Follow the steps in this section if you have Microsoft Office Project Standard. If you have Microsoft Office Project Professional, skip this section and refer to the next section, “Starting Project Professional.” If you don’t know which edition of Project you have, Start Project, and on the Help menu click About Microsoft Office Project. The dialog box that appears indicates which edition you have.
Project Standard is a member of the Microsoft Office System, so much of what you see in Project is similar to what you see in Word, Excel, and Access. For example, Project’s menu bar and toolbars are similar in organization, if not in content, to other Office applications.
In this exercise, you’ll start Project Standard, create a file based on a template (a file containing some initial data that you can use as a starting point for a new project plan), and see the major areas of the default Project interface.
On the Windows taskbar, click the Start button.
The Start menu appears.
On the Start menu, point to All Programs (in Microsoft Windows XP) or Programs (in previous versions of Windows), point to Microsoft Office, and then click Microsoft Office Project 2003.
Project Standard appears. Your screen should look similar to the following illustration:
Depending on the screen resolution you have set on your computer and which toolbar buttons you use most often, it’s possible that not every button on every toolbar will appear on your Project toolbars. If a button mentioned in this book doesn’t appear on a toolbar, click the Toolbar Options down arrow on that toolbar to display the rest of the available buttons.
If you’ve used Office applications, or if you’re upgrading from a previous version of Project, you’ll be familiar with many of the major interface elements in the Project window. Let’s walk through them:
The main menu bar enables you to give instructions to Project.
Toolbars provide quick access to the most common tasks; most toolbar buttons correspond to a menu bar command. Like other Office applications, Project customizes the menus and toolbars for you, based on how frequently you use specific commands or toolbar buttons. The most frequently used commands and buttons will remain visible on the menus and toolbars, whereas the commands and buttons you don’t use will be temporarily hidden.
The project plan window contains a view of the active project plan. (We’ll refer to the types of documents Project works with as project plans, not documents or schedules.) The name of the active view appears on the left edge of the view—in this case, the Gantt Chart view is displayed.
New in Office 2003 The box labeled Type a question for help enables you to quickly search Project’s Help for instructions on performing common activities in Project. Just type in a question and press [Enter]. Throughout this book we’ll suggest questions you can enter into this box to learn more about specific features. If your computer is connected to the Internet, your search query will go to assistance content on Office Online (part of the Microsoft Web site), and the results displayed will reflect the most up-to-date content available from Microsoft. If your computer is not connected to the Internet, the search results will be limited to the Help installed with Project.
The Getting Started task pane in Project is similar to the task panes you might see in other Office applications. It is a convenient list of recently opened files as well as another means of creating new files. In addition to this task pane, Project includes the Project Guide, which is discussed below.
Next you will view the templates included with Project and create a project plan based on one of them.
In the Getting Started task pane, click Create a new project.
The New Project task pane replaces the Getting Started task pane.
In the New Project task pane, under Template, click On my computer.
The Templates dialog box appears.
Click the Project Templates tab.
Your screen should look similar to the following illustration:
Click New Business (you may need to scroll down in the list of Project Templates to see it), and then click OK.
Depending on how Project was installed on your computer, the templates included with Project might not be installed at this point. This “install on first use” setting is one of the setup choices for optional components included with Project. If you have never seen the templates included with Project before, spend some time browsing through them. You might find one that matches an upcoming project for which you’d like to develop a full plan. Starting with a predefined template can save you a lot of effort.
Project creates a project plan based on the New Business template, closes the New Project task pane, and displays the Tasks activity list in the Project Guide. Your screen should look similar to the following illustration:
The Project Guide is a wizard-like interface you can use when creating or fine-tuning a project plan. In later chapters you will use the Project Guide to perform many common activities relating to tasks, resources, and assignments. You can view all activities in the Project Guide through the Project Guide toolbar. This toolbar is divided into the most common subject areas of Project (Tasks, Resources, Track, and Report).
For the next few exercises in this chapter, you will use the sample data provided by the template to identify the major parts of the Project interface.