Support : Excel Gantt Chart Maker

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TECHNICAL QUESTIONS:

  1. How to Input the Start Date of a Task ?
  2. How to Input a Duration ?
  3. How to Update the Progress Status ?
  4. How to Add New Rows ?
  5. How to Assign a Responsible Person ?
  6. How to Modify Working Days (week days) ?
  7. How to Exclude Holidays and Vacations ?
  8. How to Show the Chart Weekly, Daily or Monthly ?
  9. How to Change Project Title and Logo ?
  10. How to Change the Starting date of the Gantt Chart ?
  11. How to Change the Position of the « Red Bookmark » ?
  12. How to Force the Gantt Chart to Refresh the View ?
  13. How to Change the Language ?
  14. How to Modifiy the Way Weeks Numbers are Displayed ?
  15. How to Add a Flag to a Tasks ?
  16. How to Show and Fill Budget Fields ?
  17. How to Show/Hide the Column for « Comments » ?
  18. How to Activate/Deactivate the Reminder about « Enable Macros »?
  19. How to Automatically Share the Latest Schedule by Email ?
  20. How to Automatically Adjust Print Margins ?
  21. How to Customize the Colors Used in the Gantt Chart?
  22. How to customize the pre-defined colors of « one color per person in charge » ?
  23. How to add a new gantt chart in the same file ?
  24. How to set dependencies (or constraints) between tasks ?
  25. How to re-number the tasks ?
  26. How to Reach the support page from the Gantt Chart Maker ?

CONTACT FORM:

  1. Contact form for any other question not covered in this FAQ 

How to Input the Start Date of a Task ?

Manual Input

You can manually input any date as a starting date of task. Select the appropiate cell and type the starting date. If there is already another date or another formula inside this cell, you can safely overwrite it.

Once you update the starting date, the gantt chart will reflect automatically this new input.

date-1

Using the MENUS:

You can also decide to use the drop down list from the ribbon menu. Select the subject task then click on « Dependencies » and choose the appropriate option.

ribbon_dependencies

You can access this menu from the right-click drop down list as well:

right_click_dependencies

From this list, you can pick your desired option:

  • After the previous task: the task will start after the previous one
  • With the previous task: the task will start at the same date as the previous one
  • After the following task: the task will start after the following one
  • With the following task: the task will start at the same date as the following one
  • Retroplanning with the previous task: the subject task will end with the start of the previous task
  • Retroplanning with the following task: the subject task will end with the start of the following task
  • Customized dependency : will open a specific menu that can link tasks between them

For more details about dependencies, refer to « How to set dependencies (or constraints) between tasks ?« .

USING formulaS:

For more flexibility, you can opt to set-up simple formulas to link different tasks or sub-tasks:

  • Select the cell that contains the « Start Date » that you would like to modify
  • Write the symbol equal « = »
  • Select any other date (« Start Date » or « End Date »)
  • Write +1 (to add one day)
  • Confirm by pushing « Entry » key

For example, if you would like to start a sub-task after the previous one, these are the steps to follow:

date-2

Based on the above example; you can play with this formula by adding or substracting more or less than 1 day. Also, instead of linking to the previous sub-task, you can make a link with any other cell of your table.

date-6

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How to Input a Duration ?

Inputting a duration is quite straight forward: just select the appropriate cell and input the desired number of days. The gantt chart will be updated automatically. The Gantt Chart will also consider which working days you selected: Monday to Friday or Monday to Sunday.

duration

The end date is automatically calculated via a formula which uses:

  • The Starting date
  • The Duration
  • The type of calculation (Working Days, which days are weekend days)

In case you would like to build the schedule in retro-planning (starting from the end and building the schedule backward) you can opt for negative duration:

  • Input the last day of the task in the cell « Start Date »
  • Input the desired duration with minus symbol : for example -5

retroplanning

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How to Update the Progress Status ?

From the drop down list, select the progress status of any sub-task. You can also manually input any value you would like by selecting the cell and entering the desired percentage.

This information will be used to check if a task is on-track or in delay:

  • If the task is behind the red line (a line which reflects your specified today’s date), then the completed portion will be shown in green and the rest in hashed red ;
  • If the task is not behind schedule, it will be shown in green and grey

status

The round shapes next the percentage follow the same logic.

If you wish to not distinguish tasks in delay, just set the « red bookmark » to a date in the far future (e.g: 01/01/2020). If so, all tasks will show in green and grey.

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How to Assign a Responsible Person ?

For any task, you can choose from a drop down list the name of the responsible person. If the name of the responsible person is not in this list, you can over-write manually any name you would like to.

task_leader_1_en

The drop-down list is based on the informations about project members. This list can be accessed by a click on « Tools » and « Update Members List ».

task_leader_2_en

You will be transferred to a sheet where you can update the names of all project members. The field « Short Name » is actually the source of information for the drop down list that is displayed in the Gantt Chart.

team_leader_3_en

You can also reach this list from the ribbon menu :

ribbon_members

Or the right click menu

right_click_members

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How to add rows to the Gantt Chart ?

Method 1: Using THE RIBBON MENU

From the ribbon menu, click on « Add Tasks » then pick the desired option:

  • Add below: a new task will be added below the selected row
  • Add above: a new task will be added above the selected row
  • After the last row: a new task will be added after the last row of the task group
  • Customized menu: an advanced menu will be displayed with much more options

ribbon_insert

This menu is also available from the right click drop down list:

right_click_insert

Method 2: Copy – Paste Existing Rows

Select any row from the Gantt Chart (you can select more than 1 row if necessary), right click ans then click on Copy.

Once done, select destination row, right click and select « Insert Copied Cells ».

copy-paste

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How to Modify Working Days (Week Days) ?

To choose the working days that apply to your project, simply select from the left panel, under the title « Working Days »: « Monday to Friday » or « Monday to Sunday ». weekdays_1_en

The Gantt Chart will adjust automatically. If Saturday and Sunday are non-working days, they will be greyed-out.

weekdays_2_en

This parameter is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_we_days

To choose work days only from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_workingdays

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How to Exclude Holidays and Vacations ?

This Gantt Chart Maker is able to exclude holidays when calculating a duration. These holidays can be:

  • Bank holidays
  • Shut down periods of the company
  • Or any other vacation period you want to exclude

First of all, as a pre-requisite, you should select from the « Working Days » drop down list: « Monday to Friday ». If this is not the case, holidays will not be excluded.

weekdays_1_en

Then, to set-up these holidays dates, click on « Tools » and « Update Holidays ».

holidays_1

You will be transferred to the « Tools » sheet where you can update the holidays that apply to your project. You can enter any date you would like to consider as holiday, vacation or shut-down period. These dates need to be entered individually:

  • If the project members will be on vacation from 24th of December till 2nd of January, you should enter each day in one row.

holidays_2

In the Gantt Chart, these days will be greyed-out in the same way as Saturdays and Sundays.

This parameter is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_holidays

And from the right click drop down list:

right_click_holidays

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How to Show the Chart Monthly, Weekly, Daily ?

From the top right menu, click on the menu « View » then choose « Show Weekly », « Show Daily » or « Show Monthly ».

show-weekly

This parameter is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_view

And from the right click drop down list:

right_click_view

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How to Change the Project Title and Logo ?

To update your project title, just change directly the content of the textbox. For the logo, delete the current one and insert a new picture using the usual Excel functions.

title

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How to Change the Starting Date of the Gantt Chart ?

Changing the starting date of the Gantt Chart is done trough the left side menu « Starting Date »:

starting dateThe most easy method, is to just click on « Auto ». Automatically the macro will look for the earliest date among all your tasks and set it as a starting date. From time to time, you can click on this button to reflect the latest updates you make to your chart.

Another method is to click on « Today ». The Gantt Chart will use today date as a starting date and all previous dates will not be shown.

Finally, you can manually pick any other date using the dropdown lists.

This parameter is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_start_date

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How to Change the Position of the « Red Bookmark » ?

The purpose of the red line is to highlight in the gantt chart a specified today’s date.

This date is not necessary the actual today’s date: if you presentation is in 2 weeks, you may consider to already set this red line to a future date and see how the chart will look like.

This red line is useful to highlight the tasks that behind schedule and the ones progressing according to plan. Basically, any task behind the red line which is not 100% completed is in delay.

If you would like to change this date, select from the left panel the appropriate one:

red-1

Once done, the Gantt Chart will update automatically the red bookmark and also check one more the due dates of all the tasks against this line.

red-2

If you wish to not show this line, just set it to a date in the far future (e.g: 01/01/2020).

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How to Force the Gantt Chart to Refresh the View ?

With some computers, it is possible that the Gantt Chart does not refresh properly or frequently enough:

  • Although you update a starting date, a duration or a status, the Gantt Chart does not reflect these updates
  • Although you add a flag, the flag does not appear
  • etc

We added a special feature to force Microsoft Excel to refresh all the fields. From the drop down menu, click on « Tools » and then « Refresh Gantt View ». The view and other fields will be updated.

Refresh_en

You can also force this refresh by simply pushing the keyboard keys CTRL + N.

This parameter is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_refresh

And from the right click drop down list:

right_click_refresh

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How to Modifiy the Way Weeks Numbers are Displayed ?

Weeks numbers can be displayed in several ways:

  • W45 : Week 45
  • CW45 : Calendar Week 45
  • S45 : For French and Spanish

week_symbol_2_en

To select the appropriate one, under the title « Week Symbol » choose one of the three available options.

week_symbol_1_en

This parameter is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_weeks

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How to Change the Language ?

From top right menu, click on « Languages » and then select your language. Currently, four languages are available: English, French, Spanish and German.

Spanish and German translation might still have some inconsistencies. If you notice one, please contact us and we will fix it. If you wish to support us in translating this Gantt Chart Maker into your language, feel free to contact us as well.

language_menu_en

This parameter is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_language

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How to Add a Flag to a Task ?

As a project manager, for prioritization, you will not only base yourself on fact and figures but eventually on your intuition as well. These red, orange and green flags are not linked to any rule or formula: you can freely choose any of these flags.

flags1

In front of any task, use a double click on the cell until you pick the desired flag (green > yellow > red > nothing).

A second method consists in inputting in the flag cell a value from empty or 1 to 3:

  • 1: green
  • 2: yellow
  • 3: red
  • empty: nothing

If you would like to add a flag to many cells, you can use copy-paste. To deleted several flags, select them and push the delete key.

 

flags

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How to Show and Fill Budget Fields ?

First of all, make sure « Show Budget » option is ticked:

budget-1-en

In front of each task or sub-task, you will see budget cells. Simply fill your estimated or planned budget then, whenever you have new information, fill-in the actual consumed budget. Other cells will adjust automatically.

budget-2_enYou can change the currency using the usual Excel Formatting.

Important notice : When you untick « Show Budget », the macro will only hide the related columns. The content will be kept as it is and any one can still see if he unhides the columns Z, AA and AB. Therefore, if you would like to completely hide such information before sending to an external party, it is recommended that you clear all these information manually (select related cells and push « delete » key). Once it is done, untick « Show Budget ». To remind you about this point, a pop-up message will be shown everytime you untick this feature.

This parameter is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_budget

And from the right click drop down list:

right_click_view

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How to Show/Hide the « Comments » Column ?

Simply tick or untick « Show Comments »:

comments-1Doing so will unhide/hide the column where you can input free comments for each task:

comments-2

This parameter is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_comments

And from the right click drop down list:

right_click_view

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How to Activate/Deactivate the Reminder about « Enable Macros »?

Everytime the Gantt Chart Maker is opened, a reminder is displayed to ask the user to enable macros.

macros-2

Purpose of this reminder is to avoid the usage of the Gantt Chart Maker without the macros enabled which may impact the quality of the tool or give the impression that the file is not working properly. This is quite useful when someone is using this tool for the first time or in case you send this file to a project stakeholder not familiar with such document.

The only drawback to this reminder is that it saves the file everytime you close it, whatever the condition is. If this limitation is not suitable for your requirements, you may want deactivate this reminder. To do so, simply untick the box in the « Optional » menu:

macros-1

This parameter is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_macro

 

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How to Automatically Share the Latest Schedule by Email ?

This Excel Gantt Chart Maker has a nice feature that allows you to share your Excel file by email. Click on « Tools » then « Share by email ».

share_by_email

A message will prompt asking you if you would like to pre-fill the recipients field automatically from the members list or not. This is meant to avoid you sending the schedule to all the members while your intention was to send it to few people.

share_by_email_2

An email will be prepared using your default software program. It will not be sent until you complete the remaining fields and click on send.

share_by_email_3

This parameter is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_email

And from the right click drop down list:

right_click_email

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How to Automatically Adjust Print Margins ?

It can be frustrating to adjust the print margins evrytime the schedule shorten or widen. Therefore we have included a macro that (literally) reads all the dates of the gantt charts and find out for you which last row and which last column should be considered for the print out.

Simply click on « Tools » and « Adjust Print Margins »:

fit-to-print-1

Click here to see a demonstration of this function.

This parameter is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_print

And from the right click drop down list:

right_click_print

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How to Customize the Colors Used in the Gantt Chart?

FROM THE MENUS:

From the left menu « Gantt Style », pick one of the 6 pre-set colors:

Gantt_Style

This feature is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_style

And the right click menu:

right_click_style

ADVANCED METHOD:

If you would like to further customize these colors, follow the below steps.

In the area « Name Box » (top left area of Excel), input exactly the following name: « CF_Gantt_Engine_1 »  then push Enter.

CF_Gantt

The value « CF_Gantt_Engine_1 » corresponds to the default colors (Green, Grey and Red). If you would like to modify other pre-set colors, you need to select one of the below option:

  • CF_Gantt_Engine_2 : blue colors
  • CF_Gantt_Engine_3 : purple colors
  • CF_Gantt_Engine_4 : orange colors
  • CF_Gantt_Engine_5 : pink colors
  • CF_Gantt_Engine_6 : « One color per person in charge »

Then from the Excel Ribbon menu, click on « Conditional Formatting » then « Manage Rules »:

CF_Menu

Scroll down until you see a color you would like to modify. Then click on « Edit the rule ». As of then you can change anything you wish related to this rule.

 

change colors

To update the Gantt Chart, click on refresh from one of the available buttons:

ribbon_refresh

right_click_refresh

 

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HOW to customize the pre-defined colors of « one color per person in charge » ?

the easiest way:

The pre-defined set-up « one color per person in charge » allocate to each person one specific color. This visualization helps in identify who is responsibly for what.

color_per_PIC

In order to not overload the calculations, this method can take up to 10 different persons in charge. The color allocated for each person in visible in the sheet named « Tools »:

color_per_PIC2

You can modify the color of each person by allocating a number from 1 to 10. You can allocate the same color to more than one person if needed (e.g: all QA members can have the same color). If the cell is left blank or if you allocate a number which is not in the range 1-10 then the default color will be used (grey).

ADVANCED METHOD:

Beyond the method described above, you can customize the actual colors. To do so, you would need to follow the step-by-step explanation given to the Q&A : « HOW TO MODIFY THE COLORS OF THE GANTT CHART MAKER« . Use the parameter « CF_Gantt_Engine_6 ».

This advanced method will allow you to modify the color that are allocated to each figure from 1 to 10:

CF_colors

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HOW TO ADD A NEW GANTT CHART IN THE SAME FILE ?

It is possible to have multiple Gantt Charts in the same file. To add a new Gantt Chart, click on icon « New Gantt Chart » from the ribbon menu.

new_gantt

It is also possible to use the usual copy-paste function for an existing sheet.

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how to set dependencies (or constraints) between tasks ?

A dependency is a logical relationship between 2 tasks or between a task and a milestone. In the Gantt Chart Maker, 6 types of dependencies exist:

dependency_visual

METHOD 1: SET A DEPENDENCY BETWEEN two adjacent TASKS 

The easiest way to set a dependency between two adjacent tasks is to use the dropdown menu from right click:

  1. Select the row of the subject task
  2. Right click -> « Dependencies »
  3. Select the desired dependency

right_click_dependencies

This function is also available from the ribbon menu:

ribbon_dependencies

METHOD 2: SET A DEPENDENCY BETWEEN TWO NON-ADJACENT TASKS 

If the two tasks are not adjacent, it is still possible to create a dependency:

  1. Select the row of the subject task
  2. Right click or ribbon menu -> « Dependencies »
  3. Choose « Customized dependency »
  4. « Task 1 » correspond to the task selected from the previous step
  5. Choose the « Task 2 » from the drop down list
  6. Select the desired dependency from the drop-down list
  7. Click « ADD »

dependency_custom

MeTHOD 3: SET A DEPENDENCIES WITH FORMULAS

For more flexibility, you can opt to set-up simple formulas to link different tasks or sub-tasks:

  • Select the cell that contains the « Start Date » that you would like to modify
  • Write the symbol equal « = »
  • Select any other date (« Start Date » or « End Date »)
  • Write +1 (to add one day)
  • Confirm by pushing « Entry » key

For example, if you would like to start a sub-task after the previous one, these are the steps to follow:

date-2

Based on the above example; you can play with this formula by adding or substracting more or less than 1 day. Also, instead of linking to the previous sub-task, you can make a link with any other cell of your table.

date-6

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HOW TO RE-NUMBER THE TASKS ?

When you add a new set of tasks, the Gantt Chart Maker use the previous task number and increment it:

re-number2

If the event that the previous task number is not numerical, then the new series is numbered with 1:
re-number3

To update the numbering (e.g: after a while the tasks are not numbered correctly, you would like to use your own numbering system), you can follow the below step:

  1. Start with allocating a task number or reference for each task (the head of each task set)
  2. Use the function « Modify -> Update the numbering » from the right click menu or from the ribbon menu

numerotation_gantt_0

From the ribbon menu:

re-number

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How to Reach the Support Page FROM THE GANTT CHART MAKER ?

From top right menu, click on « Help » and then « Support ». You will be transferred to this page which contains more details and which is regularly updated.

link-support.jpg

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SUPPORT CONTACT FORM

In case you could find a solution to your issue from the above information, you can contact us using the below form:

 


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