How to extend limits (tasks, time periods) in Gantt Chart Maker?

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Our Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template allows creation of instant customized Gantt charts with a variety of options and features.

Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template
Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template

 

In order to keep the template file very light and fast, we establish some limits on the scope.

For example, the template handles up to 100 tasks, as the calculations are set up to handle only 100 tasks. The actual Gantt Chart display is designed in such a way that it fits in one page when printed. Hence it is limited in the number of time periods (52) and number of tasks (40) that are displayed.

In most common uses, 100 tasks should be sufficient. However, you may have to deal with a project with more than 100 tasks sometimes. Also, we may need to see more than 52 days at a time or more than 40 tasks at a time on the Gantt chart.

As all our templates are designed to be flexible, we can increase these limits with just a few quick steps.

 

EXTENDING THE LIMITS OF GANTT CHART MAKER

In this article, we will learn how we can extend the limits of the Gantt Chart Maker.

To demonstrate this, we will

  • Increase tasks processed from 100 to 110
  • Increase tasks displayed from 40 to 80
  • Increase number of time periods from 52 to 104.

 

DEMO VIDEO

If you prefer video demos, please watch the video below where I walk through the steps. If you prefer screenshots and text, please continue further below.

https://youtu.be/bAo6Aj4-teg

 

OVERVIEW OF STEPS

  • Extend number of tasks supported by template
    • Extend the table in the hidden CALC sheet
  • Extend number of periods shown on Gantt chart
    • Unprotect sheet
    • Unhide all columns.
    • Copy column BL. Select extra 52 columns and Insert copied cells.
  • Extend number of tasks shown on Gantt chart
    • Copy Row 54. Select extra 40 rows and Insert copied cells.
  • Change print settings to print the new expanded Gantt chart

 

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

 

INCREASE NUMBER OF TASKS FROM 100

In this demonstration, I have entered about 110 tasks in the DATA_ENTRY sheet.

  1. First, unhide the hidden CALC sheet.

Right Click on the DATA_ENTRY sheet label and choose Unhide.

Right Click on any sheet name and Choose Unhide
Right Click on any sheet name and Choose Unhide

 

Select the CALC sheet and Click OK.

Select the CALC sheet and click OK
Select the CALC sheet and click OK

 

  1. Go to end of the calculation table

In the newly visible CALC sheet, go to cell AQ 102 (this is the end of the calculation table). One way to quickly get there is to press Ctrl+G. This opens the Go To dialog box as shown below.

Go to cell AQ102 which is the end of the calculation table
Go to cell AQ102 which is the end of the calculation table

Type AQ102 in the Reference and click OK. This will move your cursor to AQ102 and make that as the active cell.

 

  1. Extend the formulas down

If you click on any cell outside the table, you can see that there is a small arrow at the bottom left of the cell AQ102.

Symbol for end of Excel Table
Symbol for end of Excel Table

 

Now, click on that arrow and drag the mouse down. This will now expand the table. The table that originally had 100 rows (from row 3 to row 102) will now expand as you keep dragging down.

Extend the formulas down to more rows
Extend the formulas down to more rows

 

In this example, I am extending by 10 rows to row 112 and that will increase the number of tasks from 100 to 110.

You can increase to more tasks if needed. However, please keep in mind that the more we extend, more processing Excel has to do and can become slower gradually. So, extend only to as many tasks as you need.

  1. Hide the CALC sheet, as we don’t need it anymore.

 

Later in this article, we will prove that the template is now processing 110 tasks by displaying task #110 on the Gantt chart.

 

INCREASE NUMBER OF TIME PERIODS FROM 52 to 104

 

1. Go to the GANTT sheet and unprotect it.
Click on Review ribbon. Click on Unprotect sheet. Then, enter indzara as Password and click OK.

Unprotect Gantt Sheet by entering the password
Unprotect Gantt Sheet by entering the password

 

2. Now, we need to make room for the extra 52 columns.

Press Ctrl+A. This will select all cells in the sheet.
Now, in the HOME ribbon, in the Cells section, click on Format. Choose ‘Hide & Unhide’ and then select ‘Unhide Columns’

Unhide all columns
Unhide all columns

 

Now, you will see all the columns.

Right Click on column BL and click on Copy.

Copy Column BL
Copy Column BL

 

Select columns BM to DL and then right click to select ‘Insert Copied cells’

Insert Copied cells
Insert Copied cells

 

This will now insert 52 columns to our Gantt Chart display.

 

INCREASE NUMBER OF TASKS DISPLAYED FROM 40 to 80

1. Right click on row 54 label and choose ‘Copy’

Copy Row 54
Copy Row 54

 

2. Select rows 55 to 94 (40 rows) and right click to choose Insert Copied Cells.

Insert Copied cells in Rows 55 to 94
Insert Copied cells in Rows 55 to 94

 

Now, the Gantt chart display has expanded to 40 new tasks, resulting in total 80 tasks.

If we enter 31 as the task that we want to begin with, then we will see tasks 31 to 110 (80 tasks displayed).

Change Task Number to start from, on Gantt Chart
Change Task Number to start from, on Gantt Chart

 

If you remember, we added support for up to 110 tasks earlier in this tutorial. Now, it is clear that the template is processing 110 tasks and can display 80 at a time on the Gantt Chart.

 

CHANGE PRINT SETTINGS

As we have expanded the width and the height of the Gantt chart, we have to change the print settings if you plan to print the entire Gantt chart. Originally, the Gantt chart printed on 1 page. Now, we will change to print on 4 pages, as we have doubled the height and the width of the Gantt chart.

1. Click on Print Titles in the Page Layout ribbon.

Click on Print Titles
Click on Print Titles

 

2. Select Rows 2 to 14 to repeat at Top. This will allow displaying the dates at the top in each page.

Select K and L columns to repeat at Left. This will allow displaying the Task name in each page.

Set up Page Titles
Set up Page Titles

 

3. Click on Page tab.
Select ‘Adjust to’ and enter 60% of Normal size.

Change Print Scaling
Change Print Scaling

 

Click OK to close the window.

 

4. Now, press Ctrl+P to open the Print menu. The Gantt chart is now set up to print on 4 sheets.

Click on Print to print.

Print Gantt Chart
Print Gantt Chart

 

 

If you have any questions or suggestions, please post them in the Comments section below.

How to implement predecessor tasks in Gantt Charts?

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While building project plans, you will most often have dependencies between tasks. For example, Task 3 cannot begin until Task 2 is complete. In that scenario, Task 2 is called the predecessor to Task 3. In our Project Planner (Advanced) Excel Template, a task can have up to 2 predecessors. The template will then automatically schedule the tasks following the dependency rules you set. In our Gantt Chart Maker Excel template, we don’t have such dependencies inbuilt. The Gantt Chart Maker is purely designed to enable building Gantt charts with as much flexibility as possible so that the user can input any start date for each task. In addition, this approach allows the user to create dependencies as needed between tasks. In this article, I will explain how we can create 2 tasks as predecessors to another task using the Gantt Chart Maker.

VIDEO DEMO

 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

First, let’s enter some basic information. I am entering three resources in the SETTINGS sheet and am assigning them different colors.

Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template - Resources
Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template – Resources

 

Then, in the DATA_ENTRY sheet, I set Jan 15, 2016 as the Project Start Date.

Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template - Project Start Date
Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template – Project Start Date

 

The next step is to enter our tasks. For this illustration, I am entering one summary level task and 3 subtasks as shown below.

Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template - Tasks
Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template – Tasks

 

When you view the GANTT sheet, your default Gantt chart will look like this.

Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template - Gantt Chart
Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template – Gantt Chart

 

Now, we will try to create dependencies (which is the point of this article:) ). Let’s say we have a new task Task One Four that is dependent on Task One One and Task One Three. Task One Four can begin only when the other two ends.  To implement this, let’s enter a new task and type a formula in PLAN – START DT field.

Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template - Formula
Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template – Formula

 

The formula here MAX (M12, M14) is just finding the max date among the PLAN – END DATE for the predecessor tasks.

If you want to add 1 day, then enter MAX (M12, M14)+1. If you need to create more than 2 predecessors, please enter those cells accordingly inside the MAX function.

Then, continue entering the PLAN – DURATIONPLAN – END DATE will update automatically as usual.

Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template - Tasks
Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template – Tasks

 

The Gantt chart will now look like this along with the new task.

Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template - Gantt Chart
Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template – Gantt Chart

Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template – Support

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Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template

Support information related to Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template will be posted here. Please post any of your questions on this product in the comments below. I will respond as soon as I can.

Thank you,

 

BROCHURE

Download Gantt Chart Maker brochure

 

VIDEO DEMO

 

SUPPORT ARTICLES

  1. How to implement predecessors in Gantt Chart Maker?
  2. How to extend limits of Gantt Chart Maker? – Expand tasks and time periods displayed, Increase support for beyond 100 tasks.
  3. Coming soon
    1. How to print/ export to PDF/PowerPoint
    2. How to change date

SCREENSHOTS

Gantt Chart Maker - Excel Template - Gantt Chart
Gantt Chart Maker – Excel Template – Gantt Chart

Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template - Brochure
Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template – Brochure

Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template - Features
Gantt Chart Maker Excel Template – Features