Gantt bars look simple enough, but they can get confusing as projects get complex. Customizing the bars on a Gantt Chart view is often the first thing a project manager does to create clarity in a project and to help spot problem areas quickly.
Formatting the look and feel of the Gantt bar area is very useful. You can modify the look and feel of summary tasks, tasks, and milestones, including attributes such as progress lines for percent complete, delay lines, and so on. Not only you can change the appearance of the bar, but you can also add text around the bar. Any of the fields available to be added to a table is also available to be added on top of, below, to the right of, to the left of, or inside a bar. This allows for richer communication of schedules.
By using the Bar Styles option you can make view-wide changes to all the bars in the Gantt Chart view, which is different from the Bar option, that applies format changes only to the specific line item you've selected.
Change the color, shape, or pattern of Gantt bars
To call attention to task bars on a Gantt Chart view, such as a milestone or summary task, you can change their color, shape, or pattern to separate them from other bars of a particular type.
- Apply a Gantt Chart view.
- Double-click anywhere in the chart portion of the Gantt Chart view (but not on individual bars) and click Bar Styles. Or you can select the Bar Stylesoption from the Format tab.
- In the Name field, click the type of Gantt bar (such as Task or Progress) that you want to format, and then click the Bars tab.
- Under Start, Middle, and End, click the shapes, types or patterns, and colors for the bar.
Some categories have only a start shape (such as milestone), while other categories have a start shape, middle bar, and end shape (such as summary tasks).
You can now make view-wide changes to the way bars are displayed in the Gantt view. For example, if you click Milestone and change the shape and color, the change affects all the milestones in the chart.
Note: To highlight a single Gantt bar by changing its formatting, double-click on the bar in the right side chart portion of a Gantt view, or you can select the task in the left side grid and click on Bar option from the Format menu, to display the Format Bar dialog. From the opened dialog select a fill color.
Add text to Gantt bars
You can add specific project information, such as task names, resource names, completion percentages, and start dates, to bars on a Gantt view.
In most cases you will want to add text to certain types of Gantt bars. To achieve this, perform the following steps:
1. Apply a Gantt view.
2. Double-click anywhere in the chart portion of the Gantt Chart view (but not on individual bars) and click Bar Styles. Or you can select the Bar Styles option from the Format tab.
You can also double-click within the chart portion of a Gantt view, but not on individual bars
In the table, click the type of Gantt bar (such as Task or Progress) that you want to add text to, and then click the Text tab.
In the Left, Right, Top, Bottom, and Inside boxes, type or select the field that contains the data you want to display on the Gantt bar.
If you want to add text that is unique to each task, type or select a custom text field, such as Text1, Text2, or Text3. Text that you enter into these fields from other views is automatically added to the Gantt bars.