Tag Archives: google

Create a Timeline in Google Sheets

Original article is at https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-create-timeline-google-sheets/

Visualize planned projects or historical events in a timeline created from a range of cells in Google Sheets on the web.

[NOTE: This is done in a web browser
on a desktop or laptop – NOT the ipad]

Creating a timeline from Google Sheets

In November 2022, Google Sheets added a timeline view, which lets you select a set of cells that contain text and dates and create a new spreadsheet tab that displays those items in a horizontal timeline where each event row displays as a discrete item in the timeline. This type of timeline may be most useful to visualize future events, such as project plans or forecasts. It also may aid understanding of past events, such as for after-action analysis or historical studies.

To create or display timelines, you’ll need to use Google Sheets on the web with a desktop browser, such as Chrome.

1. Enter events, dates and durations

First, you’ll need to enter at least two pieces of data for each event you want to display in your timeline: An event name and a date. The event name should be a word — or a few words — that encapsulates the essence of the timeline event. The date simply needs to be any standard-format year, month and day.

In many cases, you’ll also want to specify either an end date or duration of the event. This additional component of information allows the system to show not only single-day events, but also multi-day, multi-month or even multi-year events.

The example spreadsheet in Figure A shows a sample software selection process, with columns that indicate an activity (column A) along with separate cells that specify a start date (column B) and end date (column C) of each phase.

Figure A

Enter events and dates, then select Insert > Timeline in Google Sheets on the web to create a timeline.
Enter events and dates, then select Insert > Timeline in Google Sheets on the web to create a timeline.

2. Create a timeline

From within the spreadsheet with your entered events and dates, select Insert > Timeline. This brings up a prompt that allows you to enter the spreadsheet range for your timeline data. The example indicates that the timeline will use data in Sheet1 cells from A2 to C13, or Sheet1!A2:C13 (Figure A).

Enter the range for your timeline events and dates, then select OK. The system will create and insert a new timeline sheet, as shown in the lower-left of Figure A, between Sheet 1 and Sheet 2.

3. Modify scale

The default display of a newly-created timeline may not necessarily place all events in view. You might select one of the longer-duration options from the timescale drop-down menu (e.g., days, weeks, months, quarters, years or multiyear) to adjust the view as desired. In Figure B, I selected Quarters, for example.

Figure B

Adjust the time scale for your timeline in Google Sheets as desired.
Adjust the time scale for your timeline in Google Sheets as desired.

4. Optional: Group items

The timeline also supports the ability to group activities with the addition of another column of data. For example, you might add a column to indicate a person or team responsible for the event demarcated on each row. In Figure C, for example, column A contains the various groups responsible for each step: IT Leadership, All affected groups, Selection team, etc.

Figure C

You may enter an additional column of data in Google Sheets by which to group events.
You may enter an additional column of data in Google Sheets by which to group events.

To adjust the display so items are grouped by these general categories, select Settings (between the 100% indicator and the Support options), and then, choose the corresponding column for the Card group dropdown. Figure D, for example, shows the timeline events grouped by Column A content.

Figure D

Timeline events are shown here grouped by data in Column A of Google Sheets.
Timeline events are shown here grouped by data in Column A of Google Sheets.

5. Optional: Customize colors

You may modify event colors in two different ways.

First, within the spreadsheet, choose one or more cells, then select the pouring paint bucket icon, and pick a fill color. For example, cells in column A in Figure C are set to different colors to indicate different groups (eg., blue for IT Leadership and green for All affected people).

Alternatively, from the timeline display, you may select an event, which then displays the Card details to the right of the spreadsheet (Figure E). From this side panel, you may select and then change the card color as desired. The side panel also offers an Edit data button, in the lower right, which when selected, returns you to the sheet that contains the source data for the timeline.

Figure E

To adjust an event box color in Google Sheets, either change the fill color for the event cell or select the displayed timeline event and modify the card color from the side panel.
To adjust an event box color in Google Sheets, either change the fill color for the event cell or select the displayed timeline event and modify the card color from the side panel.

There is more the Search than Bing & Google – getting better results when searching

The original article is at https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-expand-search-sources/

By exploring lesser known search engines such as WolframAlpha, Mojeek and Gigablast, you will get a wider range of results, customization and privacy options

There are a TON of search engines out there that might be MORE useful as you search!
Some are DEFINITELY more privacy focused as well.

For searches with a single specific and factual answer, your choice between Google, Bing or another search provider may not matter. For example, both search engines provide rapid and accurate results when you want to know what year the IBM PC was first manufactured (1981) or which team won the Men’s 2022 FIFA World Cup (Argentina).

However, when your intent is to glean information from a wide range of sources, it makes sense to query different search engines. For example, searching both Google and Bing for “edge computing best practices” or “use vi and tmux” provides slightly different sets of linked pages to review.

The search alternatives covered below include not only truly independent search sources but also secondary search services. These secondary search services often depend on Bing or Google results that the service then filters and sorts differently than the source search indexes.

Jump to:

Explore independent search services

Beyond Google and Bing, the most significant independent English-language search engine is Mojeek, shown in Figure B, left. An October 2022 blog post claimed that Mojeek has more than 6 billion pages indexed. As a privacy-respecting service, Mojeek also chooses not to track you.

Another truly independent search engine is Gigablast, shown in Figure B, right, which also serves as the source index for searches conducted at Private.sh. However, the two sites prioritize and present results differently, with Gigablast grouping results from notable sources and Private.sh providing a conventional list of links.

Figure B

While most search services rely on indexes and data from sources such as Google or Bing, independent search indexes do exist. Mojeek, on the left, has indexed more than 6 billion pages. Gigablast, on the right, also maintains its own independent index.

Seek a secondary search provider

Most search services rely on Bing or Google as a source for some — if not all — of their results. DuckDuckGo (Figure C, left), for example, partners with Microsoft for results from Bing, while Startpage (Figure C, right) syndicates results from Google.

Figure C

Many search providers rely on results from Bing and Google. DuckDuckGo, for example, partners with Microsoft Bing, while Startpage relies on Google.

What distinguishes DuckDuckGo and Startpage from their search data sources, however, are their respective privacy policies: Both promise greater privacy and less tracking than Google or Bing.

Qwant and Yahoo similarly source results from Bing, while Brave Search mixes in results from both Bing and Google. At least a couple start-up search engines, such as Kagi and Neeva, offer both free and paid plans that let you prioritize, filter and customize results.

Unlike the secondary search services listed above, which are all for-profit entities, MetaGer.org, shown in Figure D, is operated by a non-profit organization based in Germany. Like other secondary search services, it draws results from other sources, including Bing, Yahoo, Scopia and Infotiger. Not only may you switch any of these four sources on or off, MetaGer also lets you choose to exclude specific domains or subdomains from results.

Figure D

MetaGer.org, run by a nonprofit organization, relies on Bing, Yahoo, Scopia and Infotiger search sources. You may toggle any of these sources on or off.

Directly search a relevant site

Some answers may best be obtained directly from a relevant source. Answers historically found in an encyclopedia or an atlas, for example, might be resolved with a search of Wikipedia.org or OpenStreetMap.org. Most major search and mapping services rely on these sources.

While once commonly questioned, the general reliability of Wikipedia as a source, in particular, has been thoroughly considered and addressed. Similarly, questions you might ask a knowledgeable colleague may be answered with a query of Stack Exchange, Stack Overflow, Quora or Wikihow. Answers from these sites may need to be evaluated with appropriate caution and consideration.

WolframAlpha (Figure E) provides an interesting example of a specialized research engine. The system relies on a set of sources selected for accuracy. For example, if you ask the system to give you the human population on Mars, it returns the number zero, as you would expect. WolframAlpha excels at mathematics and science calculations and questions, along with answers that may be derived from established history and facts. Both free and paid editions of WolframAlpha are available.

Figure E 

As a specialized research engine, WolframAlpha delivers answers drawn from a highly curated set of sources to help ensure accuracy of results.