How to create a Gantt chart in Excel sheets

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Today we’ll see how to make a Gantt chart in Excel sheets. Made from scratch, the chart can be customized to your taste.

What is a Gantt chart?

A Gantt chart is a popular project management tool used to visualize team activities over time. With each task represented by a separate bar, you can gain insights into current workload and plan long-term events.

Some common use cases for a Gantt chart include visualizing milestones and tasks, start and due dates, detecting overlapping tasks, tracking project progress. Gantt charts are the best for every project with multiple processes.

You probably look at the image above and think that a Gantt chart is something super complicated. Actually, it is not.

Let‘s create one in an Excel worksheet.


Why create a Gantt chart in Excel?

Excel sheets are arguably the best way to draft a project schedule fast and easy, without knowledge of specialized software. You can simply visualize the current workload or meeting calendar, for example.

Unlike many professional solutions, Excel files enable rich formatting and functional capabilities for Gantt charts. Here you can customize them as you need to, often free of charge and without an Internet connection. In spreadsheets, you can start with personal planning, scheduling workout progress, courses at the university, and more. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to purchase costly enterprise subscriptions for cloud-based services for such elementary tasks.


How to create a Gantt chart in Excel sheets?

You can use ONLYOFFICE Docs, Workspace, Personal, and Desktop Editors to build a Gantt chart in a spreadsheet. You can either draft a quick project schedule manually or insert a stacked bar chart based on the data arranged beforehand.

Let’s see how both methods work in ONLYOFFICE Docs.


Create manually

Open a new Excel worksheet and add a date sequence in the first line as demonstrated below.

In the second line, select the range that will cover the dates you need to complete the first task. Mark it with the desired color and specify the task in a cell. You can format the font size and color too.

The first bar of a Gantt chart is ready — add the rest to the lines below!

Create using the advanced method

Create a new Excel worksheet and add a table containing data of your project. It should at least contain these details:

  • Tasks
  • Start dates
  • Due dates
  • Duration (in days)

Visualize your inputs. Go to the Insert tab —> Chart and select the Stacked bar.

You will see a blank area.

Click on Select Data on the right-side toolbar. A new window appears where data from the cells can be imported.

In the Legend Entries area, you have Series 1. Click on Edit.

Series name must be a cell with the text Start date. Values are all dates in this column.

Do the same to the Duration column.

Series name must be a cell with the text Duration. Values are all numbers in this column.

Add tasks, go back to Select Data on the right-side toolbar and click on Edit under the Horizontal Axis Labels option.

Select all values in the Tasks column.

Now you can name and resize the chart to your taste.

The next step is to finally make it look more like a Gantt chart.

Our bars are colored in blue and orange. Select the blue ones, go to the Home tab and choose No Fill.

Seems like the Gantt chart is ready. But look at the tasks — the order is incorrect.

Open the Advanced Settings on the right-side toolbar. Go to Vertical Axis and check Values in reverse order.

The project plan looks much better now!

You can extend it to a larger number of tasks and use it as a template for workflow planning.

Want to make your custom Gantt chart in an Excel sheet? Get free ONLYOFFICE Workspace or desktop app for Windows, Linux, or macOS.


Get free ONLYOFFICE Personal for making custom Gantt charts online.

Free Gantt chart in ONLYOFFICE Workspace

Planning in Excel sheets is good for individual use or smaller projects, whereas professionals would need specialized software.

In ONLYOFFICE Workspace, you can generate Gantt charts for projects in a few clicks. No Excel knowledge needed! Analyze project progress and task dependencies. Update scheduled events and deadlines.

ONLYOFFICE Workspace is free for teams with up to 5 users. Start your web office today:


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