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Microsoft Project 2010 : Setting Up Project for Your Use - Defining Project Information (part 2) - Defining Project Properties

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10/28/2014 9:45:23 PM

Defining Project Properties

The other area to find and define information about your project is the Properties dialog box. Here, you can view and edit a number of options that describe the project. To open the Properties dialog box, select the File tab, Info, Project Information, Advanced Properties.

Figure 4 shows the Properties dialog box opened to the Summary tab. You can see there are five tabs: General, Summary (the default selected tab), Statistics, Contents, and Custom. The following sections will discuss the options available within these tabs.

Figure 4. The Properties dialog box provides another area to define and edit aspects of your project.


Summary Tab

The Summary tab is the default selected tab when you open the Properties dialog box (refer to Figure 4). The first five fields (Title, Subject, Author, Manager, and Company) are general information about the project and who is associated with it.

You have the ability to use any information from the Properties dialog box as headers or footers of printed views or reports for the project. The information from the Summary tab is especially functional for this purpose. For example, each printed report could have the project’s name (Title), the project manager (Manager), and the company associated with the project at the top of the page. This can help keep documents organized and make your project reports appear much more professional.

The remaining fields—Category, Keywords, and Comments—are useful when you search for the project on your computer. If you have several projects in various stages, it might be difficult to keep track of all of them. Filling in these fields helps keep all of your projects organized into categories and then narrowed down by keywords that quickly identify the specific project you are looking for. You can keep notes on the project in the Comments field, which, for example, might help you remember where you left off when last working on the project. The Properties box is a great way to document metadata (information about data) for your project. If in the future you have trouble locating project files, you can search for words entered in the Summary tab in the Open dialog box. Some of the fields in the Properties dialog box are also utilized when using Windows SharePoint Services to share your project with others.

Note

Pressing Enter will select the OK button everywhere except when the Comments field is selected. Pressing Enter in the Comments box moves you to the next line of text, like in a Word document.


The Hyperlink Base field is where you would enter the main addresses to the hyperlinks associated with the project, whether it is a link to a file on your computer, your server, or a web address.

By default, the Save Preview Picture check box is not selected. To select it, click inside the box. By selecting it, you are telling Project to save a thumbnail sketch of the current view when you save the file. You can browse these pictures when you search for files using the File, Open command.

To enter information in any of the fields in the Properties dialog box, simply select the field and type in the information. Pressing Tab on your keyboard will select the next field below the one you were just in. When you are finished entering the information you want, click OK or press Enter. Click Cancel to exit the box without making any changes. Clicking OK and Cancel have the same function for all five tabs in the Properties dialog box.

Tip

It is good practice to enter all the information you can in the Summary tab and everywhere else in the Properties dialog box. This is an excellent place to put the metadata of a project. If the information is not entered, a person viewing the project will have to figure out what the project is and who is managing it by sifting through the project itself and deducing. With this information entered, it is clearly defined in one location in an organized manner. In addition, many file storage systems use metadata in their searches, so this increases the chances of your document being returned in the search results.


General Tab

The General tab provides information about the project file: the filename, type, location where it is saved, and size. It also displays the dates when the file was created, last modified, and last opened. This tab is blank until the project file is saved for the first time.

The Attributes section of the tab displays the current file permission setting. You set the file permissions using the File Properties dialog box, opened by right-clicking the project file using Windows Explorer. By default, the Archive setting is checked when the file is saved, but the file owner can set access settings.

Statistics Tab

The Statistics tab provides helpful information about the work on the file. Included are dates when the file was created, last modified, last accessed, and last printed. The other section of the Statistics tab shows who last saved the file, how many revisions have been made, and how much total time has been spent editing the file. The information in the Statistics tab is especially useful if there are multiple people accessing, editing, and saving the project. It helps you to keep track of who did what to the file.

Contents Tab

The Contents tab displays the most commonly reviewed information about the project schedule. Included are the project start and finish dates, the scheduled duration, work and cost amounts, and the percentage complete for both duration and work. This is a handy reference point for a quick project schedule review.

Custom Tab

The concept of custom properties is to give project managers the ability to add project attributes to a project file. In the Custom tab, you can add more properties to a file (or delete them). You can then search for files by the values of these properties. This can bring more meaning to your project file. The properties are listed in the Properties list in the bottom of the Custom tab. Figure 5 shows the Custom tab in the Properties dialog box.

Figure 5. The Custom tab enables you to customize the fields in the Properties dialog box.


To create a custom property for a project, follow these steps:

1.
Open the Properties dialog box (File tab, Project Information, AdvancedProperties) and choose the Custom tab.

2.
Type a property name in the Name box, or choose from the list. The list includes commonly used properties.

3.
In the Type box, use the drop-down list to define the type of data to place in the field. You should use this option only when you type the value of the property instead of linking it to a field in the project file. When you link the property value to a field, the Type drop-down list is unavailable. The allowable data types are Text, Date, Number, and Yes or No.

4.
If you chose Text, Date, or Number in the Text box (step 3), type a value in the Value text box. If you chose the Yes or No option in the Type box, you see Yes and No buttons in the Value box. Select either Yes or No.

5.
Click the Add button to add the property to the list in the Properties dialog box. The newly created property appears in the Properties list box at the bottom.

If you want to link a property value to a project field, follow these steps:

1.
Open the Properties dialog box (File tab, Info, Project Information, Advanced Properties) and select the Custom tab (see Figure 6).

Figure 6. Project Information drop-down.

2.
Type a property name in the Name box.

3.
Select the Link to Content check box. The Type box is grayed out, and the Value text box becomes a drop-down list. The name of the Value box changes to Source.

4.
In the Source drop-down list box, choose the field that has the value you want the property to reflect.

5.
Click the Add button to add the property to the list in the Properties dialog box.

If you want to modify the value for a property, follow these steps:

1.
Select the property name in the Properties list. This places the current name and value in the text boxes at the top of the dialog box.

2.
Change the Type or Value field as needed, and the Add button automatically changes to Modify.

3.
If you change the Name field, you have to use the Add button to include it as a new property.

4.
You can then use the Delete button to remove the original, leaving the newly named version.

5.
Click Modify to complete the change.

To delete a custom property, select it in the Properties list and click Delete.

When you are finished with the custom properties list, click OK, or select another tab to work in. When you are finished with all the tabs, click OK.

 
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