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Project Plan – Gantt Chart with drill-down capability [Templates]



Gantt charts are useful for visualizing a project’s timeline and activity flow. In this article, learn how to create an interactive project gantt chart with drill-down capability using Excel. Here is a demo of the gantt chart we will be creating.

Project Plan Gantt chart with drill down capability in Excel

Download the Drill-down Gantt Chart Template

Please click here to download the gantt chart template. Just change the input data and click on “Refresh” button from Data ribbon to update the gantt chart.

If you want more project management templates, please click here.

Step by Step Tutorial - Gantt Chart with Drill-down

Please watch below short tutorial to learn how to create an interactive multi-level project gantt chart in Excel. Alternatively, just read on to get the instructions.

If you want to create a similar gantt chart from your data, Please follow below steps. 

Step 1: Get your data

You need at least these four columns of data. 

sample data - interactive gantt chart

Step 2: Make a pivot table from the data

Insert a pivot table from this data. Set it up as shown below. You need,

  • Slicer on “module”
  • Activity on row labels
  • Start date min on values
  • End date max on values

pivot table for the gantt chart

Step 3: Create a gantt chart empty outline

In a new worksheet, set up gantt chart outline like below.

You need,

  • 4 columns to display activity, start date, end date and duration
  • another 90 narrow columns to show the project plan. Feel free to adjust the number of columns based on your needs.

Empty gantt chart grid

Step 4: Making the left side of gantt chart

The left side portion of our project plan is rather simple to make. We just need to refer to Pivot Table values to get first three columns (Activity, Start and Finish).

We can then calculate the duration using =NETWORKDAYS(start, finish)

After the duration is calculated, add conditional formatting > data bars to it, so that we can easily spot activities that take too long to complete.

gantt chart construction - left side


Step 5: Gantt chart grid (right side portion)

Now that our gantt chart is ready on the left, let’s complete the grid. 

Start by calculating the earliest project start date using min formula =MIN(plan[Start date])

Place this formula in the grid top left cell, as shown below.

project plan gantt chart construction - right side

Calculate remaining 89 dates by adding +1 working day. Use =WORKDAY(previous date, 1) formula for this.

This will give us a bunch of dates.

Use the next two rows to show month & day portion of this date by referring to the date calculation row. As the cells are too small, merge 2 or 3 of them and show the values. 

Now that all the dates are ready, let’s figure out the logic for making gantt chart view.

conditional formatting rule for gantt chart

As shown above, we need a rule to highlight any cell if the date in top row falls between start and finish dates for the corresponding project activity.

To do this, select the entire grid of 100 rows x 90 columns and apply a new conditional formatting rule.

Use “formula” type rule and apply this formula.

=MEDIAN($C6, $D6, M$3) = M$3

Adjust cell references based on your gantt chart setup.

Related: Using MEDIAN formula to check between condition in Excel

conditional formatting rule - excel gantt chart

Apply necessary formatting and your gantt chart will be ready.

Step 6: Move the slicer to the gantt chart worksheet

This is the last and easiest step.

Just cut and paste the slicer near the gantt chart. Your interactive chart is ready.

Project Plan Gantt chart with drill down capability in Excel

Bells & whistles:

  • You can add a conditional formatting rule to highlight current date
  • Another rule to highlight alternative rows (zebra-shading)
  • Adjust the conditional formatting rule to show completed activities in a different color.


How to update the Gantt Chart?

When ever you have new data, simply update the input data worksheet. Then refresh pivot tables (shortcut: Alt+Ctrl+F5). Your Gantt chart will be updated too.

Download the Drill-down Gantt Chart Template

Please click here to download the gantt chart template. Just change the input data and click on “Refresh” button from Data ribbon to update the gantt chart.

If you want more project management templates, please click here.

Questions or Suggestions?

Got some questions or issues when using this template? Have a suggestion for this Gantt Chart? Please post them in the comments section.

Also check out:


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6 Responses to “Project Plan – Gantt Chart with drill-down capability [Templates]”

  1. V S VENKATRAMAN says:


    Your videos are always useful... you can be rest assured....

    Thanks for teaching us ...

  2. H. Gershen says:

    I would like to use this style for a Gantt chart, but the template has about 100 lines. I have exported more than 100 rows of task data from MS Project into a format resembling the "Data" tab. I'd like to represent all this information, but when I paste it into the "Data" tab, it overwrites the existing table & named data ranges, and the pivot table doesn't "see" everything.

    Is there a set of instructions for how to work with >100 rows of data?


  3. Ashvin says:

    Hello Chandoo,

    Can you please send me a message in my email.
    Instead of day, what If i want to do it on a monthly basis.
    Is there any possibility ?

    Please let me know.

  4. Nothamptonshire says:

    Its a great gantt chart, but looks like all task have to be set at the same level, and unable to link dependencies between each task - nevertheless, its a fantastic start and I'm sure you'll be looking to enhance over time.

  5. Harish Nagaraja says:

    Thanks Chandu.... I was searching for such tool for years and happy to find one!!

  6. Jon says:

    Thanks for this. I'm having an issue when trying to follow the instructions to build it myself. Where there is no information copied over from the Pivot table, because those cells are blank, the conditional formatting is filling in all the dates, so I end up with a gantt chart for the cells with data and then a huge block of filled cells beneath that. How do I stop the conditional formatting applying when there is no start/end date?

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