How to Use Excel Gantt Chart (Create and Customize)

If anyone wants to keep track of ongoing or upcoming tasks or projects, then using an Excel Gantt Chart will help them in this regard. Sometimes, users might be confused about making an Excel Gantt Chart, as there are no direct ways to create this chart. In this article, we will show you how to use Excel Gantt Chart.


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Step-by-Step Procedures to Use Excel Gantt Chart

An Excel Gantt Chart is a handy tool for tracking the tasks of a project or event. The users get an overall idea of the tasks from this chart. For example, how many tasks took place, what were the start and finish times, which tasks required how much time, etc. In this article, you will get the step-by-step procedures to use Excel Gantt Chart. Also, you will be able to customize the Gantt Chart by implementing different features of Excel.

Step 1: Selecting Data Set

To use the Excel Gantt Chart, we need to select our data set first. For that,

  • First of all, select the following data set.
  • In the data table, we have Task No., Start Date, and End Date.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart


Step 2: Determining Duration for Each Task

After selecting the data set, now we will determine the duration for each task. Go through the following steps to calculate the duration.

  • First of all, determine the duration of Task-1 in cell E5 by applying the following formula.
=D5-C5

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • Secondly, press Enter and you will get the duration in cell E5, which is 94 days.
  • Finally, use the AutoFill to drag the above formula to the lower cells in column E to calculate duration for all the tasks.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart


Step 3: Applying Stacked Bar Command

We have to apply the Stacked Bar command to draw the Gantt Chart. In order to do that, follow the following steps.

  • Firstly, select the data range from cell C4 to cell C12 which is the Start Date column in our data set.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • Then, go to the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  • After that, choose Insert Column or Bar Chart command from the Charts group.
  • From the drop-down menu, choose the Stacked Bar command under the 2-D Bar section.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • Finally, after the whole process, you will get the following chart.
  • Then, name the chart “Excel Gantt Chart”.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart


Step 4: Inserting Data into Stacked Bar Chart

In the above chart, there is only one series which is the Start Date from our data set. Now, we have to insert one more data series to our chart.

  • First of all, right-click on the chart and click on the Select Data command.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • Secondly, you will see a dialogue box that’s name is Select Data Source.
  • Then, click on the Add option from that box.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • After clicking, you will see a new dialogue box named “Edit Series”.
  • You will also notice two blank spaces in that box.
  • First of all, in the “Series name” type box, insert cell E4 which is the column name of the new data series.
  • Secondly, select cell range E5 to E12 from the data table in the “Series values” dropdown as the values.
  • Finally, press OK after fulfilling all the criteria.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • Thirdly, click on the Edit command which is under the Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels heading.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • Fourthly, select the cell range B5:B12 as the Axis label range in the Axis Labels box.
  • After that, press OK.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • After completing all of these, the Select Data Source dialogue box will appear.
  • Then, press Ok.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • Finally, you will get the following chart after completing all the steps.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart


Step 5: Arranging Categories in Reverse Order

In the chart from the previous step, we can see that the task sequences are in reverse order.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

To rearrange the sequence, follow the following steps.

  • First of all, double-click on the axis.
  • Then, a new window naming Format Axis will appear right beside the chart.
  • Thirdly, under the Axis Option label, mark the Categories in reverse order command.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • Finally, you will find all the categories arranged in reverse order.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart


Step 6: Positioning of Horizontal Axis Label

You will see the horizontal axis label on top of the chart after performing the previous step.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

Now we have to position the labels back in their previous location. To do that, go through the following steps.

  • Firstly, double-click on the axis label.
  • Then, you will notice that the Format Axis window pane will appear again.
  • Thirdly, go to the Labels section under the Axis Options tab.
  • Fourthly, from there to the Label Postion option choose the Label Position as High.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • Finally, you will see the horizontal axis label at the bottom of the chart.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart


Step 7: Eliminating Fills of Start Date in Stacked Chart

We need to eliminate the blue bars from the chart, as the Gantt Chart represents only the duration of a task from the start date. To eliminate the blue bars, follow the following steps.

  • First of all, select any blue bars from the chart by double-clicking on it.
  • Then, a window pane named Format Data Series will appear on the right side of the chart.
  • Thirdly, choose the No fill command under the Fill & Line tab.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • Finally, you will get the Gantt Chart which will look like this.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart


Step 8: Adjusting Minimum and Maximum Values of the Horizontal Axis

If you look at the chart from the previous step, you will find it difficult to understand. Because it seems to start and end from any random place. To modify it, we have to add the minimum and maximum values of the horizontal axis. Go through the below steps to do that.

  • First of all, we will create two cells in C14 and C15 naming Minimum Value and Maximum Value .
  • Then, we will find the earliest task date and the latest date when a task has been ended.
  • Thirdly, we will add them to those cells accordingly.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • Then, we will change the format of the dates to General.
  • To do that, go to the Home tab of the ribbon.
  • Thirdly, choose the General command from the Number group.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • Finally, the format of the date will look like this.

Step-by-Step Procedures of How to Use Excel Gantt Chart

  • To adjust the label values in the chart, double-click on the horizontal axis label.
  • After that, the Format Axis window pane will appear.
  • Thirdly in the Axis Options tab input the Minimum and Maximum values manually that we calculated at the beginning of this step.

Sample Data Set

  • Finally, you can observe the following Gantt Chart.

Sample Data Set


Customizing Gantt Chart

The process of creating an Excel Gantt Chart is over. But, if you want you can customize your Gantt Chart and make it more attractive and understandable.

1. Changing Gap Width of Gantt Chart

Now, we will demonstrate to you to change the gap width of the bars in the chart. To do so follow the following steps.

Step 1:

  • Firstly, double-click on the red bars from the chart.
  • Then, from the Format Data Series window pane, change the Gap Width under the Series Options label.
  • If you decrease the percentage, then the bar will get thicker. It will get thinner in case you increase the percentage.

Sample Data Set

Step 2:

  • For our graph, we will decrease the percentage.
  • Finally, our Gantt Chart will look like this.

Sample Data Set

2. Altering Colors and Styles of Gantt Chart

If you want to alter the colors and styles of your chart, then there are some ways for doing that. You can see those ways in the following.

Step 1:

  • Firstly, double-click on any of the bars on the chart.
  • Then, go to the Fill & Line command from the Format Data Series window pane.
  • From there, choose the Gradient fill command under the Fill label.
  • Also, choose the shade of your preference from the Preset gradients command.

Sample Data Set

  • Finally, we will get our Gannt Chart like this.

Sample Data Set

3. Adding Data Labels in Gantt Chart

The Gantt Chart becomes more understandable if it has data labels in it. You can easily add the data labels to the chart. Just go through the following steps.

Step 1:

  • First of all, click anywhere in the chart and three icons will appear after clicking on the chart.
  • Secondly, from those icons, select the Chart Elements command.
  • Then, after clicking the command, you will see many other features.
  • Fourthly, select the Data Labels option from those features.

Sample Data Set

  • Finally, you will see data labels on all of the bars.

Sample Data Set

Step 2:

  • To make the data labels more user-friendly, we will customize them.
  • For that, click on the data labels on the chart.
  • Then, you will see the Format Data Labels window pane.
  • From there, choose the Solid Fill command under the Fill label in the Fill & Line tab.

Sample Data Set

  • Finally, the Gantt Chart will look like this.

Sample Data Set


Conclusion

That’s the end of this article. I hope you find this article helpful. After reading this article, you will be able to use Excel Gantt Chart. Please share any further queries or recommendations with us in the comments section below.

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