Examining the Gantt Chart view

The Gantt Chart view has two main sections: the Gantt table and the Gantt Chart. After you enter task information, the Gantt table (in the left pane) holds columns of information about your project, such as the task name, duration, start date, and more. The Gantt Chart (in the right pane) is a graphic representation that helps you see the timing and relationships among tasks, as shown in Figure 2-7.

Figure 2-7: A sample project with task details in the Gantt table and bars representing tasks in the Gantt Chart.

The timescale along the top of the Gantt Chart acts like a horizontal calendar. Think of it as a ruler against which you draw the tasks in your project. Instead of marking off inches, however, this ruler marks off the hours, days, weeks, and months of your project. Project enables you to display up to three timescales along the top of the Gantt Chart — a top, middle, and bottom timescale. In Figure 2-7, you see two timescales. The top timescale shows months, and the bottom timescale shows weeks. Multiple timescales help you to see the multiple levels of timing at the same time, such as the day and hour or the month, week, and day

Note You can customize your timescale to increase or reduce the amount of information that appears on the right side of the Gantt Chart or to show unusual time increments, such as thirds of months. In Figure 2-7,1 customized the timescale to show week increments. Double-click the timescale itself to display the Timescale dialog box. You can adjust settings for all three timescales in the Timescale dialog box. Also, note that Project uses default settings for the number of hours in a workday, days in a week, and so on. To adjust these settings to display or hide nonworking days, you can use the settings on the Non-working Time tab in the Timescale dialog box.

- Cross- \ in Chapter 3, I explain how to modify the calendars that control a project, and in : Reference chapter 4,1 explain how to set the timescale.

You can modify what you see on-screen in the Gantt Chart view, and Project carries those modifications to other views. After you practice moving among these views, you can see information about timing, budget, or resource assignments in detail, or you can just look at the big picture. You can also customize what each view shows you. For example, you can use the divider that runs between the Gantt table and Gantt Chart to adjust the amount of space that each pane occupies. Dragging this divider to the right reveals more columns of project data in the Gantt table. Dragging the divider to the left displays more of the project's task bars in the Gantt Chart.

In addition to modifying how much of each pane you display on-screen, you can zoom in or out to view larger or smaller time increments for different perspectives of your project's schedule. You can show smaller time increments in the Gantt Chart by clicking the Zoom In button, or you can show larger increments of time by clicking the Zoom Out button. A daily perspective on a three-year project enables you to manage day-to-day tasks, whereas a quarterly representation of your project may be more useful when you're discussing larger issues with your management team.

Notice that the two panes of the Gantt Chart view have their own sets of scroll bars at the bottom of the window. To perform actions on information, you must use the appropriate scroll bar and select objects in the appropriate pane.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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