Editing items and generally getting started with Neatline


I'm encouraging my students to use Neatline for a project right now, but I'm having a few problems with it.

First, I've imported some items into Neatline, but in the Neatline Editor, I can't actually edit some of the fields. If I change the title, for example, it reverts back to its original value when I hit "Save".

Second, more generally, my map in progress looks quite different from the examples linked from neatline.org. Whereas those are roomy and work on elegant combinations of timelines and maps, mine is crowded, resists editing, and doesn't appear to give me control over the placement of things like the timeline widget.

Finally, speaking of the timeline widget, I expected that giving my item Date information (Start, End, After, Before) would create ribbons and points on the timeline, but it doesn't. My map shape will appear and disappear appropriately when I slide the timeline, but there's nothing showing up on the timeline itself.

Sorry that's a lot of questions at once. I imagine that some of the problems I'm finding are simply due to my own misunderstanding of how to use it. Any advice appreciated.


And just to add clarity to my second question, I'm fine working with CSS, but whereas I see other Neatline exhibits with each waypoint having a title and then some descriptive text in the widget, in my case I can't edit the title and I don't see where to input that descriptive text.

So if anyone can offer guidance or point me to some documentation, I'd be grateful.


Hi Zach,

The first issue you're having is actually a feature of Neatline. See details in this ticket. There's discussion about best ways to approach this, so if you're for it, feel free to add your thoughts on the ticket.

The second issue sounds like you need to select the SIMILE widget under the "Style" heading for that item. Simply adding date information won't display it. There's also a ticket for this too, where we need to clarify this step in the documentation. If that doesn't help, there's something else going on, so we'll need to debug further.

Sorry, should have said third issue instead of second issue. As for your actual second issue, you're right that the exhibits on Neatline.org don't quite match up with the current version of Neatline. Those are running the older version of Neatline, and a few things have changed in Neatline based on bugs in the previous version and user feedback. That said, if there are specific things that you think are preventing you from making the exhibits you want (e.g. workflows in the admin panel, features that aren't in teh current version), let us know.

Hi Jeremy,

Thanks for replying and clarifying. I had a feeling that the first issue was a confusion of the UI, and while I can't comment on the appropriateness of changes to the data structure, I'll just note that a text input with a Save button says pretty clearly, "this can be edited". It it can't, then perhaps a "disabled" attribute is in order.

And you're right on with the timeline too. I hadn't noticed I could multi-select in that field, but also I didn't realize what was being set/not by that field. Regardless, I'm good now. I got my points and lines working as expected.

So is there a way to add anything besides the title to the text that appears in the waypoint list?