The Timeline page format dialogue allows you to format and configure the Timeline view to display the content you want to show in this view.
The controls are logically grouped together into various tabs.
The Timeline is a “one page wide” window on your plan, displaying all of it, or just a section of it depending on the date range that you select. For example, if you have set up a two year project in Swiftlight, you could choose to look at the full two years, or to zoom in on a three month period by selecting that period using the dialogue.
The date range dialogue allows you to set the date range for display in three ways:
The timescale rows dialogue allows you to select which date rows to display at the top of the timeline, and how you want the dates to be formatted.
You can either let Swiftlight choose which rows to display or select the rows yourself using the check boxes. You can select up to 3 rows can be displayed at any one time. The format of the selected dates can be edited by clicking on the “change” buttons for each row. The font size for the selected dates can be controlled using arrow buttons, within a range of 7pts to 10pts.
The working week dialogue allows you choose:
The gridlines dialogue allows you choose the style of both horizontal and vertical gridlines on the timeline.
The horizontal lines separate one row of Activity Groups from another whilst the vertical lines mark the end of time periods on the timeline (e.g., weeks, months, quarters etc.)
In addition you can choose whether you want the vertical gridlines to extend to the bottom of the page on just the first page or on all timeline pages.
The display mode tab contains the most important controls over the Timeline view allowing you to switch between the different modes of the Timeline, and therefore show different content.
Using the radio button you can firstly select either Standard or Interlaced mode. If you select Interlaced mode, you can select which content you want to see (i.e. meetings, milestone, meetings and milestones, objectives, etc.)
In addition you can select whether you want the timeline to be in review mode showing the baseline dates for Activity Groups and Milestones. Both the standard and interlaced timeline have review modes. If you have not entered review mode before, you will be prompted to save the current timeline as the project baseline.
In review mode, you can also select whether you want the baseline Activity Group and Milestone icons to show the icon and text or just the icon. The option that makes most sense will depend on how much time separation there is between the baseline and the current Activity Group or Milestone.
This tab controls the display of Key Meetings and Key Milestones at the top of the main body of the Timeline page. These settings do not control the way that any Interlaced Meetings and Milestones appear, as this is controlled in the Interlaced Mode Format tab (described further down this page).
In the upper section of the dialogue you can:
Note: in certain rare circumstances when in timeline interlaced mode, it may not be possible to display the key meetings and milestones on all pages, even if you select it. This is a result of space constraints, and if Swiftlight detects this possibility you will get a suppressible warning message.
In the lower section of the dialogue, you can choose the maximum number of rows of key meetings and the maximum number of rows of key milestones you want to display, up to a total of 5 rows for each, and 6 rows for both together.
Use the sliders or the numbers to change the desired number of rows. If your project has more key meetings or milestones to display than can be shown in the selected number of rows, a small circle or triangle will appear at the bottom of the relevant section to highlight that additional meetings or milestones cannot be displayed on the screen.
Activity Group Rows are the rows in the lower section of the Timeline that are divided by horizontal gridlines and that are available for you to place Activity Groups into. This tab allows you to set the total number of Activity Group rows and have control over the height of each row (by setting a minimum height and selected a desired number of rows to fit on to the first page of the Timeline).
The first control is the total number of rows available for Activity Groups. This is the total number of rows across
pages. The application will ensure that this number is not less than the number of rows needed to display the Activity Groups you already have in the Timeline. If you subsequently add more or delete rows directly in the Timeline (using the right-click menu), this number will go up / down. The maximum number of rows is 100.
You can set the
number of Activity Group rows on page one of your Timeline. In a variety of situations, the actual number of Activity Group rows on page one may be less than your desired number due to sizing constraints. For example, if the page header is on and if you are displaying six row of key meetings and milestones there is only room to display a few Activity Group rows.
The minimum height for an Activity Group arrow allows you to control how thin the Activity Group arrows can become, and, indirectly, how many rows of Activity Groups you can get on each page. The thinner these rows are, the more rows you can get on an each page.
The final element is the size of the gap between each Activity Group rows. This is set as a percentage of the row height so that it maintains visual consistency as the rows resize.
If you have selected to display the Timeline in Interlaced mode, this tab allows you to control how your selected content is displayed. Note: although the controls on this tab are very similar to some others found on other tabs, they are different in that they apply solely whilst in Interlaced mode – you may well see changes to the way objects look between Standard and Interlaced mode.
You can choose the maximum number of rows of meetings and milestones that you want to have interlaced with the Activity Groups. There is a maximum of 5 rows for each, and 6 rows for both together (i.e. you can have 5+1, 4+2, 3+3 etc but not 5+5). The sliders or the numbers can be used to change the desired number of rows.
The height of the interlaced text boxes (which displays Activity Group Objectives, Key Questions, Deliverables, Success Metrics, Budgets and Comments) can be set as percentage of the page height. The height of this text box will affect how many bullets / rows of text can be seen. It may also affect how many Activity Groups and their text boxes can be displayed on one page. Note: the Dynamic Formatting Algorithm will ensure that an Activity Group and its associated meetings and milestones (or other content) are always displayed on the same page.
The final control allows you to set the minimum height for an interlaced Activity Group arrow, controlling how thin the Activity Group arrows can become.
You will find that the height of the Activity Group arrows in the interlaced timeline may change when you add or edit the content or adjust the display in some way. This is because the Dynamic Formatting Algorithm automatically tries to optimise the display of information, for example by keeping an Activity Group and its associated meetings or milestones on the same page. When a new timeline row is added or when an Activity Group moves from page 1 to page 2 (or vice versa) the height of the Activity Group arrows adjusts to compensate and ensure that the rest of the page is well utilised.
This tab controls the format of ALL Meetings and Milestones (the way they look) on the Timeline page whether they are in the Key Meetings / Key Milestones section or Interlaced Meetings / Milestones. These settings do not control which Meetings and Milestones appear (how much content) – this can be found in the “Display of Key Meetings and Key Milestones” and “Interlaced Mode Format” tabs (described above).
The width of a meeting or milestone can be set as a percent of the page width, using the slider or the arrows buttons to increase / decrease the number. The wider they are, the more text you can get underneath the meeting or milestone icon. However as the width increases, the more likely you are to get potential overlaps between meetings or between milestones. A potential overlap will cause the meetings or milestones to be displayed in separate rows.
The height of a meeting or milestone row can be set as a percent of the page height, using the slider or the arrows buttons to increase/decrease the number. Again the higher the row height, the more rows of text you can get underneath the meeting or milestone icon; but the trade-off is that the more room the rows will take up on the page, the available space for other content (e.g. for Activity Group rows) is reduced.
You can also choose whether to show the meeting or milestone dates along with the meeting or milestone icons. In a long timeline (e.g. 2 years), it may be less relevant to show the exact date of a meeting or milestone.
The Font dialogue controls the size of the text for Meetings, Milestones and Activity Groups on the Timeline view.
You can select the minimum and a maximum font size for the text in Activity Group arrows, and underneath Meetings and Milestones. The actual font size used is set by the Dynamic Formatting Algorithm. This is done by using the largest possible font that will display all the text, within the minimum and maximum constraints. If there is too much text to display at the minimum font size, then the text is truncated.
If you want the font size for the text in all the Activity Groups, Meetings or Milestones to be the same as each other, then you can set the minimum and maximum text sizes to be the same number.
The font size for any text displayed in text boxes in interlaced timeline mode (displaying the content relating to each Activity Group: objectives, key questions, deliverables, success metrics, budget, comments) is also set on this dialogue but it is set as an absolute number.
The Legend dialogue controls the appearance of the Legend on the Timeline view.
At the top of the dialogue is a tick box which allows you to choose whether or not the legend is shown at the bottom of the Timeline pages (the legend will appear on all (or none) of the pages in the Timeline).
Once the Legend is displayed you can choose which items get displayed within the legend, by selecting / de-selecting the “visible” tick box for each row. The text for each label or colour can be defined by clicking and typing in each text box. (Note: you can also edit this text directly in the Timeline). Finally the font style (regular, bold, italic or bold and italic) and the font size for the legend text labels displayed in the Timeline can be selected
Note: you can change the colours in the legend using the Colour Customisation tab in the Tools Options Dialogue.