Formatting fields that appear on nodes

Network diagram nodes display the following information by default: Task Name, Duration, ID, Start and Finish Dates, Percent Complete, and Resource Name, if assigned. However, you can display up to 16 fields of information. For example, to focus on costs in today's staff meeting, change the network diagram node information to Task Name, Baseline Cost, Actual Cost, Actual Overtime Cost, and Cost Variance. If your manager wants a network diagram chart report so that he or she can see whether the project schedule is on track, change this information to Task Name, Critical, Free Slack, Early Finish, and Late Finish.

Although you can specify up to 16 pieces of information, beware of information overload. Providing too much information in a node makes the network diagram difficult to read and evaluate, and your reader may miss your point.

To modify a node, you can change the information that is included in a node, the font that's used to display the information, and the horizontal and vertical alignment of the information. Follow these steps to modify a node:

1. Open either the Format Box or Box Styles dialog box.

2. Click the More Templates button. Project displays the Data Templates dialog box, as shown in Figure 8-20.


Figure 8-20: Select a template to modify or copy, or create a new template.

A template contains previously established node format settings.


3. Highlight the template that you want to change and click the Edit button. Alternatively, you can create a new template by clicking the New button, or you can copy an existing template and make changes to the copy by clicking the Copy button. For this exercise, I'll copy the Standard template by clicking the Copy button. Regardless of whether you click the New, Edit or Copy button, Project displays the Data Template Definition dialog box, as shown in Figure 8-21.

As you can see in Figure 8-20, you cannot edit the Standard template —the Edit button is not available. To make changes based on the Standard template, you must copy it, as I did in Step 3.

Click here to change the contents of the cells in the node


Click here to change the contents of the cells in the node

Figure 8-21: Use this dialog box to change the information that you show in network diagram nodes.

The picture at the top of the dialog box provides a preview of the current structure of the cell. In this figure, the node contains eight cells — two on each row and four in each column. Blank cells (one each in the top and bottom rows) are merged with nonblank cells.

4. To change the contents of a cell of the node, click the corresponding cell in the middle of the dialog box. A list box arrow appears to the right of the cell. Open the list box to select a new field for the selected cell.

5. To change the font for a particular cell, select that cell and click the Font button. A dialog box appears, from which you can select a new font, the font size, and font attributes, such as boldface or italics.

6. Use the Horizontal alignment and Vertical alignment list boxes to change the alignment of text within its cell.

7. Use the Limit cell text to list box to specify the number of lines for each cell; a cell can have as many as three lines.

8. Select the Show label in cell check box to include an identifier in the cell for the type of information. For example, if you select the cell containing Name and then select the Show label in cell check box, the title of the task contains Name: followed by the title of the task.

You also can change the label text that appears in the box after you click the Show label in cell text box.

To increase or decrease the number of cells in the node, click the Cell Layout button to display the dialog box that is shown in Figure 8-22. From this dialog box, specify the number of cells for all nodes. After you click OK, Project redisplays the Data Template Definition dialog box, with the appropriate number of cells available for formatting.

i* Merge blank cells with cell to the left

Figure 8-22: Use this dialog box to change the number of cells in a node.

10. Click OK to close the Data Template Definition dialog box, click Close to close the Data Templates window, and click OK to close the Box Styles dialog box.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

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