Starting Project

When you open Microsoft Project from the Programs folder of the Windows Start menu, Project initially displays the main screen for Project 2003, as shown in Figure 2-1. On the left, you see the new Getting Started pane, which is common to Office 2003 products. The Getting Started pane helps users open files, start a new project, and, if connected to the Internet, get information about Project 2003 from Microsoft Office Online, which supplies new, updated Help information in addition to the Help information that comes with Project.

Figure 2-1: The first screen that you see when you start Project looks familiar, because it shows the Getting Started pane that also appears in all other Office 2003 products.

Tip You also can open Project by double-clicking any Project file. Project files are saved

\ with the extension . mpp.

In Chapter 3, you find out about the Help features that Project provides.

New The Getting Started pane, new to Project 2003, is found in Office 2003 products.


Once you start a project, the Project Guide, a goal-based user interface that helps you build projects, replaces the Getting Started pane (see Figure 2-2). The Project Guide is composed of both the Project Guide pane on the left side of the screen and the Project Guide toolbar, which appears just above the Project Guide pane.

Project Guide toolbar

Project Guide toolbar

Figure 2-2: The Project Guide helps you build your project. The buttons on the Project Guide toolbar control the information that appears in the Project Guide pane.

Tip To display the Project Guide toolbar, right-click any toolbar and choose Display

% Project Guide.

At this point, you can use the Project Guide toolbar and the Project Guide pane to begin building your project. Click a button on the Project Guide toolbar to start working in the associated area. The options that appear in the Project Guide pane change, based on the Project Guide toolbar button that you click.

When you click a link in the Project Guide, a wizard starts and walks you through the process that's suggested by the link. For example, if you click the Tasks button on the Project Guide toolbar and then click the Define the project link, a three-step wizard walks you through starting a project. The first step helps you to establish the starting date for your project. After setting the date, click the right arrow at the top of the pane or click Save and go to Step 2 at the bottom of the Project Guide pane to continue (see Figure 2-3). In Step 2 of the Define the Project Wizard, you identify whether you're going to use Project Server. In Step 3, you return to the Project Guide.

Figure 2-3: The Define the Project Wizard walks you through a three-step process to begin a project.

If you click the Define general working times link, the Project Guide helps you establish a calendar for your project (see Figure 2-4).

¿jProject Working Times x

Define Hie project's general working hours_

Microsoft Project provides several calendar templates on which you can base your project's calendar. Your organization may also provide calendar templates,


Select a calendar template:

¡Standard jv]

Step I of S

Save and go to Step 2

Preview Working Time


If Working time I I Nonworkïng time


If Working time I I Nonworkïng time









g GO




1 00 1



„00 4

Figure 2-4: When you click the Define general working times link, the Project Guide helps you establish a calendar for your project.

New \ ^ The Project Guide for Printing Wizard is new to Project 2003. Feature

If you click the Report button on the Project Guide toolbar, you find a link in the Project Guide pane that enables you to print what you see — the Print current view as a report link (see Figure 2-5). The four-step process helps you do the following:

♦ Determine the number of pages for the report

♦ Change the size of the report by modifying elements such as the timescale or the columns

♦ Set up the header, footer, and legend

♦ Set other options to change the margins, print notes, configure manual page breaks, and more

You also can preview the report on-screen before you print.

- Cross- \ You can customize the Project Guide so that it offers you options to work the way : Reference your organization works. See Chapter 26 for some examples on customizing the Project Guide.

^Report X

View and report the status of your projects by clicking an item below, Clicking an item displays tools and instructions for completing that step,

Select a view or report Change the content or order of information in a view Change the look or content of the Gantt Chart Print current view as a report

See the status of multiple projects in Project Center

Compare progress against baseline work

See the project's critical tasks

See project risks and issues

See how resources' time is allocated

See project costs

Publish project information to the Web

Figure 2-5: The new Print current view as a report link walks you through a four-step process to print what you see on-screen.

If you decide that you don't want to use the Project Guide (perhaps it eats up too much screen real estate for your taste), you can hide the pane and the toolbar. To temporarily hide the pane, click the X in the upper-right corner of the pane. To temporarily hide the toolbar, right-click any toolbar and click Project Guide to remove the check mark that appears next to it.

To turn off the Project Guide feature entirely, open the Options dialog box (choose ToolsOOptions) and click the Interface tab. Then, remove the check mark from the Display Project Guide box.

Cross- See Chapter 24 for more information on setting options in Project.


After you've hidden the pane, you see the blank Project screen in the Gantt Chart view, as shown in Figure 2-6.

Figure 2-6: A blank project contains no project information. When you enter information in the Gantt Chart view, the split pane displays the data both textually and graphically.

Project always opens a new project in the Gantt Chart view. You see other views throughout this book, but you're likely to spend a great deal of your time in the Gantt Chart view. This view offers a wealth of information about your project in a single snapshot. In most table views, you find a fill handle, which you can use to populate columns, just as you use a fill handle in Excel.

- Cross- For details about the other views that are available in Project, see Chapter 6.

: Reference

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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