I am making a timeline and every point is one specific year (1965, 1975, 1982, 1985, 1986) except for one point which is a range "1987-2014". Having one data point that's double the size of the others breaks the design and I'd like to show something like "...2014" or "< 2014" or "–2014" to use less space but I'm not sure what's correct or most readable.

  • How about '87-'14? Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 19:29
  • Let the break happen if every point presents something which characterizes a time period. Most of the time periods are one year long, but the one is 28 years. Let's assume you have a bar chart of the number of the months in the given periods. All one year long periods have a 12 units long bar, but the one has a 336 unit long bar in linear scale. Nobody is surprised when they see that the peak is based on longer time.
    – user82991
    Commented Apr 15, 2021 at 10:52
  • What happens if you use vertical (not stacked) year labels? Then the horizontal interval between the years (and data points) is not irregular.
    – Stan
    Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 19:10

1 Answer 1


In mathematics, the symbol can mean between.

a ≤ x ≤ d -- x must between a and d possibly including either a or d

So... ≤ 2014 perhaps

However, for general purposes I don't think using < or - is a problem.

Heck you could possibly consider a tilde, ~. Tilde means "approximately".

  • Where does ≤ mean ‘between’? I know it to mean ‘less than or equal to’ or ‘is a subgroup of’ in mathematics, but not ‘between’… Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 22:16
  • @JanusBahsJacquet it is essentially less than or equal to. It can also be translated as between in some cases. a ≤ x ≤ d -- x must between a and d possibly including either a or d, whereas a < x < d would mean x is larger than a but smaller than d, and not a or d. At least that's always been my understanding. Perhaps I'm incorrect.
    – Scott
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 22:30

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