File Formats Supported by Microsoft Project 2003

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You can import and export entire projects or selected sets of project data by using the File, Open and File, Save As menu commands. These commands allow you to read and write the project data in formats other than Project's native .mpp format. After providing an overview of the file formats supported by Microsoft Project 2003, this chapter examines the details of exporting and importing with each of the formats.

For information about using the File commands, see Chapter 4, "Managing Project Files," p. 95 .

Microsoft Project supports three native formats that store all Project data, including views, tables, filters, groups, and field data. Additional formats are supported for exchanging selected data with other applications that don't read the Project native formats. Table 17.1 summarizes the file formats that you can use with Microsoft Project 2003. In general, if the format can handle the entire set of Project data, Microsoft Project creates copies of all its tables and fields in the new format. If only part of the Project data is to be exchanged, you need to use an Import/Export map to match Project fields with the fields in the other format.


The file extensions referred to in Table 17.1 and the text are visible in Project's Open and Save As dialog boxes only if Windows is set to display file extensions.

Table 17.1. File Formats Supported by Microsoft Project 2003

File Format



Native Formats



This is the standard format for Project document files, and it is compatible with Project 2000/2002. It saves the complete set of project data. Project versions prior to Project 2000 cannot open these files.



Templates save standard, or boilerplate , information that you use frequently for projects. When a new project is created using the template, a new Project document is created.

Project Database


This format is based on the Microsoft Access 2000/2002 file format. The entire project data set is saved in this format, including field data, views, calendars, and formatting. The files can be queried, opened, modified, and saved in either Microsoft Project or Microsoft Access.

Other Formats

Project 98


The Project 98 file format is used to save a project file to a version that is compatible with Project 98. Because of differences between Project 98 and 2003, certain features of the project file are lost in the 98 plan.

Microsoft Project Exchange (MPX) 4.0


The MPX format is used to import data from older versions of Microsoft Project or from other project management applications. The MPX 4.0 format does not include the fields and features introduced in Project 98, 2000, 2002, or 2003. You can open an .mpx file in Project 2003, but you cannot save Project 2003 documents in .mpx format.

Microsoft Access


The Microsoft Access 2000/2002 database format can be used to save all or part of a project's data. Any application that recognizes this format can open the file or query it for reports . An Import/Export map can be used with this format if you want to save only portions of the project.

Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)


ODBC databases are data storage sources that can be accessed by a wide variety of applications, both commercial software products and custom applications. You can store entire projects or selected project data in ODBC data stores. The use of an Import/Export map is optional.

Microsoft Excel Workbook


Project can export to the Microsoft Excel 5.0/95 format. You can export field data in this format but not project elements such as calendars and views. The resulting file can be opened directly as a workbook in Microsoft Excel or in any application that supports the Excel 5.0/95 format. Although you can read Excel 2002 data into Microsoft Project 2003, you cannot save data in the Excel 2002 format from Project 2003. An Import/Export map is required for exchanging data in this format.

Microsoft Excel PivotTable


This format is used for analyzing project data in an Excel PivotTable. You can export only selected field data to a PivotTable. You cannot import from an Excel PivotTable into Microsoft Project. An Import/Export map is required for exporting data in this format.



The HTML format is used to create Web pages to be viewed on the World Wide Web and corporate intranets . You can export selected field data to the HTML format, but not an entire project. You cannot import from HTML files into Microsoft Project. An Import/Export map is required for exporting data in this format.



Another file format for Project 2003 is the XML format. This format is similar to HTML, and is complementary to HTML for publishing Project data to Web pages and for viewing on either the Internet or on corporate intranets. Unlike HTML files, however, XML files can be opened directly by Project 2003.



This is a generic text format that is widely used for data transfers between applications and platforms. Field data is tab delimited. You can transfer field data for only a single Microsoft Project table in this format. An Import/Export map is required for exchanging data in this format.

Comma Separated Value


This is another generic text format that is widely used for transferring data between applications and platforms. Originally, field values were separated by commas, but now the format uses the default system list separator. You can transfer field data for only a single Microsoft Project table in this format. An Import/Export map is required for exchanging data in this format.


The Project Workspace format, which has the extension .mpw , also appears in the list of file types in both the Open dialog box as Workspaces ( *.mpw ), and on the File menu as Save As Workspace. However, this is not really a data file format. It merely saves the workspace settings (that is, the names of the files that are open, not any field data), so that you can open all those files in the same window arrangement by simply opening the .mpw file.

The sections that follow examine all these file formats except the standard Project document ( .mpp ), Project template ( .mpt ), and Project Workspace ( .mpw ) types, which are covered in Chapter 4.

Most of the non-native formats require that you use an Import/Export map to define which field values in Project are to be associated with data locations in the other format. The creation and use of a map are described in detail with the first file format that requires it.

See the section "Creating Import/Export Maps for Access and ODBC Sources," later in this chapter.

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Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Project 2003
Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Project 2003
ISBN: 0789730723
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 283
Authors: Tim Pyron

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