How to Create a Gantt Chart in PowerPoint: Step by Step (with Pictures)

By Matt Mazur · Last updated March 3, 2022

Gantt charts are very useful for project management.

If you want to learn how to make a Gantt chart in PowerPoint, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, you’re going to learn how to do exactly that, step by step.

Before we get started, it's important to note that making a Gantt chart in PowerPoint is doable, but it's not as easy as making one with a dedicated Gantt chart maker.

Anyway, let's begin:

To start creating your Gantt Chart in PowerPoint, you need to have a blank slide with enough room for the chart.

To create an empty slide, select Home > Slides > Add Slide

Since PowerPoint doesn’t have a Gantt chart included in the program’s charts, we have to use the next closest thing.

Go to Insert > Illustrations > Chart

This will bring up an insert chart menu from which you need to choose a stacked bar graph as a base for the Gantt chart.

Stacked bar graphs are the closest to Gantt charts. With a little formatting, this tutorial will show you how to take a simple stacked bar and create a Gantt chart from it.

Insert chart > Bar > Stacked Bar > Stacked bar > Okay

Now you have your bar graph inserted. It should look something like this example:

From here, we’ve got to add in the data to the chart by utilizing the Excel datasheet.

First, organize the whole project into separate tasks by assigning a start date, end date, and the duration between those dates.

Organize the start date as column A, end date as column B, and duration as column C.

By formatting the chart this way, it’ll be easier to read and understand.

To do so, Highlight Column B and C > Right Click > Format Cells > Date > Desired Date Format

To calculate duration between the start date and end date, use the formula [=C2-B2] as shown in the screenshot below.

This can be done manually, but it is much easier to use the formula.

Now that the duration data inputted properly, the end date data is no longer needed.

To remove the end date series Select the chart > Click on chart filters (Funnel icon to the right of the graph) > Uncheck the End date checkbox > Apply

After you’ve finished those formatting steps, your graph should start looking more like a Gantt chart.

Only the information for the start date and duration and not the end date is visible.

The next step is to format your stacked bar graph to look even more like a Gantt chart. To do this, you need to make the start date sections invisible by removing the color from the fill of the bars.

Click On One Of The Blue Bars > Right Click > Fill > No Fill

At this time, you may have noticed that the events in your graph are not in the right order.
To fix this problem, select them by clicking on the list of tasks on the left-hand side.

This will display the format axis dialog and provide a list of options.

Under axis option, select the categories in reverse order option. Afterward, click the close button to save all the changes.

To reverse the order of the tasks Click on The List of Tasks > Format Axis Display > Axis Options > Select Categories in Reverse Order > Close Button

The design of the Gantt chart is almost as important as the information itself.

Now is when you can customize the visual design of your PowerPoint Gantt chart. Themes are one way to alter the design of the entire presentation which includes fonts, formatting, and colors.

To start go to Design > Themes

Beyond the typical themes, there are optional variations of each one.

These have slightly different colors and patterns to keep the main aspects of the theme with a subtle twist.

To use variations on themes, go to Designs > Variants

Everything within your presentation looks properly like a Gantt chart. Now it’s time to improve the overall design.

You can adjust the chart’s colors, font, hues, and sizing by going to Chart tools > Themes > Design > Chart Styles:

Right-clicking on any part of the graph will also allow you to customize it.

To edit the bars themselves, *Click the bar > Format > shape styles *

Within the Shape styles tab, you can use one of the preformatted styles or you can choose your own specific design using the ‘Shape Fill’, ‘Shape Border’, and ‘Shape Effects’ options.

When it’s all set up and finished, you’ll have a gorgeous Gantt chart as a perfect visualization of your data.

The final form of the Gantt article should look approximately like the example below.