Creating a Gantt chart

A Gantt chart is a horizontal bar chart that is often used in project management applications.

Although Excel doesn't support Gantt charts per se, creating a simple Gantt chart is fairly easy. The key is getting your data set up properly:

The Gantt Chart in Excel 2016

For example, the above Gantt chart is set up to depict a schedule for the project, in range B5:D11.

Data of Gantt Chart Excel 2016

The horizontal axis represents the total time span of the project, and each bar represents a project task. The viewer can quickly see the duration of each task and identify overlapping tasks.

Column B contains the task name, column C contains the corresponding start date, and column D contains the duration of the task, in days.

Follow these steps to create the Gantt chart:

    1.    Select the range B5:D11 and then on the Insert tab, in the Charts group, select the Column button:

Column Chart in Excel 2016

Then choose Stacked Bar to create a chart:

Stacked Bar Chart in Excel 2016

    2.    Do one of the following:

  • On the Design tab, in the Data group, choose Select Data:
    Data in Excel 2016
  • Right-click in the chart area and choose Select Data... in the popup menu:
    popup in Excel 2016

In the Select Data Source dialog box:

  • Correct data in Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels.
  • In the Legend Entries (Series) group, add a new data series. Then set the chart's series to the following:
    • Series 1: $C$5:$C$11
    • Series 2: $D$5:$D$11
    • Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels: $B$5:$B$11
Select Data Source in Excel 2016

    3.    Right-click one of the dates along the category axis and select Format Axis... in the popup menu:

Category Axis popup in Excel 2016

On the Format Axis task pane, adjust the horizontal axis Minimum and Maximum scale values to correspond to the earliest and latest dates in the data. You also may want to set the Major unit to 7 to indicate weeks:

Format Axis in Excel 2016 Format Axis in Excel 2016

    4.    On the Format Axis task pane for the vertical axis: in the Axis Options group, set the option labeled At maximum category and check the option labeled Categories in reverse order:

Format Vertical Axis in Excel 2016

    5.    Right-click in the first data series and choose Format Data Series... in the popup menu:

Data Series popup in Excel 2016

To makes the first data series invisible, on the Format Data Series task pane:

  • Set Fill to No fill
  • Set Border to No line
Format Data Series in Excel 2016

    6.    Apply other formatting as desired.