Using The Gantt Chart
When you're using SeedCodeContacts with its sample data you can explore the gantt chart by clicking on the Gantt icon in the tool bar (the rightmost icon in the tool bar) if you're in the Contacts or Projects section, or by clicking on the Gantt tab if you're in the calendar section.
Once there, use the Project filter to select "The Test Project". The gantt chart should snap to the date range of the project, giving you a nice view of it. If it doesn't, you may need to change a setting. Click the "Chart Setup" button near the bottom of the screen and make sure the very first set of radio buttons ("Use a manually entered chart range...") is set to "No".
Once you can see the chart for this project we'd encourage you to play with the zoom and nudge tools at the bottom of the gantt chart screen.
Setting the Chart Range (the dates)
The gantt chart has two basic date modes: it can "snap" to the range represented by the chartable data, or it can use any user-defined date range. This behavior is controlled by the first radio button on the chart setup screen. Click the "Chart Setup" button near the bottom of the screen and you'll see this first set of radio buttons ("Use a manually entered chart range...").
When this is set to "No", the gantt chart will look at the records to be charted and find the earliest start date and the latest end date, using these as the left and right edge dates of the chart. (The chart also looks to see if you have any red target lines set to show and will take their dates into consideration as well.)
Note that once the chart has "snapped" to these dates, you can still use the zoom controls at the bottom of the gantt chart to zoom in and out or to nudge the chart left or right. Clicking "100%" will re-snap the chart to the left and right dates of the data to be charted.
When "Use a manually entered chart range..." is set to "Yes" the chart will display whatever range you select, regardless of the date ranges depicted in the data being charted. This is especially useful if you want to show sections within a large project (printing just the current month, for instance) or wish to place a short project within the context of a longer time frame. Clicking "100%" in this context will focus the chart back to the dates you entered if you've zoomed or nudged the chart.
Note that below the "Use a manually entered chart range..." setting you'll see some blue text buttons that will easily let you enter some common ranges into the chart's date filters.
You can also set the chart to use some of these ranges on startup by adjusting the chart's upon-opening defaults on the Settings section of the About tab.
Restricting Chart Content to Items Between Dates
Normally the chart range (the left and right edge of the chart) merely truncate a record's gantt bar if the item is outside the chartable range. So that if you have a milestone that only occupies the first week of July, but you've nudged your chart to the right so far that you're only looking at September through November, you'll still see that milestone's record, you just won't see a bar displayed for that milestone.
However, setting the "Restrict Chart Contents..." radio button to "Yes" changes that. (You can find this right below the custom chart range fields on the Chart Setup screen.)
When this is set to "Yes" the left and right chart dates act like filters, omitting or including records as they fall within the chart's range. This can be a pretty cool way to use the gantt chart if you have no other filters set. We encourage you to play with this setting to see how it works.
Red Target Lines
The gantt chart includes the option to display one or two" "target" lines on the chart. Settings for these can be found on the Chart Setup screen (click the "chart setup" button at the bottom of the gantt chart).
You can use these to show the current date, or to indicate the difference between an earlier deadline and the current deadline.