This note displays data in a timeline form.
The information comes from a Note Table (which is automatically added when the timeline is made).
Adding new elements to the timeline is as easy adding new rows to the table.
Using the Timeline
Clicking on a label on the timeline will bring up a message box with the DESCRIPTION text specified in the associated table. RIGHT CLICKING will move the timeline back in time by a day. LEFT CLICKING will advanced the timeline forward by a day. Holding down the mouse and scrolling the MONTHS PANEL (see below) will move time in chunks. Moving left will go back in time, moving right will move forward in time.
From the PROPERTIES MENU there is some customization that may be achieved.
- Gregorian. This is the default calendar that timelines use. User may select PLOT instead to get a simple view for scene distribution in a narrative.
- Icons Per Column. By default up to 3 timeline entries will appear in each “column” on the timeline. This number be decreased or increased, as the user desires.
- Row Filter. The timeline table has several columns and these may be used to filter the results. For example, you might only care about certain data points at particular times. Perhaps you might want to show only results with Data3=1, for example. This is what your row filter would look like:
NOTE: If you are getting error messages about your filter being invalid, check to see if there is blank space before the name of the column. This will ruin the filter.
- Current Data. Select this to center the timeline at a particular date.
- Hide Months Panel. If selected will hide the months panel at the bottom, giving the user only a days view of the timeline.
There is an advanced way to add additional tables to a single timeline. To do this go to the PROPERTIES MENU and select PROPERTIES. Edit a field called Listoftableguids, putting a new identifier on each row, for each table you want to associate. Keep in mind this must be the GUID from the target table, and not its caption.
Updated: June 22 2013
While working on my latest novel I needed a bit more power from this part of the timeline component. Basically I wanted to track multiple plot arcs, all of which have “rising action” and “climax” at different points in the story. By selecting “PLOT” from the PROPERTIES MENU, I could switch into a plot view of a timeline but I struggled to make the most out of it (plus it took me a while to remember how it worked).
- Plot dates are weird. Because this is not a real timeline, the dates need to be fudged. To put an entry into Introduction 1 supply a date (where dates = day/month/year format) of 01/01/1999. For Introduction 2 use 02/01/1999. For rising action 1 use 01/02/1999. Basically each category (Introduction, Rising Action, Climax, Conclusion) is a month.
- Make use of the Row Filter. When doing plotting like this the plot filter is really useful. I used Data3 column for the name of the character and then was able to filter out only for that character, on the timeline.
While this was almost sufficient I wanted to add a few new hooks. None of these are available until I release version 1.4.8.
- Long Text. I noticed that text spilled into adjacent “months” so added truncate support. If test is truncated it can be mouse-overed to see the full text.
- Short Cut dates. Now, to put an entry into Introduction 1 you can just specify *1 as a date. Like *7 adds an entry to the Climax. It also supplies generated numbering icons, so users don’t need to specify icons. As well, if using Data3 Column as a way of separating verses different characters, this numbering will be colored different per category.
- YourOtherMind will automatically assign colored icons to User’s timeline entries if they use the Short Cut dates and “categories” via the Data3 Column (that is, all entries marked with Data3=”boo”, would appear in the same color, making it easy to spot them and review their arc). For a bit more power a color override can be put into the Data4 column (i.e., you might want to insist that Character A’s arc is in red, because you use that to help color code some text elsewhere). To access the color override you need to specific the index (starting at 0). Here’s the current array of colors: Color.Blue, Color.Red, Color.Green, Color.Yellow, Color.Purple, Color.Black, Color.White, Color.Brown, Color.LightBlue, Color.Orange, Color.Beige, Color.MediumTurquoise
- Chapters Help. I find it useful to see which chapter I’ve slotted a particular event so added a short cut for that too. By appending ;1, for example, it will add that it is in Chapter 1 by writing (1) at the end of the autonumbered icon. So *7;11 means that the climatic event for this character occurs in Chapter 11 and an appropriate icon will be generated to represent that.
- Row Filter History. The most recent 5 Row Filters entered will now be stored for easy swapping between characters/plotlines
The following image shows an example of a plot timeline in action:
Really Advanced – For Developers only
The timeline code support generic calendars. That is, it is possible for a developer to create an AddIn that would allow users to build custom calendars, say for a fantasy world of their own devising or other purposes. The Plot Calendar that is included is an example of this. (And yes, this is on my to-do list, but if somebody else wants to tackle it, go ahead!)
[…] I am almost finished writing up initial pages for the core notes available in the YourOtherMind writing environment. This latest note entry is about Timelines. […]