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« TiddlyWiki and GTD
» Freeware for HTML editing on Windows

Export MS Project to HTML

A small application to export MS Project plans to easy to use (IMHO) HTML.

Do you like the default HTML to which MS Project exports schedule? I hate it. I wrote a small application to export the data to an html file like how I like it. I use MS Project as a manager and as an employee. As a manager, I want to see how well the execution is coming along. As an employee, I really want to see what I should be doing when; and what I should be getting ready to be doing.

I believe the template I’ve come up with answers these questions. Here is the sample output file. Let us see how the sample looks and how different sections help me.

  1. Quick Summary: This section gives you basic information about the project. More importantly, it tells you how much of the work is completed.
  2. How are milestones coming along? This section gives you a quick overview of milestones missed, met and planned. Each of these can be selectively turned off. I usually add a milestone task at the end of each significant summary task. Old habit!
  3. Quick filtering:  At the moment, filtering is available only for resources. Filtered tasks can be highlighted (as shown). Otherwise, you can choose to simply hide the tasks that are not filtered. This helps in reducing the clutter, if the plan is very long.
  4. Expand and collapse summary tasks: Yes, you can click on "+" or "-" to manipulate summary tasks.
  5. Flag tasks: If you are candid, you can choose to add flags for tasks that are late, should have been started, that are getting near to expected completion date etc.
  6. All milestone tasks are shown in green and all tasks in the critical path are shown in brown.

The UI is very simple. You just need to have MS Project and Internet Explorer installed in your machine. Here’s how the UI looks like:
Screenshot of UI

Download and Installation

  1. "right click - save as" in your browser to save the file mpp2html.hta (32KB) to your PC.
  2. When you want to export MS Project files, just double-click the saved file.
  3. Use the Browse button to locate your MS Project file. Adjust other options, if you want to. And click export.
  4. Use this at your own risk. This software is free for use and modification; as in free beer. If you re-distribute it, I will be happy if you leave a short acknowledgement towards this site.
  5. This was fixed on May 30, 2005. One TODO item I want to implement as soon as possible is that this application does not close an already running MS Project and an already open Project file. Note that this currently does automatic closing, without saving any open files. So, if you are editing files in MS Project, make sure you save those and close MS Project before running this application.

Development Notes

Hope you find this useful. There are some known bugs and things I want to enhance. I don’t think these are anything major. Please see the source code for the downloaded file for my TODO list.

If you have feedback and suggestions, please e-mail me. Note that I wrote this because I started getting bored during my vacation. I am back to work next week, so my free time will quickly disappear :-)

Update: 25 October 2005

For first two enhancements, thanks are due to Ms. Kathy Adams, PMP of The Nature Conservancy, for the feedback.

Update: 28 October 2005