The tools on the Gantt Chart SmartPanel let you build and edit a Gantt chart quickly and easily.
Add and Remove Tasks
A default Gantt chart template in SmartDraw will open with a single project with 4 tasks. Each task is set to take 80 days. All of this can easily be edited and customized.
To add a new task, click the Add Task button on the SmartPanel. The new task will be added below the current task selected and it will have a start date a day after the previous task's end date.
You can edit any part of the new task: change its name, its start or end date, or duration. Keep in mind that duration is automatically calculated. For example, if you change the end date of the task, the duration will automatically update. Similarly, if you change the duration of the task, SmartDraw will update the end date automatically. To edit anything in your Gantt chart, simply click inside the relevant cell and type.
You can also adjust the duration of any task by dragging the bar representing the length of your task. This is probably the least precise way of editing duration. Luckily, if you edit the end date or duration of your task, SmartDraw will automatically draw the correct length bar for your task on the calendar.
To delete a task, click on it in the Gantt chart table and click the Remove Task button on the SmartPanel.
Clicking Add Milestone will add a new line on your Gantt chart for milestone. By default, a milestone has no duration. It will be assigned a date that matches the end date of the previous task. You can edit the name and date of your milestone once it's added to the chart.
Sort by Due Date
When you add tasks using the Add Task button, tasks will be ordered chronologically. However, since you have the ability to manually edit start and end dates of tasks, tasks may become out of order. Click on the Sort by Due Date button to reorganize the tasks in your chart by putting them in order by the End Date listed.
Using the Auto Schedule button resets the start dates of every task in your Gantt chart to today's date and calculates the End Date based on the duration provided. It will also recalculate the total number of days needed for the entire projectt and set the end date for the project based on the longest task.
It's a quick way to create a Gantt chart if you don't have to worry about dependencies and more.
Add and Remove Dependency
If you have a task that can't begin until another is completed, you'll want to add a dependency. To do this, hold down Ctrl and select the bar representing the task that you need completed and the bar representing the task that depends on this completion and hit Add Dependency in the SmartPanel.
You can see that SmartDraw automatically resets the starting point of the dependent task and adds a line connecting them.
To remove a dependency, select the dependent task's bar, then click Remove Dependency.
Indent and Outdent Tasks
You can change a task to a sub-task by selecting the task in your Gantt Chart and then clicking on Indent Task from the Task Properties section of the SmartPanel.
Alternately, change a sub-task back to a high-level task by selecting the sub-task then choosing Outdent Task.
Create a Trello Card for a Task
Connecting your project chart to Trello allows you to create full accountability. You can turn any task into a Trello card and assign team members.
Select any task and click the Create Trello Card button. You'll be asked to login to Trello, choose any of your existing boards, select the lane the task belongs on, and assign a team member.
Once linked, you'll see a Trello icon next to the task name in the Gantt chart. The team member you assigned the task to will also be updated in the Gantt chart. Clicking on the icon will open Trello with that card selected.
Setting the Project Timeframe
Select Timeframe to set the start and end points of your project and your chart will automatically reformat. You can also just simply type the start and end dates right into your chart.
Define your work week and non-working holidays by clicking on the Project Options button on the SmartPanel.
The default working day set is Monday through Friday and the Holidays are set to the standard US holidays. Click the USA button to bring up other options like Canada, UK, or Australia. Or select None for the Gantt chart not to take into consideration any holiday. Holidays and non-working days are important when calculating the end date of a task based on duration. For example, if a task will take 15 days to complete but 4 of those days fall on a non-working days, the end date will be set to 19 days from the start date.
This dialog also lets you set what shows up on your Gantt chart. By default, SmartDraw Gantt charts show: Start Date, End Date, Duration, %Complete, the number for the task, and who is assigned to. You can also optionally add Department or Cost information or create a custom column to keep track of your team's work.
View as a Mind Map
If you need to have a brainstorming session about your project, SmartDraw easily lets you switch to a Mind Map view if you click on the View as Mind Map button in the SmartPanel.
Once in the mind map view, you'll see each of your tasks represented as a box on a mind map. You can rearrange tasks and add new ones and they will be reflected on your Gantt chart when you switch back.
Learn about editing a Mind Map using the Mind Map SmartPanel.
To read the full tutorial on making a Gantt chart with SmartDraw visit our Gantt chart how to guide: