Create a Gantt chart

A Gantt chart helps you schedule your project tasks and then helps you track your progress.

gantt chart

  1. On the File menu, point to New, point to Schedule, and then click Gantt Chart.

  2. On the Date tab, type the number of tasks you want to start with, the time units you want displayed, and the date range for the project.

    Note: You can change the format options at any time. On the Gantt chart menu, click Options, and then click the Format tab.

  3. Replace default task names with the task names relevant to your project and replace task start dates, finish dates, and durations.

    1. In your Gantt chart, under Task Name, click the cell that contains the task you want to rename, and then type.

    2. In your Gantt chart, click the cell that contains the date that you want to change, and then type the new date.

      Note: You cannot edit the date for a summary task. Summary task dates change only when you change the date of one or more of the tasks indented below the summary task.

    3. In your Gantt chart, click the cell that contains the duration that you want to change, and then type the new duration. Use the following abbreviations: m for minutes, h for hours, d for days, and w for weeks.

      Note: Don't add a space between the number and the abbreviation. For example, to indicate a duration of 5 days, type 5d.

      Tip: You can also change a duration by selecting the task bar, and then dragging the selection handle Selection handle image on the right end of the task bar until it aligns with a new end date on the timescale.

  4. Add more tasks to the Gantt chart.

    1. Select the project frame by clicking the solid line that surrounds the Gantt chart.

    2. Drag down the selection handle Selection handle image at the lower center of the frame. New task rows are created to fill the space.

    3. Click the Task Name cell for one of the new tasks, and then type the task name.

      Tip: You can reorder the tasks in a Gantt chart by dragging the task rows within the Gantt chart frame.

  5. Add milestones to the Gantt chart.

    1. From Gantt Chart Shapes, drag a Milestone shape onto the drawing page and position it between the tasks you want the milestone to precede and follow.

      Note: When you add a Milestone shape to a Gantt chart, you also automatically add a task row with a duration of 0 (zero).

    2. Type a name and date for the milestone.

      Tip: You can change a task into a milestone by setting its duration to 0. Similarly, you can change a milestone into a task by setting the duration to a positive number.

  6. Create dependencies between tasks in the Gantt chart.

    1. First, click to select the task bar or milestone you want to link from, and then press SHIFT and click to select the dependent task or milestone.

    2. Right-click one of the shapes, and then click Link Tasks.

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