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Customize Project with these Tricks

written by: Linda Richter • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 7/2/2011

Use these techniques to customize your project view in Microsoft Project 2007.

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    Welcome to this series on the best Microsoft Project 2007 Tips & Tricks. The techniques offered here and in subsequent series' articles are based on my experience with Project, both as an instructor, a project manager and an author.

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    Customize the Resource Graph

    I've often found Microsoft Project's Resource Graph to be slightly cumbersome to navigate. Not because it doesn’t display meaningful information -- it does. I simply don't like that it takes up so much of my screen real estate in order to show me one, whopping red bar.

    That one red bar doesn't do me any amount of good unless I can see the entire project at a glance or even multiple resources. But, I have found a "work-around." It's a few steps, but it's worth it.Article Image 

    1. Choose Window: Split from the Menu bar
    2. Click once on the top pane to select it, and then choose View: Resource Usage (or another resource-based view)
    3. Click once on the bottom pane to select it, and then choose View: Resource Graph

    As you select different resources on the top pane, the graph on the bottom pane updates. And, if you select all resources, you'll be able to scroll through the graph view at the bottom.

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    Color Code Your Tasks

    As you probably well know, tasks are not always performed in chronological order based on their placement in the Task Sheet in Project. So, how do you know which tasks need to get done this week?

    There is the "Who Does What When" report, but I've always found it easier to color code my tasks right there in Gantt Chart view. Here's how you get to such a display:

    1. Choose View: More Views from the Menu bar
    2. Select Gantt Chart in the Views list and click Copy. . .
    3. Enter a Name (i.e., Date Color Code View)
    4. Next to Filter, click the drop-down arrow and choose "Date Range"
    5. Click the checkbox next to "Highlight filter" to enable it
    6. Click OK

    All that's left to do is to apply your new view. When you do, you'll be asked to select a start and finish date for your task range. When the Gantt Chart displays, you'll see the tasks that fall within your selected range highlighted in blue.

    These steps helps you create a custom project view which is not to be confused with Project 2007's new Change Highlighting feature that highlights the domino effect one seemingly small change can have on your entire project.

Microsoft Project Tips & Tricks

Project 2007 trainer and author Deanna Reynolds presents the best Microsoft Project 2007 tips along with a few tricks she's learned over the past 15 years of working with and teaching Project.
  1. Customize Project with these Tricks
  2. Number Tracking in Project
  3. More Project 2007 Tips & Tricks