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I'm looking for a free program to make simple gantt chart, it must able to export to image in a well readable format. I'd like a desktop application rather than an online tool. I have already tried these:

  1. ProjectLibre
  2. GanttProject
  3. GanttPro (Online tool)

None of them satisfy me,

I want

  • high quality of the exported image, since I want to utilize them in presentations on big screens. It has to be readable. This is the most important requirement.
  • a simple program where I insert a task defined by start day and end day (or duration)
  • to insert a second task with the possibility of setting it as consecutive to the previous (automatically setting the start date).

What I don't like of the above solutions is the chart visualization. If you have a long chart, the temporal axis became unreadable. The only important thing of the tasks are the start and the end date.

To summarize, I'm looking for a program with these simple features: I insert a task specifying start and end date, then I add a second task specifying that it follows the previous one, so I only specify the end date. Then I wanna export as image the chart, with the temporal axis reporting only start and end date of tasks. So I have a well readable chart suitable for a Powerpoint presentation.

  • What OS do you use? – mattumotu Nov 5 '15 at 11:45
  • Windows 7 or Ubuntu , it doesn't matter.. – rok Nov 5 '15 at 15:24
  • 1
    @rok Please post specific criteria. Explain what about the listed software did not meet your needs. – Basil Bourque Nov 5 '15 at 22:12
  • edited, I hope it helps – rok Nov 6 '15 at 8:04
1

Task Juggler

I have had similar experience with ProjectLibre and GanttProject and I finally love Task Juggler and have never planned projects so fast once I got used to it.

Unfortunately the installation is not so simple, because it needs Ruby, RubyGems and a few gems in order to work, so I wrote the Task Juggler Installer for Windows, which does the installation for you (and a few nice things in addition). Disclaimer (if that was not clear enough): I'm the author of the installer.

Your requirements

Task Juggler is based on a text file, so you need to learn some syntax, which may take a few hours. But if you keep things simple, there should not be too high hurdles. Here's a short walkthrough of the things you need according your description:

  1. Define a task by start date and end date:

    task t1 "Task 1" {
        start 2015-11-06
        end 2015-11-16
    }
    
  2. Define a second task as consecutive task and a duration (in calendar days here):

    task t2 "Task 2" {
        depends !t1
        duration 5d
    }
    
  3. Quality of exported image:

    Actually, Task Juggler does not create an image, it creates HTML. But that's a huge benefit: any browser can zoom today, so you can create an image of the quality you like.

  4. Report only the start and end date:

    Honestly, I'm not sure I understood the requirement correctly: do you want only the start and end date of the project (i.e. start of first task and end of last task) or of each single task?

    Task Juggler by default reports the start and end date of each task (see also the screenshot below). You can create a parent task which then inherits the earliest start date and the latest end date. It would be defined like this:

    task taskid "Parent task"{
      task t1 "Task 1" {
          start 2015-11-06
          end 2015-11-16
      }
      task t2 "Task 2" {
          depends !t1
          duration 5d
      }
    }
    

Example output

Here's the output which is generated by above input (plus some other text required to make it work, see full code below). The output of Task Juggler is highly customizable. However, doing customization of the output is probably one of the hardest things to do in Task Juggler.

(Click the image to enlarge)

Task Juggler with project and task dates

Full code

Task Juggler can start with a minimum project. This full code example also introduces you to a few other features like a team, comments and different sorts of reports, so you get a more complete picture of the tool.

project projectid "Software recommendations"  2015-11-06 +12m {
    timezone "Europe/Berlin"
    currency "EUR"
    timeformat "%Y-%m-%d"
    numberformat "-" "" "," "." 1
    currencyformat "(" ")" "," "." 0
}
# This is a comment
/*
This is a multiline comment
*/

rate 300.0

leaves holiday "Christmas" 2015-12-25 +1d

resource teamid "My Team" {
  limits {dailymax 6.4h} #80%
  resource personid "My Employee" {
        leaves annual 2015-01-01 - 2015-01-08
        leaves annual 2015-12-23 - 2015-12-31
  }
}

task taskid "Parent task"{
    task t1 "Task 1" {
        start 2015-11-06
        end 2015-11-16
    }
    task t2 "Task 2" {
        depends !t1
        duration 5d
    }
}   
resourcereport "resources" {
  formats html
  columns name, annualleave, annualleavebalance, sickleave, specialleave, unpaidleave
}

macro TaskTip [
  tooltip istask() -8<-
    '''Start: ''' <-query attribute='start'->
    '''End: ''' <-query attribute='end'->
    ----
    '''Resources:'''

    <-query attribute='resources'->
    ----
    '''Precursors: '''

    <-query attribute='precursors'->
    ----
    '''Followers: '''

    <-query attribute='followers'->
    ->8-
]

taskreport overview "tasks" {
    formats html
    columns bsi { title 'WBS' },
          name, start, end,
          chart { ${TaskTip} }
}

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