How to Make a Gantt Chart in Excel: Step-by-Step (2024)

Making a project schedule for your team? You’re going to need the Gantt chart for that.

But unfortunately, Excel doesn’t offer any built-in Gantt chart. And creating your own Gantt chart can be tricky.

Luckily, we’re here to teach you some easy hacks on how to create a Gantt chart in Excel. And everything you need to know about this bar graph is given in this guide below 🧐

So without further ado, let’s dive right into the topic.

Also, if you want to get hands-on experience in making a Gantt chart, download the sample workbook here.

How to make a Gantt chart in Excel

The first thing you need to ask yourself is, why do I need a Gantt chart? Not only does it take time to create a Gantt chart, but sorting project data can be difficult.

You can use a Gantt chart Excel template instead. Like the preformatted Gantt chart template, stacked bar chart, customized Gantt chart, and professional Gantt charts. But these are only so useful. A chart can represent data in a relatively more concise form 🤔

However, the Gantt chart can only be used for a particular purpose, i.e., showing the project timeline. And it’s the best chart for project task management.

But note that the Excel Gantt chart doesn’t work on all types of data. You need to follow a specific data format to make a proper Gantt chart which includes three things.

Data set for Gantt chart Excel
  • Project tasks
  • Date
  • Time

You can add other information, too, like the end date, project completion, members, notes, etc. But only the above-mentioned three are necessary.

Make sure to format your data in line with the suggested way. Otherwise, it won’t show up on the chart properly.

Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist

Now that our data is all set to go, let’s create a Gantt chart.

To do that:

  1. Select all the data.
  2. Click the Insert Column or Bar Chart option from the Insert tab on Ribbon.
Selecting charts group
  1. Select Stacked Bar from 2-D Bar.
Selecting stacked bar chart type to create Gantt charts
  1. Chart will appear on the Microsoft Excel worksheet as:
Making Gantt charts

It’s beginning to look like a Gant chart already 📈

But there are still some tweaks to make.

Firstly, as evident from the picture, the project tasks are listed in reverse order. In the Excel stacked bar chart, this is the default method of representing data.

Let’s change the order of the tasks for this chart:

  1. Select the categories listed on the Vertical Axis of the graph.
Gantt chart Excel template
  1. Right-click and select Format Axis from the drop-down menu.
Format Axis button
  1. The Format Axis task pane appears on the right of the chart.
  2. Scroll down the Axis Options.
  3. Put a checkmark on ‘Categories in Reverse Order.’
Sorting categories

The categories will be sorted in the right order:

Categories sorted on Excel bar chart

And it’s done! 😀

Let’s now take it one step closer to a Gantt chart.

  1. Right-click any of the blue bars.
  2. It will display a drop-down menu. Select ‘Format Data Series‘ at the bottom.
Click Format data series.
  1. The Task Pane will appear.
  2. Select the Fill & Line option symbolized by the paint can.
Choosing the Fill and Line option.
  1. Click No Fill under the Fill option and No Line under the Border option.
Choosing options

The blue bars will disappear from the chart as:

Borders and fill removed.

That was easy 😅

Pro Tip!

If you want your chart to look more concise and compact, you can delete the legend entry. It is at the bottom of the chart, and it represents the data entries.

Removing the legend

It can help understand the data better, but after removing the color and border, they don’t serve many purposes. You can delete the legend by selecting it and hitting the delete key.

Now, for the final touches, we will adjust the horizontal axis of the chart 📊

The chart looks empty after removing the color from the bars.

Chart without the blue bars.

Let’s fix that.

  1. Right-click the gridlines near the horizontal axis.
  2. Select Format Axis from the drop-down menu.
Selecting Format Axis.
  1. Select the Horizontal (Value) Axis from the Text options.
Selecting Horizontal Axis value.
  1. You will land the Axis Options.

We will now change the Minimum and Maximum bounds from the Axis oprions.

Say, this is our default setting.

Default bounds setting.

The value given here is pretty large. So we will have to guess our way to the right value.

Our final value for Minimum bounds is 44564.0, and for Maximum bounds, it is 44579.0.

The final look of the chart is as follows:

Final look of Gantt chart.

We’re almost there 🤓

Last but not least – let’s add a title to our Gantt chart.

  1. Click the Chart Title box at the top.
Adding Chart Title.
  1. Type in the title. Our chart is titled CGM Project
  2. Press Enter.
Chart title added.

And tada! Our Gantt chart is all ready 🥳

That’s it – Now what?

Excel doesn’t offer a built-in Gantt chart, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make one.

This method is more of a hack, but it works just fine. All you need is some practice before you master Gantt charts and add them to your Excel skillset 😎

In this article, we saw how to make a Gantt chart. We also saw how to add a Chart title, use the task pane and adjust data on the chart.

But if you’re here to master Excel, you need to know a lot more than that. If you haven’t already tried the VLOOKUP, IF, and SUMIF functions, we suggest you give them a shot.

You can learn them for free in my 3o minute email course that teaches these fantastic functions and much more.

Other resources

If you feel this Gantt chart doesn’t cover all your needs, you can always get one online. These come in a wide variety, and you can choose a Gantt chart depending on your budget and requirements 🤗

If you enjoyed reading this article, we’re sure you’d love to know more. Try reading Gantt Chart in Power BISaving Excel Charts as ImagesCreating Pareto Charts, and much more.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, Excel offers a variety of Gantt chart templates. Just type Gantt chart in the Search for Online Templates box on the New page. You can then select any Excel Gantt chart template you like.

A Gantt chart always works best for project timelines, and that involves dates. If you want, you can remove the dates by deleting the column containing the start date. Excel will delete all its data from the chart. And you will only be left with the duration highlighted in orange.

To create a Gantt chart with months:

  1. Replace the dates with months. The chart will now show the names of months instead of dates.
  2. If it doesn’t, double-click the chart.
  3. Select Horizontal Axis from the Task pane Text options.
  4. Click Number.
  5. Put a checkmark on Linked to Source under Format Code. The chart will now show the exact start dates mentioned by you.