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July 24, 2023

#BigTip: Get more granular with your Gantt timeline

Gantt
Project Management
Scheduling & Roadmapping

A dynamic high-level timeline allows you to visualize and lay out individual project events in chronological order. This way, you and your team members are able to quickly see who’s responsible for what, and how everyone’s individual work items impact the project as a whole. With BigPicture, you can adjust your timeline in a few ways depending on the level of detail you’re looking to see.

View your Gantt timeline in days, years, and everything in between

The Gantt chart timeline gives your project stakeholders a high-level overview of the entire project, including start and end dates, and durations for project tasks, as well as milestones. You can use it to create a detailed product roadmap for your Agile projects. In BigPicture, your roadmap (i.e. your Gantt chart timeline) can be as detailed and high-level as you want. 

Here’s how it works.

Zoom in and out of your Gantt chart timeline

First, let’s cover the granularity levels on your timeline. There are seven zoom-in and out options, designed to help you avoid experiencing drastic leaps in time, when switching from one time frame to another.

You can seamlessly transition through respective timeframes like this: 

  • +/- (plus/minus) icons on the left-side menu to zoom in and zoom out. 
  • Keyboard shortcuts (Shift to zoom out, and Shift = to zoom in).
  • Combination of the keyboard key with the mouse wheel (Ctrl/Cmd and mouse wheel).
  • Right-click on the white space and select Zoom in or Zoom out from the context menu.

The most high-level zoom-out view of the Gantt chart timeline you can see is in years. If you take it a step further and zoom in again, you will still see years, but with a shorter time frame. So, if the roadmap for your project spans several years, you can use the full-on zoom-out to capture all the essential information.

Zoom out your Gantt chart timeline in BigPicture to view project across subsequent years.

 

Zooming in on your Gantt timeline will get you to months. First, you’ll see approximately six months, followed by a quarter, then a month. And finally, for an even closer look at your project tasks and other items, zoom in to a week(s) or a few days.

The “plus” icon is grayed out, which means that your timeline is at its maximum zoom-in level; here you can see the finer details in days and months.

 

No matter how high-level you want to get with your timeline, you’ll always be able to see which quarter (and year) you’re currently viewing. Respective timeline views will also display days and months. And if your organization plans tasks in weeks, then you can simply display the tasks per week by checking the appropriate box.

To enable this, navigate to the triple dots at the top right and select “Week numbers,” or simply press “w” on your keyboard.

BigPicture’s Gantt chart timeline showing a year, quarters, months, and weeks.

Move around your Gantt chart timeline seamlessly

When you zoom in on large and complex projects, you might lose your bird’s eye view of the items you’re looking at; for instance, if the work item is a quick happening that gets out of view, or if it lasts so long that it can no longer fit in a single view. Don’t worry, you can easily navigate back to your items, without even having to zoom out much, or use a search bar. 

Drag the timeline

Simply hold the left-click mouse button anywhere on the whitespace below the timeline and move (or drag the timeline) to wherever you want.

 

The scroll bars will also allow you to move up and down, left and right, but you might find that dragging the timeline is quicker and more convenient.

Scale to fit

If you want to scale perfectly to fit the task or tasks you’re working on, then the “Scale to fit” feature is your go-to. Select a task or group of tasks, then click the “Scale to fit” button (or press F on your keyboard). The app will immediately customize the zoom level in order to display your task(s) in such a way that it fits perfectly with your view.

Get it done quickly from your WBS

The Gantt chart timeline is even more useful when coupled with a work breakdown structure (WBS). So, when you want to display a specific task on your timeline, select it on the WBS side, and the app will immediately show it in your timeline view.

Sign up for a free BigPicture trial

BigPicture lets you turn ideas into highly-visual roadmaps, projects into detailed Gantt charts. If you’re looking for a powerful Gantt chart software to help you plan, build, and execute your projects, then give us a try by signing up for a free 30-day trial. 

Also, we encourage you to join our live demo webinar so you can see for yourself why more than 20,000 PPMs and their teams rely on our software to be efficient and at ease while building amazing products!