Adding a Chart to a Project Report

Feb 8, 2024 | Project Hints and Tips

As well as using a range of pre-set reports in Project, many of which contain charts already, charts can be added to these or new reports too.

Creating a New Report

To create a new report there are 2 options.

  1. Select New Report from the Report tab, select Blank. Here any mix of objects can be added.
  2. Select New Report from the Report tab, select Chart.  Here the assumption is that at least one chart will be created but other objects can be added too.
New report image

In both cases above the report will be given a name which becomes the default title in a text box at the top of the report.  If Chart was chosen a default Clustered Column chart is produced.

Adding a Chart to a Report

1. When a report is open then a Report Design tab is available.

2. Click on the Report Design tab.

3. Select the Chart icon.

Chart icon image

4. Choose the chart you require (this can be changed later).  Notice that there are less options than there are in Excel.

5. Click OK.

Modifying a Chart in a Report

When a chart is created certain assumptions are made.  The key ones are as follows.  The chart type is a clustered column chart.  The fields displayed are Actual Work, Remaining Work and Work.  Only active tasks are shown (by default all tasks are active) and the level of detail shown is for the Level 1 tasks (these are often the main summary tasks).  Most of the changes are made using the Field List pane.

Chart field list pane image

Selecting whether the Chart is related to Resources or Tasks

It is vital to make the correct choice here because all the other options shown in the Field List pane on the right of the screen are affected by this decision.  Select between the options of Task or Resource at the top of the pane.

Changing the Category

The category is the field that is shown on the x axis.  Options include Name of the task and Time amongst others.

Changing the fields shown

In the field list pane on the right the fields being used in the chart are ticked.  Fields related to Cost, Duration, Number are Work are available.  This includes customised fields if you have used them in your project.

Amending the Filter

Over 20 options are available to filter by.  These are the same sort of options that are available from the View tab and enable the charts to be more specific in what they report on.  This could be related to a specific resource, timeframe or looking at only tasks that are at a specific level of completion.

Changing the Level of Detail shown

The Outline Level enables the level of detail that needs to be shown to be determined.  Project Summary is the highest level and shows only the overall project summary level of detail.  The lowest level is All Subtasks which shows every individual task within the project.


The chart can be sorted by any of the fields used in the report or a custom sort can be created using any field you need.  Custom Sort allow the sorting by up to 3 different fields.

Amending the Chart Type, Design and Layout

Although this is not something that is going to be looked at here the options for amending the actual setup of the chart are very similar to those seen in Excel, Word or PowerPoint.  They are accessed from the Chart Design and Format tabs that appear when the Chart that has been created is selected.

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about adding a chart to a Project Report, there are some other blogs below that you might find useful:

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