I need to create a time line like this:

    1991 1992 1993     1995

It will sometimes skip numbers, e.g. it could go from 1993 to 1995 without having a mark at 1994, but still needs to be scaled.

I am using ConTeXt, but since ConTeXt can display plain TeX, a plain TeX solution is fine too. The best I've been able to come up with is this, which is missing an arrow, doesn't have dots to mark the spot on the line.


I was hoping TeX had built-in features for this, since it basically looks like a number line, and it would certainly be nice if it had that "math mode" look to it, but I can't find any solution for number lines in TeX to begin with.

  • Have you tried chronosys?
    – user226564
    Nov 11, 2021 at 0:31
  • Did you know about TikZ? (looks like you do want to draw the line instead of make an "ASCII" art version)
    – user202729
    Nov 11, 2021 at 1:02

1 Answer 1


Maybe a MetaPost solution:

drawdblarrow ((0,0)--(6,0)) scaled u;
for i=1,2,3,5:
  draw ((i*u,-2)--(i*u,2));
  label.bot(decimal (i+1990),(i*u,0));

a timeline

  • 1
    Exactly what I was looking for!
    – Village
    Nov 12, 2021 at 18:06

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