You should have by now entered all your Tasks, Durations and the logic that
links the dependencies. If you wish to see if your Network Diagram follows the
principles in my introductory guide to network analysis at: http://www.mvps.org/project/networkanalysis.htm,
go to View/Network Diagram (PERT Chart in Project 98). There you will see the
boxes representing each Task and the logic linkages. Don't linger too long,
I will be covering the Network Diagrams in a later lesson.
Back to the Gantt Chart View through View/Gantt Chart, or click the Gant Chart
icon in the View bar, and we'll have a look at how you can manipulate the data
you have entered so far. Like all Windows programs, there are often many ways
to achieve the same end. I will include most of them, leaving you do decide
which method suits you best.
Again, like most Windows programs, you can click to select data, and click and
drag to highlight adjacent data. Selecting one piece of data and Shift-click
to another piece of data will select all in between. You can also use Ctrl-click
to select non-contiguous data.
Selecting A Cell
Select data by clicking on the cell containing it and the selected cell will
be highlighted with a black border.
Selecting A Column
Click on the column heading to select the column and all the cells in the whole
column will be highlighted.
Selecting A Row
Select all the data in a row (which includes all data fields in the record for
that task) by clicking on the row heading, which is the cell holding the identification
number (ID). All the selected row cells will be highlighted.
Selecting All Rows And Columns
To select all of the rows and columns in a sheet (for instance, when copying
and pasting project data into another application) click the Select All button:
the cell immediately above ID 1 and to the left of the column headings.
Sometimes the Gantt bar is not visible on screen. To make it visible, select
, Ctrl+G, F5 or select a task in the Gantt
table and press the Go To Selected Task tool button.
This procedure will also work in other Views that show time scaled data.
Very Important Note: If one or more cells are
selected, pressing the Delete key will delete the entire selected rows, and
all of the selected records will be lost (and you have only one chance to Undo).
In Project 2002, only the cell(s) will be deleted and a Smart Tag will give
you the final option of deleting the cell or the whole task.
Select the rows to be deleted. Press the Delete key, select Delete
Task from the Edit menu, right-click and select Delete, or
click on the Cut tool button. If you delete a summary task, all of its
subtasks are deleted too. After you delete a task, Project will automatically
renumber the remaining tasks.
Select the headings of the columns to be deleted. Press the Delete key,
Edit/Hide Column, right-click and chooseHide Column, or you can
click the boundary line between columns and drag to the left. In each case,
the information is not lost, the data fields still exist and can be shown by
re-inserting the column: i.e. the column information is simply hidden from view.
Select the cells to be deleted. Select Edit/Cut(Cell), Edit/Clear/Contents,
right-click and Cut(Cell), right-click and Clear Contents,
press Ctrl+Delete (Clear), Shift+Delete (cut), Ctrl+X (cut)
or click the Cut tool button.
They can also be deleted individually from the Entry Box on the Entry
When moving data, whether it's within a project, between projects or to other
applications like spreadsheets or documents, it is often easiest to cut and
paste data fields rather than using click and drag.
Select the row(s) by clicking the row heading(s) (the ID numbers) release
the left button, then click again in the row heading and when you see
a 4-way cursor, drag to the new position. A grey T bar will help
you to find the desired position between two existing rows. Selecting a summary
task will automatically include all its children as soon as you start to drag.
It is often easier, therefore, to close down the summary by clicking the little
minus sign before dragging and then clicking the plus sign to open it up again..
Columns can be re-ordered using the drag and drop editing method in Project
2002. In earlier versions, to re-order columns, a new table must be defined,
or you can insert a column in its new positions and delete the old one.
Select the rows, columns or cells to be copied. Select Edit/Copy
or right-click and select Copy
, or Ctrl+C, or click
on the Copy button.
The selected fields will be copied to the Clipboard.
Click where the top left hand corner of the data is required to appear. Select
Edit/Paste or right-click and select Paste, or Ctrl+V
or click on the Paste tool button.
Note! Data can only be copied to fields that are of like format, e.g.
monetary data can only be copied to monetary fields.
Inserting Rows and Columns
Select all or part of a rowthe new row will be inserted above the selected
row. Press the Insert key or select Insert/New Task. To insert
more than one new row, press the Insert key the requisite number of times
or select a set of rows and InsertProject will insert the same
number of empty rows as rows selected and renumber the rows that follow the
inserted rows. Drag the row boundary in the row heading to change the individual
row's height, however, in Project 98 such action will change the height of all
Select all or part of a columnthe new column is inserted to the left of
the column selected. Select Insert/Column
or select a column heading
and press the Insert key.
From the Column Definition dialog box, type the Field Name or
click on the drop-down arrow, and select from the pick list. (Pressing the first
letter will go to the first field beginning with that letter.) If required,
type in a new Title and select the Alignment and Width or select
Best Fit. After the column has been inserted, dragging the boundary
line to the right of the column heading can change its width. A double-click
when the right-left arrow appears will also obtain a best fit. Project
2002 also allows you to choose text wrapping in the heading.
If the changes are not required to be permanent, particularly to recover immediately
deleted data, use the undo facility. Clicking the Undo tool button
can reverse most actions.
Otherwise, use Edit/Undo
Cut data is cut to the Clipboard where it can be recovered by
Edit/Undo Cut, right-click and select Paste or by using
the Paste tool button.
Select Tools/Spelling, or press F7, or click on the Spell Check
When the spell checker finds a word that is not in a dictionary, it displays
the word in the Spelling dialog box. If the suggested correction in the
Change To box is required, choose Change or Change All.
To specify a different correction select a word from the Suggestions
list or type the spelling wanted, then select Change. To skip a suggestion
choose Ignore or Ignore All. Select Add to add the word
to the custom dictionary. Click OK when Project displays the message:
Spell Check Complete.
Project uses the standard Windows AutoCorrect facility. Tools/AutoCorrect
will invoke the settings.
Find and Replace
Project's find and replace facility is invoked through the Edit/Find (Ctrl+F)
or Edit/Replace (Ctrl+H). Both bring up a dialog box where the
text to be found is typed in the Find what: box. The Look in field:
to be searched and the Test: to be applied can be selected from the pick lists.
For the replace facility, in the Replace dialog box, insert the text
in the Replace with: box. Project then finds the first occurrence of
the text and gives the opportunity to Replace or Replace All or
A word of warning! Project has a default setting to automatically link
tasks. When inserting a task, the links between the previous and subsequent
tasks will be broken and re-set to the inserted task in a chain. Similarly,
if a task is moved, the gap produced is re-linked with a finish to start relationship.
With complicated logic diagrams, this can cause apparent havoc and you will
need to re-examine all the connecting links to ensure Project has guessed correctly!
It is my strong advice to turn off this facility in the defaults set up in Tools/Options.../Schedule
tab: Autolink inserted or moved tasks before you even start to type
Planning Wizards can aid many scheduling tasks, pointing out possible problems
and prompting for clarification of ambiguous actions. Most Planning Wizards
will appear automatically, but one special Wizard helps specifically with the
Gantt Chart layout.
Gantt Chart Wizard
Select Format > Gantt Chart Wizard or right-click the Gantt
Chart and select Gantt Chart Wizard or click on the Gantt
Chart Wizard tool button.
Follow the options on screen to customize the chart. For now, go as far as Step
2 and select the Critical Path radio button, Finish/Format It/Exit
Wizard. You will now see the Gantt Chart with the Critical
Path shown in red. Other options include the colour, pattern, size
and end shape of the bars, milestones, and summary bars, type of link, display
of text (e.g., Resource information or dates) to be associated with each bar,
baseline and slack. More of this in a later lesson.
A bit of a dry subject this month, but it clears the ground for getting the
Gantt Chart correct with all the tasks in the best sequence and the correct
logic links applied to show up the critical path. Next month we'll make a start
at assigning resources.