TikiToki Desktop

Frequently asked questions

Everything you need to know about making interactive timelines using TikiToki Desktop.

General

What is TikiToki Desktop?

TikiToki Desktop is a Mac OSX app that makes it dead easy for people to create interactive multimedia timelines on their computer. Images, text and even videos (YouTube, Vimeo and local movie files) can be embedded in TikiToki Desktop timelines. You can also use Tiki-Toki to create 3d timelines.

The .tki timeline files created using TikiToki Desktop can be shared with family, friends and business contacts. We provide a free viewer app to allow people to view timelines created using TikiToki Desktop.

You can download the free viewer, a demo version of TikiToki Desktop and the full version here.

Please note that TikiToki Desktop cannot be used to create web-based timelines. For web-based timelines, check out our web app: www.tiki-toki.com.

Who can use TikiToki Desktop?

The short answer is anyone. Whether you are a lawyer wanting a new way to present evidence for a court case, a teacher keen to explore the life of a historical figure with your pupils, or you are simply looking to keep an interactive diary of your life, or create a multimedia presentation for your business colleagues, TikiToki Desktop should be the perfect tool for you.

Age-wise, we would recommend that younger children (<10) are supervised when using TikiToki Desktop.

Can I try out TikiToki Deskop before purchasing?

Yes, we provide a free demo version that you can download. This is the same as the full app but with saving disabled. You can download the demo version here.

Do other people need the full version to view my timelines?

No. We provide a free viewer app that allows others to view timelines created using TikiToki Desktop. You can download the free viewer here.

To share your timelines with others, simply send them the .tki timeline file created by TikiToki Desktop. They can then open the file once they have downloaded and installed the free viewer.

Does TikiToki Desktop work on Windows PCs?

Unfortunately, not. At present, TikiToki Desktop only works on Mac OSX 10.6.6 and above. We are planning on developing a PC version of the software but can't as yet say when this will be ready.

Will TikiToki Desktop work on my version of Mac OSX?

TikiToki Desktop requires Mac OSX 10.6.6 and above. We are not currently planning to support earlier versions of Mac OSX.

Can TikiToki Desktop be used to create web-based timelines?

No. TikiToki Desktop is a desktop app for creating timelines on your local computer. It cannot be used to create web-based timelines. For web-based timelines, check out our web app: www.tiki-toki.com.

Downloading/purchasing

How do I purchase the full version of TikiToki Desktop?

TikiToki Desktop is available in the Mac App store. You can find the link to the app here.

Where can I download a demo?

You can download the demo app (which is the same as the full app but with saving disabled) here.

Where can I download the free viewer app?

You can download the free viewer app (which can be used to view .tki timeline files created by TikiToki Desktop) here.

Creating a Timeline

How do I create my first timeline?

Assuming you have TikiToki Desktop installed on your computer, you will need to do the following:

  • 1Launch TikiToki Desktop by double clicking the app's icon in the applications folder or in the dock.

  • 2Once TikiToki Desktop has launched, select "New" from the "File" menu (or Command N for keyboard shortcut).

  • 3You will now be presented with a default timeline. There will be a gray admin panel at the top right of the timeline with the Settings tab selected. The Settings tab contains the default settings for the timeline. You will probably want to change these.

  • 4Firstly, enter a title for your timeline in the "Title" field in the Settings tab. Keep the title relatively short.

  • 5Next, you will likely want to change the start and end dates of your timeline. You can change these by typing a date in the start and end date fields, or by using the date selector that appears when you click on the icon to the right of the start and end date fields.

  • 6You may also want to change some of the other settings; change the color scheme, choose a background image, enter a description, adjust the zoom, or choose a different view or spacing option.

  • 7Once you have made the changes you want, click on the "Update" button at the bottom of the gray admin panel. This will update the timeline to reflect your changes. This does NOT however save your timeline. To save your timeline, click on the "Save to file" (or Command S) button at the bottom left of your timeline. You will be prompted for a file name and your timeline will be saved. It is very important that you use the "Save to file" option before closing your timeline otherwise you may lose your changes.

  • 8Now that you have created and saved your timeline, you will want to start adding content to it. This is done via the "Stories" tab - see the "Creating a story" section below.

How do I edit my timelines?

You should be able to simply double-click on your .tki timeline file and TikiToki Desktop will open up the timeline ready for editing. Alternatively, you can launch TikiToki Desktop and use the "Open" option from the "File" menu to choose your .tki timeline file. Remember to click on the "Save to file" button (at the bottom left of your timeline) when you have finished making updates.

How do I change the span of my timeline?

You can change the start and end dates for your timeline from the 'Settings' tab in the gray admin panel at the top right of the screen. Remember to click the 'Update' button and then the "Save to file" button (at the bottom left of your timeline) when you are finished.

How do I zoom in and out of my timeline?

Go to the 'Settings' tab for your timeline. You can find this in the gray admin panel at the top right of the screen. Towards the bottom of the 'Settings tab' is the zoom setting. Click on a zoom setting to zoom in and out of the timeline.

Zooming is particularly useful if your stories (events) are clustered close together. An alternative to zooming is the 'Spacing' option which can be used to force equal spacing between stories (regardless of their date) and thus prevent overlapping and clustering.

How do I choose a background image for my timeline?

Click on the 'Settings' tab for your timeline. Here, you are given the option of selecting a background image for your timeline. Find the background image field, and click on the magnifying glass icon to the right. Next, choose to load an image from your computer, use a Flickr image or enter a url for an image on the web.

I can't find a background image that works well. Any advice?

It can be quite tricky to find an image that works well with the timeline. You should avoid images which are very busy or have a lot of contrast (very dark and very light areas). An alternative to using an image is to simply set the background of your timeline to a particular color - this can be done in the 'Settings' tab for your timeline or when creating the timeline. Click on the coloured block for the BG Color field and choose the color you want to use.

Creating a Story

How do I create my first story?

Once you have created your first timeline (see here for instructions on creating a timeline), you will probably want to create your first story.

  • 1Firstly, make sure you have the "Stories" tab selected in the gray admin panel at the top right of the screen. Now click on the 'Create new story' button at the bottom. The new story form and a story on your timeline should then appear.

  • 2Enter all the required information into the form. The date field is initially set to timeline's currently-selected date - you will probably want to change this. The title and date fields are mandatory. The rest are optional. To put your timeline into a category, you will firstly need to have created some 'Categories' - you can do this from the 'Categories' tab.

  • 3Once you have finished entering information for your story, click the 'Update' button to update the timeline. Note that this does NOT save your timeline to file. To save your timeline, click on the "Save to file" (or Command S) button at the bottom left of your timeline

  • 4You may now want to add images, audio or videos to your story. See below for instructions on how to do that.

  • 5If you would like to create another story, make sure you click the 'Create new story' button again, else you may end up inadvertently editing an existing story.

How do I edit my stories?

When you create stories for your timeline, they appear in a list in the 'Stories' tab for your timeline. Simply click the 'Edit' button for the story you want to edit (or click on the "edit" button that appears when you hover over a story), and update the details in the form. Click the 'Update' button when finished, and use the "Save to file" button to save your changes to disk.

How do I add an image to my stories?

  • 1Initially, select the story to which you want to add images. You do this by clicking on the 'edit' button for the story in the list of stories (under the 'Stories' tab for your timeline) or by clicking on the "edit" button that appears where you hover over a story bubble.

  • 2Now open the 'Story media' tab and click on the 'Add new media' button. A form will now appear.

  • 3Fill in the form with the relevant details. Make sure the type menu is set to 'Image'. In the source field, you can either enter the url to an image (for instance if you have the image saved on your own web server) or click on the magnifying glass to open up other options. The index field is used to determine the order in which images appear for a story. If you want the image to be the story's main image, set it to the lowest value.

  • 4Once you have filled in the form, click the 'Update' button and the image will be added to your story. Make sure you use the "Save to file" button to save your changes to disk.

How do I add a video to my stories?

  • 1Initially, select the story to which you want to add videos. You do this by clicking on the 'edit' button for the story in the list of stories (under the 'Stories' tab for your timeline).

  • 2Now open the 'Story media' tab and click on the 'Add new media' button. A form will now appear.

  • 3Make sure the 'type' menu in the form is set to 'Video'. The index field is used to determine the order in which videos appear for a story. If you want the video to be the story's main video, set it to the lowest value.

  • 4Next click on the magnifying icon to the right of the source field. In the panel, choose either to enter the url of a video on the web or select a movie file from your computer's hard drive.

  • 5For Vimeo and YouTube videos, you should choose the "Enter video/audio url" option. Now find find the video on either Youtube or Vimeo and then paste the url of that page into the source field in the form. The url for a youtube video will look like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xdKW75J49s - a Vimeo one will look like: http://vimeo.com/18008261.

  • 6Next close the video selection panel, and then click on the 'Update' button and the video will be added to your story. Make sure you use the "Save to file" button to save your changes to disk.

How do I add audio to my stories?

  • 1Initially, select the story to which you want to add audio. You do this by clicking on the 'edit' button for the story in the list of stories (under the 'Stories' tab for your timeline).

  • 2Now open the 'Story media' tab and click on the 'Add new media' button. A form will now appear.

  • 3Make sure the 'type' menu in the form is set to 'Audio'. The index field is used to determine the order in which your audio appears for a story. If you want the audio to be the story's main audio, set it to the lowest value.

  • 4Next click on the magnifying icon to the right of the source field. In the panel, choose either to enter the url of audio on the web or select an audio file from your computer's hard drive.

  • 5Next close the audio selection panel, and then click on the 'Update' button and the audio will be added to your story. Make sure you use the "Save to file" button to save your changes to disk.

How do I add categories for my stories?

You create categories in the 'Categories tab' for your timeline. Simply enter a name and choose a colour to create a category. You can then set a story's category by following the 'How do I edit my stories?' instructions above.

I can't seem to add new stories to my timeline. Please help.

You need to click the 'Create new story' button each time you want to make a new story. Otherwise, you may end up endlessly editing the same story.

How many stories can I have on a timeline?

There is no fixed limit on the number of stories you can have on a timeline. But we don't recommend more than around 500. With lots of stories, the timeline might become sluggish and take a long time to save.

Images

Recommended image sizes?

There is no fixed size specified for a story image but generally squarish images of around 280 x 280px (at 72dpi) work best. The software auto crops images to display the images in their various contexts. The size at which these images are displayed depends on a variety of factors, including the dimensions of the timeline, the closeness of timeline stories, etc. You can see how images appear - and adjust how they appear - in the different contexts by clicking on the Magnifying glass icon to the right of the source field for an image, and then clicking on image positioning.

For the background, you will will likely need a larger image. The best size of this image will depend on what size you aim to display the timeline. We have found that a 1,200px by 800px image works well.

The heads of people are cropped off. What can I do?

Our software automatically crops images to fit a number of set dimensions. You cannot turn off cropping. However, you can reposition the image - click on the Magnifying glass to the right of the image source field, then click on the "Image positioning" button at the bottom. Here, you will see the image in its different contexts. Drag the image in the middle to the position you would like. Bear in mind that our software displays images as big as possible within the set dimensions, so a landscape image will only be positionable horizontally and a portrait image only vertically. Once you have positioned the image, close the lightboxes and click the 'update' button for the image.

How many images can I have on a timeline?

There is no fixed limit on the number of images you can have on a timeline. But we don't recommend you use more than 200 or so from your local computer. The reason for this is that local images are saved in the .tki timeline file. Lots of images will make the .tki file very large. The timeline might also become sluggish and take a long time to save.

If you need lots of images, you may want to try uploading them to an online image hosting service and link to them using TikiToki Desktop's image url functionality. That way, only the link to the image is saved in the .tki timeline file, not the actual image.

PDF output

How do I generate a PDF of my timeline?

Choose the "Print" option from the "File" menu or hold down the Command and "p" button. Then, in the print panel, click on the "PDF" option and choose "Save as PDF".

3D Timeline View

How do I activate the 3d timeline view?

To activate the 3d timeline view, you need to open the 3d Settings panel. This can be accessed via the Settings tab for your timeline. In the 3d Settings panel, you should change the Status to "Enabled" or "Default". A button will then appear at the bottom left of the screen allowing you to switch between 2d and 3d views of your timeline. The "Default" option will display the timeline in 3d by default when it is opened.

How can I speed up the 3d view?

The 3d timeline view can be quite demanding on your computer. If you find your 3d timeline is running slowly, there are few things you can do.

  • 1Zoom out (via the 3d settings panel) so you are displaying less stories on the screen at the same time.

  • 2Reduce the size of your timeline window. The smaller the timeline size, the faster it renders.

Date Formatting

How do I format dates on the timeline?

TikiToki Desktop provides lots of customisation options for dates - see the Advanced Settings panel (accessible from the Settings tab for your timeline).

How do I just show the year for stories?

You can do this using the date formatting options in the Advanced Settings panel (accessible from the Settings tab for your timeline).

Timeline Layout

How can I avoid clutter on my timeline?

When you have a lot of stories on a timeline, the timeline often becomes quite cluttered, with stories overlapping each other. This is especially the case with a timeline covering a wide span of time but which has a high concentration of events in a small space of time. Here, we outline several methods of preventing clutter in your timeline.

  • 1You can zoom out of the timeline using the Zoom functionality (see Settings->zoom), creating more space between stories.

  • 2You can use our Equal Spacing modes (see Settings->spacing) to space out your stories equally, regardless of when they took place in time.

  • 3You can use our Top to Bottom spacing modes (see Settings->spacing). These arrange stories in rows, from top to bottom, and allow more stories to fit in the timeline stage without overlapping.

  • 4You may also want to check out our Duration and Category Band timeline view types (see Settings->View types). These use smaller story markers and therefore help prevent story overlap.

  • 5Our 3d view is also good at displaying lots of events. You can activate this from the 3D Settings panel (accessible from the Settings tab).

Search and filtering

How do I activate search and category filtering for my timeline?

Search and category filtering for your timeline are available via the timeline contols, which can be opened by clicking on the spanner icon at the bottom right of your timeline. You will need to activate the timeline controls before the icon appears. You can do this by following the below instructions.

  • 1Open the Settings tab for your timeline in the grey admin panel, and click the Advanced Settings button.

  • 2In the Advanced Settings panel, set the 'Timeline controls' option to enabled.

  • 3An icon will now appear at the bottom right of your timeline. You may need to minimise the admin panel to reveal it.

  • 4Click on the icon and you can now choose between a number of different options, including search and category filtering.

Sharing

How do I share my timeline with others?

Timelines created using TikiToki Desktop are saved as .tki files. You can send these files to your family, friends or colleagues, and they can then open them using our free viewer app. The free viewer app can be downloaded here.

Why aren't videos and audio appearing in shared timelines?

To prevent .tki timelines files from becoming too large, TikiToki Desktop does not include audio or video content in the save file. Only the link to the audio and video is included. As the audio and video are on your local computer, when someone views the timeline on their local computer, they won't have access to your audio or video files, and the audio and video will not therefore play.

There are a couple of solutions to this. As well as the .tki file, you could also send people your audio and video files, which they would need to put in their own music and movies directories. A better solution would be to upload the audio and video to online services like Vimeo, YouTube or SoundCloud and simply link to the media on these services using TikiToki Desktop's video and audio url functionality.

My timeline file is too big to send via email. What should I do?

Your first step should be to compress it into a zip file. Right click on the .tki file, and choose the compress option from the menu. If the file is still too big, we recommend you use a service like www.dropbox.com purpose built for sharing large files.

Something's gone wrong - Help!

Who can I contact about this?

Email us at desktopapp@tiki-toki.com and we'll do our best to help you out.

Product Roadmap

I have a feature request. What should I do?

Email us at desktopapp@tiki-toki.com and we'll consider adding the suggested feature to our roadmap.

Known bugs.

A list of known bugs.

  • No known bugs at the moment

I have found a bug. What should I do?

Please email us the details at desktopapp@tiki-toki.com and we'll try to get it fixed as soon as possible.