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MS Project Tutorial: Lesson 4

-- Anjana Srikanth

In this lesson we will learn to customize how information in Project is displayed, format and modify views (refer lesson 1 for a recap on views) and print the finalized schedule. We will see how project files can be saved as web pages and create hyperlinks to navigate to other files and web pages.

  1. Formatting Views
  2. Publishing Projects on the Web or Intranet
  3. Hyperlinks

These MS Project Tutorials are brought to you by Stylus Systems. We offer web products and services from our headquarters in Bangalore India. Please review this site and feel free to contact us.


Download PDF Version here.


There are dozens of predefined views available in Project 2000 that can be customized to suit your needs. Selected text and timescales can be formatted, one can zoom in and out to get a closer look at the view shown. Formatting options help customize the way you want your information displayed.

Formatting Text

You can use the Formatting toolbar buttons or the Format Menu options to format selected text. The Format Painter on the standard toolbar helps you copy the formatting style that you applied to any one section of text elsewhere.

  1. Select the cell that you want to format.

  2. Choose Format, Font to display the Font Dialog box. This allows you to assign font attributes to selected text.

  3. Select a new Font type and make the necessary style, size and color changes and click OK.

Formatting Timescales

A timescale area on a Gantt Chart displays two time unit levels:

  • Major Units scale
  • Minor Units scale

The time units, dates can be formatted to fit into your viewing needs.

To format Timescale area:

  1. In the Gantt Chart View, choose Format, Timescale to open the Timescale Dialog box.

  2. In the Major and Minor scale sections, select the units of time you want.

  3. Each set of units has a Label and an Align box. Select the desired values and click OK.

If you wish to adjust the appearance of the nonworking time, click the Nonworking time tab of the Timescale Dialog box and choose your options here.

Formatting Gridlines

When information is displayed across rows and columns, the appropriate placement of gridlines is very useful in obtaining a good view. Format – Gridlines will open the Gridlines dialog box

The different lines for Gantt Chart Rows are displayed in a row.

  1. Select the line you want to change from the list.

  2. In the Normal section of the dialog box, select the type and pattern for the gridline.

  3. To get rid of an existing gridline, select it from the list and check the blank area in the Type drop-down list.

  4. Select an Interval, line type and color.

  5. In the At Interval section, choose None to display all lines of the selected type or choose an interval to display lines only at that interval.

  6. Click OK.

In addition to the above mentioned formatting methods you can format Tables, fields and other views and modify them accordingly. The Drawing Tools on the Drawing Toolbar can create objects and buttons that format existing objects in interesting ways.

Okay, budget and schedule optimizations complete, your project is ready for printing and distributing among workgroup members and stakeholders. Views and Reports of various kinds from Project 2000 can be printed easily.

Let us explore printing options in a little detail –

Printing Views

Before printing a view, it is important to select the type of view, do the necessary formatting and change the page setup if necessary. In order to change the print settings for an active view, File, Page Setup will display the Page setup dialog box.

This box gives you information on margins, page headers/footers etc. The Header/Footer tabs have 7 buttons and two drop-down lists that can be used to format text, insert graphics into the header or footer.

Using File, Print Preview to display your View and choose Print to print it. The Print Dialog box shows you choices for printing the current screen view.

Project 2000 allows you to set the starting page number for printouts.

To print Gantt Charts

The page Setup Dialog box gives you a few options regarding printing a Gantt Chart View.

  1. You can choose to print all sheet columns of the Gantt Chart Table, regardless of whether they are completely visible on the screen or you may print specified number of columns on all pages.

  2. You can print the task notes on a separate page.

  3. Fit the Timescale to extend all the way to the right margin.

Printing Reports

With Project 2000, you can print reports about every aspect of your project - Overview reports, Top Level Tasks Report, Critical Tasks Report, Milestones Report, Working Days Report, Cost Reports, Assignment reports and workload reports.

As with printed views, you can change reports using tables and filters.

To print a Report:

  1. Choose View – Reports to open the Report Dialog box and double-click the category of report that you want to print.

  2. Double-click a report and Project opens it in the Print preview window.

  3. Click Print.

  4. If you choose to hide a few report details, once you click on the report in the Report Dialog box, click the Edit button. The Report Definition Dialog box appears and select the Details tab.

  5. Unclick the check mark in the check box next to the Details option you choose to hide.

  6. Click OK.

To create a new Report:

  1. Select View, Reports.

  2. Double-click the Custom category to open the Custom Reports Dialog box. It gives you a few options –
    ¨ New – Creates a completely new report
    ¨ Copy – Creates a copy of the selected report.
    ¨ Organizer – Shares reports in Project 2000.

  3. Type a name for the report created.

  4. Customize it using the Organizer button ( Opens the Organizer Dialog box )


As with all Microsoft Office applications, Project 2000 allows you to save your Project as an HTML document that can be viewed on any browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.

With Microsoft Project 2000, you can do the following:

  1. Use a hyperlink (a place on a Web page that navigates you to another location ).

  2. Select a specific task, resource and assignment using an Import/Export map and publish it in your HTML document.

  3. Customize your HTML document to include graphics.

  4. Track progress by communicating among team members via your corporate Intranet.

To save a project file as an HTML document:

  1. Choose Menu, File and Save as a Web Page.

  2. Click Save in the Save as Dialog box.

  3. Project displays the Export Mapping Dialog box that allows you to select the map on which to base your document. This map instructs Project about the type of Data saved in the document. Project comes with 12 predefined map files, but by default it saves your HTML file with the extension -. html.

  4. From the Selective Data option on the Export Mapping Dialog box, select the Task List with Embedded Assignment Rows map and click Save.

To view this saved document in a web browser, open any browser and select File, open and Browse to navigate to the HTML file that you want to view.

In addition to the 12 maps defined in Project, to create your own Export Map do the following:

  1. From Menu, File choose Save as Web page to open the Save as Dialog box and select the filename and location for your HTML file and click Save.

  2. From the Export Mapping Dialog box, click New Map. Define Import/Export Dialog box will be displayed.

  3. Select Critical Tasks in the Name type.

  4. In the Data to Import/Export section, select the tasks check box.

  5. Select the Task Mapping tab to display mapping options for your project’s task data in the Define Import/Export Map Dialog box.

  6. In the Destination HTML Table Title field, type the text that you would like to appear above the task table. (Critical Tasks in this case)

  7. From the Export Filter drop-down list, select Critical Filter.

  8. Click the Base on Table, button and select Base Table For field to display the Field Mapping Dialog box.

  9. Select the schedule tab and click OK to include all the fields into the Task Mapping tab.

  10. To display the total work for a task select Total Slack row and click on the Insert Row button. In the From: Microsoft Project Field columns select the Work Field from the drop-down list.

  11. In the To: HTML Table field column, change the text Scheduled – Work to Task Work Estimate. This text will become the new column header for the Work Field in the HTML document.

  12. Click OK. The Export Mapping Dialog box will be displayed. Click on Save and open any browser to view the critical task path.

To display Resource Assignments in your HTML document:

Follow all the steps listed earlier, in the Define Import/Export map dialog box, check the Include Assignment Rows in the In Output option in the HTML options section and click OK and save the document.

To display a Gantt Chart Graphic in a Web page:

  1. View the Gantt Chart and on the Standard Toolbar, click Copy Picture button to open the Copy Picture Dialog box.

  2. Select To GIF Image File option. The image field will be given the same name as the project file with a .GIF extension. (Graphic Interchange Format is a compressed graphics file format)

  3. In the Timescale section, select the dates range or select As Shown on Screen to capture the timescale that is currently displayed on the screen.

  4. Click OK.

  5. On Menu, File, Save as HTML and select the filename and location and click Save.

  6. In the Export Mapping Dialog box, select the map file that you want to modify and click on Edit.

  7. In the HTML options section, check the option Include Image File in HTML Page and Project will display the information for the Gantt Chart GIF image.

  8. Click OK and from the Export Mapping Dialog box, click Save.

  9. Open the saved document in the browser to view it.


As we described earlier, hyperlink fields navigate you to another document or web site from your project. You can add hyperlinks to tasks, resources or assignments in any of the Project Views.

To add a Hyperlink:

  1. Open a view.

  2. Select the task, resource or assignment that you want to add a hyperlink to and open Menu, Insert, Hyperlink to open the Insert Hyperlink Dialog box

  3. Enter a Web site URL or a filename from Microsoft Word or Excel in the Type the File or Web Page Name Box.

  4. Enter information in the Text to Display and Screen Tip to Display when the user moves the mouse over the hyperlink indicator.

  5. The Bookmark button enables you to insert hyperlinks to other Microsoft Project’s files.

  6. Click OK.

To delete a hyperlink select the task, resource or assignment and choose Edit, Clear, Hyperlinks.

Navigating to a Hyperlink from a Task or Resource:

View, Table – Hyperlink displays the Hyperlink table. This allows you to navigate to a hyperlink associated with a task or resource in your project.

Click the blue, underlined hyperlink to navigate to the document referenced by it.

Publishing documents on the Internet and Intranet

Use the Web Publishing Wizard included in the Microsoft Office 97 and 2000 CD ROMs that will help you publish all your web pages in easy-to-follow-steps.

To publish on the corporate Intranet, copy all HTML files to a location on the network server to view from your Intranet.

Download PDF Version here.

We offer services like Business Process Engineering, Porting Legacy applications to the web and Enterprise Application Integration. Please contact us here for more details.


Courses Online
MS Project
Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Lesson 5

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