You don’t need Microsoft Project to create a Gantt chart for your project. If you’re just starting out with project management and do not have access to such software, you might just use Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint for tracking. If that sounds like you, then a Gantt chart template may be just what you need.
We’ve compiled a selection of 10 Gantt chart templates for Excel and PowerPoint that can help you get your project off to a great start.
1. Detailed Gantt Project Planner (Microsoft Office)
Microsoft Office has a terrific template that you can download from the website or access by searching templates from within Excel (File > New > Search for online templates).
When you change the activity values, you will see the bar chart to the right automatically update. You can also adjust the period you want to highlight by entering a number or choosing one from the drop-down box at the top.
This template offers a nice color contrast for easy reading and is great for detailed project management.
2. Multiple Option Gantt Chart (TeamGantt)
If you are not quite sure which entries you want to manually enter to adjust your Gantt chart, check out this option from TeamGantt. The workbook has three tabs including a complete manual chart, manual end date chart, and manual duration chart. This gives you the flexibility of choosing which to use for your specific project.
The key at the bottom of each Gantt chart tab shows you which cells are calculated and which are manual to make it even simpler to use.
3. WBS Gantt Chart (Vertex42)
If you have a work breakdown structure for your project, this template from Vertex42 might be the one you want. You can pop in your WBS number per task for an easy transfer from a written to visual project management format.
The template has a slider at the top to view various periods quickly and a small help section at the bottom for assistance with data entry and settings.
If you like this template, you can take a look at what the Pro Version offers by clicking that tab in the workbook.
4. Extensive Gantt Chart (Template Lab)
Similar to the template from Vertex42, this one from Template Lab works well with an existing WBS. It has spots for numbering, tasks and four levels of subtasks as well as a resource assignment field. You can include your duration, actual duration, completion percentage, projected and actual end dates, and then values for assigned, complete, and remaining.
The bar chart is very easy to read with a good contrast of colors. Fields update automatically with your entries making this template a terrific overall Gantt chart for detailed projects. Template Lab offers a variety of other Gantt chart options for you to check out when you visit their page, but this one is called Gantt Chart Template 08.
5. Subtask PowerPoint Gantt Chart (Template.net)
If you want to use PowerPoint for your Gantt chart, the selection can be limited. But, this template from Template.net gives you a great option. You can include timeline sections, subtasks, dates, and milestones by week.
The appearance of the template makes it super easy to read while at the same time being useful. Also, take a peek at the second slide that gives you details on the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in for automatic chart updates.
6. Timeline PowerPoint Gantt Chart (Office Timeline)
Office Timeline offers another nice template for PowerPoint. Different than the one from Template.net, this one does not call out tasks and subtasks. It allows you to concentrate on and highlight duration with a timeline from start to finish. Although, you can still pop in the task names with a color-coded bar as well.
If you want to stick with a PowerPoint Gantt chart template, but begin with a cleaner, uncluttered appearance, this is likely the template you want.
7. Baseline and Budget Gantt Chart (GanttExcel.com)
When the project you are managing requires you to also include baseline and budget costs, GanttExcel.com’s template is for you. Fill in your tasks and subtasks, add your durations, and see the template update your timeline and dates automatically.
This template uses macros to enable your entries . Just keep in mind that you must enable those after downloading the template. Then, double-click on cells to enter a complete amount of data including the costs per task, resources, and budget numbers.
8. Hourly Gantt Chart (Office Timeline)
Do you need to bring your project down to an hourly management plan? Also for PowerPoint, this template from Office Timeline lets you do just that. A complete day displays on the timeline and you can adjust the tasks and accompanying times down to the minute for each.
While this might be too much micro-management for some, it is a necessity for others. It depends on your project and preference. So, if an hourly Gantt chart suits your needs and PowerPoint fits your skills, this is an excellent template.
9. Basic Gantt Chart (FormXLS.com)
For a very basic Gantt chart with manual entries, you can get a quick glance at your timeline with this template from FormXLS.com.
You just enter your tasks and then adjust the timeline bars manually. Each period is separated into quarter and then month. This provides a fast way to see completions per task.
More detailed Gantt chart templates provide dates and durations. However, if you just want a simple view of when items will are planned and when they are complete, this is a good Excel template to try.
10. Presentation PowerPoint Gantt Chart (FormXLS.com)
Do you want to present your Gantt chart using PowerPoint in a clean and clear way? This one from FormXLS.com works well for displaying basic projects. All entries are manual including the bar chart, so just remember that before you begin.
For uncomplicated presentations of your project plan using PowerPoint, this template provides a decent and attractive option.
What Gantt Chart Tips Can You Share?
We showed you a variety of Gantt chart templates to choose from. Now we’re curious to learn how you use your template.
If you are an avid Gantt chart user, you likely have helpful tips to assist others who are not as familiar with the project management tool. If you’re looking for more options, take a look at these nifty tools for to create project timelines.
If you have tricks, suggestions, or general usage tips that you would like to share, please leave us a comment below!
Image Credit: leungchopan/Depositphotos