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Header / Frontmatter

The header of a timeline indicates things about the timeline like visual preferences and metadata. It is the first part of a timeline; that is, anything before the first event is considered the header.

The header is parsed as yaml, similar to frontmatter in some markdown parsers. Also similarly to frontmatter, you may (but are not required to) sandwich the header between three dashes (---).

title: Timeline

- entry

Dec 29 2029: Some date

is parsed the same as

title: Timeline
  - entry

Dec 29 2029: Some date

Custom visualizations may prescribe special header values they might look for when parsing your markwhen document.

Some typical header items are as follows:


Indicate the title of the page by adding a title attribute to your header:

title: Party Planning

This will also show up as the title of the browser tab.


If the title isn't descriptive enough, or you want to add more context, add a description to the timeline:

description: These are the main events for the party, try to stick to the plan!!


Limit access to your timeline by adding a view: entry:

Wildcards are also supported:

// Anyone can view
  - \*

Lack of a view or edit entry in the header indicates that the document is private.

See access control.


Allow others to edit your shared document with an edit field in the header:

Wildcards are also supported:

// Anyone can edit
  - \*

Lack of an edit entry indicates that no one besides the owner can edit it.


You can indicate the color you want certain tagged events to appear like so:

#Travel: blue
#Education: green
#Economics: #abc // hex color

Hex colors are supported (e.g., #a13bbb).

So, if you have an event like the following

2012-2013: Germany and Italy #Travel

it will be colored as blue in the timeline view.


Documentation for advanced tag configurations, including timezones and reminders, can be found here.

Date formatting

Non-ISO8601 dates default to American formatting (Month/Day/Year). This can be changed to d/M/y formatting by adding the following line in the header area (before any event):

dateFormat: d/M/y

This is a hardcoded line, any other format attempt will not work. See all supported date formats.


You can import other shared markwhen into your own for viewing purposes, simply by adding it to an import list in the header:

  - blake/info-timeline
  - priya/q3-q4

Events from imported timelines will be merged into visualizations.

Header Quick Reference

Coloring tags#[tag name]: <color>#Movies: aquamarine
Date format. Change the formatting to European style.dateFormat: d/M/ydateFormat: d/M/y
Title of the pagetitle: <title>title: My timeline
Description of the pagedescription: <description>description: If anything looks off here, lmk!
Viewersview: <viewer emails>view: [email protected]
Editorsedit: <editor emails>edit: [email protected]
Timezonestimezone: <timezone>timezone: +5 or timezone: America/New_York