Entering Durations

You can enter duration in different time period units, as follows:

Note Whether you type h, hr, or hour in your duration entry, by default Microsoft Project enters "hr". You can change which abbreviation of the time unit appears in the Duration field. Click Tools, Options and then click the Edit tab. In each of the fields under View Options For Time Units, set the abbreviation of the time unit you want to see. This setting applies to that project file only. If you want it to apply to all new projects you create, click the Set As Default button.

You can use different duration units throughout your plan. One task might be set with a duration of 2w, and another task might be set for 3d.

Tip Specify the time unit you use most often

If you don't specify a duration unit, by default Microsoft Project assumes that the unit is days and automatically enters "days" after your duration amount. If you want the default duration unit to be something different, such as hours or weeks, you can change it. Click Tools, Options and then click the Schedule tab. In the Duration Is Entered In box, select the time unit you want as the default.

To enter a duration, follow these steps:

1 Display the Gantt chart.

2 In the Duration field for each task, type the duration; for example, 1w or 4d.

3 If a duration is an estimate, add a question mark after it; for example, 1w? or 4d?.

4 Press Enter. The Gantt bar is drawn to represent the time period for the task (see Figure 5-2). In addition, the Finish field is recalculated for the task. Microsoft Project adds the duration amount to the Start date to calculate the Finish date.

■Confirmed durations

■ Estimated durations

Figure 5-2. Confirmed as well as estimated durations are drawn with the Gantt bars.

■Confirmed durations

■ Estimated durations

Figure 5-2. Confirmed as well as estimated durations are drawn with the Gantt bars.

Tip In a Gantt chart, you can also drag the right edge of a Gantt bar to change the task duration.

Tip Quickly confirm estimated durations

You can change the estimated durations of multiple tasks to confirmed durations. Select all Task the tasks containing estimated durations. On the Standard toolbar, click Task Information Information and then click the Advanced tab. Clear the Estimated check box.

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