In the next installment of this series, we will learn how to use Excel to manage timesheets and resources. If you are new, please read the first 2 parts of this series: Project planning using gantt charts, Tracking day to day project progress with team todo lists. At Chandoo.org, I have one goal, "to make you awesome in excel and charting". Since categories always start from the origin, the bar chart’s category labels go from the bottom up, instead of top down as in the sheet. Unfortunately the staggering doesn’t happen automatically, so we have to go back and tell Excel what data range to use for the chart.So the vertical axis has to be formatted to make the categories go in reverse order. Right click on the chart, then select Select Data or Source Data (the command is version-specific).I’ll leave the original data alone (always a good practice) and create a staging data region which is linked to the original data.The easiest way to do this is to copy the original data, then use Paste Special Link to start building the staging area.
You are probably thinking if it is easier to work towards the project milestones than creating this chart. You can download the time line chart template [download version] and play with it to suit your needs. Also the value (horizontal) axis has to cross at the maximum category, which is at the bottom now, since the order of categories was reversed. Click in the Chart Data Range box, and select this whole data range. Let’s insert a row at the beginning and end so there’s a space outside of the first and last cluster.Again, we have to explicitly tell the chart about the updated data range. Reduce the gap between columns/bars to give the chart a clustered appearance: select one series of columns, press Ctrl 1 (numeral one) to open the formatting dialog, and in the first screen you see (“Series Options”) change the entry for Gap Width to zero.What are your ideas on communicating project progress to stakeholders and new comers? This blog is started in 2007 and today has 450 articles and tutorials on using excel, making better charts. Excel has built-in chart types for clustered columns and bars, and for stacked columns and bars.One of the commonest charting questions in online Excel forums is, “How do I make a chart that is both clustered and stacked?