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Posted by Andrew Gould on 12 January 2012
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Customising Microsoft Project
Microsoft Project contains a huge amount of preset content designed to cope with almost any project you can think of. Every company and every project is different however, and it's very likely that you'll encounter a need for a particular field or a particular report that Microsoft Project simply doesn't cater for. Fortunately, Project allows you to create custom versions of many of its objects that you can share between multiple projects. This blog is designed to help you quickly find the type of object you want to customise and lead you to an article describing exactly how to do it.
A field is a single column of information in Microsoft Project. There are hundreds of preset fields and tens more available to be customised. You can create simple free text fields, complex calculated fields, drop down lists and even fancy graphical indicators. Read this blog to discover all there is to know about customising fields.
A table is simply a collection of fields. Project has many built-in tables that you can view, as well as the ability to create your own custom tables. You can create a unique combination of columns, giving you an efficient way to enter and view data for your specific project planning methodology.
Views are your window onto the vast amount of information contained in each project file. Each view is a combination of a table of data and a graphical representation of that data or a form giving detailed information about items in the table. Being able to cobble together your own combinations of views is a very useful skill to have in order to make sure you're seeing exactly the information that's important to you. Read this blog to learn how to create custom views.
Reports provide you with a summarised, printable version of the data in your project. Although there are plenty of preset reports, it's far better to be able to choose exactly what you want to put into one. Creating a custom report allows you to do exactly that.
Sharing Custom Objects with Other Projects
When you first create a custom object in Microsoft Project it can only be used in the file in which it was created. To get around this problem you can learn to use the Organizer tool, which allows you to share any custom object with any other project that you create!