Customize fields in Microsoft Project
There are so many fields in Microsoft Project, so why should you want to customize some new ones? Well, there are many reasons. Here are some examples of how you can use customized fields.
There are quite a few fields which you can customize:
- Text 1-20
- Finish 1-10
- Start 1-10
- Number 1-20
- Flag 1-20
- Date 1-10
- Cost 1-10
The simplest way to use these fields is just showing them like the image above and start printing in information, but below you can see how they can be used:
- In the Text1 field, the user can enter values from a list (High, Medium and Low) and depending on the value, different flags are displayed.
- Start1 and Finish1 are used to specify during which times the tasks can be tested. This is also displayed as bars in the Gantt chart.
- Work B2-B1 and Cost B2-B1 are calculations which compares the values in Baseline 2 with Baseline 1.
- Flag1 is used to specify if the specification of the task is completed. If the user enters the value Yes, this task is flagged by a green lamp. Otherwise, the lamp is red.
And here is how you customize fields.
First you insert the field by right clicking one of the present columns and select Insert field. You can then right click the field and select Customize field.
On the top of the dialog box you can see that you can customize fields in task views (like Gantt chart) and resource views (like Resource sheet). You can here also select which field type you want to customize in the dropdown. This means that you can customize all fields at the same time, but for me; I prefer looking at my field when I’m done.
If you click the button Rename, you can enter the new name and confirm.
Under the custom attributes, you can select None, Lookup or Formula. None is used if you want the user to enter values normally. Lookup is used if the user is to select values in a dropdown (like Risk level in the example). Formula is used if the user is not to enter values manually but if project is to calculate the values (like the comparisons between baselines).
If you enter formulas, the result can look something like this. Please observe that the fields are entered by you clicking Field and selecting the correct field in the dropdown:
If we return to the dialog box for Customize fields you can see that you can specify how Heading rows are handled. Depending on your other selections, the options here will differ but remember to take care of this section as well. The same goes for assignment rows. This is applicable if you view Resource Usage or Task Usage. In the chart part you can insert assignment fields.
Finally we move on to the graphical indicators. If you make no changes here, the entered values will be displayed but if you click here you can in the grid specify which images are to be displayed under which conditions. Please observe that on top of the dialog box can you specify how graphical indicators are used on summery rows and the project summery row (which is displayed if you specify this in the Tools—>Options—>View dialog box).