TS Creator Quick Start
When the program starts, you need to load a data file. Click
"Load Built-In Data".
Now click on Settings and choose the time interval you would
like to see. You have two options:
- Select by Stage name.
- Select by a specific age (in millions of years).
Click "Close" to close the Settings window.
Click "Generate" to generate the image. Please be patient,
this can take some time.
you'd like to save the generated image to disk, use the "Save SVG"
option from the File menu. SVG is a relatively new file format designed
so that the image can be resized and still look good.
Database (about 2000
event-age entries are included in the tables of this initial trial):
This test-prototype version is mainly a Cenozoic-Cretaceous framework
(re-calibrated to GTS2004), and contains the following:
(1) Full era-period-series-stages for entire time scale through
Precambrian, and sub-stages for Mesozoic.
(2) Magnetic polarity zones (Cenozoic-Cretaceous)
(3) Sequences (Cenozoic-Cretaceous; with "Hardenbol" indications of
relative magnitudes of SB and MSF, plus option to display numerical
(4) Cretaceous Ammonite zones and subzones of North America Western
Interior, Boreal (England/NW Europe; plus a subset for
Ryazinian-Volgian of Russian platform), and Tethyan (SE France, S.
(5) Planktonic Foram Zones (Cenozoic-Cretaceous; N-P and named
Cretaceous ones), FAD & LAD columns of Foram-zone boundary markers,
and FAD & LAD columns of "other Foram events"
(6) Calcareous Nannofossil Zones (Cenozoic-Cretaceous; NN-NP, CN-CP,
and CC-NC), FAD & LAD columns of Nanno-zone boundary markers, and
FAD & LAD columns of .other Nanno events.
How to use it: (a simple
- Load Built-In Data - Load the datafile
built into the program. Recommended for muost uses.
- Load From File - Load another datafile.
Use this if you have custom or updated data.
- Save SVG - This option is enabled once an
image is generated. It lets you save the image as an SVG (Scalable
Vector Graphics) file.
- Exit - Quits the program.
- Settings - Opens the Settings window. Here
you can set how you want your image to look. See below for more info
about this window.
- Once you've set your settings, this option will actually create the
image. Note that generating an image can be slow for large time
intervals and many selected options, especially on slower computers.
The program may appear to be frozen while generating. Please be
There are three different tabs in the Settings window.
|Choose Time Interval
This tab lets you select when you'd like your
diagram to start (Top of Interval) and when you'd like it to end (Base
Both of these are selected in two ways:
- Stage Name - The program knows about
when various stages start and end, and you can use these names to
select your interval.
- Millions of Years - Manually enter
This tab lets you select what data columns you'd like on
The window is broken down into two parts:
Left side - Here you see all the
columns that are present in the data file. The Age column is
To enable a column, i.e. to have it display on the final image, simply
check the checkbox next to its name.
Some columns have other columns as children. This is simply a way to
group them. Disabling the parent column, (ex. Standard
Chronostratigraphy) will automatically disable all the children
(ex. Eon, Era, Sub-Era, etc). The
checkboxes for the disabled columns may still be checked, but they will
not be in the final image.
Right side - This allows you to
set extra options for the column selected (highlighted) on the Left
- The background color of the column. The program knows about the USGS
and UNESCO color schemes. You can also specify your own color (click Choose),
or let the program pick a default.
- Title - Lets you change the
title of the column.
- Lets you change the width of the column. This is useful if you find
the text to be too crowded, or there is too much empty space.
- Up / Down Arrows
- This lets you move the columns around with respect to each other. The
topmost column on the list will be the left most column on the image.
- Column-Specific Options
- Some types of columns have extra options. Highlighting one of these
columns will make the extra options appear in the space below the
arrows. See below for more details about these extra options.
||These columns display text.
These options are for the orientation (horizontal
or vertical) of the text.
- Auto Flip Label
- Let the program automatically change the orientation if it thinks
doing so would make it more readable. The program will do look at each
label individually to make this assessment.
- Normal - Make the text
horizontal by default.
- Vertical - Make the text be on
its side by default.
||These columns display graphs.
- Points - Check this if you'd
like each datapoint to have an icon. Choose between a square, a circle,
or a cross.
- Line - Check this if you'd
like a line to connect the datapoints.
- Fill - Check this if you'd
like the area between the datapoints and the right margin to be filled
with a color. Click Choose to pick the color.
- Range - The range of the data
to display. Either enter one manually, or click auto to find
one which shows all points with a small margin on each side.
||These columns group other columns together.
- Add Blank Column
- Insert an empty column. This is useful if you want to reserve space
in the diagram which you will later fill in by hand in a graphics
||These columns show changes in a certain variable,
like sea levels.
- Age Labels - Add a little
label to show the age of the event.
||All other types of columns.
This tab has options that didn't fit anywhere else.
Add MouseOver info
- This enables "popups". Some data points have more information than
can be cleanly displayed, so this is a way to display that extra
Simply move your mouse over the generated image and if more information
is available a red circle will appear:
Clicking (doesn't have to be on the red circle) will pop up a box:
Use the up/down arrows to scroll the text, and click anywhere on the
popup to close it.
This functionality is saved if you export the SVG file, but the
software reading the file must support scripting for it to work.
Units per Ma:
- This lets you specify how vertically dense the image is. The larger
the number here, the more spread out (vertically) the image will be.
This is useful if you are interested in time intervals where many
things happen close to each other and the image is just too cluttered.
If you save an SVG file, the file specifies that 30 units should be 1
cm on the printed page. This matters if you import the file into an
application like Adobe Illustrator which lets you print the image.