August 13, 2009 | 7 min 4 sec

I am going to take you through a basic tour of Timeline 3D. I'm going to talk about different graphs and how a timeline chart works in comparison. Then I am going to walk you through how to create your own timeline chart.



BEEDOCS 101 : Intro to Timeline 3

Hi I’m Elise, and today I’m going to take you through a basic tour of Bee Docs Timeline 3D. Before I jump in, I am going to talk a little bit about different graphs and how a timeline chart works in comparison. Then, I am going to walk you through how to create your own timeline chart.

Everything I am going to demonstrate in this video can be accomplished using our free Timeline 3D demo, which is available on our website.

You probably use use graphs all the time in order to simplify complex information. For example, here is a set of numbers that represent the largest stock market crash in history on Black Monday in 1987.

I know that for me, it can be hard to understand what is going on here until I see it in a graph. Here is one I created using Microsoft Excel.

Here is another set of numbers, representing the growth of ethnic diversity in North America.

Here is the same information displayed in a pie chart I created with Apple’s Keynote software.

Now, this is a list I found on wikipedia that shows some of the greatest inventions since Sliced Bread.

With the timeline, you get a sense of the story, and you can begin to draw connections and comparisons between the different events.

Now, I am going to show you how I created this timeline using Bee Docs Timeline 3D. I’m going to start from the very beginning.

First, I downloaded Bee Docs Timeline 3D from our website, Bee Docs Timeline 3D requires Mac OS X Leopard. If you bought your Mac within the last two years you are probably running Leopard.But if you’re not, you can go to your local Apple Store where they can help you get up to date.

After I have installed the software, I am going to open up Bee Docs Timeline 3D and select a Look for my timeline. The Looks are color combinations that will serve as the background for your timeline. I can always change my look later if I want to, but for now I am going to select Earthy.

Bee Docs Timeline 3D supports many different date formats, including BC and international dates. You can also select a time for your event, even down to the second the event occurred.

The events in this particular timeline will only show the year the item was invented. So, I am going to select the Dates tab in the Settings panel and choose a date format that only displays the year.

Now I am going to add the first historical event by going to the top of the chart screen and clicking the add button. You can also add events by using the keyboard command Command-E.

When you add an event, the light blue Edit window will pop up. This is where you can add information for each event. Every event needs to have at least a label and a start date. You can add an end date if that is necessary, but you don’t have to.

Now, I’m going to add a couple more events to my timeline now.

I can also drag an image into the image field. You can click the Photos button in the toolbar if you want to pull photos in from your iPhoto library. You can also drag images in from any Mac application such as Safari.

To add notes to an event, I am going to click on an event, and put my notes in the notes field of the event box.

In order to keep my timeline uncluttered, I am not adding images and notes for every event. Instead, there are images and notes only where I think they are really, really necessary.

Now I am going to talk a little bit about how you can customize the display of your timeline to add interest and clarity.

Sometimes, in complicated timelines it is very helpful to color code related events. I am going to choose a unique color for the events in each decade, so that I can connect them visually. First I will select a group of events by dragging a box around them or using shift-click. Then I will choose the “Visual Design” tab in the Settings panel and click the color field labeled Event Text. Now I can pick a new color for the selected events.

I’ll adjust the image and font sizes so that my events fit together nicely. This will keep my timeline concise.

Once my timeline is finished, I can look at it in 3D by clicking the 3D button above my timeline chart.

To navigate in 3D mode, I press the spacebar to get perspective and use the right and left arrow keys to move through my timeline.

The 3D feature allows you and the viewer to zoom in on a specific event without losing sight of the surrounding events, helping to keep the larger connections present while focusing on the details of the timeline.

Now you have everything you need to create your first timeline. If you need more information, you can visit our online help and our movies page at, or you can send any questions to I really like to share customers’ timelines on our blog and on my twitter feed, so if you create a timeline you’d like to share, send it my way!