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MSP2000 - User Interface

Nothing complicated, if you are already familiar with other Microsoft Office applications.

The default screen of MSP when it starts up is shown below. If you’ve used any other Microsoft Office products, this should look familiar.

A brief introduction on setting up preferences, the concept of views and tables, text styles and file organization recommendations follow.


Setting up

I usually change some options to make it a bit easier. Please note that these are my preferred settings. You may want to ignore some of these. If you have other customization settings you like, please let me know.

Tools -> Options dialog is very useful for several other settings. Like all Microsoft Office applications, MSP comes with context-sensitive help. Use it.

Views and tables

MSP stores data in tables and lets you view it using views. Both these are available under the View menu.

In the View menu example below, you can see that we are looking at the Gantt Chart using the table Entry.


Once you have some data entered in the project plan, it is a very good idea to choose different views and different tables to see what all information is available.

You have five task views and three resource views, as seen under View menu.

Task views

Resource views


Often, people try to use the regular formatting buttons like bold, italic etc. to "beautify" an entry. Personally, I don’t like that, and rarely use it. Instead, I change the formatting styles so that entries with some meaning are shown in a particular way.

You can change these by using Format -> Text Styles menu.


Usually, I color the critical tasks in red and milestone tasks in green. If you are artistically inclined, there is a whole lot of other styles you can change.

File Organization

Identify a folder to keep ALL related MSP files. If you need to share resources between projects, or if you need to link tasks across projects, it helps a little bit if all files are in the same folder. I usually keep it in a folder that does not have spaces in the path name.

This series

  1. Notes on Microsoft Project 2000
  2. Essential theory
  3. MSP2000 - User Interface
  1. sounds like even kids can use it.. :)

    never preffered MSP or any other microsoft tool anyway..

    Posted by: hpnadig on January 4, 2004 12:05 PM
  2. I'd like to add a new column that includes a time format of hh:mm. Is this possible? I'm having a heck of a time trying to figure it out. Any help is appreciated. mp

    Posted by: Mpoche on January 14, 2004 03:33 PM
  3. Ive a trouble with a Project file that Im managing.When I change the "% of task completed",the cost of the task change too, and I dont want that it happens.I think its because of the columns Ive decided to show,may be the kind of cost Im showing. Could you help me, please?

    Posted by: Alexander Figueroa on February 3, 2004 05:46 PM
  4. Is there a way to show summary tasks in the calendar view in Project? In other words, you can see the subtasks, but cannot see which tasks they are subsets of.

    Posted by: Jeff F on March 23, 2004 12:29 AM