Cascade Skyline - with Microsoft Logo and Project Support header - author Brian Smith

October, 2008

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Gantt chart bar Borders Won't Print


    When you create custom formats for bars, either by using Format Bar or Format Bar Styles, the border of the bar may not render in the preview, nor does it show up in the final print out. 

    This problem will occur if you select a bar shape that is not equal to the full height available for the bar.  Basically, if you select any shape other than the first one in the Shape dropdown, you'll see this behavior, but it's more obvious if you select a pattern other than the solid fill.

    Here's a screen shot of the options I selected in the Format Bar dialog box.  These settings will cause the problem to manifest:


    Note that the Shape setting is smaller than the full bar height. Although the border fails to print regardless of the pattern chosen, I selected a non-solid pattern as a better demonstration of the behavior.  Here's the Print Preview where the bar styles for tasks 1 and 2 are set to a size smaller than full bar height.  The bar for task 1 has a solid pattern while the bar for task 2 uses the Pattern setting in the image above.


    You can see how, with the non-solid pattern and no borders, the second bar practically disappears across the non-working time.  This issue appears to be a problem with the rendering of the 3-D bar styles.  You will see this behavior regardless of the printer or printer driver you use. 

    The MS Project product team knows about this one, and at this point, the best way to work around it is to disable to 3-D bar styles.  To do this, go to Tools and then Options.  On the View tab, uncheck the option Bars and shapes in Gantt views in 3-D as shown below.


    Now if you look at the print preview again, the borders are rendered, but the bars will have the flat appearance from legacy versions of Microsoft Project. 


    If another solution to this issue becomes available, I'll update this post.  In the meantime, the workaround should help in most situations.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: Check-in still pending?


    ***UPDATE***  Please see my posting on the December 2008 CU -  The Project Professional 2007 CU - has a fix for this issue!

    *** 2nd Update *** But also see 

    I replied to a comment on this topic – but think it warrants a new posting so I have polished my reply and added some stuff.  I am aware customers are still having some issues with check-in pending and I think it may be a timing issue around closing and opening Project.  I haven’t been able to repro this so would love to hear some consistent repro steps based on the August Cumulative Update – if anyone out there can make it happen to order.

    However, I have some ideas what might lead to the issue.  When you close Project we now give a message to ensure any saves that are in progress get a chance to complete.  However this only waits for the save from client to the queue to complete - then the "real" save from the queue to the database happens - then any publish and check-in jobs.  So the client may be closed when the check-in completes and so doesn't get the message – and will still think the check-in is pending.  On opening it takes a little while for the communication to the server and the responses for any updates on pending check-ins etc – and you may see a message Offline changes - and if the user does a File, Open immediately then they may see Check-in pending for a project that is really checked in.  This will not get updated while the dialog is open.  Either closing the dialog and re-opening - or opening a "pending" project (read only) and then closing should flush things through and get the project available. This is by far the best approach rather than clearing the cache as it does not risk any data loss.  The above symptoms may never appear on a very fast network, and may appear more often in a WAN situation where there is high latency between the client and server.

    But as I say, I haven’t been able to repro, even from home, where I have to traverse my home wireless network, then another wireless link a few miles across the valley before getting on to a T1 link and the internet.  Another few hops and I get to my server.  The ping time is a pretty respectable 50ms across 9 hops.  Just to add a little load to my server I set all my projects publishing from ProjTool too – but I never see check-in pending.  Perhaps I need to be saving a much larger project and have lots of custom fields at the task level?  So for any repro I’d also like to know project size, custom fields, network parameters such as a ping and tracert to the server.

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Allow Me to (re)Introduce myself!


    Hello everyone!  And thank you, Brian, for making me feel so welcome here!  I'm incredibly excited to be returning to my roots at Microsoft by re-joining the MS Project support team!

    For long-time Project users, there's a remote possibility that you may remember me as I have a long history with Project support.  I started supporting Project back in 1997 when there was no such thing as Project Server and the only collaboration tools were the workgroup mail options.  Those were the days! 

    I was a member of the Project support team until September of 2004 when I took a position in our Global Content Delivery group, managing the Knowledge Base for the Microsoft Great Plains products in Fargo, North Dakota.  This change of jobs allowed me to relocate "home" to North Dakota where both my family and my husband's family are originally from.  Now, four years later, through various twists of fate, I find myself back with the Project team while getting to stay in Fargo and having the best of both worlds! 

    I'm amazed at the changes MS Project has undergone in the last four years, and am truly thrilled to be a part of it again.  I've always found our customers to be some of Microsoft's best!  You are so passionate and well informed about our great product, and you are always willing to share opinions and ideas for how we can become even better. 

    In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to sharing technical news with you through the blog, getting to know the blog readers, and maybe even reconnecting with a few previous (I won't say "old"!) Project acquaintances!  I'll be back soon with my first technical posting!

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    A New Author Joins the Project Support Blog! Please welcome LaDonna Carpenter.


    I am delighted to announce that there will be another voice to the Project Support blog!  LaDonna Carpenter will be joining me in posting blogs on all things Project.  LaDonna has recently returned to our team having left shortly before I joined (Hmm – was that just a coincidence?)  I know we are all very pleased to have her back!  Rather than steal LaDonna’s thunder I will let her introduce herself in her first blog – coming shortly…

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: PSI – Getting 401 Errors from IIS?


    This was a problem that had several of us racking our brains earlier this week and all the usual reasons of lack of permissions in PWA, missing setting the credential properties on the web service were found not to be the cause – Colby Africa had found a KB that sounded very similar and we had an answer.  See Colby’s posting at his new blog site

    This same problem then appeared through an e-mail contact from my blog so thanks to Colby I could give a quick answer!  In this customer’s case the issue was due to host headers being used – KB 896861 saved the day.

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