Rolling Up Tasks in Microsoft Project
Part two of a two-part series of blogs

When you collapse a group of tasks in a Microsoft Project schedule you lose the ability to see the detail of when individual tasks start and finish. The solution is to roll up your subtasks so that you can see them even when the task group has been collapsed.

  1. Rolling Up Tasks in Microsoft Project
  2. Formatting Rolled Up Tasks in Microsoft Project (this blog)

Posted by Andrew Gould on 31 May 2011

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Formatting Rolled Up Tasks in Microsoft Project

In the previous article in this blog series we saw how to rollup subtasks so that they sit on top of a summary task.  In this part of the series we're going to see how to format the rolled up tasks to create the final result.

Even if you had formatted the subtasks before rolling them up, you still need to format the rolled up tasks separately - Project doesn't copy the formatting to the rolled up tasks.

The first thing we need to do is hide the summary task bar to avoid cluttering up the background.  To do this:

Getting to the Task Information dialog box

Right-click on the summary task and choose the option shown here to display the Task Information dialog box.

 

When you have the Task Information dialog box open you need to choose to hide the summary task.

Choosing to hide the summary task

Place a tick in the box marked Hide task bar and then click OK

 

At this point you can click the minus symbol next to the summary task name to collapse the group of tasks into a single row. 

Preparing to collapse a group of tasks The group of tasks collapsed into a single row
Clicking the minus symbol... ...collapses the task group.

The final step is to individually format the rolled up tasks to make it easier to distinguish between the different phases of the summary task.  To do this:

Double-clicking a task bar

Double-click on the task bar you want to format to display the Format Bar dialog box.

 

On the Format Bar dialog box you can choose various formatting options for the selected task bar.  Here we are just changing the colour of the bar: 

Formatting a single task bar

You can choose various options when formatting a task bar, but it's easy to make a hideous mess of things!  You can always click the Reset button if you don't like what you've ended up with.

And that's it!  You should find that you now have the ability to see much more detail in your summary tasks without having to scroll up and down the screen quite so much.

This technique works best for groups of tasks where each task follows on from its predecessor, rather than where multiple tasks are happening at the same time.

  1. Rolling Up Tasks in Microsoft Project
  2. Formatting Rolled Up Tasks in Microsoft Project (this blog)
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