Free Gantt Chart Template for Excel | Download | TeamGantt
SummaryHow to create a gantt chart in Excel Want to learn how to build a gantt chart from scratch? Follow along with the instructions below on how to create a gantt chart in Excel. Please note that we perfor
How to create a gantt chart in Excel
Want to learn how to build a gantt chart from scratch? Follow along with the instructions below on how to create a gantt chart in Excel.
Please note that we performed the following steps in Excel 2016, but the basic workflow should be the same in any version of Excel with minor changes.
- Prepare the Excel worksheet for your gantt chart
- Insert a stacked bar chart
- Format the gantt chart and its data
- Change the colors of your task bars
1. Prepare the Excel worksheet for your gantt chart
Create columns for Task Name, Start Date, End Date, and Duration, and fill those cells with information from your project.
Then, format the columns as the following:
- Task Name column = text
- Start Date and End Date = formatted as a date
- Duration column = number
TIP: It’s best to have the Duration field calculate the appropriate duration of the task based on the start and end dates. This is a simple formula. In this case, it’s =D2-C2. If you started in different cells in your worksheet, you’ll need to adjust this formula accordingly.
Place your mouse on the right corner of E2 until you see a black + sign and double-click or drag your mouse down to paste the formula in the remaining cells in column E.
2. Insert a ‘Stacked Bar Chart’ from the Insert menu
Insert the chart anywhere in the worksheet, then right-click and choose Select Data.
Click the plus under the Legend entries section to add the first data set. Name it "Start Date," and then click on the Y values field. Now select the data in the Start Date column.
Add a second entry for “Duration,” and select the Duration column.
Click the Select Data Source button in the Horizontal Axis Labels field, then select the entire Task column.
3. Format the gantt chart and its data
The first thing you may notice is that the dates in the horizontal axis aren't actually dated. Our gantt chart also covers much more time than we need. Let’s get rid of all that extra time first.
The first task in the project starts on 7/25/16, so there’s no need for our project to show anything before then. Copy 7/25/16 into a cell, and format that cell as a number rather than a date. Excel stores dates as numbers, and you can see that 7/25/16 translates to 42576.00.
Now highlight the horizontal axis, right-click, and select Format Axis. Under Bounds, there are fields for Minimum and Maximum. These are the first and last “dates” in the chart. If we change the minimum value to 42576.00 and hit enter, all that extra time will disappear from the beginning of our chart.
To make the correct dates, go down to the Number section, and change the category from Number to Date. Now the horizontal axis will show us readable dates.
Highlight the vertical axis, right-click, and choose Format Axis to put the tasks in the right order. Tick the Categories in reverse order checkbox. This also moves the date axis to the top of the chart where it’s a little more useful for us.
Click on one of the blue bars to select all of them. Then go over to the paint bucket, expand the Fill section, and select No fill to remove the blue bars that precede our task start dates.
4. Change the colors of the task bars in your gantt chart (Optional)
Click on a single bar twice. Don’t double-click it—click it once to highlight all the bars in that color, then click it again to highlight a single bar. Go over to the paint bucket, and choose the color you want from the color fill options. Repeat this process for the rest of the bars in your newly made gantt chart to change their colors.
Congratulations! You’ve created your very own gantt chart in Excel. That was probably a few more steps than you bargained for. Especially if you have to do that every time you need to create a gantt chart for a new project. That’s where TeamGantt comes in.
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- Free Gantt Chart Template for Excel | Download | TeamGantt
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