This chapter will show you how to insert a Gantt chart with empower charts, as well as how to edit such a chart with just a few simple clicks.
5.1 Inserting Gantt charts
To insert a Gantt chart, click on the Insert Tab in the PowerPoint® menu, navigate to the empower charts section and click on the Gantt chart button.
You can now define the area in you want to insert the Gantt chart by clicking and drawing the cursor across the slide. This step can be interrupted by clicking Esc. If you wish to insert a Gantt chart directly into a placeholder on the slide, select the respective content or chart placeholder and click the Gantt chart button.
To edit a Gantt chart – either optically or its data – select the chart. The Action Bar will appear which allows you to make your adjustments.
To change the size of the Gantt chart at a later date, select the chart and the click and draw the endpoints to the desired size. Alternatively, you can alter the size via the native PowerPoint® function. To do so, select the chart and navigate to the Format tab in the PowerPoint® menu then change the chart’s height and width. Once you reduce the size of the Gantt chart you may receive a notification that the font size has been automatically adjusted. If this was not desired, you have the option to simply click on Undo changes.
5.2 Adjusting the date section
By default, the Gantt chart displays a period with the current date. To adjust the time period, click on the date above the Gantt chart.
An integrated selection window will open in which you can adjust the dates for start and end, either by selecting an item in the calendar or by directly entering a specific date.
In addition, you have the possibility to change Header Settings on the right. Here you can either use the recommended header settings or define the formatting of the header yourself. Here you have the possibility to activate or deactivate the time specification (day, week, month, year) as well as adapt the settings of the labelling of your Gantt chart individually.
You can choose between “Numbers” and “Week days” to display days in the header, as well as display just the work week (Mo.-Fri.). The labelling of the months can be displayed completely or in truncated form, in either “Letters” or “Numbers”. Setting the labeling option to “Automatic” will choose “long”, “short” or “letters” depending on the size of your Gantt chart. It is possible to display quarters as “Short”, “Number” or “Company”. The latter option is a setting to display the time specification of quarters as defined by your company. It is also possible to display each time unit as vertical lines in the Gantt chart, which are automatically inserted. To do so, simply select Show vertical lines.
You can further change the minimal font size of the Gantt chart, the language of the header as well as the date format.
A click on OK will take you back to your Gantt chart that will then have adapted in accordance to your settings.
5.3 Edit scale
A Gantt chart displays phases on the line level that are divided up into rows. These rows contain tasks or milestones.
Phases and rows can be renamed, moved according to requirement, and phase arrows can be hidden, revealed or deleted. You can add a new task or milestone to every row. To do so, hover over the row until a +-symbol appears and then select either to add a Task or a Milestone. Your project plan will then update in accordance to your settings.
In addition, you are able to enlarge or shrink the region in which phase and line labels are displayed. To do so, move your cursor to the right of the region until a bilateral arrow. You can then adjust the width of this section while holding the left mouse button.
5.4 Adding phases or rows
A pop-up menu will appear if you hover the cursor over the bottom end of a phase or row. In doing so you will be able to add a further phase or row to your project plan.
5.5 Editing phase arrows, task bars and milestones
Hover your cursor over a task arrow in order to edit its color or font.
When editing a task or milestone you also have the ability to display the bar as a dashed frame without filling, you can completely delete, move it, as well as change its size. In addition, you can move an item by clicking on the Date button and entering a desired time period.
Finally, you have the option to change the shape and color of the symbol used to represent the milestone.
5.6. Add data to the scale indicator
In the calendar view of the Gantt chart you can select different display options. To do so, click Add in the Action Bar above the Gantt chart. A drop-down menu will appear offering you different options to choose from:
- Date Line
5.7 Adding visualizations
If you wish to display school holidays in your calendar click Add… in the Action Bar and select Holiday. A window will open in which you can select the desired holiday. Clicking OK will add the dates of the holiday to the calendar of your project plan which will then be highlighted in color. In addition, you can add, edit or delete personalized holiday categories and calendars via the menu bar at the bottom left.
You have the possibility to export the data as an XML file as well as import data of other users.
5.7.2 Date line
A further feature of the Gantt chart is the Date Line. It can be placed at any location within the project calendar in order to signify that a certain phase, task or milestone needs to be reached or completed by a specific date. In order to add a Date Line, click Add… in the Action Bar and select Date Line.
A vertical dotted line will be inserted into your calendar, which can be moved to any date.
A text box is located at the bottom of the line, which contains the word “Date”. Click it to change the word to your requirements. Furthermore, the appearance of this text can be changed in terms of font color and size.
In addition to the options of Holidays and Date Line empower charts allows you to add highlights to your calendar, e.g. for a specific time period of a project or vacation.
Below the highlight is a text box which provides the same editing options as that of the Date Line. In addition, you can move or extend the highlight manually to any date. To do so, move your cursor below the highlighted section in order to display the context menu that allows you to do so.
Sometimes a project encounters delays. empower charts allows you to add delays to your project calendar. Click Add… in the Action Bar and select Delay to add a delay to your calendar. An entry field will appear in which you can specify the begin and end of a period, alternatively you can enter these date via the calendar view. Confirm the changes by clicking OK.
The delay in your project plan will be automatically inserted into your Gantt chart. A click on the enlargement arrow allows you to hide or display the hatched area as well as any labelling. Here, you also have the ability to change the color as well as completely remove the enlargement from the Gantt chart.
In addition to the Date Range and the Add… button, you can also click on Properties in the Action Bar. Doing so will open a drop-down menu which allows you to change a number of settings of your Gantt chart. You can change the font size as well as the height of the bars. A click on Maximize font size will automatically select the largest possible font for your Gantt chart. In some cases, it may be necessary to enlarge the bar width of your Gantt chart in order to display larger font sizes.
You can set a Generic Mode in order to display days or weeks in the Gantt chart without connection to a specific date format. You also have the option to display the individual phases, phase arrows or the Note Area individually as well as change to Manual edit mode.
The width of the notes area can be adjusted in the region that displays the phase and line labels. To do so, simply move your cursor to the right until it turns into a bilateral arrow. Change the size of the region while holding the left mouse button.
Finally, you have the option to set that the background is colored in alternating colors (alternating colors are set by default) or to highlight weekends in color.
Please note: all manual changes to a Gantt chart will be lost as soon as you close Manual edit mode. This function should rather be used as a last step in editing a Gantt chart.