This Mousebyte shows you how to create a Gantt chart using Visio.  Gantt charts allow you to create dependencies between tasks : when you change the duration of a task, Visio will automatically update the timeline, rescheduling other tasks. We will also show you how to add subtasks and milestones as well as changing working time settings for your project.

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To create a Gantt Chart drawing click File | New and then click Schedule in the Template Categories area.

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Next, click on the Gantt Chart template button.  You will be prompted to specify a number of options for you Gantt Chart such as number of tasks and start and end dates.

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Enter values as necessary and then click OK. Your Gantt Chart drawing will appear on screen.  Click on the Ribbon’s Gantt Chart tab to view tools and commands for this type of drawing.

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Your next step will be to add task names and task durations. Durations can be added as minutes 1m, hours 1h, days 1d, weeks 1w.

Link Tasks

To link tasks, select a task and then SHIFT select another task. On the Ribbon click the Link button. Linking will cause your tasks to be rescheduled based on predecessor dependencies. Links are shown as lines between tasks.

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Create Subtasks

To create subtasks, select the task or tasks you want as subtasks and then click on the Ribbon’s Indent button. The task immediately above your indented tasks automatically becomes a summary task.

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NB The summary task’s duration is automatically calculated based on subtask durations and any links between subtasks.

View Additional Columns

To insert additional Gantt Chart columns, right-click on an existing column and in the menu select Insert Column.

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Select the column to insert and then click OK. A new column is inserted to the right of the selected column.

Add a New Task Row to Your Gantt Chart

To add a new task row, select the frame (solid line) around the Gantt chart and then click the Ribbon’s New button. A new row will be added beneath existing rows.

You can also add a row in between existing rows by selecting a cell within a row.  Use the New button as above and a new row will be inserted above your selection.

Change the Order of Tasks

To change the order of tasks, drag a cell within the row to its new position.  The whole task will move with the cell you have selected.

Change the Order of Columns

To change the order of columns simply drag a column to its new position.

Add a Milestone

To create a milestone task, specify a task’s duration as zero.  By default, milestones appear as diamonds in the Gantt Chart as shown below.

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Change Timescale Options

When you originally set up a drawing you are asked for timescale options; these can be adjusted at any point in the drawing’s development.  Click on the Ribbon’s Chart Options to reopen the relevant dialog box.

Configure Working Time

By default, working time is set as 08:00 to 16:00, Monday to Friday.  To change these assumptions, click on the Ribbon’s Configure Working Time button and enter your new settings in the dialog box shown below.

Change the Width of the Gantt Chart

To change the width of the Gantt chart portion of the drawing (excluding the columns area), click once in the grey area above the timescale at the top of the Gantt chart, then click once again.  Drag the blue selection handle on the right of the Gantt chart to change its width.

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To change the number of days, hours, weeks etc. shown on the Gantt chart use Chart Options.

Exporting to Excel /Importing Excel Data

Visio Gantt chart data can be both exported to Excel and imported from Excel.

To export data, click the Export Data button on the Ribbon. Follow the wizard to complete your export.

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A good way to see how you might import data from Excel is to look to the see the column headings that are used in the export file.  Using these same column headings will make importing data trouble-free as you will not need to change the column mapping settings when you run the import wizard (see below).

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