Recently, a fellow reader, Jessica from Miami, asked if I would help her figure out a way to create an event timeline in a format her boss is partial to:
I tried creating a solution in Word, but it was less than satisfactory. So, given that Jessica was pretty comfortable with Excel, I developed a template for her there.
Changing the orientation of text within cells (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal, as in the example above) is actually pretty easy — here, I’ll show you:
(To view in full-screen mode, click the button in the lower right-hand corner.)
There’s other formatting done here too — the cells are wrapped (the Wrap Text checkbox above), I shifted the vertical alignment to Bottom, and in some cases, to get the middle cell to look more “centered,” I added a hard return before the text (with ALT-ENTER). There’s a fair bit of eyeballing that has to be done to get it to look right, and it’s all a judgment call according to your personal preference.
What uses could you find for this trick? Let me know in the comments below.
(P.S.: Jessica seemed to be pretty happy with her new template last I heard!)