Create a Gantt chart

Need to show status for a simple project schedule with a Gantt chart? Though Excel doesn’t have a predefined Gantt chart type, you can simulate one by customizing a stacked bar chart to show the start and finish dates of tasks, like this:

Sample simulated Gantt chart

Tip: If your project has a more complex schedule and you want to capture dependencies, you might want to create the Gantt chart in Microsoft Project instead.

To create a Gantt chart like the one in our example that shows task progress in days:

  1. Select the data you want to chart. In our example, that’s A1:C6

    sample table data for the Gantt chart

If your data’s in a continuous range of cells, select any cell in that range to include all the data in that range.

If your data isn't in a continuous range, select the cells while holding down the Ctrl key.

Tip: If you don't want to include specific rows or columns of data you can hide them on the worksheet. Find out more about selecting data for your chart.

  1. Click Insert > Insert Bar Chart > Stacked Bar chart.

the chart selection on the Ribbon

  1. Next, we’ll format the stacked bar chart to appear like a Gantt chart. In the chart, right-click the first data series (the Start part of the bar in blue) and click Fill > No Fill.

stacked 2-D bar chart with one data series selected

  1. If you don’t need the legend or chart title, click it and press DELETE.

  2. Let’s also reverse the task order so that it starts with Task1. Right-click the vertical axis (Tasks) and click Format Axis > Categories in reverse order box.

Customize your chart

You can customize the Gantt type chart we created by adding gridlines, labels, or changing the bar color or how the values or text appear, with the chat tools.

Click the chart area to open the chart tools:

formatting options in the chart tools

Click Chart Elements tools to format the gridlines, labels or titles or other features.

the chart element tools button

Click Chart Styles for a selection of preformatted styles and color options.

the chart style tools to change formatting in a chart.

Click Chart Filter to change the values and names.

the chart filter tools

To reuse your customized Gantt chart just, save it as a template.

Learn more about creating and working with charts.

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