The Gantt Chart view is the default view in Microsoft Project. This view, shown in Figure 7.1, consists of a task list on the left pane of the window and a Gantt Chart in the right pane.
Use the horizontal scroll bars at the bottom of each pane to scroll to “additional information. If you scroll the task list, you see additional columns in the task list. The Start, Finish, Predecessors, and Resource ames fields, shown in Figure 7.2, become visible
You can also drag the vertical split bar to change the size of the panes. Point to the vertical split bar; when the pointer changes to a two-header arrow, as you can see in Figure 7.3, drag to the left or right.
Use the horizontal scroll bar on the timescale to move to future or past dates in the Gantt Chart. By default, the Gantt Chart displays the Project Start date you entered in the Project Information dialog box (Project> Project Information) as the leftmost date.
To enter a task, click in the first cell of the task table and type the task. Press Enter to move to the next row. Project automatically assigns an estimated duration of one day and creates a bar on the Gantt Chart representing the task.
You can tell that the duration is estimated because it has a question mark after it. You can enter task durations as you go along, or enter all the tasks and then come back and assign durations. For the purposes of this chapter, we’ll focus on tasks first and then discuss durations later in this section. Enter additional tasks in the same way: type the task and press Enter. Don’t worry at this point about the different types of tasks because you can convert a task to a summary task, sub task, milestone, or recurring task after you enter the list.
Adding More Details about a Task
In the task list itself, the amount of detail you can include in a task description is pretty limited. However, those limitations are removed when you click the Task Information button on the Standard tool bar or double-click a task to open the Task Information dialog box, shown in Figure 7.4.
The Task Information dialog box consists of five tabs: General, Predecessors, Resource, Advanced, and Notes. You will enter and view additional information about tasks in this dialog box as you progress through the project’s creation. For now, focus on the last tab called Notes. As you can see in Figure 7.5, the Notes tab is an open text box, in which you can enter text and insert objects.
Here, you can enter a more thorough task description, identify issues and concerns related to the task, and attach documents that were created to support the task. For example, if a task is related to creating a marketing plan, you could attach the marketing plan document and workbook to the task. In the Notes text box, you have access to only a few formatting options, as shown in Table 7.1.
If you want notes that are formatted more extensively, you can create a document in Word, and copy and paste it in (right-click in the text box to choose Paste). Attaching a Document to a Task To attach a document, such as a Word document or Excel spreadsheet, to a task, follow these steps:
1. Click the Insert Object button on the Notes tab of the Task Information dialog .box to open the Insert Object dialog box shown in Figure 7.6. It may take a few seconds to load, so be patient.
.2. When the Insert Object dialog box opens, choose whether you want to create a new object or create an object from file.
3. If you choose to create a new object, scroll through the Object Type list, and select the type of object you want to create. Click OK to launch the application that creates that object type, and create the object. For example, if you choose to create a new Microsoft Word document, Project launches Word and you can create
Close the application to return to the Insert Object dialog box. OR If you choose to insert an existing object, click Create from File and enter the file path where the object is saved. Click the Browse button if you want to explore for the object. Click the . Link check box if you want to link to the object. .Linking ensures that any changes you make to the original document are reflected in the linked document.
4. Click the Display as Icon check box if you want to insert an icon to represent the object instead of the object itself. Click the Change Icon button if you want to select a different icon for the object. S. Click OK to close the Insert Object dialog box and insert the object.