now preserves its zoom level and scroll position.
  • More navigation options, such as Next Event or Go to Today, now have smooth animations.
  • The “star” shape has been slightly increased in relative size; previously, it looked smaller than the other point markers.
  • A point event placed at the start or end of a span event, or placed within the range of that span event, will now always draw fully on top of the span.
  • When placing a new span event on the timeline, if the current time unit is Months, the length of that new event will now always be that of the selected month.
  • If you have a mouse plugged in (not a trackpad), the vertical scroll bar which appears on the right side of the document view will no longer overlap the section headers.
  • If you double click to edit a title in the document, there is no longer a blue focus border shown.


  • The presentation, layout, and font choices used in the Inspector fields have been improved, for a cleaner, more consistent look.
  • When a point event is selected, the Inspector only offers relevant title positioning choices, hiding the choices which apply only to span events.

Miscellaneous Fixes & Improvements

  • If you customize your toolbar, those changes are now saved for the next time you run the app.
  • The “Compact” option in Arrange Events now has an improved algorithm, resulting in a more consistent and logical compaction in many cases.

Mac 1.2

New Time Scroller

The Time Scroller is a new control which hovers at the bottom of your timeline and provides buttons to scroll horizontally (forward and backward in time) by different amounts.

Screenshot, with new Time Scroller control

You can still navigate your timeline just as before, with regular trackpad scrolling gestures and arrow keys, and if you want to hide the Time Scroller, just use the View menu (or right-click on it and press Hide).

New section features

TimeStory has always let you divide your document into sections. Starting in version 1.2:

  • You can now completely hide a section, removing its title and contents from the document. This is great for maintaining a detailed roadmap, but hiding details when presenting it to others.
  • There’s a new Manage Sections tool which puts all your sections in one list, without showing any events, so you can quickly rearrange them, adjust their visibility, or jump directly to one in the main document.

New event shapes

Points in time can now be marked with triangles pointing in four different directions.

New CSV export

Having used TimeStory to map out a series of events, you can now export those events into a simple, plain-text comma-separated values (CSV) file. This lets you bring these events into other tools, like spreadsheets. This export omits all of your formatting and positioning, but contains all the event data: dates, title text, description text, and section assignments.

Bug Fixes and Feature Improvements

  • Fixed several bugs in sizing and positioning the document window, the Inspector, and the document contents
  • Improved the year-skipping rules when you reduce the time scale so that the year labels don’t all fit across the top
  • Improved the vertical positioning and section assignment rules for new events, especially those added via Quick Add or Paste Event, to now better take into account the current selection and event overlapping
  • Allow moving events vertically into a new row at the top or bottom of a section more easily
  • Correctly disable certain buttons when they don’t apply
  • Fixed the behavior of several text inputs in the Inspector, the Event Filter, and the Quick Entry panels, when the size of the text exceeds the field’s size
  • Fixed manual resizing of the Inspector

Mac 1.1

CSV Import

You can now import any number of events from comma-separated value files, which can be produced by Excel or any number of other tools, including other project management and time planning software.

A CSV file is just a text file, containing one table, each row of which is on another line, with comma-separated values. (TimeStory also supports a variant of this, where values are separated by a tab instead of a comma, often called tab-separated values; other than the separator, these files behave the same.)

Importing a CSV file adds any events found to your current TimeStory document. Start this process by selecting the Import Events from CSV option under the Insert menu. After picking the file to import, TimeStory lets you extract event titles, dates, and sections from the fields, and control import. More info available in TimeStory’s built-in Help.

Screenshot of Import CSV dialog

High Sierra Support

TimeStory 1.0 only supported macOS Mojave, the newest version as of its release. TimeStory 1.1 adds support for the prior version of macOS, High Sierra, for users who may not yet have updated to Mojave. There are no feature differences, other than Mojave-specific things like Dark Mode support.

Another Example Document

The built-in example documents now include a new imaginary product development and launch plan, to show off the kind of high-level product planning that TimeStory was built to support. (This plan is purely fictional; any resemblance to any real project plans, current or historical, is unintentional and coincidental.)

TimeStory Example Screenshot

Moving Events Around

You can now select multiple events and drag them around as a group, instead of being limited to one at a time. In 1.0, there were also some bugs in how events dealt with being moved by the mouse or the cursor keys, which are now fixed.

Mac 1.0

Version 1.0 was released to the Mac App Store after six months of development. There were no release notes, as this was the first version, and there were no changes to report!