Gantt Chart Template for Excel
A Gantt chart is a helpful tool for project planning and keeping track of the status of individual tasks within a project. Invented in 1910 by a mechanical engineer named Henry Gantt, gantt charts are now a primary feature in most project planning software tools. For complicated project management activities, you may need a tool such as Microsoft Project. But, if you want to create a project schedule quickly and easily, and you know how to copy/paste/insert/delete in Excel, my Gantt Chart Template is both user-friendly and budget-friendly.
In a time crunch? For simple project schedules and timelines, download the free Gantt Chart Template for Excel below and get started planning in a matter of minutes with almost no learning curve. All you need are the most basic spreadsheet skills. While planning a project, you may also find it useful to refer to a free yearly calendar.
Gantt Chart Template for ExcelFree version 1.7.3
Size: ~250KB, V 1.7.3
Easily create and print a Gantt Chart with this Excel spreadsheet by entering the start date, duration, and percent complete for any number of tasks and subtasks.
- Add additional tasks by simply copying and pasting rows.
- A slider bar allows you to easily adjust the range of dates displayed, so that you can create a project schedule spanning a year or more.
"No Installation, No Macros - Just a simple spreadsheet - An original creation by Dr. Jon Wittwer of Vertex42.com"
Gantt Chart Template ProProfessional Version 2.3
via ClickBank.com Bonus Content Included (see below)
File: gantt-chart.XLS (Excel 2003+)
Microsoft Excel® 2002(XP), 2003, 2004(Mac), 2007, 2008(Mac), 2010, 2011(Mac), 2013
(not for resale or distribution)
FAQ - Purchase Process >
Other - Contact Us >
Video #1: Basic Tutorial
Video #2: Task Dependencies
Visit the Support Page >
Unlocked / Not Password Protected - The professional Gantt Chart template is "unlocked" meaning that the worksheets are not password protected. This allows you to more fully customize your project schedule.
Daily/Weekly/Monthly View - The newest version of the Gantt chart (2.3) let's you switch between a daily, weekly, or monthly view by simply selecting the option from a drop-down list. You can also choose whether or not to show weekends. For details on this new feature, see the blog article Creating a Gantt Chart with Excel is Getting Even Easier. Note: With this new feature, a few parts of the video tutorials will be obsolete.
Other Features of the Pro Version
- Enter the number of Work Days for defining the duration of a task
- Exclude holidays and vacations from work days (see below for details)
- Easily create task dependencies using the new Predecessor columns (see below for details)
- Includes a much-improved Help worksheet
Great License Agreement! Some people don't take the time to read license agreements, so you might not realize what a great deal you are getting. When you buy our Gantt Chart Template, you are buying it for your ENTIRE COMPANY, not just a single computer. Even at a discount price of $450+ for Microsoft Project, you don't need to be a math wiz to see the value.
The following bonus files are included with the purchase of Gantt Chart Template PRO. Each is a separate file, and there is no automated means of transferring information from one file to the other.
Bonus #1 Excel 2007+ (XLSX) Version with Color-CodingFilename: gantt-chart.xlsx
Choose different colors for the bars in the gantt chart by entering a pre-defined color codes (default=blue, r=red, k=black, o=orange, p=purple, g=green, 1-6 = theme-based accent colors). Or, use a formula to color-code your project's tasks based on the task owner or the urgency.[Not compatible with Excel 2008 for the Mac]
Bonus #2: Event ScheduleFilename: gantt-chart_events.xls
This Event Schedule is great for scheduling classes or presentations for workshops, conferences, and seminars. It was created as a variant of the gantt chart template, but is based on the use of Times rather than Dates.
- Choose the time interval for the chart (10, 15, 20, 30 or 60 minutes)
- Enter the start time and end time for each event
Bonus #3: Time-Based Gantt ChartFilename: gantt-chart_time.xls
Use this template to define a process that spans only a few hours. Durations are entered as times instead of days.
Bonus #4-#6: Sample Project SchedulesFiles: sample_construction-schedule.xls | sample_software-project-schedule.xls | sample_website-project-schedule.xls
Download a pre-populated gantt chart for 3 different sample projects: (1) Home Construction Project Schedule, (2) Custom Software Project Schedule, (3) Website Development Project Schedule. These templates use the new Predecessors feature for defining task dependencies. Note: The outlines are generic and the durations are fictitious. These files are based on the .XLS version of the template (not the new .XLSX version).
Bonus #7: Google Docs Version
We have created a Google Docs version to share privately with people who purchase Gantt Chart Template Pro. It is limited to a daily view (not weekly/monthly) for now, but otherwise it does almost everything that the new XLSX version does, including color coding.
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Using the Gantt Chart Template (Pro Version)
I placed answers to most of the questions that I get asked in a Help section within the Gantt chart worksheet. You are welcome to contact me if you have other questions, but please take a look through the Help first.
Enter Working Days, Duration, or End Date
In the professional version of the Gantt Chart Template, template rows have been included at the bottom of the worksheet(s) that give you different ways of entering the dates and durations for the tasks. You can even use different methods within the same gantt chart as shown in the image below (the inputs have green backgrounds).
- Working Days (default): The new version of the gantt chart lets you choose the duration of a task by entering the start date and the number of work days (excluding weekends and holidays). This is a critical feature for creating a project plan when you are creating dependent tasks.
- Duration: Enter the number of calendar days for a task. Some projects use 7-day work weeks, or require Saturdays or Sundays to be work days, so this option allows you to handle these cases.
- End Date: Choosing the end date can be useful when you have a deadline that forces you to complete a task by that date.
Also notice that in the professional version, the Start and End dates are formatted to show the week day. This helps you avoid starting or ending on a weekend, without having to consult a calendar.
Create a Project Spanning Many Months and Years
The time-span displayed in the gantt chart is fixed (8, 11, or 3 months, depending on which gantt chart worksheet you use). But, the slider bar makes it easy to scroll through your entire project. The horizontal scroll bar simply adjusts the first date shown in the chart.
This approach lets you scroll through a project that spans many months and years. In Excel 2007, you can add columns to increase the time-span that is displayed.
A New Way to Define Predecessor Tasks
Version 2.2 introduced a brand new option for creating task dependencies. Normally, if you want to make a task start after the completion of another task, you would enter a formula for the Start date like =enddate+1 or =WORKDAY(enddate,1,holidays), where enddate references the End date of the Predecessor task. That isn't too hard, but you can tell by just looking at the gantt chart that there is a dependency defined.
We're experimenting with a new approach, where you create dependencies by referencing the WBS number of up to 3 Predecessor task(s). If you reference the WBS using a formula as shown below, the reference will remain correct even after you insert new tasks. But, if you really want to, you can enter the WBS number manually, as long as you enter the number as text, by adding an apostrophe before the number like '1.2 instead of just 1.2.
This approach is very new, and I didn't want to add confusion for those that are familiar with the free or older versions, so the Predecessor columns (D-F) are hidden by default. The template rows that provide the necessary formulas are also hidden. So, if you want to experiment with this new method, just unhide all the rows and columns, and copy the rows from the template rows at the bottom of the gantt chart.
Exclude Holidays and other Non-Working Days
In the pro version, a worksheet has been added where you can list holidays and other non-working days that you want to exclude. As long as you don't leave any blanks between the dates or delete row 10 (see below) you can copy/paste, insert/delete, sort, or append to the list.
Automatic WBS Numbering and Grouping
Automatic Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) numbering makes it easy to copy/paste or move rows around, without having to redefine all of the task numbers. You can also use Excel's grouping and outlining feature to hide or show groups of tasks. See my article on Grouping and Outlining in Excel for an explanation of how to use Excel's "Group and Outline" feature for expanding or contracting groups of items.
Questions about the Gantt Chart Template
How do I easily move data from the free gantt chart to the pro version? There is no automated import/export feature (mainly because of the ability to use custom formulas to define dependencies). But, you can copy and paste the WBS, Task, and Task Lead, and that will give you a good start. First, add rows to the new version to mimic the outline in your old version. After you have copied the WBS/Task/Lead data to the new gantt chart, you will need to step through each task to define the start date, end date, duration and dependencies.
Can I add columns to the Gantt chart? This is one of the most frequently asked questions about the pro version of the gantt chart. The answer is a most definite yes. For example, you could add a column for indicating the number of people associated with each task, the budgeted cost, actual cost, etc.
How do I make a task precede another task by N days? In the gantt chart template, if you want to create a task that will automatically precede (start before) another task by a certain number of work days, you can use a formula for the start date such as =WORKDAY(reference_date, number_of_days, holidays), where "number_of_days" is a negative number of days and "reference_date" is a reference to the start date of the task you want to precede. "holidays" is a named range in Gantt Chart Template Pro. This same technique will work for making a task start N days after another date (using a positive number_of_days).
Other Common Questions:
We've begun using our blog as a place to provide answers to common questions and other technical support for Gantt Chart Template Pro. The following are quick links to areas on our "Technical Support for Gantt Chart Template Pro" page.
- Can I increase the number of columns displayed in the Gantt Chart if I'm using Excel 2007?
- Can I enter and display dates in UK format (dd/mm/yy)?
- Can I import tasks into Microsoft Project?
- Green cells are inputs, but why do some contain formulas?
- How do I use the Percent (%) Complete?
- Why is the red line marking Today's Date not showing up?
- Dropbox Makes Organizing and Collaborating on Documents Easy
Other Free Gantt Chart Spreadsheets
- Gantt Chart Links - peltiertech.com - A great list of Gantt Chart links, compiled by Jon Peltier's, including links to a lot of other gantt chart spreadsheets.
- Gantt Charts in Excel - hyperthot.com, by James Chapman. - This page includes a few free gantt chart downloads for Excel that also calculate spend plan. This is done by including labor costs broken down by employee and the number of hours spent on each task.
- CPM / PERT Spreadsheet - vertex42.com - This template includes a gantt chart for critical path analysis.
Commercial Gantt Chart Software
- Microsoft Project - Office.Microsoft.com - Although a bit pricey, this really is the ultimate software for creating gantt charts and project timelines, partly because it is widely used and therefore you can probably find someone in your office that knows how to use it if you have questions.
Related News and Resources
- 4/26/2013: Official Release of Version 2.3 - Thank you to the customers who have provided the suggestions and feedback that help us make Gantt Chart Pro better and better.
- 4/8/2013: What is the Critical Path method? - The Critical Path method helps you figure out how long your project will take to complete and is useful for project management. The Critical Path Method (CPM) helps you give your client or employer an estimate for how long it will take to complete the tasks. Our free Critical Path Method spreadsheet template will help you determine the length of time it will take to complete your project.
- 6/13/2012: 12 Steps to Planning a Project - Creating a gantt chart is just one of the many steps involved in project planning. This article is a quick read with some great reminders.
- 4/11/2012: Drawing a Gantt Chart - MindTools.com - If for some reason you wanted to create a gantt chart by hand using graph paper, this article tells you how.
- 2/20/2002 - 12/10/2011: Project Management Graphics (Gantt Charts) - edwardtufte.com - A ongoing, detailed, academic discussion about the use of gantt charts as project management tools.
- Gantt Chart Definition and History - wikipedia.com