How to Create and Customize Reports in Microsoft Project 2016 – Part 1

How to Create and Customize Reports in Microsoft Project 2016 – Part 1


Hello again and welcome back to our course
on Project 2016 Advanced. In this section we’re going to look in more
detail at customizing reports. And in order to do this I’m going to customize
one of the most commonly used reports in Project 2016. Now if you’ve used an earlier version of
Project you may be very familiar with the Project Overview. And in versions before Project 2013 the Project
Overview looks very different to the way that it looks now. The one big advantage of the modern approach
to a Project Overview is that it can be highly customized to suit your specific requirements. Now we’re using version 11 of the website
project here and I’m going to go to the Report tab, go to the Dashboards and click
on Project Overview. Now depending on themes, styling, etcetera
your Project Overview may not look quite the same as mine but don’t worry about that
because that won’t significantly change what we’re covering in this section for
you. Now one thing you’ll note here is that I
have got page breaks switched on. And I usually work with page breaks switched
on. It’s not a completely foolproof way of judging
how big a report is going to be because whereas some things, for example the width of that
textbox are going to be of a fixed size other things such as the height of a table may vary
depending on how many rows are in the table at any particular point that you create a
version of a report. But I do tend to keep the page break markers
on myself and that usually helps me at least with the width of a report. So let’s look now at the elements of this
particular report. In the previous section I discussed the heading
and once again here if I click within Project Overview you can see that it’s a textbox
with the word Project Overview in it. You can also see that because of the way this
Project Overview is made it’s actually rather carelessly put together because the textbox
containing the word Project Overview is actually overlapping the text above the column chart
on the right there. Now of course you don’t really see this
because the textbox doesn’t have a border and the textbox itself is transparent. But sometimes when you do this kind of thing
and particularly if for example the text in that textbox might be variable you could run
into trouble. So I do tend to try to make sure that there
isn’t really any possibility of the elements in my report running over each other. Now we’re looking here at the Project Overview. The first thing I’m going to do is to save
this as my copy of a Project Overview. So I go to Manage, click on Rename Report,
call it TA Project Overview. And in doing that I’ve now actually got
two versions of the Project Overview. I’ve got the original version, Project Overview,
and TA Project Overview is the one that I’m going to be working on. So the first change that I’m going to make
to the Project Overview is to change the width of that textbox. Now it’s only ever going to say Project
Overview so I don’t need to worry about any variability in the size of the text. Obviously if I made the font bigger at some
later point in time I may need to change this but for the moment that’s going to do the
job for me. I’m also going to click in there, right
click, click on Paragraph and center the text in the textbox. Now at the moment I’m not going to do any
other stylistic changes to that heading. So click on OK and that’s my first change
made. Now the next item in the report says Monday,
Feb 1, ‘16, Thursday Oct 27, ‘16. And these currently are the start and finish
dates of this project. Now although that looks straightforward enough
if you think about how those dates managed to get there you may wonder just how you find
for a report the start and finish dates of the project. You may also be wondering how they are presented
in the way that they are in this report. Now if I click say in the finish date somewhere,
and this is usually the way to find out how something is working, you will see how that
particular element of the report is implemented because it’s implemented as a table. And the way that you can tell that is by looking
up at the ribbon and seeing that when I clicked in there the Table Tools were actually enabled. So in terms of how that finish date is actually
presented it’s in a table. If I click in the start date that’s in a
table as well. They’re not actually in the same table. And in fact if you click you can see that
they overlap with each other. But one important feature of how they’re
done here is that by putting them in a table you have access to field values. And the particular task that enables you to
find the start and finish date of a project is the Project Summary Task. So if you look over at Field List on the right,
let me just make this a little bit wider, and look down at Outline Level the level we’re
looking at in the Table Element on the right there, the one that currently contains Thursday,
October the 27th 2016. The outline level is Project Summary Level. And for the Project Summary Task which is
the only task at the Project Summary Level the field that is selected is the finish date. So basically we have a table with a single
field value for a single task. The single task is the Project Summary Task
and the single field value is the finish date. And basically that explains also where Monday,
February the 1st 2016 comes from because again we’ll be using the Project Summary Task
but this time that will use the start date. So these two little tables are not very well
set up because apart from the fact that they crash into each other the one on the left
with the start date seems to have the text left justified, the one on the right with
the finish date also seems to have the text left justified which doesn’t really make
any sense because you really want the first one left justified and the right one right
justified. And in fact it’d be nice to have like a
little dash between them or something like that. So first of all I’m going to move the right
hand table right. Make sure it’s selected, continuous border
around it and then use the right arrow on the keyboard to move it over. Now at this stage I’m definitely not going
to worry about making all of this align very exactly. I’m just trying to get the overall content
and the overall layout correct. There’s no point in going for absolute accuracy
until I’m sure that I’ve got all of the basic elements of the report in place. So let me change the alignment on that right
hand table, the one with the finish date in it, to be right aligned. So that’s straightforward enough. Go into the Table Tools Layout Tab, click
on Right Alignment and that’s now right aligned. I also don’t actually need that to be quite
as wide as that. I need to allow for, for instance a wider
day, Wed, W-E-D, is going to take up more space than Thur. And then let’s go to the start date. No maybe that’s about right. And now what I’m going to do is to insert
a dash between them. So Report Tools Design and I’m just going
to insert a textbox. Draw it in here for the moment. And I’m just going to put a dash in there
and I’m going to center align it in that box. And again I won’t worry about too much else
about that in terms of more exactly aligning it for the moment. Maybe come back to that later. Something else you will notice here is that
the start and finish dates for the project to the left and right of our new textbox have
a gray font, the text is a lighter color than say in Project Overview above. If I just click into one of those tables now
and click the Design tab and click on the launcher at the bottom right hand corner of
WordArt Styles it brings up a Format Shape panel on the right. And at the moment text options are selected. And here I can format the text. Click here on the Text fill and outline and
look at text fill. Bear in mind that text fill is the color of
the text itself rather than any outline that may be visible on the text. You’ll see it’s solid fill and the color,
if I click on the dropdown on the right here is that sort of middle gray on the left there. It’s White, background one, darker 25%. That is why that text is that color. If I clicked inside the Project Overview textbox,
looked in the same place I would see that the color there is that one which is Black,
text one, lighter 35%. Very much darker gray. So let’s change the color of that dash. If I click within the textbox with the dash
in it, hold the Shift key down and move the cursor right to make sure I have the dash
selected, go over to the Format Shape panel, make sure I’ve still got text fill solid
fill. Now click on the Color dropdown and choose
White, background one, darker 25%. Although it will be very difficult for you
to see at the moment the color of the dash is now the same color as the text either side. Now of course I might decide to make the text
a lot bigger and make it a bit more obvious later on and then it would be easier to see
that color. But you can see there how to change the formatting
of text in a textbox. So let’s move onto the next element of this
report and not all tables have a single cell, a single row and a single column. And the next element is indeed also a table
but this table has two rows and one of the rows, the top row, is in effect a heading. It says Percent Complete. And the second row is not a heading. This one has percent complete for the whole
project and therefore as you probably work out by now the outline level selected is Project
Summary Level. There is only one task at that level, the
Project Summary Task, and the particular field we’re displaying here is the Percent Complete
field. So first of all with that table selected let’s
go into the Design tab in the Table Tools and you can see how we achieve a header row
because in the group on the left, Table Style Options, the Header Row checkbox is checked. Whereas if I go to one of the tables that
we looked at earlier on such as the one there with the finish date in for example header
row is not checked. Note also on that Design tab how you can choose
a table style. So here if I click back in the Percent Complete
table I could choose a different style very easily from those that are available. Now the other particular thing I want to do
there is to make the table a little bit more compatible with the widths of the other objects
around it. I’m slightly tempted to center the heading
and the percentage but I’ll leave those for the moment. Now as we carry on moving down that first
column of the report hopefully you’ll start to recognize things now. So for instance if I click in the table down
there you can certainly see that it’s a table. You can certainly see, I hope, that it must
have the Header Row checkbox checked there. You can see the table style. I want to make it a bit more of the style
of the one further up. A little bit more of that sort of orangey
color. And you can also see that this time I’m
not looking at the Project Summary Task. I’m looking at a very specific selection
of tasks. Now for each of those tasks what I have displayed
is the name, note the checkbox there, and the finish date, note the checkbox there. And of course name and finish are my headings. Above the table what I’ve got here is another
textbox and it’s another textbox that’s a little bit wider than it needs to be so
let’s just change that now. So the question here is what is selecting
these specific tasks? Well if you look at the text above it, Milestones
Due, Milestones that are coming soon. There is some sort of filter in force that
is causing those tasks to be selected. And the filter that is in force is this one,
the upcoming milestones filter. So the question is what does the upcoming
milestones filter actually do? And that’s a question I’m going to leave
you with. This not an exercise. It’s the end of this section. I want you to find out what the upcoming milestones
filter does in Project 2016 in your installation, bearing in mind of course that somebody may
have changed it. And that’s the point at which we’re going
to continue at the next section. I’ll see you then.