Changing the layout of the network diagram

The number of layout controls available for the network diagram increased significantly starting in Project 2000 over those previously available for the PERT chart that was available in Project 98 and earlier. As Figure 8-23 demonstrates, you can control the layout mode, the box arrangement, the link style and color, and several overall options for the network diagram.

By default, Project automatically positions all boxes on the diagram, but you can choose to manually position the boxes by choosing the Allow manual box positioning option at the top of the Layout box.

Using the Arrangement list box, you can change the order in which Project displays the boxes. Choose from Top Down From Left, Top Down By Day, Top Down By Week, Top Down By Month, Top Down - Critical First, Centered From Left, and Centered From Top. The varying arrangements change the number of pages that are required to print your network diagram.

Figure 8-23: You can control layout mode, box arrangement, and link style for the network diagram.

You also can change the row and column alignment and spacing as well as row height and column width. Using check boxes in the Box Layout section, you can hide or display summary tasks, keep tasks with their summaries, and adjust for page breaks.

You can control the style of the link lines, and you can choose to show arrows and link labels, which, by default, show the type of link dependency that exists between two tasks (Finish-to-Start, Finish-to-Finish, and so on). And, you can select different colors for both critical and noncritical links.

- Cross- For more information on types of links, see Chapter 4.

' Reference

Tip To choose a background color or pattern for individual nodes, use the Format Box or Format Box Styles dialog box; you saw the Format Box Styles dialog box in > Figure 8-19.

For the network diagram as a whole (not the individual nodes) you can choose a background color and pattern. You also can mark in-progress tasks with half an X and completed tasks with an entire X. If you hide all information on the nodes except the ID, Project reduces the size of the nodes on your network diagram and therefore reduces the number of pages that will print. You can also choose to show page breaks, which appear as dotted lines on-screen in the Network Diagram view. In Figure 8-24, I've included link labels and hidden all task information except the ID. A page break appears at the right side of the diagram (not shown in the figure).

Figure 8-24: By adjusting the layout of the network diagram, you can dramatically change its appearance.

Remember, creating too many kinds of formatting with too many variables can make your schedule difficult to read. The advice given previously in this chapter about standardizing these settings across your organization also holds for changes that you make to network diagram layouts.

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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  • nasih mehari
    Can ms project 2010 layout network diagram by week?
    8 months ago

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