How to Create a Simple Legend

At GraphicSchedule we recommend using lots of color. Creating a 1-page schedule for your project is an opportunity to be creative, keep things interesting, and make it stand out from all those other project documents that are often difficult to read.

One popular use of color is to convey which resource or crew will be performing each activity. For example, you might decide to make all earthwork activities brown, or all ductbank activities red. In such cases, adding a legend can help your reader quickly understand what each color means.

GraphicSchedule does not currently have a legend feature, but thanks to native Excel features it doesn’t take much to create a simple legend to highlight your most-important colors.


Here’s a recap of the steps shown in the video:

  1. Add a new sheet and name it “Legend”.
  2. Copy your most-important colors from the GS data table, and paste them in the Legend sheet.
  3. Type a description of each color in the adjacent cell.
  4. Type “Legend” above your list of colors.
  5. Turn off Gridlines using the View ribbon.
  6. Select the legend you’ve just created, and “Copy as Image” using the Home ribbon.
  7. Paste the image anywhere on your GS sheet and move it into place on top of the chart.
  8. Right click > Format Picture to apply finishing touches, such as adding a white background or a border.


This is just one of many ways to create a legend, and there’s no wrong way to do it.

Also, it’s not necessary to list ALL of your colors in the legend. For example, colors that are only used once, or those that don’t require any explanation, probably don’t need to be shown in the legend. The goal is to make this quick and easy to read, just like your schedule!