Creating a Project File

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To start creating your new project plan, you simply start Microsoft Project and choose whether you're creating a new project from scratch or from a template.

If you haven't Installed Microsoft Project yet, refer to Appendix A, "Installing Microsoft Project 2003," for installation details and guidelines.

To start Microsoft Project, click the Windows Start menu. Point to All Programs, point to Microsoft Office, and then click Microsoft Project. Microsoft Project starts (see Figure 3-1).

Note If you're working with enterprise projects using Microsoft Office Project Professional 2003, you might first be prompted to enter your account name to connect to Microsoft Office Project Server 2003.


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Figure 3-1. A blank project file appears in Microsoft Project.

Note Depending on how you customize your setup, you might also be able to open Microsoft Project from an icon on your Windows desktop.

The Microsoft Project workspace is called the view, and the view that comes up by default when you first open Microsoft Project is the Gantt Chart. The Gantt Chart is a single view; it has a task table on the left side and the chart with Gantt bars on the right.

For more information about working with views such as the Gantt Chart and others, see Chapter 4, "Viewing Project Information."

You can use the blank project file to start creating your project plan from scratch. If you prefer to do this, skip to the section, "Scheduling from a Start or Finish Date."

You can also create a new project from a template. A template is a type of project file that contains existing project information that helps you start your project more quickly. The template usually contains a list of tasks, already sequenced and organized. The task list might be further detailed with phases, milestones, and deliverables. There might be additional task information in the template as well, such as task durations and task dependencies. You can

use this task list as the basis for your project. You can add, remove, and rearrange tasks and adapt the task information as needed to correspond to your project requirements. A template can also include resource information, customized views, calendars, reports, tables, macros, option settings, and more.

The template file has an extension of .mpt, indicating that it is the Microsoft Project template file type. When you open and modify a template file, it is saved as a normal .mpp (Microsoft Project plan) file by default.

For more information about file types and project file management, see Chapter 29, "Managing Project Files."

Templates can be generated from the following sources:

• The set of templates built in to Microsoft Project reflecting various types of products or services in different industries.

These templates are provided with Microsoft Project 2003 and are based on widely accepted industry standards for projects of these types:

General use templates Commercial construction

Engineering Home move

Infrastructure deployment New business New product Office move Project office Residential construction Software-related project templates Microsoft Active Directory deployment

Microsoft Exchange 2000 deployment Microsoft Office XP corporate deployment Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server deployment

Microsoft Windows XP deployment Microsoft Solutions Framework application development

Software development Software localization

• Any previous projects you have saved as project template files.

For more information about using completed projects as templates, see Chapter 28, "Standardizing Projects Using Templates."

• The templates standard to project management within your specific industry. Professional organizations, standards organizations, and industry groups might have resources, possibly on their Web sites, which include such templates.

• Templates available on Office Online. New Microsoft Project templates are continually added to the Templates page on Office Online.

Note If you use the enterprise features of Project Professional 2003, you use the enterprise global template. This is a different kind of template that's set up by the project server administrator, and it includes customized elements that reflect the project standards for your organization. These elements can include a set of customized views, tables, fields, and more.

Creating a New Project with a Template

To create a new project from a template, follow these steps: 1 Click File, New.

Note If you just click the New button on the Standard toolbar, a new blank project is created by default, and you don't see the template choices you need in the Project Guide.

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2 In the left pane, under Templates, click the On My Computer link.

3 In the Templates dialog box, click the Project Templates tab (see Figure 3-2).

Figure 3-2. The Project Templates tab lists all templates provided with Microsoft Project.

4 Click the project template you want to use and then click OK (see Figure 3-3).

The first time you choose a template, Microsoft Project might need to install it. This takes only a few moments.


Figure 3-3. A new project file is created based on the chosen template.

Tip Find more templates online

New Microsoft Project templates are continually being added to the Templates page on the Office Online Web site. To see these templates, first be sure that you're connected to the Internet. Click File, New. In the left pane under Templates, click the Templates On Office Online link. The Office Online Web page appears in your Internet browser.

Under Meetings And Projects, click Project Management. A list of project management templates appear. Click a template, and a preview of the template appears. If you want to download the template, click Download Now, and follow the instructions. When finished, the downloaded template is loaded into Microsoft Project as a new file based on that template. Return to this Templates page periodically to check for new templates you can use.

Note Looking for the old New dialog box? As of Microsoft Project 2002, the New dialog box is replaced by the New Project pane in the Project Guide area. This is true even if you close the Project Guide pane and completely turn off the Project Guide.

Starting a New Project Creating a New Project from an Existing Project

If you have an existing project that you want to use as a starting point for your new project, you can simply copy and modify it for your current purposes. You will save it under a different filename, creating a completely new file. Follow these steps:

1 On the Standard toolbar, click Open. ' 2 Browse to the existing project file and then click Open.


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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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