Match the Data Types

There's no law that says you have to paste a set of resource names into the Microsoft Project Resource Name column. Although you probably wouldn't want to, technically you can paste those resource names into the Task Name field, the Group field, the Contact field, or even the WBS field because all these are text fields. Any of these fields can accept any text field information.

However, you could not paste that same set of resource names into the Work field or the Start field, for example, because they are incompatible data types. Work is a duration field, and Start is a date field. Those resource names need to go into a text field.

So when we say you need to match the columns of information from Excel to Microsoft Project, what we're really saying is that you need to match the data types. The data type specifies the kind of information that can be stored in a field; for example, text, number, or percentage. The data type also specifies the format that information can take; for example, 14d for a duration field, 6/29/04 for a date field, or $35.90 for a currency field.

If you don't want to use the exact Microsoft Project fields, you can use custom fields that are of the matching data type, such as text, duration, currency, date, number, and so on. Examples of custom fields are Text1, Duration5, Currency3, and so on.

To add a custom field to a Microsoft Project table, click in the column to the right of where you want the new column to appear. Click Insert, Column. In the Field Name box, click the field you want to add and then click OK.

For more information about working with custom fields, see "Customizing Fields" on page 788. For a list of custom fields available in Microsoft Project, see "Custom Fields and Custom Outline Codes" in Appendix B.

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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