As well as being a great way to store, tabulate and analyse your data, Microsoft Excel has many other features which can be used to really help you in your day to day life. One of these features is the ability to set up your own Gantt charts.
Gantt charts are ideal for managing your time and resources. From large scale projects to weekly tasks that need to be monitored, using Gantt charts is a great way of getting organised, which is why we take you through a step by step walk through of how to make your own.
First off, we need some data to convert into a chart. The example below goes through a university work schedule plan, but you can make yours to match whatever topic you most need planning.
Make sure that your dates are properly formatted by:
- selecting from B2 to B6
- right clicking
- Click on the Number tab
- Select Date from the Category list (you can select how it is formatted from here)
Creating a Bar Chart
Now you need to select all of the data, which in this case is from cells A1 to D6. In Excel 2007, click on the Insert tab so you have access to the Charts tool bar. From here you need to select Bar Chart (see image below).
Now you need to select Stacked Bar Chart as seen below:
This will create your stacked table which will become your Gantt chart. It should look something like this:
Editing your Chart
Now you have your stacked bar chart it’s time to turn it into a Gantt chart. To do this, first of all we need to select the first set of data in the chart (the blue section of the chart), right click and select Format Data Series.
From this menu you need to set the boarder style to no line and fill to no fill. This will cause the blue bar to disappear so you are left with something like this:
From here you need to reorganise the data to make it look more like a Gantt chart. To do this, you need to select the x-axis (which is reversed from normal, in charts is actually the vertical y-axis). Right click and select Format Axis, from here you can select “Categories in Reverse Order” under the Axis Options tab.
Now all we have to do is the final formatting to the horizontal, y-axis. Reduce the size of the font and change it to whatever font works best from you. It is possible to define your own scale to the chart from within the Axis Option, but in this case we will leave them as automatic. Then we are done, you now have your own Gantt chart set up.
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