Custom Gannt Bar Format Plus Tasks Too!

Hey, fellow project managers and schedulers. Have you wanted to have your Custom Gannt Bar Format change colors automatically format the for specific types of tasks? Recently, a fellow project manager reached out with a question about how to automatically format the Gantt bars for specific tasks. He wanted to automatically color-code certain tasks in his project, I’m sure you’d like to be able to do the same without having to manually change and update the colors all of the time. Well, today you are in luck because I’m going to show you how to create a custom bar style to do just that. And as a BONUS, I’ll show you how to do this for your Tasks and Summary Tasks also. So, let’s dive right in!

If you would rather watch a YouTube video on this subject, click here or click the thumbnail below.

Custom Gannt Bar Format

Custom Gannt Bar Format: Identify the Tasks

The first step is to designate all of the tasks you want to automatically format.

Insert a “Marked” Column

  1. Apply the Gantt Chart view, if not already displayed.
  2. Right-click on the column header of any column, such as the “Duration” column.
  3. Select the “Insert Column” item on the shortcut menu.
  4. In the list of available Task fields, select the “Marked” field to add this column. This is a Flag field, which is often overlooked, and which allows us to mark tasks for automatic formatting with a Yes or No value.
  5. In the Marked column, select a “Yes” value for each task whose Gantt bar you want to automatically format.

Setting up Custom Gannt Bar Format

After designating specific tasks using the Marked field, you are ready to set up the automatic formatting of those tasks.

Customize Text Styles

  1. Click the “Gantt Chart Format” ribbon tab to display that ribbon.
  2. In the “Format” section at the left end of the ribbon, click the “Text Styles” button.
  3. In the Text Styles dialog, click the “Item to Change” pick list and select the “Marked Tasks” item.
  4. Click the “Background Color” pick list and choose your desired color. For example, you might want to select the “Light Green” color in the Standard Colors section.
  5. Click the “OK” to apply automatic formatting to all marked tasks, giving them the specified background color.

Create a Custom Gannt Bar Format

  1. Double-click anywhere in the white or gray part of the “Gantt Chart” screen to display the Bar Styles dialog.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the list of bar styles and enter a name for your new custom bar style, such as “Major Task”, for example.
  3. Press the “Right-Arrow” key to navigate to the Appearance column.
  4. In the “Middle” section in the bottom half of the dialog, click the “Pattern” pick list and select the solid color pattern.
  5. In the “Middle” section in the bottom half of the dialog, click the “Color” pick list and select the same color you selected in the previous section, such as the “Light Green” color.
  6. In the top half of the dialog, click the pick list in the “Show For … Tasks” cell for your “Major Task” row, and then select the “Marked” item.
  7. Leave the default values selected in the last three columns for your “Major Task” row.
  8. Click “OK” to create and apply the custom bar style.

Now, watch the magic happen! All tasks with a Marked value set to “Yes” will not only have a light green cell background color, but their Gantt bars will also be colored accordingly. Isn’t it amazing how you can customize bar styles to automate create your Custom Gannt Bar Format in your projects?

If you have questions, please add them in the “Leave a Reply” section below. Or if you watched the video, add your questions or comments there. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave “Likes” if you like the videos.

If you would like to have a formal class on using Microsoft Project, here is a link for my classes.

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