Working with Gantt Charts

Gantt charts help you display tasks visually as bars on a timeline. The length of each bar represents the task's start and end date. Gantt charts can be viewed while in Gantt View of any sheet or report that contains at least two date columns.

 Jump to video demonstration: Gantt Chart View

Creating a Gantt Chart

Here's how to get started creating a Gantt chart:

To switch to Gantt View, click Gantt View   in the left toolbar. In Gantt View, a divider splits the screen between grid columns and the Gantt chart. This divider can be dragged to the right or left to widen the display of either section.

Across the top of the Gantt chart, an adjustable Primary and Secondary Timeline allows you to display your tasks using different units of time. Clicking on the Zoom In or Zoom Out icons just below the timeline will toggle through different timeline displays.

TIP: Click the gear icon in the Gantt chart's header to access the Project Settings where you can edit the Timeline Display. From here, you can specify parameters for the Primary and Secondary Heading (such as the date and week name format), select a column from the Display Label drop-down to set the text displayed next to each task bar in the Gantt chart, and choose whether the chart should open to today's date.

In the Grid portion of the sheet, to the left of the Gantt chart, you may see a set of columns specific to a Project Sheet:

  • Start Date
  • End Date
  • % Complete (optional)
  • Duration (optional)
  • Predecessors (optional)
    NOTE: Optional columns aren't required to display a Gantt chart but are used if you choose to enable dependencies on a sheet.

Each column is programmed to support timeline and automated dependency functionality. You can choose to enable dependencies, configure non-working days and holidays, and/or the length of working days, in the Project Settings of a sheet. These options aren't available within a report.

TIP: Enabling dependencies will give you the ability to view the project's critical path.

In the Primary Column of a sheet, you can create indented sections using Hierarchy which can be expanded or collapsed to see the tasks within each section. Child rows display as individual task bars in the Gantt chart based on their start and end dates. If dependencies are enabled on the sheet, each parent row reflects a summary of its child rows. The parent row values are calculated automatically in the project sheet columns listed above and can't be modified. If dependencies aren't enabled, you can change the parent row information as needed.

NOTE: Row hierarchy isn't displayed in a report.

Change the color of a Gantt bar color in a sheet by right-clicking on it and selecting Color Settings. Task bar colors can also change automatically based on rules using Conditional Formatting. In a report, background color of Gantt bars reflect the formatting applied within the associated sheet. Make changes to the bar colors from the sheets to also update the report.

If you've configured a % Complete column in your Project Settings, any time a value is entered to this column it's also visually indicated in the Gantt bar for the task:

To print your Gantt chart, you can export it to PDF, Image, or Microsoft Project (.xml) format.

 Check out our Support Tip in the Smartsheet Blog: How to Print Your Gantt Chart

Video Demos

For an instructional demonstration on creating a basic Gantt chart, please review the following video walk-through:

For more advanced Gantt chart functionality, please see the video below:

If you don't have access to YouTube, click here to watch the video.

 Check out our Support Tip in the Smartsheet Blog: How to Use Cell Linking to Create a Master Gantt Chart

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