Join Bonnie Biafore for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating and saving projects, part of Microsoft Project 2016 Essential Training.
- You can create a project file in several ways, but in this video, you'll see the basic steps for creating a project from scratch. You need to tell Project when your project starts, and it's a good idea to specify a few other settings while you're at it. You don't want to lose the hard work you've done on your project file, so "save early, save often," are words to live by. When you first launch Project, you'll see several options for creating a new project on the right side of the screen. In this case, we're going to create a blank project, so you just click the Blank Project icon, and Project creates a new blank file for you.
If it's the first one you've created in this session, it's called "Project1." Once you have the ribbon visible the way it is now, there's a great shortcut for creating a new project, and that's just CTRL+N. So when I press CTRL+N, Project creates another new blank project. In this case, it's called "Project2." The first thing you want to tell Project is some things about your file, like the start date. So to do that, go to the Project tab, and click Project Information.
Then in the "Start date" box, you can type the date for your project. The next box to look at is "Schedule from." It's set to Project Start Date, and for the most part, that's what you want. What this means is that Project will actually schedule to start at the start date, and it'll tell you when the project can finish. The other option is Project Finish Date. Well, if somebody gives you a deadline for your project, you might think you would choose Project Finish Date and then put in the finish date that they want.
The problem with that is Microsoft Project then schedules and works backwards to figure out the start date, but that means there's no wiggle room if something goes wrong. So it's much better to choose Project Start Date, and let Project tell you when the project can finish. You can always try to shorten the schedule if you need to. The next box is the calendar. Initially it's set to Standard, which is a built-in calendar that comes with Project, and it's set to have working days Monday through Friday, eight AM to five PM, with an hour for lunch.
Later we'll go through setting a calendar to match your projects' and resources' working times. Once you've set those values, click OK. Because the project information is really important, you can actually tell Project to open that dialogue box for you every time you create a new file. To do that, go to the File tab, and click Options. Then go to the Advanced category, and the checkbox you want to turn on is in this General section. It's "Prompt for project info for new projects." Turn that on, you create a new project, the project information dialogue box automatically opens.
At this point, we want to save our file with a new name. So to do that, go to the File tab, click Save. Because it's a new project, even though I clicked Save, the Save As page opens. That's because we're going to give this file a new name. So basically, you go and tell Project where you want to save the file. In this case, Computer is already selected. We're going to go to the Desktop. We're going to open the Exercise folders. Go to the folder for chapter two.
Type a new name in the File name box and click Save. And now I've got a new project and its name shows up at the top of the window. Now once you have a project saved, there's a great shortcut for saving any changes you make. The shortest way to do it is just to press CTRL+S, and it automatically will save, but you can also go to the File tab, and click Save again. Every time you create a project file, tell Project a little bit about your project before you save.
That way, you can just jump right in when you're ready to start working on your project.
NOTE: This course updates our Microsoft Project 2013 Essential Training course for Project 2016, and most videos will work with both versions of the software. For Microsoft Project 2010 compatibility, see Project 2010 Essential Training.
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- Choosing the right Project edition
- Creating and saving projects
- Setting up calendars
- Creating individual and recurring tasks
- Linking and timing tasks
- Assigning tasks to resources
- Viewing your data differently with sorting, grouping, and filtering
- Fine-tuning the project schedule
- Understanding baseline, schedule, and actual values
- Reporting on the project status
- Sharing projects