Generating Reports

In addition to printing views, Microsoft Project comes with more than 20 built-in reports that you can simply select, preview, and print. These reports compile the most commonly used sets of information needed to manage a project, coordinate resources, control costs, analyze potential problems, and communicate progress.

When you select and generate a report, information is drawn from selected fields throughout your project. That information is laid out in the report design, in either discrete or summarized form, depending on the specific report. You can generate an up-to-date report mere minutes before the start of a meeting, and the report instantly reflects the very latest changes you made or that team members have submitted.

To see the list of available built-in reports, click View, Reports. The Reports dialog box appears, showing six report categories (see Figure 12-6).

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Figure 12-6. There are five categories for 22 built-in reports, plus a Custom category for designing your own report.

The report categories are as follows:

• Current Activities

• Assignments

Workload Custom

Each category focuses on a specific type of information. You might find that certain reports are best-suited to one type of audience, whereas other reports are better for another type of audience. For example, Cost reports might be most appropriate for meetings with the finance department, whereas you might prefer to distribute Assignment reports to team leads.

To generate these reports, Microsoft Project gathers information from a particular time period, from certain tables, and with a particular filter applied as appropriate for the requirements of the specific report. Information is formatted with bands, highlights, fonts, and other professional layout considerations.

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