If you want to look online, some nice set of keywords to use is "timeline generator", "history timeline maker" and "online timeline maker printable". Already if you can print a timeline, you can usually export as PDF as well.
Most of these timeline creators were made for students so they're very basics and not always very stylish if that's important for your project. There's quite a lot online if you have time to try them.
Adobe Illustrator / Indesign
That's just a personal preference, since you have access to nice tools such as Adobe Illustrator, I'd probably prefer to create my own timeline with this or Indesign. Yes, you might indeed need to do everything manually but sometimes it's faster this way than spending time searching for other solutions.
That's probably still the best option for nicest results (or at least freedom for design) and if you don't have too many entries.
To my knowledge, there's no free add-on/plugin for the Adobe products to create "automatic" timeline but maybe it's possible to create them using a script or something. That could be asked as a new question.
ReadWriteThink (Free and using Flash)
You can create big blocks for each entry, add an image and place them where you want on the timeline. Not super symmetric results.
Can't really choose any style or color.
Can save and export as a PDF, but the PDF is not editable; it's a raster and flattened image, more like a JPG. The PDF has credits and titles that you could always modify or retype.
These are only templates and you'll need to place your entries manually. But some of the work is done, maybe it can be an option for you if you really don't want to start from scratch and feel comfortable using the Google tools.
OfficeTimeline (need Office, Free and Premium edition available)
That plugs in with PowerPoint and Excel (Premium edition I believe). It offers you templates that can be filled with your own data. Looks professional.
I think the Premium Version let you add Excel content, that can be good if you have a lot of elements on your timeline or need to update it frequently.
I haven't try it, but you should be able to at least print or get a screenshot on the free edition.
Microsoft Excel / Word
Search online, there's tutorials to create Microsoft Excel/Word charts. You can export them the way you want and they're more dynamic; might be your best option if you have a lot to update them dynamically. One benefit is that you can at least save your templates for later if you need to to update or share them.
There's probably some help for OpenOffice as well if you prefer to use an open source version.
› There"s a tutorial that seems to be decent in the second part of this page:
› Create a Timeline with Milestones (YouTube):
Alternative: Gantt Chart
You can also explore "Gantt chart" in your google search.
They're not dots on an axis timelime type but might still be useful for your project. There might be more options for these as they are commonly used for manufacturing and production commercially while the style you're looking for is more often used for historical timelines.