Gantt Chart

​The Gantt Chart view displays task information in two panels: the left panel displays information as a sheet and the right panel displays information as a chart. Panel 1 displays the task information as a sheet and includes details about start and finish task dates, resources assigned to them or % complete. The following columns are usually referred: Id, Indicators, Name, Duration, Start, Finish, Resource Names, Percent Complete, Predecessors. Panel 2 displays the Gantt bar representation of the tasks. The bar's length and position on the timescale indicate when that task begins and ends. In addition, the position of one task bar in relation to another indicates whether the tasks follow one another or overlap.

In planner products, that allow creating and editing of project plans, the Gantt Chart view is the default view for new projects. 

Note To access the Gantt Chart view, on the View menu, click Gantt Chart.

Legend: The Gantt chart displays blue bars for common Tasks, black rhombuses for Milestones, blue bars connected with suspension dots for Task Splits, black bars for Summary Tasks. The background displays the Project's calendar time span.

Deadlines [1]: A deadline indicates the target date when the user wants a task to be completed. The deadline is displayed in Gantt chart as a green arrow.

Links: The Gantt panel display links that show the predecessor or the successor relation between tasks.

Bar Texts: A various project information (such as duration, constraint type, finish etc) can be used for the bar texts in order to describe a task. The position of the bar texts can be: left, right, top, bottom and inside.

Gantt Chart.png

Fig. Gantt Chart

Best uses

Use the different Gantt Chart views to:

View tasks graphically while still having access to detailed information about the tasks. (Gantt Chart view)

View tasks as rolled-up bars or milestones on their respective summary task bars, enabling you to see your whole project without losing sight of the tasks [1]. (Bar, Milestone, and Milestone Date Rollup views)

See how tasks progress across time and evaluate the slack and slippage between tasks. You can track progress by comparing planned and actual start and finish dates, and by checking the completion percentage of each task [1]. (Detail Gantt view)

Review changes made to tasks during levelling and the effects of resource leveling on task completion [1]. (Leveling Gantt view)

See how tasks progress across time. Review progress by comparing planned (baseline) dates and actual start and finish dates, and by checking the progress of each task [1]. (Tracking Gantt view)

See the baselines the project manager saved for the project [1]. (Multiple Baselines Gantt view)


Application is able to read the following formatting and style customizations made by the project manager for each of the Gantt Chart views in Microsoft® Project and saved in the .mpp file:

Layout options - options for drawing the links between tasks, date format, bar height, etc.

Bar styles - the styles for drawing the bars and displaying information about bars in the particular view

Text styles - the font styles for the various texts in the view

Bar formatting - the specific formatting of a particular bar in the chart, in case the project manager intentionally changed the format to make the task stand-out from the others by its visual presentation

Row, Column, and Cell Font formatting - the specific font formatting of a particular row, column, or cell in the sheet portion of the view, in case the project manager intentionally applied a different format to highlight the particular task, field, or value

Progress Lines formatting [1] - the progress lines activated for the view and formatting options related to them

Timescale formatting - the formatting of the different timescale tiers, as well as the calendar and presentation of the working and non-working days

Gridlines formatting [1]   - the formatting of the different gridlines for the sheet and chart portions of the view

Drawings [1] - the different drawings and text boxes placed on the chart by the project manager, in order to place additional information for the tasks or emphasize a certain phase in the plan.

You are also able to customize the Gantt Chart views, using one of the following opportunities:

    Change the different Layout options for the active Gantt Chart view [1].  

    Display, hide, or change the appearance of the timescale tiers.

    Display, hide, or change the appearance of nonworking time [1].

    Create a combination view for the Gantt Chart view to display additional information about the tasks or about the resources assigned to those tasks in a different view [2].


The sheet portion displays categories of information about the tasks, arranged in tables. The default table for the Gantt Chart views depends on the view. For example, the default table for the standard Gantt Chart view is the Entry table, for the Bar and Milestone Rollup - the Rollup table, for the Tracking Gantt - the Tracking table, etc. You can also select any of the task tables to display information about the project's tasks.


The Gantt Chart view can use any of the task filters to display only the tasks you want to see. When you select a filter, both the sheet and chart portions of the Gantt Chart display the information as defined by that filter's criteria. The default filter is the All Tasks filter.

Grouping [3]

The Gantt Chart view allows you to group tasks.

Zoom in and out [1]

The timeline units for the right portion of the Gantt Chart view are displayed at the top of the chart. By default, displays two units of time. You can adjust these time units to display up to three units of time, and you can change it so that different time units are displayed. For example, you can zoom out to a bigger picture of your project's tasks by displaying Years and Months, or you can zoom in to see the exact start and finish dates for your project's tasks by changing the timescale to Weeks and Days.

The functionalities listed below apply only to planner products:

Use the task list

You can list each of your project's tasks in the grid portion on the left side of the Gantt Chart view, and then organize them into a hierarchy of summary tasks and subtasks. You can also link tasks together, to show task dependencies.

Allowed actions:

    Create and insert a new task (single or recurring)

    Outline tasks into subtasks and summary tasks

    Create task dependencies (links) within your project

    Create and link tasks

Use the chart

In addition to the grid portion of the view, the Gantt Chart view also provides an illustrated version of your task list, with Gantt bars that show the duration of your project's tasks across a timeline. This part of the Gantt Chart view is called the chart. For each task, the associated Gantt bar begins at the start date, and ends at the finish date. If you have linked tasks together, the Gantt bars are connected on the chart with link lines.

Change colors and add text

You can:

   Change the color, shape, or pattern of Gantt bars.

   Create a new type of Gantt bar, such as one that shows available slack or delayed tasks.

    Add text to Gantt bars.

    Display task names for individual Gantt bars on a summary task bar.

    Change the height of Gantt bars.

    Change the appearance of link lines between Gantt bars.

Create and insert a new task (single or recurring)

You can create tasks to break the project work down into smaller pieces. Some project managers use the term activity or work package instead of task.

To define your tasks most effectively, consider the following guidelines:

Break down tasks to the level of detail that you want to track. You should break them down in more detail for riskier areas.

Make sure that tasks have clear criteria for completion.

Define the tasks that are short compared with the overall project duration. Shorter tasks allow you to more easily estimate time and resources.

Avoid defining such things as vacation or training as tasks.

Create a new task

    On the View menu, click Gantt Chart.

    In the Task Name field, type a task name at the end of the task list.

You can insert a task between existing tasks by selecting the row below where you want a new task to appear. On the Task menu, select Insert option and then type the task name in the inserted row. The task IDs are automatically renumbered after you insert a task.

Press Enter.

You can use an outline to organize your schedule as you enter tasks, or you can wait until you enter all of your project tasks. When you outline a schedule for your project, you simplify its organization so that your project is easier to create, manage, and maintain.

Create multiple new tasks

If you are adding several tasks with resource assignments and task dependencies at one time, you may find it helpful to enter this information into your project by using the Task Form view.

     On the View menu, click Gantt Chart.

     In the Gantt Chart view, double click the first empty row at the end of the task list.

     In the Task info, type the name of the task you are creating in the Name box.

     In the Duration box, type the task duration.

If you want the task duration to remain fixed regardless of resource assignments, select the Effort driven check box to make your task effort-driven.

In the form columns, enter detailed information about the task (such as the assigned resources and predecessor tasks).

Click Next to save the new task and move to the next row in the Gantt Chart view.

Create a task that repeats (recurring task)

You may find that there are tasks that repeat throughout your project. For example, an executive may want to add a task for a shareholder's report to be delivered every three months. Depending on their nature, you can enter them as regular tasks or recurring tasks. If the task does not repeat at regular intervals, you enter it as you would any other task each time it occurs. If it does repeat at regular intervals, enter it as a recurring task.

    On the View menu, click Gantt Chart.

    Select the row below where you want the recurring task to appear.

    On the Insert menu, click Recurring Task.

    In the Task Name box, type the task name.

    In the Duration box, type the duration of a single occurrence of the task.

    Under Recurrence pattern, click Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Yearly.

    Specify the task frequency and select the check box next to each day of the week that the task should occur.

    Under Range of recurrence, enter a start date in the Start box. If you don't enter a date in the Start box, Project uses the project start date.

    Click End after or End by.

    If you clicked End after, type the number of occurrences for the task.

    If you clicked End by, enter the date you want the recurring task to end.

    Under Calendar for scheduling this task, select a resource calendar if you want to apply a calendar to the task.

    If you do not want to apply a calendar, be sure that None is selected from the Calendar list.

Tip   If you want to apply a calendar, but not tie that calendar to scheduling for the task, select the Scheduling ignores resource calendars check box.


The task IDs are automatically renumbered after you insert the task, and the recurring task indicators image2.gifappear in the Indicators column.

If your recurring task will occur on any nonworking days, Project asks you if you want to reschedule those occurrences.

If you assign resources directly to a recurring summary task by typing resource names in the Resource Names field, the resource will be assigned to the total work on the recurring task and not to the individual recurring tasks as they occur.

[1] This is supported only in Project Viewer for Win PC/Server, Project Viewer for Win Web/Server, Project Viewer Online Subscription, Project Viewer for SharePoint Server, Project Viewer for SharePoint Online, Project Plan 365 for Win PC/Server, Project Plan 365 for Win Web/Server, Project Plan 365 Online Subscription, Project Plan 365 for SharePoint Server and Project Plan 365 for SharePoint Online products

[2] This is supported only in Project Viewer for Win PC/Server, Project Viewer for Win Web/Server and Project Plan 365 for Win PC/Server products

[3] This is supported only in Project Viewer for Win PC/Server product