Editing the Task List

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After you start creating a task list, you inevitably need to edit list entries. This section describes a collection of commands and techniques that can be used for editing. These commands and techniques apply to all views, not just the Gantt Chart view.

You can edit cell contents in the Edit bar above the table or directly in the cell. The simplest way to edit the entry directly in the cell is to select the cell and then press the F2 function key. The insertion point appears at the end of the text in the cell , and you can reposition it by clicking elsewhere.

You can also initiate in-cell editing by using a mouse. Select the cell by clicking it once. The mouse pointer should change into an I-beam when it is over the right side of the cell entry or when it is to the left of the beginning of the entry. When the pointer is an I-beam, click; the insertion point appears at the point in the entry where you clicked.

Undoing Changes in the Task List


You can undo nearly any change made in the task list by using the Edit, Undo command. However, you can only undo the most recent change. You can also usually reverse the last undo; when you use the Undo command a second time, Project calls the undo a redo. You can also activate Undo by using the Undo tool on the Standard toolbar or by pressing Ctrl+Z.

Inserting, Deleting, and Clearing

As you revise a project, you often need to insert new tasks or remove tasks from the task list. To insert a task between other tasks in Gantt Chart view, first select a cell in the row where you want the new task to appear. New rows are always inserted above the selected one. If you want to insert several tasks at the same location, extend the selection to include the number of rows that you want to add. Choose Insert, New Task (or press the Insert key), and all the details of the tasks included in the selection shift down to make room for new blank rows.

In some previous versions of Project, pressing the Delete key automatically deleted a task if any of its cells were selected. Many unhappy users accidentally deleted tasks when they thought they would simply clear the contents of the selected cell. Pressing the Delete key in Project 2003 only clears the selected cell(s)unless the Task Name cell is selected. If the Task Name cell is selected, a SmartTag appears to let you choose to clear the cell or delete the task. You can also delete a task by clicking the task ID number and pressing the Delete key. Or, with any cell in the task selected, you can choose Edit, Delete Task, or press Ctrl+.

You can undo the deletion if you choose Edit, Undo before making another change.

As mentioned previously, you can clear a selected cell by pressing the Delete key. You can also use the Edit, Clear command. The Clear command can remove selected content or features of tasks. The Clear command displays a menu that has the following choices:

  • Formats You use Formats to clear only the formatting of the selected cells, leaving their content unchanged.

  • Contents You use Contents to clear only the content of the selected field(s). If you have one or more individual cells selected, the command affects only the selected cells. If you have clicked the task ID to select the task row, the command is applied to all task fieldseven those that are not displayed in the current view. The shortcut key for clearing contents only is Ctrl+Delete. The Clear Contents command also appears on the shortcut menu when you right-click a cell.

  • Notes You use Notes to clear just the Notes field for the task, no matter which cell (or field) you have selected. This option is provided because the Notes field is not usually visible.

  • Hyperlinks You use Hyperlinks to clear any hyperlinks that have been attached to the task. The Hyperlinks fields are not readily available, and this option provides an easy way to clear an unwanted hyperlink.

  • All You use the All command to execute all the preceding options at once, clearing the formatting, contents, notes, and hyperlinks. If you had the task row selected, this choice would cause Project to clear the contents of all fields but leave the row as a task. It would then immediately reapply the default duration and start and finish dates, even though the task now has no name.

  • Entire Task You use Entire Task to clear all cells and fields for the task and leave a blank row that is no longer a task.


You can undo all the Clear commands except for Formats. You can't restore formats that have been cleared.

Moving and Copying Tasks

You can copy or move cells or whole tasks to another location in the task list or to another project file. Whether you are moving or copying, your selection must contain only adjacent cells or tasks.


If you want to cut or copy an entire task or group of tasks, you must select the entire task by clicking the task ID number or by selecting a cell in the task and pressing Shift+spacebar. This selects all fields for the task (even those not displayed in the current view). If you select a limited number of cells in a task or group of tasks, the cut and copy commands copy to the Clipboard only the data in these cells.

To move or copy a task or group of tasks, follow these steps:

  1. Select the original task by clicking its ID number or by selecting any of its cells and pressing Shift+spacebar. To select a group of adjacent tasks, you can click the first task, press and hold the Shift key, and click the last task to be included. All tasks between those two points are included in the selection. You can also use the Shift key with the arrow keys to select adjacent task ID numbers .

  2. To move the selection, choose Edit, Cut Task (or press Ctrl+X) or use the Cut Task tool on the Standard toolbar. To copy the selection, choose Edit, Copy Task (or press Ctrl+C) or use the Copy Task tool.

  3. Select the task row where you want to relocate the data. Even if you are moving or copying more than one task, select only the first row at the new location. If a task already resides on the row you selected, this task and all tasks below it automatically shift down to make room for the task or tasks you're inserting there.

  4. Choose Edit, Paste (or press Ctrl+V) or use the Paste button on the Standard toolbar to paste the task(s) at the selected row. The Paste command inserts a new row or rows at the target selection point and copies the tasks to the inserted rows.

After you copy data to the Clipboard by using the Copy command, you can paste the data multiple times.

If you select just one or more fields for a task instead of selecting the entire task (for example, if you select just the Task Name field), and then you use the Cut or Copy command, the Paste command doesn't insert a new row to create a new task at the target location. Instead, Paste copies the text to the new cell you have selected. If no task exists on the target row, the new entry resulting from the Paste command creates a new task with a default duration.

In addition to the cut-and-copy method for moving and copying, Project also includes drag-and-drop to perform the same commands. To move a task or group of tasks by using drag-and-drop, follow these steps:

  1. Select the original task entries by clicking the ID number(s) for the tasks. Remember that they must be adjacent rows.

  2. Position the mouse pointer over the ID number for any one of the tasks selected; it changes into a four-headed arrow.

  3. Hold down the mouse button and drag the pointer in the direction of the new location. A shadowed I-beam appears as you drag the pointer to its destination. Release the mouse when the I-beam is located where you want to insert the selected tasks. The selected tasks are inserted where the I-beam was located.

To copy a task or group of tasks by using drag-and-drop, follow the same steps just given, but in step 3, press and hold the Ctrl key as you drag the tasks to the new location.


If you move a task by using the cut-and-paste method, the task is really cut from the task list and then a new task is created. Therefore, the new task gets its own unique ID number. However, the unique ID doesn't change if you sort the task list, insert or delete other tasks above it, or use the mouse to drag the task to a new row. This might be important when you're comparing versions of a project file.

Using the Fill Command

If you want several cells in a column to have the same value (for example, many tasks with the same duration), you can place that value in one cell and have Project copy it to other selected cells, either below it or above it. You first select the cell with the value to be copied and then, while holding your mouse click, select cells above it or select cells below it that are to receive a copy of the value. You use Ctrl+click to add nonadjacent cells to the selection. When you do so, one of the following happens:

  • If the selected cells are all adjacent, the cell with the value to be copied can be the top cell or the bottom cell in the selection. Choose Edit, Fill, Down to copy the value in the top cell of the selection down to the rest of the selection. Use Edit, Fill, Up to copy the value in the bottom cell up to the rest of the selection. Fill Down has a shortcut key combinationCtrl+D.

  • If the selected cells are not all adjacent, the cell with the value to be copied must be the top cell in the selection. Choose Edit, Fill, Down to copy the value in the top cell down to the rest of the selection.

You can also drag a cell's fill handle (that is, the small black square in the lower-right corner of the cell) to copy the cell's value to adjacent cells above or below the cell. When the mouse points to the fill handle, it turns into a plus sign (+). You can click the fill handle and drag the mouse to adjacent cells.

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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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