How to Create an Interactive HTML Timeline

By Steve Sweeney-Turner

Making an HTML time line interactive takes little time.
i paddington clock face image by Karen Hadley from

A time line is a useful way to display a list of events on a web page, and an interactive time line gives users some control over viewing content. While many ways exist to create an interactive time line, most require more than just hypertext markup language (HTML). However, there is one very simple HTML solution. You can easily create interactive scrollbars for your time line by using HTML's "style" attribute. By doing this, your time line's users will be able to scroll through its contents as they like.

Create your HTML file. Open a new document in a text editor software program and create a basic HTML page. Add this code within the HTML "body" section:

The division element ("div") is a container for your time line's list of events. The "overflow" value of "auto" adds an interactive scrollbar when your time line gets wider or higher than this container. Save the page as "timeline.html".

Create your own time line content. In the space between the opening and closing "div" tags, add your time line's events in ascending or descending order. Add each event within its own section of well-formed HTML. Keep saving the page as you work.

Test your HTML code. Open your computer's web browser and load "timeline.html." If its content is bigger than the "div" container, you will see an interactive scrollbar. Adjust the "width" and "height" values of the container to suit your vertical or horizontal layout.