Charting horizonal timelines of historic people

New Contributor

Hi All,

My excel is not  up to this and I would be very grateful for any help or suggestions.


I have a table of containing birth  and death dates of historical figures. E.g.

IsaacNewton4 January 164331 March 1727
WilliamGilbert24 May 154430 November 1603
GalileoGalilei15 February 15648 January 1642


Because dates cannot be before 1900, I've extracted years and calculate a death age

IsaacNewton4 January 164331 March 17271643172784
WilliamGilbert24 May 154430 November 16031544160359
GalileoGalilei15 February 15648 January 16421564164278


But now I want to plot such data on something like a horizontal bar chart (stacked?). With the x-axis being the year (say 1500 to, eventually about 1800). Each person should have their own line, starting at the year of their birth, ending year of their death.   Something like a Gantt chart,  each line being a person.


Any help, in simple terms, very gratefully received.




2 Replies
best response confirmed by BryTack (New Contributor)

@BryTack You'd have to play around a bit with separate series in a stacked bar chart. Perhaps something like in the attached file.

Screenshot 2023-01-05 at 09.24.27.png

Hi Riny, first, a very big thank you for your reply. For me the 'big step' you introduced was having a baseline figure (1500) and then relative values against that - as opposed to the absolute values I was using. Yes, can see a way forward now. Again thank you.

If this does not sound ungrateful, and if site administrators allow, for those the find this post in the future and doing similar things, likely to abandon this approach in favour of a piece of software called Aeon Timeline. Still evaluating but seems to have every I need and lots more.