Microsoft Project 2010
The official blog of the Microsoft Office product development group. Learn how to manage your work effectively

January, 2008

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    The Many Gantt Chart Views


    Did you know that Project ships 8 Gantt chart views?  I thought I'd take today to go into what each one displays.  To get to most of these views you'll need to go to the View menu - More Views dialog.

    Gantt Chart - This is the plain Gantt chart.

    Bar Rollup - If you like to rollup subtasks bars to the summary task, this view helps you with formatting.

        To roll a task up to a summary task, double-click the task to get to the task information dialog and check "Roll up Gantt bar to summary" on the General tab.  In this view you can then specify if you want the task name shown above or below the summary bar by using the Text Above column (only available in this view).


    Detail Gantt - This shows the critical path, how far you have slipped, and how far you can slip before other tasks/the project finish date is affected.

        Red Bars - Critical tasks (tasks that must be completed on schedule for a project to finish on schedule)

        Black Line before a task - Slippage: This shows how far the task's start date has slipped compared to Baseline Start.

        Black Line after a task - Slack (specifically Free Slack): This shows the amount of time that a task can be delayed without causing its successor tasks to slip.  For a task without successors, free slack is the amount of time that the task can slip without delaying the finish date of the project. 

    Leveling Gantt - This view shows you how leveling has affected your project.  (Wondering what leveling is - check out this help article)

        Green bars - Shows you where the bar was before the last time you leveled.

        White diamond with black outline - Shows you where the milestone was before the last time you leveled.

         Black line before a task - Delay: This helps to show you how leveling has caused a task to be delayed.  The line is drawn from Early Start (the earliest date that a task could possible being, based on early start dates of predecessor and successor tasks and other constraints) to Start.

        Black line after a task - Slack (specifically Free Slack): This shows the amount of time that a task can be delayed without causing its successor tasks to slip.  For a task without successors, free slack is the amount of time that the task can slip without delaying the finish date of the project. 


    Milestone Date Rollup - When you roll up a milestone to the summary, this view displays the milestone name above the bar and the date below.  Regular tasks that are set to roll up will look like milestones on the summary bar.


    Multiple Baselines Gantt - This view displays Baseline, Baseline 1, and Baseline 2.

    Tracking Gantt - This is our second most popular Gantt chart and is best used when you want to see your critical path.

        Red Bars - Critical tasks (tasks that must be completed on schedule for a project to finish on schedule)

        Dark Gray bars - Baseline

        There is a bug in Project 2007 where regular tasks and regular task progress are both drawn with the same blue color and fill.  To fix this, when you are in the view, go to Format - Bar Styles and set either Task or Task Progress to have a different look.

    Helpful tips:
    While I don't want to get in to editing bar styles too much since that topic deserves its own post, I'll mention one helpful hint.  All the above views are customizable to meet your needs.  For example, in the Tracking Gantt, Baseline is displayed but say you want to compare Baseline 5.  To do this, just go Format - Bar Styles, and for the Baseline bar style set From to Baseline5 Start and To to Baseline5 Finish.  You can do this with other fields too.

    Additionally, to quickly set a bunch of tasks to roll up/not roll up, insert the Rollup column.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2007 Project Resource Kit


    Hi everyone, Phil Smail from the Project Product Group here. Just wanted to announce the news that I know a lot of you out there have been waiting for. The Project Resource Kit for Project 2007 has released!! It’s available for x86 and x64 in English only

    The PRK consists of the following tools:

    • Portfolio Analyzer Views Migration: Allows an administrator to bulk edit the location of an analysis server for multiple data analysis views.
    • Project Server Settings Backup and Restore (Playbooks): Allows an administrator to backup Project Server settings and restore those settings to another Project Server.
    • Project Server Data Populator: Allows an administrator to populate Project Server with projects, resources and other objects. Useful for helping capacity and performance testing.
    • Project Workspace Site Relinker: Allows an administrator to relink the connection between Project Server and Project Workspace sites.
    • View Effective Rights: Allows an administrator to query the Project Server to determine the effective permissions of users against projects or resources.

    Full documentation on the tools is expected shortly. In the meantime try them out and feel free to post comments


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    New to Project? Try the Project Management Quick Reference Guide


    It can sometimes be a challenge for new users to find their way through Microsoft Project on their way to becoming project managers.  The Project team has just produced another Help product that will help you understand Microsoft Project-The Project Management Quick Reference Guide. This template can be downloaded and printed out for ease of use. Now you have another tool to help your organization achieve its project goals.

    Note that the guide requires Word 2007.  The guide was written for Project 2007 but it has a lot of information in it that also applies to previous releases.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Join the MPA community today


    FINAL-MPA_10th-Anniv (2) Join the official association for Microsoft 2007 Office Project today! MPA® gives users a vibrant, online community connecting you with Project experts. Join today and access in-person user groups, the NEW Elite Job Board and Career Center, network for business opportunities, technical articles, training, and more.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Why does the Quick Launch only appear on certain pages?


    Hi guys, this is Phil Smail, one of the Program Managers for Project. I mainly work on Project Server and have been asked this question a number of times at conferences and the like and thought it was time to answer the question to a wider audience :)

    For those that don't know the Quick Launch is the menu that typically appears on the left hand side of the screen as seen below:


    People have noticed that for some reason on most pages the Quick Launch  appears on the page but on same pages the Quick Launch disappears. Why would that be?

    Pages that it appears on for example would be:

    • Server Settings/Security/Manage Users
    • Server Settings/Enterprise Data/Enterprise Global

    Some of the pages that it doesn't appear are:

    • Server Settings/Security/Project Web Access Permissions
    • Server Settings/Database Administration/Delete Enterprise Objects


    The thought behind this is that a Quick Launch should appear except in the cases where there is a specific editing objective on the page. The removal of the Quick Launch is meant to make the user concentrate on the contents of the page itself. With the menu in place it's a lot easier to get distracted. This wasn't a lightly taken decision and was based on research from our User Experience folks. The design for this originally came from the Windows Sharepoint Services team and as we are a product built on top of WSS we wanted to maintain consistency with that product.

    Therefore if you look at the Manage Users page you are not really editing users in this page. You typically come here to move to the Edit Users page therefore the Menu is in place:


    However in the Edit User page, which you get to from Manage Users, you are editing users and no Quick Launch is accessible:


Page 1 of 1 (5 items)