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Part 8. Customizing and Managing Project Files

Part 8. Customizing and Managing Project Files

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C hapter 2 8



Customizing Your View of Project

Information

Customizing Views. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1062



Customizing Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1124



Customizing Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1103



Customizing Filters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1129



Customizing Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1107



Sharing Customized Elements Among Projects . . . . . 1138



Working with Outline Codes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1116



O



rganizations are as unique as people, and each project that an organization manages

has its own particular needs. Each step in managing a project requires a specific set

of information, as does responding to each new challenge that arises. In Microsoft

Project 2010, you can control what information you see and how it is formatted, whether

these customizations are to satisfy your own preferences or meet the specialized needs of a

particular project or situation. Almost every aspect of viewing information in Project 2010

can be molded to your specifications, including the following:





Views







Tables







Fields







Groups







Filters



You can also customize text-based and visual reports. For more information, see “Generating Text and Visual Reports” on page 354. The ribbon interface is customizable, too. To learn

more, see “Customizing the Project 2010 Ribbon” on page 1153.



If you use codes to categorize information—for example, accounting codes to assign tasks

to budget line items or skill codes to identify resources—customized outline codes in Project

2010 can fulfill this purpose. You can adapt these codes to your organization’s standards, apply

them to project tasks and resources, and then use them to sort, group, or filter information.

When you customize Project 2010, you can choose to keep your customizations in one

project or make them available to every project you create. In addition, with the Organizer,

you can manage customized elements and copy them to share with others. This chapter

describes how to customize all these features and use them in your projects.







1061



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1062 Chapter 28  Customizing Your View of Project Information



Customizing Views

The right perspective on the right data can simplify your project management tasks,

uncover potential problems, or show the way to potential solutions. Each view in Project

2010 gives you a different point of view on project information. You can specify the views

you want to see, and you don’t have to stick with the views that come with the program.

Change the tables and fields that a view displays, rearrange the organization of information, and control its appearance to peruse your project information the way you want. For

example, with Background Cell Highlighting, you can apply highlight colors or patterns

to the cells in the view tables to make key tasks stand out, similar to highlighting cells in a

Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

For more information about working with built-in Project 2010 views, see “Using Views” on

page 131.



Changing the Content of a View



Chapter 28



Project 2010 comes with numerous standard views that present task, resource, and assignment information. When these standard views don’t meet your needs, you can customize

their content or create new views that are more suitable. For example, if you like to take

into account the amount of work that tasks require, you can change your Gantt Chart to

show a table with the Work field. In single-pane views, you can specify which screen, table,

group, and filter to apply when the view appears. For combination views, you can designate the views that appear in the primary pane on the top and the Details pane on the

bottom.



Note

Even though views such as the Gantt Chart and Task Usage view are made up of two

panes, one on the left and one on the right, they’re still considered single-pane views.



Note

If you plan to use new tables, groups, or filters in a view, you must create those elements

before you use them in a customized view. You must also create new single-pane views

before you can include them in a combination view.

For elements that already exist, it doesn’t matter whether you customize them or

assign them to customized views first.



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Customizing Views 1063



To customize the content of an existing single-pane view—for example, the Gantt Chart,

Resource Sheet, or Task Usage view—do the following:







1. On the View tab, in the Resource Views group, click the arrow next to Other Views,

and then click More Views.







Other Views



2. In the More Views dialog box, in the Views list, click the view’s name. (See

Figure 28-1.)



Figure 28-1  You can edit an existing view, copy an existing

view, or create a completely new view.



3. To change the selected view, click the Edit button. The View Definition dialog box

appears, as shown in Figure 28-2.

To create a view that is similar to the selected view, click the Copy button in the More

Views dialog box. Type a new name in the Name box of the View Definition dialog box.

When you edit an existing single-pane view, the View Definition dialog box displays

the screen used, such as Gantt Chart, but you can’t modify it. When you create a new

single-pane view from scratch, you can choose which type of screen to use.



Figure 28-2  When you customize a single-pane view,

you choose a table, group, and filter.



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Chapter 28







1064 Chapter 28  Customizing Your View of Project Information



Project 2010 differentiates customized views from standard ones by listing customized views at the top of a view drop-down menu under the Custom heading. Likewise, built-in views appear under the Built-In heading, as you can see in Figure 28-3.



Figure 28-3  In Project 2010, the views you create appear under the Custom heading,

while built-in views appear under the Built-In heading.



Chapter 28







4. In the Table box, click the table you want to appear in the customized view.







5. In the Group box, click the group you want to use.

If this view doesn’t need a group, choose No Group.







6. In the Filter box, click the filter you want to apply.

If this view doesn’t need a filter, choose All Tasks (for a task view) or All Resources (for

a resource view).



Note

When you apply a filter to a view, by default Project 2010 hides the tasks or resources

that don’t meet the filter’s criteria. If you want the view to show all tasks or resources

but emphasize the filtered tasks, select the Highlight Filter check box. This setting displays all tasks and resources but uses blue text for the ones that pass the filter tests.



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Customizing Views 1065



INSIDE OUT 



Tired of clicking More Views?



By default, the view drop-down menus on the Task, Resource, and View tabs include

the views used most frequently by the majority of Project 2010 users. However, if you

take the time to customize views or simply prefer other standard views, such as the Task

Details Form, you might get tired of clicking a tab on the ribbon, clicking the arrow

next to a view button, and then clicking More Views every time you want to use them.



You can also modify the order in which views appear—for example, you can move the

Task Sheet to the top of the list. By default, task views appear first in alphabetical order,

followed by resource views in alphabetical order. Custom views appear above built-in

views. In the More Views dialog box, click the view you want to move and then click

Edit. In the Name box, change the view name in some way. This copies the original view

and adds it to the top of the list under the Custom heading. Note that your custom

views appear in alphabetical order. By using certain letters or numbers, you can control

the order in which the views are listed.



To customize the content of an existing combination view—for example, the Task Entry

view or Resource Allocation view—follow these steps:







1. On the Task tab, in the Task Views group, click the arrow next to Gantt Chart, and

Gantt Chart







then click More Views. (You can also click the arrow next to any view button on the

Task tab, the Resource tab, or the View tab, and then click More Views.)



2. In the More Views dialog box, in the Views list, click the name of the combination

view you want to customize.







3. To change the existing view, click the Edit button.

To create a new view based on the existing view, click the Copy button. In the View

Definition dialog box, in the Name box, type a new name for the view.







4. In the Primary View box, click the name of the view that you want to appear in the

top pane. (See Figure 28-4.)



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Chapter 28



Fortunately, the views that appear on the view drop-down menus are within your control. To include a view on a view drop-down menu, click the arrow next to any view

button on the Task tab, the Resource tab, or the View tab, and then click More Views.

Click the view you want to add, and then click Edit. In the View Definition dialog box,

select the Show In Menu check box. To remove a view that you don’t use, clear its Show

In Menu check box.



1066 Chapter 28  Customizing Your View of Project Information



Figure 28-4  For combination views, you specify which single-pane view appears in the

top pane (Primary View) and which appears in the bottom pane (Details Pane).







5. In the Details Pane box, click the view you want to appear in the bottom pane.



INSIDE OUT 



Change the table and view definition



Chapter 28



When you are using a view and choose a different table to display, you also change the

table for the definition of that view. In Project 2010, applying a group or filter to a view

also changes the group or filter applied in the View Definition dialog box. The next

time you display that view, the table uses its new table, group, and filter .



Creating a New View

If none of the existing views comes close to meeting your needs, you can craft an entirely

new single pane or combination view. To do this, follow these steps:







1. On the Task, Resource, or View tab, click the arrow next to one of the view buttons,

and then click More Views.







2. In the More Views dialog box, click New.



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Customizing Views 1067



3. In the Define New View dialog box, select either the Single View or Combination

View option and then click OK.

The View Definition dialog box for the type of view you selected appears and fills in

the Name box with a default name, such as View 1.







4. If you are creating a new single-pane view, in the View Definition dialog box, choose

the type of screen you prefer—a built-in view layout or form such as Gantt Chart or

Task Form.

The only time you can choose the screen for a single-pane view is when you create a

new one. When you edit a single-pane view, the View Definition dialog box displays

the type of screen, but you can’t modify it.



5. Specify the rest of the contents of the view, as described in the previous section,

“Changing the Content of a View.”



Automatically Add New Elements to the Project Global

Project 2010 includes an option that automatically adds new views, tables, filters, and

groups to the project global template, which makes them available to other project

files. If you want new items to be available only in the project file in which you create

them, you must turn off this option. To do this, on the File tab, click Options, and then

click Advanced. Under Display, clear the check box labeled Automatically Add New

Views, Tables, Filters, And Groups To The Global.



Apply a View Quickly

Keyboard fans can choose a view from a drop-down view menu by assigning a keyboard shortcut. In the View Definition dialog box for the view, type an ampersand (&)

before the letter in the view name that you want to use for the shortcut and then save

the customized view.

When you want to use your keyboard shortcut, press Alt to display keyboard shortcuts

on the ribbon. Press the shortcut letter to select the ribbon tab. For example, press H

to select the Task tab, press G to display the drop-down menu of task views, and then

press the shortcut letter for the view you want, such as N for the Tracking Gantt view.

This works for built-in views as well as your custom views.

Use a different letter for each keyboard shortcut. If you choose a letter that is already in

use by another menu entry, you might have to press the letter more than once to apply

the view you want.



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Chapter 28







1068 Chapter 28  Customizing Your View of Project Information



Saving a View

You might alter a view in several ways—for example, by changing the table that appears,

modifying the contents of the table in the view, applying a filter, applying a group, or some

combination of all of these. In Project 2010, you can quickly save these customizations to a

new view and a new table. To do this, follow these steps:







1. On the Task, Resource, or View tab, click the arrow next to one of the view buttons,

and then click Save View. The Save View dialog box appears.







2. In the Name box, type a name for the new view. Click OK.

Project 2010 saves the new view. The program also saves the new table, adopting

its name from the name of the new view. For example, if you named the new view

MyNewView, the table name would be MyNewView Table1.



Note

If you choose the Save View command again while the same view is displayed, the

Save View dialog box appears with two options. To update the current view with the

changes you made, select the Update Current View option. To save the view as another

new view, select the Save As A New View option, and then, in the Name box, type the

name for the view.



Chapter 28



Changing Text Formatting in Views

By default, the font used throughout Project 2010 views is 8-point Arial. If your reading

glasses nudge you toward a different font or larger size for text, you can adjust both the

font and size for one or more elements in a particular view. By changing the formatting

for a text style, you can alter the appearance of entire categories of elements in a view. For

example, you can change the text for critical tasks in a sheet view to bold and red. In addition, you can customize the formatting for individual instances of text, such as the text in a

single row or even a single table cell, to emphasize a few key pieces of information.



Changing Text Formatting for a View

By modifying a text style, you can adjust both the font and size for one or more elements

in a particular view. To select the elements to change and the font and size to use, follow

these steps:



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Customizing Views 1069









1. On the Format tab, in the Format group, click Text Styles.

Text Styles



2. To change the characteristics for all text, in the Item To Change box, be sure that All is

selected.

This changes the font for all text elements in the current view in this project, including

column and row headings, Gantt bar text, and all field data such as task and resource

names. If you want to change the text for a specific element, such as Summary Tasks, in

the Item To Change box, click the element. If you want the text displayed on all critical

Gantt bars to be 16-point red type, start by clicking Critical Tasks in the Item To Change

box. To specify the text style for text at a specific position on all bars, in the Item To

Change box, choose the position, such as Bar Text-Left or Bar Text-Inside.







3. In the Font list, choose the font you want.







4. To apply bold or italic to the text, in the Font Style list, choose the formatting you

want.







5. In the Size list, choose the font size for the text.

You can also apply a color to the text, which can emphasize important tasks. For

instance, you might apply a bright blue or maroon color to the text for critical tasks

so that they stand out in the task list as well as in the Gantt Chart.



6. To apply the changes, click OK.



Highlight the Background in Cells

You can revise the background color of cells, for example, by choosing a light red background color to make critical tasks in a table stand out.

In the Text Styles dialog box, in the Item To Change drop-down list, choose the category of task to highlight, such as critical tasks, summary tasks, or changed cells. You

can choose the font, font style, and size of the text for the selected item, such as Arial

Italic 8-point. To choose a color for the text, choose the color in the Color drop-down

list. Then, to highlight the cell background, in the Background Color drop-down list,

choose the color you want, and Project 2010 highlights cell backgrounds with that

color.



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Chapter 28







1070 Chapter 28  Customizing Your View of Project Information



INSIDE OUT 



No way to set an overall default font style



Suppose you have used the Text Styles dialog box to apply specific fonts to row and

column titles in the Gantt Chart, used another style to milestone tasks, and yet another

to critical tasks. When you switch from the Gantt Chart to the Task Usage view, you find

that the fonts revert to their default style in that view.

Text styles apply only to the current view in the current project. If you want those text

styles to appear in other views, you need to make the same changes in each view in

which you want them to appear.

If you take the time to make all those text style changes, you can increase the benefit

by making them available to all your projects. To do this, use the Organizer to copy

your modified views to the global template (global.mpt).

For information about copying views to the global template for use in other projects,

see “Copying Customized Elements” on page 1140.



Changing the Format of Individual Text



Chapter 28



When you want to adjust the font and size for text that doesn’t fall into a specific category,

you can select the text you want to format and change its font, size, and other types of formatting. You can format the text for several rows in a table, all the cells in a single row of a

table, or even a single cell. To select the text to change and the font and size to use, follow

these steps:







1. To format a single cell of text, right-click the cell. To format more than a single cell,

select all the text that you want to format, and then right-click somewhere within the

selected text.

A mini-toolbar appears above the cell you right-click. (See Figure 28-5.)



Figure 28-5  In Project 2010, right-clicking text displays a mini-toolbar with commands

for formatting individual text elements.



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