Exchanging Selected Parts of a Project with Other Formats

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Exchanging Selected Parts of a Project with Other Formats

For some file formats, you are allowed to store only selected field values from a Project file. This is true for the Microsoft Excel format, the HTML format, and the text formats. In other instances, you simply might not want to save all of a project's information. For example, a colleague might ask you to provide an Access database that records just the task names , scheduled work, and actual work for a project, so that she can help estimate task work in a similar project.

When you save an entire project in a database, Microsoft Project automatically creates a standard set of tables in the database, with standard Microsoft Project database field names. If you save only part of a project's data to a database, you need to provide the name of the new or existing table(s) that will receive the data.

If you choose to save only parts of the project in one of the export formats, you must use an Export map to define which fields you want to export from Project and what you want to name the table or tables in which they will be stored. If you plan to change the values in the other format and then import the data back into Project, you must use that same map or a similar map as an Import map to tell Project where the imported data is to be inserted in the Project data structure.

Working with Import/Export Maps

All Import/Export maps specify which tables and fields in a foreign data format will be matched with tables and fields in Microsoft Project's native format. A map allows you to define tables in the foreign format to match the data in Project's native tables. You can define the following tables in an Import/Export map:

  • A task table for values that match Project's task fields

  • A resource table for values that match Project's resource fields

  • An assignment table for values that match Project's assignment fields

NOTE

You cannot import or export Project's timephased data by using Import/Export maps.


For each table in a map, you must specify the field name in Project and the corresponding data location in the foreign format. Option buttons make it very easy to add all Project fields to the table or to add the same set of fields that appear in one of the already defined tables in Microsoft Project.

For Export maps, you can choose to export a subset of the tasks or resources in the project by applying one of the predefined Project filters.

For more information about Projects predefined filters, see Chapter 19, "Using the Standard Views, Tables, Filters, and Groups," p. 735 .


For import maps, you can choose how the imported data will fit into the open Project file. These are the options:

  • You can place the imported records into a new Project document. Project creates a new .mpp document file with the field values you have selected. This file is a standard Project .mpp file that has no links to the source of the imported data; saving it does not update the source data.

  • You can have the imported records appended to the tasks, resources, or assignments that are already in the open project. Project will add new tasks, resources, or assignments below the existing tasks, resources, or assignments.

  • You can have the values in the imported records merged into the existing project to update the existing tasks, resources, or assignments. In this case, Project attempts to match the records to be imported with those that are already in the open document. When there is a match, the imported field values will replace the existing field values. In order for Project to match the records coming in with those in the current file, you must define one field as a key field to be used for matching records. For example, you could import resource names and standard rates to update the pay rates in the resource table. In this case, you would probably use the resource names as the key field to match records.

Import/Export maps are not file-formatspecific; that is, if you design a map to export data to Access, you can use the same map to export data to an ODBC data source, to a text file, or to an Excel worksheet. However, the different file formats often convert non-text fields into different field types and different values. For example, if a resource is assigned eight hours of work on a task, the same export map would export those eight hours as the text value 8 hrs to an Excel worksheet, and to an Access database as the number 480,000 (1,000 times the number of minutes in eight hours).

Furthermore, some maps export more data to one format than to another. For example, the Who Does What Report map exports more data to an HTML document than it does to an Access database (see the section "Using the Who Does What Report Map," later in this chapter).

NOTE

When you choose to save Project data in a non-Project format, Project modifies the options that are shown on the Import/Export map to match the format you chose. For example, if you choose Save As for an HTML format, and then you choose an Import/Export map that was originally designed for exporting to an Excel worksheet, the worksheet options are replaced by HTML options.


You must be very careful when using a map to import data into Project. A map designed for one database or worksheet might specify tables or fields that are not used in another data source. Always check the structure of the map before using it to import data.

Import/Export maps are saved in the GLOBAL.MPT file, rather than in the active Project file when you create them. You do not have to use the Organizer to rename a map. Rather, when you are editing a map, you can simply change its name. You must use the Organizer to delete a map.

For information on using the Organizer to delete objects such as Import/Export maps, see "Working with the Organizer and Global File," p. 107 .


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To share a map with other users, you can use the Organizer to copy the map into an open project file and then save the project. The other users can then open your project file and use the Organizer to copy the map into their GLOBAL.MPT files.


Reviewing the Predefined Import/Export Maps

Microsoft Project 2003 includes 11 predefined Import/Export maps for general-purpose use. Some are like predefined Project reports , views, or tables. The predefined maps are listed in Table 17.2. For those that are intended for a specific file format, Table 17.2 notes the intended file format.

Table 17.2. The Predefined Import/Export Maps

Map

Description

Who Does What Report

Used to save an HTML table that lists resources and their task assignments.

Compare to Baseline

Used to export a table that lists all tasks with scheduled and baseline values.

Cost Data by Task

Used to export a table that lists task costs.

Default Task Information

Used to export or import the basic task fields that are included in the Task Entry table.

Earned Value Information

Used to export the task earned value fields.

Export to HTML Using Standard Template

Used to export basic task, resource, and assignment values to an HTML document.

Resource Export Table Map

Used to export all the fields in the predefined resource's Export table.

Task Export Table Map

Used to export all the fields in the predefined task's Export table.

Task and Resource PivotTable

Used to create Excel PivotTables for tasks and resources.

Task List with Embedded Assignment Rows

Used to export an HTML table of tasks and their assigned resources.

Top Level Tasks List

Used to export a table with data for tasks at the top outline level.

The following sections explain how these maps were created and how they can be used most effectively. All the predefined maps were designed for exporting selected data from Project to another file format. Some were designed with specific file formats in mindfor example, HTML or Excel PivotTablesbut any map can be used to export to any of the formats. Maps generally work best, however, if they are used with the format for which they were designed.

Note that in all cases, the exported values for the duration and work fields are exported as text (not as numeric data), with the time unit attached as part of the text value, such as 10d .

Although some maps are designed for exporting and some for importing, any map can be used for either operation. Be very careful, however, when using a map to import data into Project because the result might not be what you expect.

When you use an Import/Export map to exchange data with a file that has another format, the external file that supplies or receives the data is added to the list of recently used files at the bottom of Project's File menu. For example, after you export (save) data to an Excel worksheet named TaskCosts.xls , using the map named Cost Data by Task, you see the entry TaskCosts.xls (Cost Data by Task) on Project's File menu. Because clicking a file listing causes Project to open the file, clicking the listing would cause Project to import (open) the Excel file TaskCosts.xls and copy data into a Project document, using the Cost Data by Task map to determine which Project fields receive the imported data.

By default, Project's predefined maps all place imported data into a new Project document that is created on the fly. Therefore, clicking the file listing causes Project to create a new document that has the Excel data in it. You should close this new project file without saving it because the map was designed for exporting, not for importing, and the new project file is not a complete project file.

When imported data is placed in a new Project document, there is no harm done because you can simply close the new document. However, import maps can also be defined so that they append the imported data to the active file or merge the imported data into existing task or resource records, updating existing field values with the values stored in the external document. If the map named in the file listing is set to append or merge, clicking the file listing alters the data in the document that is active when you click the listing. If the active document has unsaved data in it, you could lose some or all of that data as a result of clicking the listing on the File menu.

CAUTION

You should never open a foreign-format map file from the File menu's file list unless you're absolutely sure that you want that data imported. Even then, be sure you save the active document beforehand, just in case.


Using the Who Does What Report Map

The Who Does What Report map is best used to save an HTML table of resource assignments. The resulting table is named Who Does What and is similar to the Who Does What report you can print in Project by choosing View, Reports, Assignments, Who Does What. Like the Resource Usage view in Project, the HTML table lists resource names and task assignment names in the same column with the assignment names, indented under their resource names. There are columns for the Start, Finish, and Work field values for each assignment. The data for the Work field is text data (not numeric), with the unit "hours" appended as part of the text value.

Although this map works best when saving to HTML format, you can also use it to save to an Excel workbook or to one of the text file formats. When saving to Excel or one of the text formats, the resource rows are indistinguishable from the assignment rows because the assignments are not indented as they are in the HTML format. If you open the HTML document in Excel, however, the resources and assignments are formatted distinctively.

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When saving data to Excel or a text format, you should modify the Who Does What Report map and add the field named Assignment to the table to distinguish resource names from task assignment names. Rows in the list that are resources have No in the Assignment field, whereas rows for assignments have Yes. You could apply Excel's conditional formatting to bold the resource rows based on the value No being found in the Assignment column. See the section "Saving Project Data as an Excel Worksheet," later in this chapter, for more information.


If you attempt to use the Who Does What Report map to create a database table, Project doesn't include the associated assignment rows for each resource. To create database tables, you have to add to the map an additional table for the assignments and then link the tables on the resource names within the database application. (See "Working with Web-Enabled Project Data" later in this chapter for more details about the HTML format.)

Using the Compare to Baseline Map

You use the Compare to Baseline map to export a table named Baseline Comparison that lists all tasks, with their Start and Finish dates as well as their scheduled, baseline, and variance values for duration, work, and cost. This map works the same way for database, worksheet, and text formats.

Using the Cost Data by Task Map

You use the Cost Data by Task map to export a table named Task Costs that lists all the tasks (fixed cost, cost, baseline cost, cost variance, actual cost, and remaining cost) and their cost values.

Using the Default Task Information Map

The Default Task Information map can be used to export or import the basic task fields that are included in the Task Entry table: ID, Name, Duration, Start Date, Finish Date, Predecessors, and Resource Names. This map works the same way with all file formats.

Using the Earned Value Information Map

You use the Earned Value Information map to export the earned value fields for tasks to any of the file formats. It includes these fields: Task ID, Task Name, BCWS, BCWP, ACWP, SV, CV, Cost (EAC), Baseline Cost (BAC), and VAC.

For more information about earned value fields, see "Analyzing Progress and Revising the Schedule," p. 555 .


Using the Export to HTML Using Standard Template Map

You use the Export to HTML Using Standard Template map to export basic task, resource, and assignment values to an HTML document. The task table includes the ID, Name, Duration, Start, Finish, Resource Names, and % Complete fields. The resource table includes the ID, Name, Group , Max Units, and Peak (Peak Units) fields. The assignment table includes the Task ID, Task Name, Resource Name, Work, Start, Finish, and % Work Complete fields.

See the section "Working with Web-Enabled Project Data" later in this chapter for more details about the HTML format.

Using the Resource Export Table Map

You use the Resource Export Table map to export the fields that are included in the predefined resource's Export table. The resource's Export table is a fairly comprehensive set of 24 resource fields that covers the definition of the resource as well as scheduled, baseline, and tracking sums for work and cost for each resource.

Using the Task Export Table Map

You use the Task Export Table map to export nearly all the fields that are included in the predefined task's Export table. The 70+ fields that are exported include task definition fields; values for scheduled, baseline, and actual work, and values for cost, duration, start, and finish; and a large number of the user -definable text, cost, duration, number, and flag fields.

Using the Task and Resource PivotTable Map

You use the Task and Resource PivotTable map to create an Excel document with two PivotTables that summarize the total cost of the resource assignments. Both PivotTables are organized by resource groups and within each group by resource names. The resulting Excel file contains four sheets in all:

  • The Tasks sheet provides the data for the Task PivotTable and includes these columns: Resource Group, Resource Name, Task Name(s), Duration, Start, Finish, and Cost. If your project is outlined, there is a Task Name column for each outline level, and all summary task names for a subtask appear on the row for the subtask. The outline level 1 summary tasks are in the column named Task Name1, the outline level 2 summary tasks are in the column named Task Name2, and so forth.

  • The Task PivotTable sheet shows for each resource group the tasks to which each resource in the group is assigned, along with the task duration, start, and finish. The cost for each assignment is the Data field in the PivotTable, and there are summary costs for each task and summary task, for each resource, and for each resource group.

  • The Resources sheet provides the data for the Resource PivotTable and includes the Resource Group, Resource Name, Work, and Cost fields.

  • The Resource PivotTable shows the work and cost totals for each resource group and each resource within a group. The totals are not broken down by task.

NOTE

If a project has more than two outline levels, Project creates the data sheets and the PivotTables, but it is not able to perform the layout of fields for the Task PivotTable, and that sheet therefore appears to be empty. You have to do the layout manually in Excel.


See the section "Exporting to an Excel PivotTable," later in this chapter, for more information about working with PivotTables.

Using the Task List with Embedded Assignment Rows Map

Use the Task List with Embedded Assignment Rows map to export an HTML table of tasks and their assigned resources. This map is best used to export a table that includes all the resource assignments for each task, as well as the Work, Duration, Start, Finish, and % Work Complete fields for each assignment. All the information about exporting to Excel or Access, as mentioned earlier for the Who Does What Report map, applies to this map as well.

Using the Top Level Tasks List Map

You should use the Top Level Tasks List map to export a table that shows only the outline level 1 tasks. The fields include the Task ID, Name, Duration, Start, Finish, % Complete, Cost, and Work. This map works for all file formats.

Creating Import/Export Maps for Access and ODBC Sources

Creating an Import/Export map is fairly straightforward when you understand the process because Project does most of the work for you. To illustrate , we will first create a map to export selected cost data for tasks, resources, and assignments to an Access database. Then we will modify the same map to import a more limited set of data from the Access database. The same map could be used for an ODBC database as well.

Creating and Using an Export Map

Export maps are easier to create than import maps because the Project field names are the source of the data, and you can create field names in the target format that are similar to the Project field names. When you create an Import map, the field names in the source format may not be as easy to relate to the field names in Project.

To create a map for exporting some of Project's cost data to an Access 2002 database, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Project file whose data you want to export.

  2. Choose File, Save As.

  3. Select the directory location from the Save In list box.

  4. In the Save as Type list box, select Microsoft Access Database (*.mdb).

  5. If you are creating a new database, type its name in the File Name text box.

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    If you are going to append data to an existing database, it is a good idea to create a copy of the database for testing while creating the new map. Then, when the map behaves as you want it to, you can use it to append to the intended database and you can delete the test database.

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    In general, it is not wise to add partial project data sets to an Access database that already contains complete projects. Project does not let you add selective data to the tables it has already created in the database; therefore, you would have to create your own named tables to hold the data, which you might as well do in a special database that is dedicated to partial data sets.

  6. Click the Save button to display the Export Wizard dialog box.

  7. Click the Next button to display the Data dialog box.

  8. Select the option to export only selective data, and then click the Next button. The Map dialog box appears.

  9. Select the option to use a new map and click the Next button. The Map Options dialog box appears.

  10. Select one or more types of datatasks, resources, or assignmentsto be exported. In Figure 17.12, you can see that all three types of data will be exported.

    Figure 17.12. You use the Map Options page of the Export Wizard to determine which type of data tables will be created.

    graphics/17fig12.jpg

  11. Click the Next button to display the Task Mapping dialog box.

  12. Supply a descriptive name for the table in the Destination Database Table Name field.

  13. If you want to limit the tasks that will be exported, use the list of filters in the Export Filter field to select a task filter. Any of the currently defined filters can be chosen . You cannot design a new filter at this point, as filters must be defined ahead of time. In Figure 17.13, you can see that the table to be created will be called Cost Summary by Task and that the All Tasks filter will be used.

    Figure 17.13. You use the Task Mapping page to name the task table in the destination database and to select an Export filter.

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  14. Define the task fields that will be exported in the mapping table. You must list each of the Project fields that are to be exported in the column labeled From: Microsoft Project Field. You must create a name for the database field that will hold that data in the column labeled To: Database Field. The data type is filled in automatically, based on the Project field types.

    Click the list arrow in the first cell in the left columnthe cell that displays the prompt (Click Here to Map a Field). The complete list of Microsoft Project task fields is displayed (see Figure 17.14).

    Figure 17.14. You use the Task Mapping dialog box to select a Project field name to be exported.

    graphics/17fig14.jpg

  15. Select the fields to be exported from the list of Project fields, and press the Enter key after selecting each field. A default field name is inserted in the second column (for the exported database), and the field data type is automatically inserted in the third column. Below the mapping table, you should see a sample of the fields you have added and the data they contain.

    You can change the export field name to suit your tastes. Be sure, however, that you don't violate any field-naming rules for the format you are creating. For example, for an Access database, field names can't have leading spaces or include periods, exclamation points, or square brackets.

    NOTE

    When exporting to Access, you should leave in place the underscore word separators that Project supplies. Although Access accepts nonleading spaces in field names, the Microsoft Project procedure that creates the table for Access thinks that spaces are not allowed, and displays an error message indicating that illegal characters were used in a field name.

  16. If needed, you can use several buttons to speed the process of managing the field mapping table (refer to Figure 17.14):

    • To move a field row in the list, select the row to be moved and use the Move arrows on the right side of the mapping table to move the row up or down in the list.

    • To insert all the task fields in Microsoft Project, click the Add All button.

    • To clear the mapping table, click the Clear All button.

    • To insert a blank row for a new field in the middle of the list, select the place where the row should be inserted and click the Insert Row button.

    • To remove a field row, select the row to be removed and click the Delete Row button.

    • To populate the mapping table with the same fields that are contained in one of the task tables in Microsoft Project, click the Base on Table button. The Select Base Table for Field Mapping dialog box appears (see Figure 17.15), with a list of all the currently defined task tables. Select the table you want to use and click OK. The field list is cleared from the mapping table, and the fields that are defined in the table you selected are inserted in the mapping table.

      Figure 17.15. You can fill the mapping table with the fields defined in a Project table by using the Base on Table button.

      graphics/17fig15.jpg

  17. When the task mapping table is completed, click the Next button to move on to the next table you have elected to include in the database export. In this example, the Resource Mapping page is displayed (see Figure 17.16). The table name is Summary by Resource. You fill in the fields by selecting the Cost table from the list displayed by the Base on Table button. (Note that you can also apply a resource filter to select a subset of the resource records to be included in the Export table.)

    Figure 17.16. The resource mapping table is defined in the same way as the task mapping table.

    graphics/17fig16.jpg

  18. Finally, if you are including assignment fields, click the Next button to display the Assignment Mapping page, and then repeat the process. The assignment records are the details that are combined for the task and resource cost summaries. Because there is no table in Microsoft Project for assignments (they only appear in the Task Usage and Resource Usage views and on certain forms), you cannot choose a table as a template for the fields to be included. Also, there are no filters for assignments. Both these options are dimmed on the Assignment Mapping tab.

  19. When all the tabs are filled in, click the Next button. The End of Map Definition page appears.

  20. Click the Save Map button to save the export map. The Save Map dialog box appears (see Figure 17.17).

    Figure 17.17. It is a good practice to save your map if you want to use it again in the future.

    graphics/17fig17.jpg

  21. Type a descriptive name for the map in the Map Name field and then click the Save button. You are returned to the End of Map Definition dialog box.

  22. Click the Finish button to export the selected data to the database whose name you entered in the Save As dialog box in step 5.

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If you design a map for use with one file formatfor example, with HTMLand then use the map to exchange data with an application of another format, such as Access, the results might be very different. For specialized maps it's a good idea to include the application name in the map name, as is done in the preceding example.


Creating and Using an Import Map

When you want to import data into Microsoft Project from another source, you must either find a workable import map, or create one of your own. If the data was originally exported from Microsoft Project, you can use the same map for the import that you used for the export. Or, if you want to make slight changes, it is easy to edit the export map and then save it as a new import map.

The options for an import map are slightly different from those for the export map:

  • The source tables are already defined (whereas you defined the target tables in the export map). For example, there may be many tables in the source database that have task information in them. You must choose the table that contains the task data you need. Similarly, you must identify the source tables that are appropriate for supplying resource or assignment fields.

    If you created the source by exporting fields from Project, it will be much easier to import the data back into Project from those same fields because the field names will be recognizable. If the source table was created by an application other than Project, the field names have to be matched with Project's internal fields.

  • You cannot import only a portion of the records by using any of the Project filters. If you want only part of the records from the source, you have to filter the source first, to produce a new database, and then import the resulting tables into Project. Otherwise, it might be easier to import all the data into Project and then just delete the unwanted records.

  • When importing, you can choose whether the imported data will be stored in a new project file or merged into an existing Project document. You can append the imported records to the records that already exist in a Project document. Or you can choose to merge the imported data by using it to update selected fields for tasks or resources that already exist.

To illustrate how to import from another file format, let's import from the cost database that was created earlier in this chapter, in the section "Creating and Using an Export Map."

If you intend to add the imported data to an existing Project document, you must open that project before starting the import process. Otherwise, it doesn't matter which project documents are open when you import because Project will create a new document. To import data by using a map, complete the following steps:

  1. graphics/open_icon.gif

    Choose File, Open, or click the Open tool.

  2. Select the location of the data source in the Look In list box. If you are importing from an ODBC data source, click the ODBC button instead and select the data source in that dialog box.

  3. In the Files of Type list box, select the format of the data source.

  4. Choose the data source file from the file list and click the Open button. The Import Wizard dialog box appears.

  5. Click the Next button to see the Data Type dialog box.

  6. Select the option to import only selective data and then click the Next button. The Map dialog box appears.

  7. Select the Use Existing Map option. If you want to create a new import map, select the New Map option, and then follow the same techniques outlined for creating an export map in the section "Creating and Using an Export Map." Click the Next button to display the Map Selection dialog box.

  8. Select the map that you want to use to import the data. Be extremely careful when selecting a map, to be sure that it defines the way you want to import the data. Click the Next button to display the Import Mode dialog box.

  9. Choose to import data as a new project to start a new Project file with the imported data. Or, choose Append the Data to an Existing Project to add the desired records after the records already in the project. Or, choose Merge the Data to an Existing Project to have Microsoft Project match incoming records with existing records and update the fields with the imported values.

  10. Click the Next button. The Map Options dialog box appears.

  11. Select the types of datatasks, resources, or assignmentsto import. Click the Next button.

  12. The Mapping dialog box appears for the first type of data you selected in step 11.

  13. Examine the Mapping dialog box for each type of data to be imported, to verify that the settings are correct. You should select the list of names in the Source Database Table Name field to verify that the appropriate table has been chosen for the type of data in each Mapping dialog box.

    Figure 17.18 shows the Task Mapping dialog box for the import map that is derived from the export map created earlier. The Source Database Table Name list is selected to show the tables in the source database.

    Figure 17.18. The map that you defined as an export map has a few different options when used as an import map.

    graphics/17fig18.jpg

    NOTE

    The list of source database table names contains more tables than you explicitly defined in your export map. These extra table names have an MSP_ prefix, and they are there to help the user decipher the data values that were exported.

  14. Click the Next button and examine the Resource Mapping or Assignment Mapping dialog boxes to make sure the settings are correct.

  15. If you choose to merge the imported data, the Set Merge Key button appears in the Task, Resource, and Assignment Mapping dialog boxes. You must select a merge key in each Mapping dialog box. Merge Key is a field that has identical values in both the existing Project file and the imported table. For example, the task ID field matches tasks as long as the task list has not been edited since the exported data was created. It would have been better to include the Unique ID field in the export because the Unique ID number doesn't change after a task is created and is a more reliable key field.

    After you have selected the key field, click the Set Merge Key button. The field name changes to MERGE KEY: field name . In Figure 17.19, the ID field has been selected as the Merge Key in the Task Mapping dialog box. If you need to change the Merge Key field, select the new key field and click the Set Merge Key button again.

    Figure 17.19. One field must be selected as the merge key field, to identify matching records when imported data is to be merged with existing data.

    graphics/17fig19.jpg

    NOTE

    If you want to merge assignment data, you must use the Unique ID field for assignments.

  16. Click the Next button to display the End of Map Definition dialog box. If you have made changes to the map and want to save the map by a new name, click the Save Map button.

  17. Click the Finish button to import the desired data into your project.

Figure 17.20 illustrates the errors you may see in the mapping tables if you choose the wrong map. If the map names source fields that don't exist in the file you have started to open, the field name entries appear in red and have an OUT OF CONTEXT: prefix in the From: Database Field column.

Figure 17.20. If you have chosen the wrong type of map to import data, you will see errors in the Resource Mapping dialog box.

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If you don't see the imported data in Project after the import operation is finished, see "Missing Imported Data" in the "Troubleshooting" section at the end of this chapter.


Working with Microsoft Excel Formats

You can export field data to Microsoft Excel workbooks as worksheet data or as PivotTable data. Furthermore, you can import table data from Microsoft Excel workbooks, but not from PivotTables. When you export to Excel, Microsoft Project creates an Excel file in the Excel 5.0/95 format, which makes the data available to that version and all later versions of Excel. You can import from Excel documents that are saved in Excel 4.0 format or any later format, including Excel 2002.

When you create an Import/Export map that will work with the Excel format, a few options are different from those for creating an Import/Export map that will work with other formats:

  • You can choose whether to export Project data by using the Project Excel Template or via an export map. The Project Excel Template exports a standardized set of Task, Resource, and Assignment fields, and it creates a separate worksheet for each type of data.

  • You can choose whether to export field names as the first row of the worksheet. If you choose not to export field names, the field data goes in Row 1 of the worksheet and there are no column titles unless you add them later.

  • You can instruct Project to include assignment rows such as those displayed in the tables of the Task Usage and Resource Usage views. The worksheet rows are not automatically outlined and indented in the Excel workbook as they are in Project.

    You can use Excel's Group and Outline command to group assignments under the task or resource, and this makes it possible to hide and display the assignment rows at will (as in Project). However, you will have to group each set of assignments by hand, and when the assignment rows are displayed, they are still not indented.

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Before using Excel's Group and Outline command, remember to change Excel's default grouping direction. Choose Data, Group and Outline, Settings and then clear the Summary Rows Below Detail check box. This places the outline symbols for grouping (the plus and minus indicators) to the left of the task or resource name (like in an Assignment view), rather than at the bottom of the list of assignments in each group.


Saving Project Data as an Excel Worksheet

You can use an Import/Export map you created for another format to export Project data to Excel. You might want to use an existing map, and then save it with a different name that indicates it is used for exporting to Excel. In the following example, the map for exporting to Excel is based on the Cost Data map developed previously in the section, "Creating and Using an Export Map."

To export Project data to an Excel workbook, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Project file that you want to export.

  2. Choose File, Save As to display the Save As dialog box.

  3. Select the location for the new file in the Save In list box.

  4. Change the Save as Type selection to Microsoft Excel Workbook (*.xls).

  5. Type the name for the file in the File Name text box.

  6. Click the Save button. Project displays the Export Wizard dialog box.

  7. Click the Next button to display the Data dialog box.

  8. If you choose to export selective data to Excel, click the Next button to display the Map dialog box.

  9. Select the option Use Existing Map. If you want to create a new import map, select the New Map option, and then follow the same techniques outlined for creating an export map in the section "Creating and Using an Export Map." Click the Next button to display the Map Selection dialog box.

  10. Choose a map and click the Next button. The Map Options dialog box appears.

  11. Select the types of datatasks, resources, or assignmentsto be exported to Excel. Some options for Excel don't appear when maps are used for Access. Figure 17.21 shows the Map Options dialog box, with the settings from the Cost Data for Access map.

    Figure 17.21. You can include assignment rows with task and resource data to identify which records are tasks or resources and which are assignments.

    graphics/17fig21.jpg

  12. Select the check box labeled Export Includes Headers so that the first row of data on each sheet in the workbook will display field names as column headers. (If this option is not selected, there will be no label at the top of each column of data in the workbook.)

  13. If you want tasks and resources to show details by assignment (as in the Task Usage and Resource Usage views), select the check box labeled Include Assignment Rows in Output, and remember to include the field named Assignment so that you can distinguish assignments from tasks or resources.

    CAUTION

    If you export the rows for the assignment details in a task mapping, the assignment rows will appear to be just additional tasks in the workbook that is created. If you then reimported that workbook back into Project, the resource assignments would indeed be listed as tasks, even if you included the Task Assignment field in the exported data. Similarly, exported assignment details in a resource mapping result in the assignments being treated as additional resources, and they cannot be imported back into Project satisfactorily.

  14. Click the Next button to display the Task Mapping dialog box. Examine the task fields to be exported to Excel, to make sure the settings are correct. Notice the destination worksheet name that will be used for the worksheet that receives the task data.

  15. Continue this process for the Resource Mapping and Assignment Mapping dialog boxes. Click the Next button to display the End of Map Definition dialog box.

  16. Click the Save Map button. The Save Map dialog box appears.

  17. Give the export map a unique name, to identify it for use with exporting to Excel, and click the Save button.

  18. Click the Finish button to export the data to an Excel workbook.

When the exported data is opened in Excel, there is a worksheet for each of the tables that were defined in the export map in Project (see Figure 17.22). As specified in the export map, the field names appear in the first row of the worksheet, and the assignments for each resource are listed under the row for the resource.

Figure 17.22. The Excel workbook shows the Project data that was exported. The New Product Opportunity Identified task and its assignments are selected on the Task Table1 worksheet.

graphics/17fig22.jpg

CAUTION

Be very careful about sorting. If you sort the rows in the worksheet, you will not be able to tell which assignments go with which tasks or resources.


The Data dialog box in the Import/Export Wizard includes the option Project Excel Template, which is for exporting data to Excel. This option exports data to Excel quickly, using a template or standard list of fields for task, resource, and assignment information. The standard task fields exported to Excel are ID, Name, Duration, Start, Finish, Predecessors, Outline Level, and Notes. The standard resource fields to be exported are ID, Name, Initials, Type, Material Label, Group, Email Address, Windows User Account, Max Units, Standard Rate, Cost Per Use, and Notes. The template exports the following assignment fields: Task Name, Resource Name, % Work Complete, Work, and Units.

When you use the Project Excel Template option to export data to Excel, an Excel workbook is created that contains four worksheets, named Task_Table, Resource_Table, Assignment_Table, and Info_Table. The first three worksheets contain the type of data described by the worksheet name. The Info_Table worksheet contains general information about how to use the Project Excel Template. Figure 17.23 shows an Excel workbook that was created by using the Project Excel Template option and was then formatted by the user for ease of use.

Figure 17.23. The Excel workbook shows the Project data that was exported by using the Project Excel Template option.

graphics/17fig23.jpg

For information on how to use the Project Excel Template to import Excel data into a Project file, see "Importing Project Data from the Excel Format," later in this chapter.

Exporting to an Excel PivotTable

Excel PivotTables summarize data in crosstab calculations, and they offer impressive flexibility for quickly changing the layout of the PivotTable. When you export to the Excel PivotTable format, the export map lets you choose the fields to be included for one or more of the three categoriestasks, resources, and assignments. A separate PivotTable is created for each category, and all these PivotTables are stored in the same Excel workbook. The save operation not only copies the selected data into Excel data sheets, but it also creates the PivotTables on separate worksheets that are based on the data sheets.

To show how this works, let's export task and resource assignment costs to an Excel PivotTable. For this example, each record contains the name of a top-level task (a phase of the project), the name of a resource assigned to a task in that phase, and the scheduled cost of the assignment. The resulting PivotTable should display the data in a compact table that neatly summarizes the following items:

  • The total cost for any phase of the project, along with the distribution of that cost among contributing resources, in dollar amounts and in percentage terms

  • The distribution of cost for each resource in the different phases of the project

Creating a PivotTable such as this involves exporting the data and then fine-tuning the PivotTable in Excel to produce the results you want. The export operation creates only the simplest of PivotTables, but you can edit the PivotTable yourself to fine-tune the display of data.

To export Project data to an Excel PivotTable, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Project file from which you want to export data.

  2. Choose File, Save As.

  3. Select the location for the new Excel file in the Save In list box, and provide a name for the file in the File Name text box.

  4. Choose the file type Microsoft Excel PivotTable (.xls) in the Save as Type list box.

  5. Click the Save button. The Export Wizard dialog box appears.

  6. Click the Next button. The Map dialog box appears.

  7. Choose New Map, and then click Next to display the Map Options dialog box.

  8. In the Map Options dialog box, select one or more types of data you want to export to an Excel PivotTable, including tasks, resources, or assignments (see Figure 17.24).

    Figure 17.24. You can include tasks, resources, and assignments when exporting to a PivotTable, but each category will be a separate PivotTable in the resulting Excel workbook.

    graphics/17fig24.jpg

    You can use only one category for each PivotTable. If you export fields from all three categories, you will produce three separate, unrelated PivotTables in the same Excel workbook.

  9. Click the Next button to display the Task Mapping dialog box.

  10. Type a name for the worksheet in the Destination Worksheet Name text box (see Figure 17.25).

    Figure 17.25. The last field in the mapping table appears in red, with the prefix Pivot Data Field:, to remind you that this field will be the calculated body of the PivotTable.

    graphics/17fig25.jpg

  11. Choose the names of the Project fields you want to export in the From: Microsoft Project Field column. When you enter a Project field name, Project supplies the field name for the worksheet in the To: Worksheet Field column. Feel free to modify the worksheet field names.

    The last field entered in the mapping table is the field that Excel uses for the table data (that is, the calculated summary numbers in the body of the PivotTable). To remind you of this, Project displays the last field row in red, and it adds the prefix Pivot Data Field: before the export field name. If you edit the export field name, Project replaces the prefix, as long as it is the last field name row.

    graphics/note_icon.jpg

    If the last field row is not red in your PivotTable map, see "Malfunctioning PivotTable Map" in the "Troubleshooting" section at the end of this chapter.


    TIP

    If you plan to group the data in the PivotTable by major categories, with minor category details listed under them, put the major category fields above the minor category fields in the field mapping.

    Always make the field you want to be used for calculations the last field in the field mapping list. In this example, Cost is the last field listed because you want calculations based on its values to appear in the body of the PivotTable.

  12. When the field map is completed, click the Next button. Repeat the process for any other data category tab you have chosen to use in the export.

  13. Click the Next button to display the End of Map Definition dialog box.

  14. Click the Save Map button. Give the new map a distinctive name, such as Excel Export to Pivot Table, to identify it as a map to be used for exporting to an Excel PivotTable, and then click the Save button.

  15. Click the Finish button to begin saving the exported data into an Excel PivotTable.

You can open Excel to see the data and PivotTable you have created (see Figure 17.26). You should see two sheets in Excel for each data category (tab) you exported. In this example, only the Task category is used, so you see a single pair of sheets. The first sheet contains the raw data you exported in a table; you could use this data to create a PivotTable on your own.

Figure 17.26. Project places all the data you export into a plain worksheet that is the source for the PivotTable.

graphics/17fig26.jpg

NOTE

If you include the Task Name field in the Task Mapping list of fields, Project creates multiple Task Name columns in the worksheetone for each outline level. For any subtask, the outline level 1 summary tasks will appear in the Task Name 1 column, the outline level 2 summary tasks will appear in the Task Name 2 column, and so forth (refer to Figure 17.26).


NOTE

If you include the Resource Names field in the Task Mapping list of fields, Project creates a separate record for each resource name assigned to the task (refer to Figure 17.26).


The second sheet contains the default PivotTable that Project created (see Figure 17.27). You will almost always need to fine-tune the PivotTable that is created. Not only do you need to format things like column widths and the display of numbers, but you also need to adjust the layout of the PivotTable. Specifically, there are no column categories in the default PivotTable, but we want the resource names to appear as column headings. Also, there is only one calculation in the data area, and we want to show the percentage distribution in addition to the sum of the costs.

Figure 17.27. The default PivotTable that Project creates rarely displays the project information the way you want to see it, so you probably need to modify the PivotTable to create the finished product.

graphics/17fig27.jpg

graphics/note_icon.jpg

If the PivotTable sheet in your workbook is blank, see "Empty Exported PivotTable" in the "Troubleshooting" section at the end of this chapter.


NOTE

For information on how to format Excel PivotTables, see Chapter 24, "Using PivotTables and PivotCharts," in Special Edition Using Microsoft Excel 2003 by Patrick Blattner (published by Que).

Also, there is an excellent section of Help articles in Excel 2002 on how to use PivotTables effectively. Look for the article on "Ways to Customize PivotTable Reports" in the Excel Help topics.


Figure 17.28 shows a sample of the finished PivotTable, after it is edited. The PivotTable in Figure 17.28 shows only the top-level tasks that are summary tasks (in other words, top-level tasks that do not summarize phases have been hidden). The resource names appear across column headings, with data for each resource in the column below its name. A second calculation has been added, to show the percentage of the phase costs attributable to the resource in that column. This figure also shows a few minor formatting changes (zero values are suppressed, decimals are removed, and so forth) that improve the readability.

Figure 17.28. With task details suppressed and a few other formatting changes, the PivotTable is presentable.

graphics/17fig28.jpg

Importing Project Data from the Excel Format

You must be extremely careful when importing data from Excel into a Project file. You have to be sure that the data is mapped to the correct Project fields and that the data type is appropriate for those fields.

CAUTION

As explained earlier in this chapter, if the Excel workbook was created by exporting tasks or resources from Microsoft Project, and if the option to include rows for resource assignments was selected, some of the rows in the workbook will be tasks (or resources) and others will be assignment details. Do not attempt to import data from a workbook such as this. Identify and remove the assignment details before attempting to import the data back into Project.


The example that follows shows how to add a list of new employees to the resource sheet in a Project file. The list is stored in Sheet 1 of an Excel workbook. The names are to be added to the Resource data in the New Product Project file. The column headings are not exact matches for Project field names, and there are text entries in the overtime rate field, where Project expects to find only numbers. Figure 17.29 shows the data from the worksheet.

Figure 17.29. The New Employees workbook contains new resources and their pay rates, which can be imported into Project.

graphics/17fig29.jpg

To import the data from Excel into the Project file, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Project file into which you want to import the data, unless you plan to have Project create a new document file for the imported data. Figure 17.30 shows the Resource sheet before the data is imported.

    Figure 17.30. The current resource roster in the New Product Project file contains 17 names, including one material resource.

    graphics/17fig30.jpg

  2. Although it is not necessary, it is wise to choose a view in Project that shows the data when it is imported. This is especially helpful if you're not sure what Project field names to use for some of the imported data. For example, in the Resource Sheet view, the employee's name should go in the column labeled Resource Name, but the actual name of that field is just Name. To see the real field name for a column, simply double-click the column heading for the field, to display the Column Definition dialog box, as is shown in Figure 17.31 for the column that is titled Resource Name.

    Figure 17.31. The column definition for the Resource Name column shows that the real name of the field is Name.

    graphics/17fig31.jpg

  3. Choose File, Open to display the Open dialog box.

  4. Use the Look In list box to select the location in which the Excel workbook is saved.

  5. Change the Files of Type selection to Microsoft Excel Workbooks.

  6. Select the Excel file from the file list and click the Open button. The Import Wizard dialog box appears.

  7. Click the Next button to display the Map dialog box.

  8. Select the New Map option and click the Next button. The Import Mode dialog box appears.

  9. Select the option to append the data to an existing project. Click the Next button to display the Map Options dialog box.

  10. Select Resources as the type of data to import. Make sure that the check box labeled Import Includes Headers is selected. If you don't check the Headers box, the map's field list will not display the Excel column headers (it will just number the columns). This would make it difficult for you to know which Excel column maps to which Project field (see Figure 17.32).

    Figure 17.32. You need the headers to be imported, to help match the imported data with Project fields.

    graphics/17fig32.jpg

    Note that the option to import assignment detail rows is not available. Project has no way of knowing which rows are tasks (or resources) and which are assignment details.

  11. Click the Next button. The Resource Mapping dialog box appears.

  12. Select the source worksheet name from the Source Worksheet Name list. In this example, the worksheet is named Sheet1 .

    When the source worksheet is selected, Project fills the From: Excel Field column in the left side of the mapping table with the column headings from the worksheet. Project also attempts to find a matching field name from the project to display in the To: Microsoft Project Field column on the right side of the mapping table.

    In Figure 17.33, Project is displaying the Excel field names but cannot locate a match in Project's Resource fields.

    Figure 17.33. Project cannot find a Resource field match for the fields found in the Excel worksheet.

    graphics/17fig33.jpg

  13. Supply the correct field names in the To: Microsoft Project Field column of the mapping table for each field in the From: Excel Field column (see Figure 17.34).

    Figure 17.34. You use the drop-down list of Project field names to select the correct field to receive the imported data.

    graphics/17fig34.jpg

  14. Click the Next button to display the End of Map Definition dialog box.

    If you want to save the map, click the Save Map button and give the map a unique name. Otherwise, click the Finish button to begin the import. Your data is appended to the end of the Resource Sheet list of resources (see Figure 17.35).

    Figure 17.35. Project has appended the new resources to the resource list and skipped mismatched values in the Overtime Rate field.

    graphics/17fig35.jpg

If Project has a problem converting data that is being imported into a Task field, you might see a warning message. Project is not nearly as forgiving when importing Task data, as you can see in the error message shown in Figure 17.36 for a mismatched Duration value. If you see an error message while importing data into a project, select one of the following options:

  • Click Yes to continue importing and to continue seeing error messages. You should generally choose this option, unless you know what the problems are and what corrective action you need to take in the Project file as a result.

  • Click No to continue importing without seeing further error messages.

  • Click Cancel to stop importing.

Figure 17.36. If there is a data mismatch during an import operation, Project warns you and lets you choose how to proceed.

graphics/17fig36.gif

CAUTION

Mismatched data is not imported into Project, and the affected field in Project displays a default value. You need to find these holes in the data and manually supply the correct information.

It's a good idea to jot down the source references in the warning message (refer to Figure 17.36). If you are importing a lot of data at once, the references can help you locate the problem in the source file so that you can determine where to look in the Project file to fill in the missing information.


If you prefer to begin a new project in Excel and then import it into a Project file, you can use one or both of the new Project Excel templates that ship with Project. When Project 2003 is installed, two Excel templates Microsoft Project Task List Import Template.xlt and Microsoft Project Plan Import Export Template.xlt are installed in the standard Office folder.

To begin a project in Excel, open Excel, and then click File, New and select one of the two Excel templates from the list. Microsoft Project Task List Import Template.xlt contains the same four worksheets (Task_Table, Resource_Table, Assignment_Table, and Info_Table) that are exported from Project to Excel when you select the Project Excel Template option in the Export Wizard. This template also contains the same fields that are exported from Project to Excel. Microsoft Project Plan Import Export Template.xlt is much simpler in content than the other template, with only two worksheets (Task_Table and Microsoft_Project) and seven fields (ID, Name, Duration, Start, Deadline, Resource Names, and Notes).

Create a new workbook by opening one of these two Excel templates, and then create your list of tasks, resources, and/or assignments, which can then be imported into Project. As you enter project data in Excel, be very careful about any data entered in a field that is a numerical field in Project, such as Duration, Work, Start, and Finish. Keep the following points in mind as you enter project data in an Excel template:

  • Duration should be entered as a text value, and it must include your desired time unit, such as 5d . Otherwise, your task durations will be set to 0 days.

  • Work and units can be entered as numerical data, but Project assumes default measures of work (hours) and units (percentage). You can also enter work as text data, with your desired time unit included, such as 40h .

  • Cost rates are imported as hourly rates unless a / and another time unit are appended.

  • Resource names cannot include commas, square brackets, or percent symbols.

  • Setting predecessors in Excel is a very tricky process because they use the Project Task ID number and not Excel's row number. Therefore, predecessors are probably best entered after the data has been imported into Project.

  • The default date format on the View tab of the Project Options dialog box sets the formatting for dates that are imported into Project. If you leave the Start and Finish fields blank in Excel, Project sets the current date as the start date for each task.

For information on time unit abbreviations, see "Entering Task Duration," p. 132 .


A quick way to add a list of tasks into a Project file is to use the new Project Guide sidepane to the left of the project file. To import tasks from Excel into a project using the sidepane, complete the following steps:

  1. In the Sidepane, click the List the Tasks in the Project hyperlink.

  2. In the Excel section of the List Tasks pane, click the hyperlink Import Wizard from the Import Tasks (see Figure 17.37).

    Figure 17.37. The sidepane allows you to quickly import tasks from Excel.

    graphics/17fig37.jpg

  3. Follow the process previously outlined in this section to import tasks from Excel into Project.

For additional information on using the Project Guide toolbar and the sidepane, see Chapter 2, "Learning the Basics of Microsoft Project," p. 29 .


CAUTION

When you are importing task start or finish dates, Project treats the imported dates as though you had typed them instead of letting Project calculate them. In other words, the tasks are assigned the soft constraint Start No Earlier Than (for fixed-start-date projects) or Finish No Later Than (for fixed-finish-date projects). You can reset these task constraints to As Soon As Possible or As Late As Possible after the tasks are imported into Project.


TIP

If you are importing dates and there is no time of day attached to the source date, Project assigns the start time of the project to the Start field on each task and the time of midnight to the Finish field on each task. If there is a time of day attached to the date, Project keeps the time, unless it falls before the default start time or after the default end time (as defined on the Calendar tab of the Options dialog box); in this case, Project substitutes the default time of day.


Working with Web-Enabled Project Data

You can create pages for an intranet site or the Internet by exporting Project data to the HTML format, which is currently the standard format for Internet browsers. You can save Project data to the HTML format, but you cannot import Project data from the HTML format.

Another feature of Project 2003 is the ability to export project data in the XML format. XML is the standard language for describing and delivering data on the Web, just as HTML is the standard language for creating and displaying Web pages. The XML format is similar to HTML, and it is complementary to HTML for publishing Project data to Web pages and for viewing either on the Internet or on corporate intranets . Unlike HTML files, however, XML files can be imported by Project 2003 as well as exported.

To save a project to an XML file, follow these steps:

  1. Open the project file from which you want to export data.

  2. Choose File, Save As to display the Save As dialog box.

  3. Select the directory for the new XML file in the Save In list box and give the new file a name.

  4. Select the XML Format (*.xml) file format in the Save as Type list box and click the Save button. The project is then saved as an XML file.

When saving a Project file in XML format, the entire project file is exported to the file; you cannot export only selected data from the plan.

Unlike with HTML files, Project can import as well as export XML files. To import an XML file, follow these steps:

  1. If you want to append or merge the XML data into a project, open the project file into which you want to import the data. Otherwise, you do not need to have a project open.

  2. Choose File, Open to display the Open dialog box.

  3. Select the directory from the Look In list that contains XML files, and then select the file you want to open.

  4. Select the XML Format (*.xml) file format in the Files of Type list box and click the Open button. The Import Wizard dialog box is displayed.

  5. Click the Next button to display the Import Mode dialog box.

  6. Select whether you want to import the file as a new project, append the data to an existing project, or merge the data into an existing project.

  7. Click the Finish button.

The XML file is imported into either a new project or your active project, depending on your choice in step 6.

Working with Text File Formats

Project supports two ASCII text formats: the tab-delimited and comma-separated value (CSV) formats. The Import/Export maps for both of these formats are almost the same as the Import/Export maps for Excel, but with one key difference. With Excel, you can import or export task, resource, and assignment data tables simultaneously . With text formats, you can import or export only one of those three data tables at a time.

Exporting Project Data in the Text Formats

To export a list of project milestones to a text file, follow these steps:

  1. Open the project plan from which you want to export the milestones.

  2. Choose File, Save As.

  3. Select the directory for the new text file in the Save In list box.

  4. Select the file format in the Save as Type list box. For a tab-delimited file, select Text (Tab delimited) (*.txt). This format places tab characters between each field of data in a record (with quote marks surrounding field values that contain commas) and separates the records with paragraph marks (that is, a carriage return and line feed).

    For a comma-delimited file, select CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv). This format places commas between each field of data in a record (with quote marks surrounding field values that themselves contain commas) and separates the records with a paragraph mark.

  5. Click the Save button. The Export Wizard dialog box appears.

  6. Click the Next button to display the Map dialog box.

  7. Select whether you want to use a new map or an existing map. Click the Next button, and the Map Options dialog box appears.

  8. Select the type of datatasks, resources, or assignmentsyou want to export. Project allows you to choose only one of the three data types (see Figure 17.38).

    Figure 17.38. The Map Options dialog box allows you to work with only one data table at a time.

    graphics/17fig38.jpg

  9. Leave the Export Includes Headers box checked so that the exported data will be labeled.

  10. Check the Include Assignment Rows in Output box only if you want assignments to be included. Remember that assignments will be indistinguishable from tasks or resources unless you include the Assignment field to identify them.

  11. Select a Text Delimiter from the drop-down list if you want to use either the space or comma as a delimiter instead of the tab character (which is the default).

  12. Click the Next button. The Mapping dialog box for your selected data type appears.

    In Figure 17.39 only two fields are to be exportedTask Name and Finish Dateand the Milestones filter has been selected. Notice that the Destination Table Name text box is not available for exporting or importing text-formatted data.

    Figure 17.39. The Milestones filter limits the tasks that are exported to just those that are milestones.

    graphics/17fig39.jpg

  13. When the map is complete, click the Next button to display the End of Map Definition dialog box.

  14. If you want to reuse the map you just created, click the Save button. Give the map a unique name, such as Export Milestones to Text (txt), to identify it as a map used for exporting Milestones to a text file.

  15. Click the Finish button to create the file.

The resulting text file can be opened and viewed in Notepad (see Figure 17.40) or any other text editor. It can also be imported into other applications that can import data from a tab-delimited text file.

Figure 17.40. The New Project.txt file is opened in Notepad.

graphics/17fig40.gif

Importing Project Data from the Text Formats

Importing from a text file is similar to importing from an Excel workbook, except that you can import only one type of data at a timeyou must import tasks, resources, and assignments separately. (See the previous section, "Importing Project Data from the Excel Format," for more information.) With text files, you are likely to encounter the same problems in matching field names that are found with Excel formats when the import source file was not originally exported from Project.

When importing from a text format, you have an additional option, which is grayed-out for exporting in Figure 17.38. You can use the File Origin text box to specify a different character set for the source data. The default is Windows (ANSI), but you can also select DOS or OS/2 (PC-8), or you can select Unicode. This maximizes your chances of importing the data correctly, knowing that text files may have originated in an OS/2 environment, or in an international environment where a text file might be created using Unicode as its character set.

Importing a Task List from Outlook

Project 2003 has the ability to import a task list from Outlook. Because many people use Outlook to track their to-do lists of tasks, Project now makes it easy to import tasks directly from Outlook. Figure 17.41 shows a small list of tasks that has been entered into Outlook.

Figure 17.41. You can type a task list in Outlook and later import it into a Project file.

graphics/17fig41.jpg

Figures 17.42 and 17.43 show the additional information that can be entered for each Outlook task, including notes and durations for each task. To add this information, double-click on the task and add the information.

Figure 17.42. The Task tab allows you to add notes for each task.

graphics/17fig42.jpg

Figure 17.43. The Details tab for each task allows you to enter Total Work (a duration) for the task.

graphics/17fig43.jpg

To import a task list from Outlook into a project, follow these steps:

  1. Type your task information into the Tasks section of Outlook. Include start date, duration, due date, and notes, if appropriate.

  2. Open a blank project or the project into which you want to import the tasks.

  3. Click Tools, Import Outlook Tasks. The Import Outlook Tasks dialog box appears (see Figure 17.44).

    Figure 17.44. You can select the tasks to be imported in the Import Outlook Tasks dialog box.

    graphics/17fig44.jpg

  4. Select the tasks you want to import by clicking the check box in the first column for each task. Click the Select All button to select every task in the list.

  5. Click the OK button to import the Outlook tasks.

The Outlook tasks are imported into your Project file in alphabetical order (see Figure 17.45). At this point, you can drag the imported tasks into the proper sequence, set task dependencies and constraints, and so on. Note that Project ignored the start date for each task in Outlook while it imported the tasks. The start date for each imported task is set to the start date of the project.

Figure 17.45. Tasks are imported from Outlook into the Project file, including a note and duration for each task.

graphics/17fig45.jpg

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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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