Gantt Chart in Excel

Gantt Chart in Excel

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Rashmi
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Jul 10, 2023 17:23 IST

This blog will help you to create Gantt Chart in Excel for describing project management phases as visualizations.

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A Gantt chart is a powerful tool that helps project managers and teams visualize project schedules, track progress, and manage tasks efficiently. It comprehensively overviews project timelines, task dependencies, and resource allocation. In this article, we will explore the fundamentals of Gantt charts in Excel, including how to construct them, customize their appearance, and utilize their features to plan and monitor projects effectively.

What is a Gantt Chart in Excel?

The Gantt chart is an excellent tool to visualize the sequence of project activities and their duration in days from a regular start date. This type of diagram is widely used in project planning and development to facilitate resource allocation. Henry Gantt introduced Gantt Chart in Excel to show the project schedule. 

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Each chart consists of lines expanded across a timeline. Those lines are tasks. This way, the Gantt chart for project management presents a visualized representation of tasks and deadlines. This foundation is implemented in any standard Gantt chart software, and Excel is no exception.

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How to Make a Gantt Chart in Excel?

To make a Gantt chart by hand in Excel, follow the below steps: 

  • Open the Gantt Chart – If you are using Excel 2016 version and above, you can easily locate a Gantt Chart in Excel. Go to File and click New.
Gantt Chart in Excel 1
  • Here we have selected the Simple Gantt Chart. You can also go to the Search bar and pick the Gantt chart per your project preferences. Click Create
Gantt Chart in Excel 2
  • Name your project
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You will be redirected to a fresh spreadsheet where the Gantt Chart Template is ready. 

Gantt Chart in Excel 3

The first step is to name your project. Follow the below steps –

  • Choose the project name
  • Mention the name of the company and project lead.
  • Mark the project start date
  • List down the project phases; here, we have picked the project’s first phase, project planning, and then listed the associated tasks.
Gantt Chart in Excel 4
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  • Add Assigned to. Excel will fill in the Start and End dates for each task automatically. However, you can manually enter the Start and End dates.
  • The progression of your tasks will be fetched according to Start and End dates.
Gantt Chart in Excel 5

In our Gantt Chart, we can see the completed tasks in grey and those to be closed in purple. In the same way, you can fill in the rest of the project phases.

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Use Stacked Bar Chart to Prepare Gantt Chart in Excel

If you have older versions of Excel, the below way to prepare a Gantt Chart will come in handy.

  • Keep your data ready. In the same worksheet, click any blank cell.
  • Hover over the Excel ribbon. Go to INSERT ⇒ Charts ⇒ Bar Chart selection menu ⇒ Stacked Bar.
Stacked Bar Chart to Prepare Gantt Chart in Excel 1
  • This will insert a large blank white chart space on your worksheet.
Stacked Bar Chart to Prepare Gantt Chart in Excel 2
  • Right-click the blank space and click Select Data. You will see a Select Data Source window.
Stacked Bar Chart to Prepare Gantt Chart in Excel 3
  • On the left side of Excel’s Data Source window, a table named Legend Entries (Series) is located. 
Stacked Bar Chart to Prepare Gantt Chart in Excel 4
  • Click on the Add button. Now go to your data set and select the start date.
Stacked Bar Chart to Prepare Gantt Chart in Excel 5
  • Choose Heading in the first bar and then select list in the second bar. Click OK.
Stacked Bar Chart to Prepare Gantt Chart in Excel 6
  • Similarly, select the Duration header and list, and click ok. Your chart will look like this.
Stacked Bar Chart to Prepare Gantt Chart in Excel 7
  • To add task data, Right click on any blue bar and click on Select Data to get the Select Data Source window.
Stacked Bar Chart to Prepare Gantt Chart in Excel 8
  • Now click Add button and go to the Horizontal (Category) Axis Label and select just the listed description.
Stacked Bar Chart to Prepare Gantt Chart in Excel 9
  • In our case, we have selected from Assign tasks to the team to Present Final Plan. Click OK.
Stacked Bar Chart to Prepare Gantt Chart in Excel 10

The chart will now have the descriptions against the dates and duration.

Stacked Bar Chart to Prepare Gantt Chart in Excel 11
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Formatting the Gantt Chart

  • Now, click anywhere on the blue bar in your chart, then right-click and select Format Data Series. You will now see the Format Data Series window.
  • In the Format Data Series task pane, click on the Fill & Line icon and get the Fill & Line options. Under Fill, tick the No Fill and under Border, click No Line. You can further format your chart.
Formatting the Gantt Chart 1
  • We have changed the chart’s color. 
  • From Axis Options, check Categories in reverse order to arrange the project phases as per their planned dates.
Formatting the Gantt Chart 2
  • Highlight the descriptions. Close the Format Axis pane. Single click anywhere on the chart to add Chart Title.
Formatting the Gantt Chart 3
  • Your final Gantt Chart will appear like the one below.
Formatting the Gantt Chart 4
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Importance of Gantt Chart

  • Manages projects smartly
  • Gives a clearer view of each task or project and who is working on it.
  • Allows better visualization of each task or project’s time.
  • Identify projects that overlap or are related to each other.

We hope this article helped you understand how to create a Gantt chart in Excel.


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FAQs

Can I create a Gantt chart in any version of Excel?

Yes, Gantt charts can be created in various versions of Excel, including Excel 2013, Excel 2016, Excel 2019, and Excel for Microsoft 365.

Can I customize the appearance of my Gantt chart in Excel?

You can customize your Gantt chart in Excel by adjusting the formatting, colors, and labels and adding elements such as milestones or deadlines.

Can I track the progress of my project using a Gantt chart in Excel?

Yes, you can track progress in a Gantt chart by updating tasks' actual start and end dates and visually comparing them to the planned schedule.

Are there any Gantt chart templates available in Excel?

Yes, Excel provides pre-designed Gantt chart templates you can access and customize to suit your project's needs.

Can I share my Gantt chart with others who don not have Excel?

Yes, you can share your Gantt chart with others by saving it as a PDF or image file or using Excel's collaboration features to share the workbook.

About the Author
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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio