In a recent blog, I demonstrated how to create a Gantt chart using conditional formatting in Microsoft Excel. In this blog, I demonstrate creating a Gantt chart in Microsoft Excel using a stacked bar chart.
In columns A, B and C, type in the Task Names, Start Dates and anticipated Durations for the tasks within the project plan. As long as durations are at least one day, the End Date in column D can be calculated using the formula = Start Date + Duration – 1.
If you are aware of the relationships between tasks, use formulae to create as many of the Start Dates as possible, based either on previous End Dates or Start Dates, e.g. if you know that the Develop questionnaire task can start the day after the Planning meeting, then the formula in cell B3 is =D2+1.
Select the cells containing the tasks, durations and start date, in our case A1:C13
Click the Insert tab, then in the Charts group, from the Bar dropdown, select the second one in the 2-D Bar section – a stacked bar chart.
On the Chart Tools Design tab, in the Data group, click Select Data. The Select Data Source dialog box will be displayed.
Click the Remove button twice.
Click Add; the Edit Series dialog box will be displayed.
Click in the Series name box, then click in cell B1 (The Start Date heading).
Click in the Series values box, then select the cells comprising the start dates of the tasks, in this case B2:B13. Click OK.
Click Add again; this time click in the Series name box and click in cell C1 (the Duration heading), then click in the Series values box, then select the cells comprising the duration of the project tasks, in this case C2:C13. Click OK.
In the Horizontal (Category Axis) Labels section,click Edit, then in the Axis label range box, select range A2:A13, the task names. Click OK twice.
Go to the Chart Tools Layout tab, then in the Labels group, from the Legends dropdown, select None to turn off the legend.
In the Axes group, from the Axes dropdown, select Primary Vertical Axis – More Primary Vertical Axis Options. The Format Axis dialog box will be displayed. Select Categories in reverse order. Click Close.
Select one of the leftmost bars, which should select all of them, then from the Chart Tools Format tab, from the Shape Fill dropdown, select No Fill. Also from the Shape Outline dropdown, select No Outline.
To adjust so that the horizontal axis starts at the Start date and finishes at the End date, copy the Start date of the first task into a blank cell and the End date of the last task into a blank cell. Convert both of these to Number format. Select the horizontal axis, right-click and select Format Axis.
Type in the start number in Minimum and the end number as Maximum. Click OK. Change Major Unit to 7 (one week). Click Close.
Change font sizes as necessary.
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