Using the Gantt Chart Wizard

You can make changes to specific elements in several Project views. However, the Gantt Chart view has its own wizard to help you format the various pieces. Running through the Gantt Chart Wizard highlights some of the options.

Note A wizard is an interactive series of dialog boxes that require you to answer questions or make selections. Project uses your input to create or modify some aspect of your project (in this case, the formatting that is applied to your Gantt Chart). The Microsoft Office family of products uses wizards to automate many functions.

You can use the Gantt Chart Wizard from either the Gantt Chart view or the Tracking Gantt view. Because Gantt Chart Wizard changes apply only to the project file that's open when you run the wizard, start by displaying the project that you want to format. Then follow these steps to run the Gantt Chart Wizard:

No Undo button exists for the changes that the Gantt Chart Wizard applies to your project. Save your project before you start. If you don't like what you get at the end, close your project without saving it and reopen it.

Click the Gantt Chart Wizard button on the Formatting toolbar, or choose FormatOGantt Chart Wizard to start the wizard. A dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 8-1.

Click the Gantt Chart Wizard button on the Formatting toolbar, or choose FormatOGantt Chart Wizard to start the wizard. A dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 8-1.

Figure 8-1: Step 1 of the wizard simply greets you and tells you what the wizard does.

Note The four buttons at the bottom of this dialog box appear at the bottom of each wizard dialog box. Click Cancel to leave the wizard without saving any settings, click Back to move back one step, and click Finish to complete the wizard based on the information that you've provided to that point.

2. Click Next to move to the next step. In the second wizard dialog box, as shown in Figure 8-2, indicate the category of information that you want to display. You can select only one item here. Try clicking each of the following choices to see a preview of its style on the left of the dialog box:

• Standard: Shows blue taskbars, black summary taskbars, and a black line superimposed over the taskbars to indicate progress on tasks.

• Critical path: Is the Standard layout, with critical-path tasks in red.

• Baseline: Displays baseline taskbars and progress taskbars separately, rather than superimposed as with the Standard setup, as shown in Figure 8-2.

• Other: Displays a drop-down list that contains several alternative, predefined chart styles for the categories of Standard, Critical Path, Baseline, and Status.

• Custom Gantt Chart: Displays several additional screens to enable you to create a highly customized Gantt Chart

Tip Highlighting critical tasks in a project helps you to pay special attention to them when reviewing or tracking progress. If you don't want to format the Gantt Chart to * treat critical tasks differently, try using a filter to temporarily display only critical tasks, as I discuss in Chapter 7.

Figure 8-2: The preview provides an idea of how each option formats your Gantt Chart.

3. Click the option button for Custom Gantt Chart, and then click the Next button. The third wizard dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 8-3. In this box, you can choose the type of task information to display with your Gantt bars: Resources and dates (the end date only), Resources, Dates, None (of the choices), or Custom task information. When you choose Dates, as I did in

Figure 8-3, Project displays the start date and end date in the taskbar area. If you choose this setting, you don't need to show the corresponding columns for start date and end date in the Gantt table, so this option can help you modify the size of your schedule printout.

Figure 8-3: Placing text alongside taskbars can be useful with larger schedules.

4. Click Next to display the next wizard dialog box, shown in Figure 8-4. Here you can decide whether you want to show link lines between dependent tasks.

Figure 8-4: Decide whether to display link lines to indicate dependent tasks.

5. Click Next. This Gantt Chart Wizard dialog box, shown in Figure 8-5, previews your formatting options. You can use the Back button to go back and make changes.

Figure 8-5: If you don't like what you see, move back to the dialog box in which you made the original setting, change the setting, and then move forward to this dialog box again.

6. Click the Format It button to apply your choices. Project displays a final dialog box to tell you that your formatting is complete.

Click the Exit Wizard button to close the dialog box and see your changes.

You cannot undo the changes that the Gantt Chart Wizard makes to your project. You can only close the project without saving it and then reopen it.

When enough is too much

If you select the Custom task information option in the Gantt Chart Wizard (refer to Figure 8-3), the wizard opens three consecutive dialog boxes. These three dialog boxes prompt you to display one set of information alongside normal taskbars, another set on summary taskbars, and a third set next to milestone tasks, respectively. The wizard also prompts you to display one set of data to the left of each taskbar, one set to the right, and one set inside the taskbar itself. You could end up with nine pieces of information in and around your various taskbars!

You make your selections from drop-down lists in these three dialog boxes. The information ranges from task name, duration, and priority to percentage of work complete and types of constraints.

Obviously, if you display nine sets of data in and around taskbars, your Gantt Chart will become unreadable. However, consider this scenario: Put the task name inside both summary and normal taskbars, put the start date to the left and the finish date to the right of normal taskbars, and put the cost of summary tasks to the right of their bars. (The final element is a total of the cost of all tasks beneath the summary tasks.)

You can also modify the information that is available to someone viewing your schedule by changing the columns that are displayed in the Gantt table pane of the Gantt Chart view.

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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  • julia
    How to inditify critical path using the gantt chart wizard in microsoft project?
    3 months ago

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