The Gantt screen is a great way to track the start and finish dates of tasks, milestones, predecessors (or dependencies between tasks), assigned staff, assigned resources and more.
Gantt screen sections
A Gantt screen is split into two sections:
- On the left is a Tasks view that lists all the tasks and columns of task data as a tabular spreadsheet. This looks and operates the same as the Tasks screen. To learn more about how this operates, you can read about the Tasks screen.
- On the right side is a Visual Timeline of all the tasks. Read more below how to use the visual timeline section.
The left side and right side can be resized using a vertical splitter in between the left and right sides. Move your mouse onto the splitter and click down to drag the splitter into your desired position.
Gantt screen toolbars
The Gantt screen has two toolbars displayed in two rows at the top of the Gantt screen:
- Visual Timeline toolbar. This toolbar lets you operate the visual timeline on the right side of the Gantt screen.
- Tasks toolbar. This looks and operates the same as the Tasks screen toolbar. To learn more about how this operates, you can read about the Tasks screen.
Visual Timeline toolbar
The Visual Timeline toolbar has the following buttons:
- Dates - click the dropdown to choose a predefined data range such as This Year, Last Month or Next 4 weeks. The From and To dates will be changed after a selection is made.
- From - click to select a starting date to view the visual timeline of the tasks. The visual timeline will start from this date.
- To - click to select an ending date to view the visual timeline of the tasks. The visual timeline will finish at this date.
- Timescale - click the dropdown to select the timescale units to view the visual timeline. For example, view each day, or each week, or each month, or each year. Each column in the visual timeline will show one timescale unit.
- Critical Path - click to display the critical path in the set of tasks. The critical path are the set of tasks that are impacting the most on the schedule to complete the set of tasks. The Gantt screen will show the set of tasks that are marked as critical with a red color.
- Free Float - click to display the amount of free float (or slack) for the set of tasks. Free float is the amount of time a task can take before it starts impacting other tasks in the set of tasks. The Gantt screen will show the free float (or slack) on the visual timeline using diagonal hatching on the right side of tasks.
Tip: Use Critical Path to quickly identify the set of tasks and their schedule that must be completed on-time and on-budget for project success.
Tip: Use Free Float when assigned staff on tasks ask for extension of time to complete tasks. You can quickly determine if an extension of time will affect other tasks.
Project Start, Project Finish and Today Flags
On the visual timeline, there are three vertical lines with icons. These help you to quickly understand:
- Project Start - the starting date of the project as defined in the Edit Project screen.
- Project Finish - the finishing date of the project as defined in the Edit Project screen.
- Today - today's date.
Hover your mouse over the icons to see a tooltip containing the date.
Click on the icons to hide or show the text of each vertical line.
On the visual timeline, click on at task to select it.
Hold the Ctrl key and click on a task to add more individual tasks to the set of selected tasks.
Hold the Shift key and click on a task to add a set of tasks to the set of selected tasks.
Double-click on a cell in the Tasks view to edit a value for a task.
Select a cell in the Tasks view and copy (Ctrl+C) and paste (Ctrl+V) the values into another cell.
Select a cell in the Tasks view and drag the right side corner of the cell to fill down the value into other cells.
Select a cell in the Tasks view and press the DEL key to delete the value from the cell.
On the visual timeline, double click on a task to edit a task. This will display the Edit Task screen. After making changes to the task, the Gantt screen will be updated.
Changing Progress of Tasks
On the visual timeline, click on at task to select it. After the task is selected, move you mouse over the progress icon on the task and click on this icon to drag it to the progress value you wish to set for the task. After making changes to the task's progress value, the task will be automatically updated.
Tip: Changing the progress of a task using the visual timeline is a quick and convenient way to update a task's progress without having to edit the task in the Edit Task screen.
On the visual timeline, click on at task to select it. Using your mouse, drag the task to another position in the timeline. This will change the tasks's start date and finish date and allows you to quickly set tasks to start on certain dates.
Note: If a project's Schedule Mode is set to Auto Scheduled and the task being moved is set to Auto Scheduled, then Projectal may move the task to its optimal position after your attempt to move it to a certain starting date or finishing date. If you want to force the task to be at a certain date, then set the tasks' Schedule Mode to be Manually Scheduled and try again.
Setting Predecessors (or Dependencies) of Tasks
Predecessors are the dependencies between tasks starting or finishing. They help you organize and schedule your tasks so they are completed in the correct sequence.
On the visual timeline, click on at task to select it. You will see a circle icon at each end of the task. Theses circle icons represent the start of the task and the finish of the task. They can be used to create predecessor links.
Using your mouse, click on one of the circle icons at the ends of a task and drag your mouse onto a circle icon on another task in the visual timeline. This lets you quickly create a predecessor link between two tasks. When a predecessor link exists, you will see a line drawn between the two tasks.
Example: To create a Finish-to-Start predecessor link between two tasks, click on the circle icon on the right side of a task in the visual timeline and drag your mouse to the left circle icon of another task. The predecessor link will have been automatically created and drawn as a line between the two tasks. To check this, double click on the task to display the Edit Task screen and view the Predecessor section.
Editing Predecessors (or Dependencies) of Tasks
Double-click on a line between two tasks in the visual timeline to display the Edit Predecessor screen.
Click to change the type of predecessor link between the two tasks.
Enter the number of days between the two tasks.
Click to delete the predecessor link.
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