How do I Create a Gantt PowerPoint?

Updated February 21, 2017

Gantt charts, named after their creator Henry Gantt, are a specific form of horizontal bar graph used to show project progress over time. A noticeable feature of a Gantt chart is that its horizontal bar is always a timescale, such as months, weeks or years. Charts may be made in any number of programs, but when you’re putting together a PowerPoint presentation, you don’t need to leave the software to create Gantt charts-you can make one within your slideshow creation interface.

Open PowerPoint. The program’s default is to automatically start a new slideshow presentation with a single, blank slide. To add a Gantt chart to an existing presentation, click the “File” tab, click “Open” and browse to the PowerPoint. Double-click the file name to open it and navigate to the slide where the chart should be added.

Click the “Insert” tab on the ribbon on the top of the screen. Click the “Chart” button to bring up the “Insert Chart” screen.

Click “Bar” and click one of the bar chart designs such as flat 2-D bars, 3-D cones and rounded rectangles. Click the “OK” button and PowerPoint opens a small window of the Microsoft Excel program with four rows and three columns of default data.

Click the cell in the first row, second column (B1). Type over the default column name, Series 1, with your own, such as Monday. Press the “Tab” key on the keyboard to move into the next cell, C1, and add the next Gantt scheduling time period, such as Tuesday. Continue tabbing and changing column names until you have all required.

Click into the second cell of the first column (A2). Type the measured item, such as Calories. Press the “Enter” key on the keyboard to drop into the next cell (A3). Type the next measured item, such as Exercise. Repeat until all categories are added.

Click into one of the placeholder numbered cells and type your actual data. For example, if Monday’s calories were 2,000, type “2,000” into cell B2. Continue until all your data is added.

Click off the Excel spreadsheet and back onto the PowerPoint slide and notice your Gantt chart has been automatically updated on the slide.

Change bar chart colours by double-clicking one of the bars, which brings up the “Format Data Point” window. Click “Fill,” click “Solid Fill,” pull down the “Color” menu and click a coloured box. Click “Close” and both the bar and its associated legend box change colour.

Click the “File” menu and select “Save As.” If you created a new slide, give the presentation a name and save it to your computer. If you added this chart into a presentation, give the presentation a new file name or version number; don’t save it on top of the original.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Excel
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About the Author

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.