Customizing templates for historical research

I am working on a historical project concerning Charles Darwin’s concept of ‘living fossils’ in the 19th Century. As a new user of ATL 3, I see a need to create additional Entities and be able to visualize timelines for complex subsets of Events (e.g., People, Organisms, Terms, Concepts, etc.). Some of this can be accomplished in the Historic Timeline template by filtering the timeline, spreadsheet or relationship views, but these are limited and will need to be saved as a set of compound filters. Another alternative, hierarchical grouping, seems to allow only a single parent for each item, though my needs would sometimes specify more than one poossible parent. Story Arc entities in the Fiction Timeline templates look like a viable means to isolate subsets of events and other items that are relevant to particular questions (but not the overall history). So a couple of questions for those more experienced than me:

  1. Can a single event or other item be part of multiple Story Arcs? If yes, I’d want to retain Story Arcs in customizing the Novel template for historical analyses.

  2. Can one remove (delete) event items like Flashback, Flash-forward events?

  3. Can one rename an item like ‘Character’ to ‘Person’?

Your thoughts are appreciated, and I’d also welcome the possibility of offline chats with historians confronting similar issues.


The templates in Aeon Timeline are customisable, so you are able to add/rename data types that you need.

This can be done in Advanced Settings (open Settings via the Cog icon on the toolbar, then Data Types, then Edit). (Advanced Settings - Aeon Timeline 3 Knowledge Base)

In answer to your questions:

  1. In the Novel template, events can belong to multiple Story Arcs. You can set up a similar item type to Story Arc in the Fiction template using the Advanced Settings mentioned above
  2. If you don’t wish to use Flashback, Flash-forward event items, then you can remove them from your template in Settings/Data Types. Under event types, you can untick Flashback and Flash-forward to remove them.
  3. Yes you can rename Character to Person. This is again done in Advanced Settings.

Let us know if you have anymore questions.