How to Make a Gantt Chart in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making a Gantt chart in Excel is easier than you might think. You’ll be creating a visual timeline for your projects in no time! Just follow a series of simple steps to plot your tasks, set dates, and display your project’s progress.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Make a Gantt Chart in Excel

Making a Gantt chart in Excel involves creating a bar chart and then formatting it to look like a Gantt chart. Here’s how you can do it step by step.

Step 1: Open a New Excel Spreadsheet

First, open Excel and start a new blank spreadsheet.

This will be your workspace. Make sure you save your file so you don’t lose any progress.

Step 2: Enter Your Project Data

Next, input your project data in the following columns: Task Name, Start Date, and Duration.

It’s important to have all your tasks listed with their respective start dates and durations to ensure that your Gantt chart is accurate.

Step 3: Create a Stacked Bar Chart

Highlight your data, go to the ‘Insert’ tab, and select ‘Stacked Bar Chart’ from the Charts group.

This chart will serve as the foundation for your Gantt chart. It might not look like much now, but it’s about to transform!

Step 4: Switch the Data Rows and Columns

Click on the chart, and then go to the ‘Chart Design’ tab. Choose ‘Switch Row/Column’.

Switching rows and columns organizes your data in a way that makes it easier to create the Gantt chart.

Step 5: Format the Bar Chart to Look Like a Gantt Chart

Right-click on the bars that represent the Start Date and set them to ‘No Fill’.

This step makes the Start Date bars invisible, leaving only the Duration bars visible, which mimic the Gantt chart look.

Step 6: Adjust the Dates on the Horizontal Axis

Right-click on the dates on the horizontal axis and select ‘Format Axis’. Adjust the minimum bound to match your project start date.

This will ensure your chart only shows the relevant time period for your project.

Once you complete the action, you’ll see a Gantt chart that visually represents your project tasks and timelines. Each bar represents a task and its duration, making it easy to track progress and manage deadlines.

Tips for Making a Gantt Chart in Excel

  • Use Conditional Formatting: Apply conditional formatting to highlight specific tasks or milestones.
  • Update Regularly: Keep your Gantt chart updated to reflect any changes in your project timelines.
  • Add Labels: Include task labels and milestones for better readability.
  • Use Different Colors: Use different colors for different phases or types of tasks.
  • Save Versions: Save different versions of your chart as your project progresses to track changes over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make a Gantt chart in Excel without any add-ins?

Yes, you can create a Gantt chart using Excel’s built-in features, particularly the Stacked Bar Chart.

What if a task gets delayed?

You can easily update the Start Date and Duration columns in your spreadsheet, and the Gantt chart will adjust accordingly.

How can I add milestones?

You can add a separate column for milestones and use markers or different colors to indicate them on your chart.

Can I use this Gantt chart for team collaboration?

Yes, sharing the Excel file with your team allows everyone to view and edit the Gantt chart. Just ensure you save it in a shared location.

Is there a way to automate updates in my Gantt chart?

Excel doesn’t automate updates on its own, but you can use VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) scripts to create more dynamic functionality.


  1. Open a New Excel Spreadsheet.
  2. Enter Your Project Data.
  3. Create a Stacked Bar Chart.
  4. Switch the Data Rows and Columns.
  5. Format the Bar Chart to Look Like a Gantt Chart.
  6. Adjust the Dates on the Horizontal Axis.


Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to make a Gantt chart in Excel. This visual tool is invaluable for project management, helping you keep track of tasks and deadlines. Remember, the Gantt chart is only as useful as the data you put into it. Keep it updated regularly, and use the tips provided to enhance its functionality.

If you want to dive deeper, consider exploring Excel’s advanced features or even project management software specifically designed for creating Gantt charts. Happy charting, and may your projects always be on track!

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