The Project Guide is flexible in its capability to assist users with tasks in Microsoft Project; it uses task pages and wizards to present assistance to users performing tasks within Microsoft Project. In this section, I show you some of the features of the Project Guide. In later sections, you’ll learn how to implement these features and capabilities into your own custom Project Guide.
Figure 18-2 shows a typical goal page that contains all the information pertinent to a specific task. Select the third item in the Tasks goal area, “List the tasks in the project.” This page highlights some of the features of a task page such as the Hint option and the More Information option, as shown in Figure 18-2. Note that this is a normal view and not a wizard; there are no step numbers listed at the bottom of the side pane.
Figure 18-2. List the tasks in the project goal.
Click Hint to get a hint or tip on entering tasks. Hints are short messages embedded within the task page that expand to give extra information about the current task. Hints are intended for short messages. You should add more detailed information using the More Information item, which I cover next.
On this page, the Import Wizard shows you how you can use the Project Guide to call Microsoft Project methods. You learn how to call Microsoft Project functions later in this chapter. Click More Information to get additional information for the selected task. You use the More Information option to open a related page with more comprehensive help. Click Done when you’re finished with this task view and you’re taken back to the list of goals for the currently selected goal area.
Click “Define the project,” which is the first item of the Tasks goal area. This displays the wizard interface provided by the Project Guide as shown in Figure 18-3. Wizards are meant to guide users through a series of steps required to complete a certain goal or task. The current step and the total number of steps required to complete the goal are listed at the bottom of the side pane.
Figure 18-3. The Define the Project Wizard
Without completing the wizard, click the Tasks section of the Project Guide toolbar to display the Tasks goal area in the side pane. Notice that you receive a warning message if you don’t complete all steps of a goal wizard, as shown in Figure 18-4.
Figure 18-4. Warning you receive when you leave an incomplete wizard
An important Project Guide objective is to always deliver relevant information in the side pane in context with the action the user is taking in Microsoft Project. To accomplish this, the Project Guide keeps a list of relevant views for each goal area or task. This is important for you to understand because you won’t see the Tasks goal area when you’re looking at a resource view. Instead, you’ll see information pertinent to resource actions. Although this division follows a rule of thumb, there are some views, such as the Gantt Chart view, that are applicable to both tasks and resources. To see this in action, perform the following steps:
To see the Project Guide change in the main area view, click the Resource tab in the Project Guide toolbar and select “Define working times for resources,” the second goal in the Resources goal area. Notice that the view automatically changes to the Resource Sheet view.
To see the Project Guide goal area change based on the Microsoft Project view selected, while you’re in the Resource Sheet view select the Gantt Chart view from the Views menu and notice that the goal area changes to the Tasks goal area.
To see the Project Server pages selected change the Project Guide side pane goal area, select the Project Center page (select Collaborate Project Center) and notice that a new page displays. In this instance, the page change selected a specific task instead of a goal area.