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Creating the Basic Timeline

Visio 2002 opens with its only Task Pane, which exposes one of Visio's most wonderful features—its incredible array of templates (see Figure 1).

Figure 1Figure 1 The Visio task pane offers a remarkable array of templates for different types of diagrams.

Select Project Schedule for the project type and a U.S. units timeline for the template, and open a new blank diagram (see Figure 2).

Figure 2Figure 2 When a diagram opens, it's accompanied by stencils that let you add the appropriate components.

On the left are three panels of stencils—palettes of objects that we'll use to populate the diagram. Notice that the open stencil is filled with timeline shapes. The other two stencils are for backgrounds, and borders and titles; they're used with most other diagrams and will open with almost any template you select.

In the Timelines stencil, let's begin with our basic timeline shape, which will represent the entire span of time for our project. Simply grab the cylindrical timeline shape and drop it on the blank diagram. The Configure Timeline dialog box opens, in which you can enter exactly how long you anticipate that the entire project will take (see Figure 3). Enter the information and click OK to close the dialog box.


By default, monthly increments of time are entered into the timeline. If you use the drop-down list to change the increments to weeks, you get a more detailed timeline.

Figure 3Figure 3 After you drop a timeline element from the stencil, you can set its duration in a dialog box.

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