Gantt chart

What is a Gantt chart?

A Gantt chart helps you to visualize your project schedule with the different tasks and their dead-line.

Download the file

If you don't want to follow the next steps and open the file with the Gantt chart already done, download the following document.

Your data

To create a Gantt chart, you must have a table with

  • The tasks' name
  • Starting dates
  • And the number of days to do each task

Step 1: Return the number of working days

In Excel, 1 is one day (see the page about the date). And a common mistake is to add the start date with the number of days.

But, this operation is wrong because here you include the weekend.

=B2+C2

To avoid to add the weekends, you have to use the function WORKDAY. This function just add the working day to a date.
=WORKDAY(B2,C2)

Step 2: Gap in days (including the weekend)

When you create a Gantt chart, more than the ending date, you must also have the number of days including the weekends between the ending date and the starting date. The formula is quite simple.

=D2-B2

And that's all for the calculation ! 😍😉😃 Nothing complex at all.

Now it's time to create the chart

Step 3: Choice of the chart

To create a Gantt chart, you have to create a horizontal stacked bar chart

Horizontal stacked bar chart

But for the moment, the chart doesn't looks like a Gantt chart 🤔

Step 4: Remove series of data

Here, we need to remove the series that are not useful. In fact, the 2 series we must kept are

  • The starting date
  • The gap in days (including the weekends)

To remove some series of your chart, you have to open the dialog box "Select Data Source". To do that, you have 2 ways

  • With the ribbon Design > Select Data
  • Right-click on your chart and select the menu Select Data

In the dialog box, unchecked the number of days of the tasks and the ending date.

The chart becomes:

Select a specific chart element

For the next steps, it is important to know how to select easily a chart element like axis, series, title, ....

  • Select your chart
  • Go to the tab Format
  • On the left you have a drop-down list with all the chart elements
  • Select the one you want to modify
  • Click on the button Format Selection (just under)

Step 5: Change the vertical axis

Now, we must reverse the chart to have the task #1 on the top of the chart.

  1. Double-click on the vertical axis to show the Axis pane
  2. In the Axis pane, select the option Categories in reverse order

 

 

Step 6: Change the starting date on the axis

First we need to know the value in days of the first date of our model. To do that, we just have to change the number format in General.

Then, open the Axis pane by double-clicking on the axis or with the method describe previously and change

  • The minimum date value = The number in General format
  • The major unit = 7 (number of days in a week)
  • Label position = High
  • Format number = Date

 

 

 

 

 

To improve the result, change the alignment of values by rotating -30 ° relative to their horizontal axis.

 

 

 

The Gantt chart looks better now but we have one more step.

Step 7: Hide the first bar

The last step is to hide the first series (the starting date)

  1. Select the option Format Data Series
  2. Select the Painting option
  3. Fill = No Fill
  4. Border = No Fill

 

 

Your chart is now over :)

Improving the design

Use your artistic talent to add some beautiful colors and labels 🎨🧐

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