How to Create a Gantt Chart in Google Sheets

Manage projects in a spreadsheet you can easily share

Google Sheets provides the ability to create detailed Gantt charts in a spreadsheet. The steps are easy. Build a project schedule, create a calculation table, and then generate the Gantt chart.

Build Your Project Schedule

Before diving into Gantt chart creation, you first need to define your project tasks along with the corresponding dates in a simple table.

  1. Launch Google Sheets, and open a blank spreadsheet.

  2. Choose a suitable location near the top of the spreadsheet, and type the following heading names in the same row, each in a separate column, as shown in the screenshot below:

    • Start Date
    • End Date
    • Task Name
    Gantt project schedule in Google Sheets

    To make things easier for yourself later in this tutorial, use the same locations that are used in this example (A1, B1, C1).

  3. Enter each of your project tasks along with the corresponding dates in the appropriate columns, using as many rows as necessary. List tasks in the order of occurrence (top to bottom = first to last), and the date format should be MM/DD/YYYY.

Other formatting aspects of your table (such as borders, shading, alignment, and font styling) are arbitrary in this case since the primary goal is to enter data that will be used by a Gantt chart later. It's completely up to you whether you'd like to make further modifications so that the table is more visually appealing. If you do, however, the data must remain in the correct rows and columns.

Create a Calculation Table

Inputting start and end dates isn't enough to render a Gantt chart because its layout relies on the amount of time that passes between those two important milestones.

To handle this requirement, create another table that calculates this duration:

  1. Scroll down several rows from the initial table that you created above.

  2. Type the following heading names in the same row, each in a separate column:

    • Task Name
    • Start Day
    • Total Duration
  3. Copy the list of tasks from the first table into the Task Name column, ensuring that the tasks are listed in the same order.

    Calculation table in Google Sheets
  4. Type the following formula into the Start Day column for the first task, replacing A with the column letter which contains the Start Date in the first table, and 2 with the row number:

    =int(A2)-int($A$2)
  5. Press Enter when finished. The cell should display 0.

    Google Sheets start day formula added
  6. Select and copy the cell where you entered this formula, either using a keyboard shortcut or by selecting Edit > Copy from the Google Sheets menu.

  7. Select the remaining cells in the Start Day column and select Edit > Paste.

    Google Sheets copy start day formula across cells

    If copied correctly, the Start Day value for each task reflects the number of days from the beginning of the project that it's set to begin. To validate that the Start Day formula in each row is correct, select its corresponding cell and ensure that it is identical to the formula typed in Step 4. There's one notable exception: the first value (int(xx)) matches the appropriate cell location in the first table.

  8. Next is the Total Duration column, which needs to be populated with another formula that's slightly more complicated than the previous one. Type the following into the Total Duration column for the first task, replacing cell location references with those corresponding to the first table in the spreadsheet (similar to Step 4):

    =(int(B2)-int($A$2))-(int(A2)-int($A$2))

    If you have any issues determining the cell locations that correspond to your spreadsheet, this formula key should help: (current task's end date - project start date) - (current task's start date - project start date).

  9. Press the Enter key when finished.

    Google Sheets duration formula added
  10. Select and copy the cell in which you just entered this formula.

  11. Once the formula has been copied to the clipboard, select and paste to the remaining cells in the Total Duration column. When copied correctly, the Total Duration value for each task reflects the total number of days between its respective start and end dates.

    Google Sheets copy duration formula across cells

Generate a Gantt Chart

Now that your tasks are in place, along with the corresponding dates and duration, it's time to create a Gantt chart:

  1. Select every cell within the calculation table, including the headers.

  2. Go to Insert > Chart.

  3. A new chart appears, titled Start Day and Total Duration. Select and drag it so that it is positioned below or beside the tables, but not on top of the tables.

    Google Sheets chart inserted
  4. Select the chart once, and from its upper-right menu, choose Edit chart.

    The "Edit Chart" command in Google Sheets
  5. Under Chart type, scroll down to the Bar section and choose Stacked bar chart (the middle option).

  6. From the Customize tab in the chart editor, select Series so that it opens and displays available settings.

  7. In the Apply to all series menu, choose Start Day.

  8. Choose the Color option and select None.

    Google Sheets customize chart

Your Gantt chart is created. You can view individual Start Day and Total Duration figures by hovering over the respective areas in the graph. You can also make other modifications from the chart editor, including dates, task names, the title, color scheme, and more.

Google Sheets Gantt chart complete