A question in the Project Standard and Professional user forum caught my eye recently. I answered the user’s question in the forum and then decided to blog about it.
The user asked how to create a view in which he could select any task and see all of the task’s Predecessors and Successors, along with their Start dates, Finish dates, and Percent Complete values. Following are the steps to follow to meet this interesting reporting requirement:
- Apply the Gantt Chart view with the Entry table.
- Right-click on the Start column header and select the Insert Column item on the shortcut menu.
- In the list of available task columns, select the % Complete column.
- Drag the split bar to the right edge of the Finish column.
- Click the Format tab to display the Format ribbon.
- In the Bar Styles section of the Format ribbon, click the Task Path pick list button and select the Predecessors item on the pick list.
- Click the Task Path pick list button again and also select the Successors item, such as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Use the Task Path pick list button
After completing this setup, select any task in your schedule. Microsoft Project will format the Gantt bars of all Predecessors with a light orange color and will format the Gantt bars of all Successors with a light purple color. For example, notice in Figure 2 that I selected task ID #60, the Construction Complete task. You can clearly see that task IDs #53-59 are Predecessor tasks, as indicated by their light orange Gantt bars. You can also clearly see that task IDs #62-66 are Successor tasks, as indicated by their light purple Gantt bars.
Figure 2: Predecessors and Successors displayed
If you want to save this customized version of the Gantt Chart view as your own personal custom view so that you can quickly reapply it when needed, complete the following additional steps:
- Click the Task tab to display the Task ribbon.
- In the View section Task ribbon, click the Gantt Chart pick list button and select the Save View item at the bottom of the menu.
- In the Save View dialog shown in Figure 3, enter a name for the custom view in the Name field, such as Predecessor and Successor Analysis, and then click the OK button.
Figure 3: Save View dialog
- Click the Gantt Chart pick list button again and select the Gantt Chart This view is currently customized and needs to be reset back to its default settings.
- Click the Gantt Chart pick list button one final time and select the Reset to Default item on the bottom of the menu.
- In the confirmation dialog shown in Figure 4, click the Yes button.
Figure 4: Confirmation dialog
When you saved your new custom view using the Save View dialog, Microsoft Project saved both the customized view and the customized table (set of columns on the left) in your Globlal.mpt file. This means the custom view is now available for you to use in any project you open. When you reset the Gantt Chart view back to its default settings, Microsoft Project reset the defaults for both the Gantt Chart view and the Entry table as well.