Temporis 1.0.1, by Bartas
Posted: 11-Jun-2007

2 1/2 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: Bartas Type: SHAREWARE

Reviewer: Scott Bender Class: PRODUCTIVITY
     
$24   Download

Overview
Temporis, by Bartas Technologies is an application that aids the user in creating stylish timelines, and exporting them (via pdf or tiff) to other applications. Temporis is not, however, a project scheduler (such as MS Project). Rather, it is a handy utility for creating timelines to add into a presentation or written document. In the past, Iíve relied on graphic applications to create timelines when needed. Temporis employs a drag-and-drop method that makes layout and scaling easier.

Cost

$24


Requirements

  • Mac OS X 10.4 or later


Installation
Temporis may be downloaded as a 2.5 MB disk image from the
Bartas website. Installation is extremely easy. Download the file, open the disk image, and drag the Temporis icon to your hard drive.

In Use
I originally downloaded and began working with version 1.0. In mid-January, v1.0.1, was released, which is the version I used for this review.

There is one main interface window for Temporis.


Temporis Main Interface


The basic Mac toolbar at the top of the interface has a Timeline Editor, Timeline Properties Panel, a Search Field, and Zooming controls. Also, there is a floating Event Inspector for adding details to events.

Creating my first timeline, the first thing I needed to figure out was the scale I wanted for my timeline - anywhere from seconds to millenia. For my Apple timeline, I decided that years would suffice. Next, I added a starting reference date, and time. The last item for my setup was the span. To bring the timeline to the present, I set the span at 32 years. Events may only be stored to the accuracy of the Timescale. Per Bartas, "In order to specify events with a resolution of days, the scale of the timeline must be measured in 'Days' or smaller". Even though I had events happening in 1976, for instance, I would have liked to be able to display the exact date.

From here, to add an event, I only needed to Command-drag in the main window. I could edit the title immediately in the box that appeared.


Adding a New Event


Adding information and changing the appearance is done via the Event Inspector pop-up palette. With the Inspector, I can change the date of the event, the span of the event, font, font color, alignment, and even the color of the descender (if a descender is desired). I could not, however, change the font characteristics for additional lines of text. I would have liked to add a sentence under the Event Title.

Once I entered a half-dozen or so events, I clicked the "Arrange" button to automatically arrange all entered events on the timeline.
The arrangement positions all events on the timeline in a left-to-right, top-to-bottom layout. This was fine when I had only 6 events, but after entering more than 20 events, the timeline was much taller than wide. I could not zoom out enough to show the entire timeline in the interface window.


Temporis Timeline Arrangement



I was able to drag events to different positions on the line. If dragged horizontally, the date information for an event will change in relation to the new position. Events may also be repositioned vertically. I found that if I relocated an event more than a few times, I was unable to drag an event again.

After some manual manipulation, I was able to reposition the events to a somewhat more desirable layout. At spots where text overlapped the descender, the descender ran directly through the text. An option to have the descender break so that it does not line through the text would have been nice. If broken descenders are desired, the timeline may be exported (File/Export) as a tiff file, and the lines edited with a paint application.


Timeline descenders


For the most part, Temporis sports a nice Mac savvy interface, but it does have some interface issues. Files always open at the default magnification, as opposed to remember the magnification I last used or that the file was saved with. Likewise, saving a file did not save the print settings. The Apple history timeline I created was set up for landscape printing, but opening it again, it reverted back to portrait.


Opening a file defaults to portrait


Summary
Temporis is a productivity tool designed to create stylish timelines and export them via PDF or TIFF for use by other applications. The timelines can then be incorporated into other documents, or presented in slide presentations. The Temporis interface is easy to use, allowing you to drag and drop events. It also lets you drag events around to easily alter the layout and scaling. Although I was able to easily enter and create a timeline, the inability to store dates to a higher precision than the timeline scale was limiting. I would like to see more "Arrange" options, event sub-text, and saved print options. There is potential for this kind of utility, but there are a number of interface quirks and missing features to leave me feeling lukewarm about the product. You can try Temporis for free, so you can decide for yourself whether you can use it as-is, or whether you would prefer to wait for the next release.

Pros

  • Simple Mac-savvy interface
  • Easy to enter and revise data
  • Easy to change appearance of events, text, background

Cons

  • Some bugs
  • No support for event sub-text
  • Timescale limits date entry for events
  • Does not save print settings


Overall Rating

2 1/2 out of 5 Mice