How to Create a Gantt Chart in Excel? - Gantt Chart Excel

Step-by-Step Gantt Chart Tutorial for Making a Gantt Chart in Excel

Gantt Chart Excel is everyone’s new favorite project management software with the ability to create Gantt Charts in minutes.
We all love Microsoft Excel and we use it almost every day for everything – from a simple calculator to tracking massive projects.
There’s just one thing that Excel is not good at and that is creating Gantt charts. In fact a lot of users on the internet search for “How to Create a Gantt Chart in Excel?”.

For this reason, we created Gantt Excel, an automated excel template that allows you to create professional-looking Gantt Charts all within Microsoft Excel.

Gantt Chart Excel
Example of a Gantt Chart created in Excel

Create Gantt Charts in Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016 & Excel 2019

Microsoft Excel 2007
Excel 2007
Excel 2010
Excel 2013
Microsoft Excel 2016
Excel 2016
Microsoft Excel 2019
Excel 2019

Gantt Excel – Quick Start Guide

  1. Open the Gantt Chart Template

    Download the Gantt Chart Excel template if you haven’t done so already. Open the template.

    The Gantt Menu tab in the excel ribbon will instantly load (see image below).

    Gantt Chart Excel Ribbon Menu

  2. Create a New Gantt Chart

    Click on the Add New Gantt Chart button to bring up the Project Details window.

    Add New Gantt Chart

    Enter the Project NameWorksheet NameProject Lead and the Estimated/ Baseline Budget for the Project. 
    You can also use Gantt Excel to track project budget and task costs.

    Gantt Project Details

    Click the Ok button when done.

    A brand new gantt chart with the gantt timeline is created for you. By default, a task is added with the start date set to today.

    Default-Gantt-Chart

  3. Add Tasks


    Gantt charts don’t give useful information unless they include all of the tasks/ milestones needed for a project to be completed.
    So, to start, list all of the activities as tasks. There are three ways to add tasks in Gantt Chart Excel

    Method 1Type directly in the excel grid. If you type a task where it says “Type here to add a new task“, it will automatically create a new task with default start and end dates and the timeline will instantly update.

    Method 2Click the Add Task button on the Gantt tab

    Gantt Menu Left

    The task details form will open up where you can enter all the task details including task resource, estimated, baseline, actual – start and end dates. You can also keep track of costs including estimated, baseline and actual costs, therefore making it an excellent budget and costs planner.
    Task notes can also be captured to include a short description of the task to clarify its purpose or scope and to provide additional info to everyone involved.

    Task Details Window

    Click the Ok button when done. The newly added task will show up in the excel grid with all the details.

    Go ahead and add a few tasks as in the example below and set the start and finish dates.

    gantt chart tasks added

    Importantly, note that the Work Break Structure (WBS) is automatically calculated and set for you.

  4. Set Parent and Child Tasks

    If a task is relatively large and requires several users with different skills to manage, break the task into subtasks and create parent-child relationships.

    To set parent-child relationships, select a task that you want to convert to a child task and click on the Make Child button.

    child tasks

    Shortcut – Alt + Right arrow key

    To create a parent task from a child task click on the Make Parent button.

    Make Parent Task

    Shortcut – Alt + Left arrow key

    As a result, when you group child tasks together under a parent, values such as dates, costs etc. aggregate and roll up to the parent task.
    This is how the tasks look when I set a few tasks as child tasks.

    gantt parent and child tasks

  5. Add Milestones

    Milestones help your team stay on track and to more accurately determine whether or not your project is on schedule.

    To add a milestone click on the Add Milestone button on the Gantt Menu.

    Add Milestone

    This will bring up the Add Milestone details window. Enter the milestone details and click the Ok button when done.
    To illustrate, see the example below. The milestone and a diamond-shaped symbol show up in the timeline.

    Add Milestone to Gantt Chart

  6. Setup Timeline

    Click on the Setup Timeline button in the Gantt Menu

    Setup Timeline button

    Set the Start and End Date of the timeline and click the Update Timeline button.

    Gantt Timeline Range

    Gantt Excel will instantly recreate the calendar timeline with the selected dates.

  7. Setup Gantt Chart Resources

    Click on the Resources button in the Gantt Menu

    You can create as many resources and assign them to the tasks. You can also add Holidays and Non-working days in the Resource window. The Holidays and Non-working days will be considered while calculating end dates.

    Resource Form with Work Hours

  8. Gantt Chart Excel Settings

    Equally important, is to set up the Gantt chart correctly. Let’s look at all the settings screens and go through them one by one.

    Click on the Settings icon in the Gantt Menu.

    Display Settings
    By default, the Display tab opens up first. Here you can set the general theme colors including the different timeline bar and milestone colors.
    You can also choose to show additional timeline bars for baseline, actual dates and the overdue bar for all overdue tasks.

    Gantt Settings

    Lastly, one of the most sought out features is to show text within the Gantt Bars. You can check the Enable Text Display option and select any text from any column to show within the Gantt bars.

    This is how it looks when the Show Text in Gantt Bars is enabled. We think it is one of the finest features of Gantt Chart Excel.

    General Settings
    Switch over to the General tab to setup cost and date calculations, currency symbol, and the Date format.
    Additionally, you can define how the Percentage complete is calculated for the tasks. You can use the Manual or Automatic mode for entry and use Simple or Weighted calculation for the Parent task roll-up calculation.

    Gantt General Settings

    Columns Settings
    Finally, we have the columns tab where you can hide or unhide existing columns. You can also insert up to ten custom columns or delete them if required.

    gantt columns

You can watch this video tutorial on "How to Create a Gantt Chart in Excel"

GANTT CHART EXCEL – THE SMART WAY TO PLAN

In Conclusion, the beauty of Gantt Chart Excel is we have seven calendar views to choose from namely Hourly, Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Half-Yearly and Yearly View.

Gantt Excel Views

From here you can easily customize the Gantt chart by changing timeline colors, and adding various details like percent complete, costs etc…  As shown below, with some tweaks you can create a timeline that’s sure to impress.

Gantt Charts in Excel - Made Super Easy

Manage your project timeline, tasks and workload like a Pro.