If you want to create a visualization of a project schedule, a Gantt chart is a common option for this that is used in project management.
Many users aren’t aware that this type of chart can be created in Google Sheets.
In this tutorial, I will show how to create a Gantt chart in Google Sheets.
Table of Contents
What is a Gantt Chart?
A Gantt chart is a type of chart used in project management that is used in project planning.
It is a visualization that shows the start and finish dates for the elements of a project.
A Gantt chart has a list of tasks and bars that represent the progress of each task.
The horizontal bars in this kind of chart show the timeline of the project and can include different things such as the order of tasks, the duration of each task, as well as start and end dates for various tasks.
Here is an example of a Gantt chart:
Creating a Gantt Chart
To create our own basic Gantt chart in our spreadsheet, we will need to first lay our data out and then use the data to create the chart.
Here are the steps:
1. First, we need to enter the data that will be used to create our chart. In this example, I have a column with task names and start dates, and end times for each task. This will be used in the next step to get the duration of each task.
2. Next I’m going to duplicate my table but change the column names to “Start” and “Duration” to represent what day each task starts on and the duration of each task. We will be entering a formula to get these values from the dates that were previously entered. The formula I have used is: =INT(B2)–INT($B$2)
3. Copy and paste the formula down the column for every row that has a task entered
4. The next formula in the Duration column will subtract the start date from the end date. In my example, this formula is: =C2–B2
5. Copy and paste this formula down the column for every row that has a task entered
6. Now we have our data to create the chart with. Highlight your data
7. Then in the top menu select Insert>Chart
8. In the Chart Editor “Setup” tab, make sure the Chart type is set to Stacked bar chart. Sometimes this will be set automatically when you create your chart, other times you may have to manually select it
9. Next, in the Customize tab, select Series. From here select your first series. In my example, this is called “Start”
10. Then select the Fill color tool and set the color to white. Alternatively, you can also set the Fill opacity to 0% instead of selecting a color. This is to make this series invisible because we do not want it to show in our chart.
11. Next, we will remove the legend, by navigating the Legend settings and setting the position to none
12. Finally, I will rename my chart title by entering my new title under the Chart & axis titles setting
13. Now the basic Gantt chart is complete. Here is how mine looks
Using the Built-In Gantt Chart Template
There is also a built-in Gantt chart template that you can use to create this kind of chart if you would prefer to make one this way.
To create a chart using the template:
1. In Google Sheets, navigate to the top menu and select File>New>From template gallery
2. You will now see different templates you can use to create your sheet. Navigate down the Project management section and select Gantt chart
3. You will now see a template in your file that you can begin to edit to create your custom chart
Gantt charts are incredibly useful, and there’s more than one way to make one in a spreadsheet.
If you just want a simple one, making your own is fine, but the built-in template is also a good starting point for creating your chart.
So, its up to you which method you choose!