Displaying and hiding tasks

The outline structure enables you to view your project at different levels of detail by expanding or collapsing the summary tasks. You can use the Show button on the Formatting toolbar to quickly hide or display subtasks based on their outline level, as shown in Figure 3-20. By using the Show button, you also can quickly display all the detail tasks in your schedule.

Figure 3-20: Use the Show button on the Formatting toolbar to easily determine the level of detail that you want to view in a project.

Figure 3-21 shows a minus sign (-) appearing to the left of each summary task. This symbol indicates that all subtasks are in view. If you click the minus sign, any sub-tasks disappear from view and a plus sign replaces the minus sign next to the summary task name. The plus sign indicates that the task is associated with some hidden detail tasks. Click the plus sign to reveal the "hidden" subtasks.

How many levels of detail can an outline have? Just about as many as you need. For example, the schedule that is shown in Figure 3-21 has several levels of detail regarding the annual meeting example. Any task that has subtasks also has the plus and minus sign mechanism for displaying or hiding the subtasks.

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Figure 3-21: You can expand or collapse any task that has a subtask.

Using too many levels of outline indentation (usually more than three or four) makes it difficult to see your entire schedule on-screen. In fact, a very detailed project outline may indicate that you need to rethink the scope of the project and break it into smaller, more manageable projects.

You can use the hide and show features of the outline to focus on just the amount of detail that you want. You can take the same schedule that you saw in Figure 3-21, for example, and show just the highest level of detail for a report to management to summarize project activity, as shown in Figure 3-22.

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Figure 3-22: The detailed tasks are now hidden. The plus signs and the summary-style task bar, however, indicate that more is here than meets the eye.

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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