Present your data in a Gantt chart in Excel

Even though Microsoft Office Excel 2007 does not provide a Gantt chart type, you can simulate a Gantt chart by customizing a stacked bar chart type so that it depicts tasks, task duration, and hierarchy.

Simulated Gantt chart in Excel

An Excel Gantt chart typically uses days as the unit of time along the horizontal axis. If you want to use hours instead of days, see the link in the See Also section about how to create a Gantt chart that uses hours as the scale in Excel 2007.

What do you want to do?


Simulate a Gantt chart

The following procedure will help you create a Gantt chart with results that are similar to those shown in our example Gantt chart graphic. For this chart, we used the example worksheet data. You can copy this data to your worksheet, or you can use your own data, as long as you use the same column headers and worksheet structure.

  1. Copy the example worksheet data into a blank worksheet, or open the worksheet that contains the data that you want to plot into a Gantt chart.

ShowHow to copy the example worksheet data

  1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  2. Select the example in the Help topic.

 Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help
  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.

 
1
2
3
4
5
6
A B C
Task Start Duration
Task 1 0 2
Task 2 2 6
Task 3 8 9
Task 4 17 3
Task 5 20 5

 Note   The values in columns B and C (Start and Duration) represent the number of days from the start date and the number of days required to complete the task.

  1. Select the data that you want to plot in the Gantt chart (A1:C6 in our example worksheet data).
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Charts group, click Bar.
  3. Under 2-D Bar, click Stacked Bar.
  4. Click the chart area (chart area: The entire chart and all its elements.) of the chart.

This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  1. On the Design tab, in the Chart Styles group, click the chart style that you want to use.

Chart Styles group on Excel Ribbon

 Tip   For our Gantt chart, we used Style 27.

  1. In the chart, click the first data series (Start), or select it from a list of chart elements (Format tab, Current Selection group, Chart Elements box).
  2. On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click Format Selection.

Current Selection group on Excel Ribbon

  1. Click Fill, and then click No fill.
  2. Click Close.
  3. In the chart, click the legend, and then press DELETE.
  4. Select the vertical (category) axis, or select it from a list of chart elements (Format tab, Current Selection group, Chart Elements box).
  5. On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click Format Selection.
  6. Under Axis Options, select the Categories in reverse order check box, and then click Close.
  7. If you want to use theme colors that are different from the default theme that is applied to your workbook, do the following:
  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Themes group, click Themes.

Themes group on Excel Ribbon

  1. Under Built-in, click the theme that you want to use.

 Tip   For our Gantt chart, we used the Office theme.

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Save a chart as a template

If you want to create another chart like the one that you just created, you can save the chart as a template that you can use as the basis for other similar charts.

  1. Click the chart that you want to save as a template.
  2. On the Design tab, in the Type group, click Save as Template.

Type group on Excel Ribbon

  1. In the File name box, type a name for the template.

 Tip   Unless you specify a different folder, the template file (.crtx) will be saved in the Charts folder, and the template becomes available under Templates in both the Insert Chart dialog box (Insert tab, Charts group, Dialog Box Launcher Button image ) and the Change Chart Type dialog box (Design tab, Type group, Change Chart Type).

For more information about how to apply a chart template, see Reuse a favorite chart by using a chart template.

 Note   A chart template contains chart formatting and stores the colors that are in use when you save the chart as a template. When you use a chart template to create a chart in another workbook, the new chart uses the colors of the chart template — not the colors of the document theme that is currently applied to the workbook. To use the document theme colors instead of the chart template colors, right-click the chart area (chart area: The entire chart and all its elements.), and then click Reset to Match Style on the shortcut menu.

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Applies to:
Excel 2007, Outlook 2007