The form affords some control over filtering the output of the list. If an option comes up with a red background it indicates an error occurred with that portion of the filter (for example, if you input a first year later than last year).
There are a couple of slightly different list styles the timeline displayed with: here you can pick which you prefer.
Ascending lists dates starting with the earliest at the top of the list, and working down the the most recent at the bottom. Descending does the opposite.
There are four types of items that are displayed: a date of birth, death, the date a work is published, and in odd cases a special event. If you want to not see any of these categories you can turn them off here. If you turn off all categories nothing will be listed.
If you want to limit the list to between specified years, this is where to do it! You may leave either of the fields blank. For example if you want a list starting from 1900 until the present then fill in the "first" date as such and leave the "last" date blank. To enter "BC" dates used negative numbers. For example, "-300" will mean "300 BC".
Here you can enter a name (or part of a name) to scan for. For example, if you just wanted to see the entires for Fyodor Dostoyevsky listed you could enter "dosto". Upper or lower case letters do not matter, and you only need enter as much of the string as you think will be unique for the pattern you want to match.
What if you want also to see all the events of others between Dostoyevsky's birth and death? Select the "Inclusive" option.
Technical note: Perl-style "regular expressions" are accepted in the search field, if you know how to use them.