Creating the best printed reports for your project

Applies to
Microsoft Office Project 2003

Projects can be so large that it's not easy to get the optimal printing results you're looking for. With Project, you have the option to print a view (view: The combination of one or more views [Gantt Chart, Resource Sheet, and so on] and if applicable, a table and a filter. Use views to work with information in a variety of formats. There are three types of views: Charts or graphs, Sheets, and Forms.) or a specific report that presents the exact information you want to communicate to others.

What's the best way to print project information?

What view should I use for the information I want to print?

What report should I use for the information I want to print?

What's the best way to print project information?

The process of printing the information you need can be as simple as clicking a button or as refined as creating and previewing custom reports.

No matter how simple or refined the process, printing a view or report consists of essentially the same steps:

What view should I use for the information I want to print?

With Project, you can print information about tasks (task: An activity that has a beginning and an end. Project plans are made up of tasks.), resources (resources: The people, equipment, and material that are used to complete tasks in a project.), costs (cost: The total scheduled cost for a task, resource, or assignment, or for an entire project. This is sometimes referred to as the current cost. In Project, baseline costs are usually referred to as "budget."), and progress presented in the view that suits your needs.

You can also tailor a view to show the information you want to present. In sheet (sheet: A spreadsheet-like representation [in rows and columns] of task or resource information. Each row specifies an individual task or resource. Each column [field] specifies a type of information, such as start dates or standard rates.) views, you can apply a specific table to display the information you want to print. To organize the information, you can apply a filter or categorize it into groups.

For example, to print specific status information, you can:

  • Use a view such as the Gantt Chart or Tracking Gantt.
  • Apply a table such as the Work table or Summary table.
  • Filter by criteria such as critical or completed tasks.
  • Group by criteria such as complete and incomplete tasks.

You can further customize a view by specifying information displayed in certain fields. For example, you can roll up (roll up: On the Gantt Chart, to display symbols on a summary task bar that represent subtask dates. You can roll up dates from subtasks to make important dates easily visible on a summary task bar.) data calculated for summary tasks (summary task: A task that is made up of subtasks and summarizes those subtasks. Use outlining to create summary tasks. Project automatically determines summary task information [such as duration and cost] by using information from the subtasks.) or groups, or you can display graphical indicators (indicators: Small icons representing information for a task or resource that are displayed in the Indicators field. The Indicators field is located to the right of the ID field and appears in a number of tables.) to emphasize tasks that need special attention.

The following table describes the types of information you can print in specific views.

Use this view To print
Calendar Scheduled tasks in a calendar (calendar: The scheduling mechanism that determines working time for resources and tasks. Project uses four types of calendars: the base calendar, project calendar, resource calendar, and task calendar.) format. You can apply any task filter to change the content displayed. For example, you can apply the Unstarted Tasks filter to print a calendar showing only tasks that haven't begun yet.
Gantt Chart A list of tasks, task durations (duration: The total span of active working time that is required to complete a task. This is generally the amount of working time from the start to finish of a task, as defined by the project and resource calendar.), and a bar chart showing tasks, task durations, task dependencies (task dependencies: A relationship between two linked tasks; linked by a dependency between their finish and start dates. There are four kinds of task dependencies: Finish-to-start [FS], Start-to-start [SS], Finish-to-finish [FF], and Start-to-finish [SF].), and assigned resources. You can change the table or task filter to change the content. For example, you can apply the Cost table and the Milestones filter to print cost information about project milestones (milestone: A reference point marking a major event in a project and used to monitor the project's progress. Any task with zero duration is automatically displayed as a milestone; you can also mark any other task of any duration as a milestone.). You can also organize the content by grouping. For example, you can see tasks that are on the critical path (critical path: The series of tasks that must be completed on schedule for a project to finish on schedule. Each task on the critical path is a critical task.) when you group by critical.
Tracking Gantt A list of tasks and a bar chart showing progress and completion of tasks and summary tasks, measured against their baseline plan (baseline plan: The original project plans [up to 11 per project] used to track progress on a project. The baseline plan is a snapshot of your schedule at the time that you save the baseline and includes information about tasks, resources, and assignments.).
Network Diagram A flowchart, or Network Diagram (Network Diagram: A diagram that shows dependencies between project tasks. Tasks are represented by boxes, or nodes, and task dependencies are represented by lines that connect the boxes. In Project, the Network Diagram view is a network diagram.), showing all tasks and task dependencies, and a project's critical path. You can apply any task filter or grouping. For example, you can clearly see the critical path for tasks people are working on if you filter for in-progress tasks and group by critical. You can also use graphical indicators in this view to draw attention to important task information.
Task Usage A list of project tasks with their assigned resources grouped underneath them. You can change the table or task filter to change the content, and you can change timephased (timephased: Task, resource, or assignment information that is distributed over time. You can review timephased information in any available time period in the fields on the right side of the Task Usage and Resource Usage views.) fields. You can also organize the content by grouping. For example, you can group by complete and incomplete tasks.
Resource Graph A graph showing the amount of work assigned to each resource over time. You can change the resource filter to change the content. For example, you can apply the Overallocated Resources filter to print a graph showing those resources who have too much work assigned to them.
Resource Sheet A list showing detailed entry information for each resource. You can change the table or resource filter to change the content. For example, you can apply the Work table and the Overallocated Resources filter to print detailed work information for overallocated resources. You can also organize the content by grouping. For example, you can group by work versus material resources.
Resource Usage A list showing project resources with their assigned tasks grouped underneath them. You can change the table or resource filter to change the content. For example, you can apply the Cost table and Overallocated Resources filter to see the cost of overallocating your resources. You can also change timephased fields or organize the content by grouping. For example, you can group by work versus material resources.
Task Entry A combination of the Gantt Chart view and the Task Form view, with a bar chart showing progress lines and detailed information about individual tasks, including their percent complete (percent complete: A field that you use to enter or display how much of a task has been completed. This value is expressed as the percentage of the task duration that has been completed.).
Task Sheet A list of tasks showing start dates (start date: The date when a task is scheduled to begin. This date is based on the duration, calendars, and constraints of predecessor and successor tasks. A task's start date is also based on its own calendars and constraints.), finish dates (finish date: The date that a task is scheduled to be completed. This date is based on the task's start date, duration, calendars, predecessor dates, task dependencies, and constraints.), and assigned resources. You can change the table or task filter to change the content. For example, you can apply the Work table and the Summary Tasks filter to print work details for summary tasks. You can also organize the content by grouping. For example, you can group by priority (priority: An indication of a task's importance and availability for leveling [that is, resolving resource conflicts or overallocations by delaying or splitting certain tasks]. Tasks with the lowest priority are delayed or split first.).

What report should I use for the information I want to print?

With Project, you can print information about tasks, resources, costs, and progress in a report that suits your needs. You can change the content displayed in most reports by changing tables, filters, or both.

Project includes many predefined task, resource, and crosstab reports (crosstab report: Printed information about tasks and resources over a specified time period. There are five predefined crosstab reports in Project: Cash Flow, Crosstab, Resource Usage, Task Usage, and Who Does What When.) and categorizes them by overview, current activities, costs, assignments, workload, and custom reports. Several of these reports, such as the Project Summary, Top Level Tasks, or Budget reports, are especially useful for printing project status information.

The following table describes the information you can print using specific reports.

Use this overview report To print
Project Summary A summary of the number of tasks and resources, project cost, start and finish dates, and total amount of work. You can change the appearance of the text.
Top-Level Tasks A list of the highest level tasks and summary tasks showing the scheduled start and finish dates, duration, percent complete, cost, and work. You can change the appearance, content (using tables and task filters), time period (or unit), and details (including notes and objects), and you can sort.
Critical Tasks A list of critical tasks showing the scheduled start and finish dates and the predecessors (predecessor: A task that must start or finish before another task can start or finish.) and successors (successor: A task that cannot start or finish until another task starts or finishes.) of each task. You can change the table or task filter to change the content.
Milestones A list of milestones sorted by start date. You can change the table or task filter to change the content.
Working Days A list of working times for each day of a week in the base calendar (base calendar: A calendar that can be used as a project and task calendar that specifies default working and nonworking time for a set of resources. Differs from a resource calendar, which specifies working and nonworking time for an individual resource.).
Use this current activities report To print
Unstarted Tasks A list of tasks that haven't yet started, their durations, predecessor tasks, start and finish dates, resources, and assignments, all sorted by start date. You can change the table or task filter to change the content.
Tasks Starting Soon A list of tasks starting within a time period that you specify. You can change the table or task filter to change the content.
Tasks in Progress A list of tasks that are currently in progress, showing the months in which the tasks occur. You can change the table or task filter to change the content.
Completed Tasks A list of completed tasks, showing the months in which the tasks occur. You can change the table or task filter to change the content.
Should Have Started Tasks A list of the tasks that should have started by the date you specify. You can change the table or task filter to change the content.
Slipping Tasks A list of the tasks that have been rescheduled to finish after their baseline (baseline plan: The original project plans [up to 11 per project] used to track progress on a project. The baseline plan is a snapshot of your schedule at the time that you save the baseline and includes information about tasks, resources, and assignments.) finish dates. You can change the table or task filter to change the content.
Use this costs report To print
Cash Flow A table showing costs per task in weekly increments. You can edit this report and change the time increments to different time periods. You can change the task filter or resource filter to change the content displayed.
Budget A list of tasks showing the budgeted cost of each task and the variance between budgeted costs and current costs. You can change the table or task filter to change the content.
Overbudget Tasks A list of tasks whose costs exceed the baseline cost. You can change the table or task filter to change the content.
Overbudget Resources A list of resources whose costs exceed the baseline cost. You can change the table or resource filter to change the content.
Earned Value A list of tasks showing earned value (earned value: A measure of the cost of work performed up to the status date or current date. Earned value uses your original cost estimates saved with a baseline and your actual work to date to show whether the actual costs incurred are on budget.), in particular whether you're ahead of or behind schedule as compared with the actual costs (actual cost: The cost that has actually been incurred to date for a task, resource, or assignment. For example, if the only resource assigned to a task gets paid $20 per hour and has worked for two hours, the actual cost to date for the task is $40.) incurred. You can change the table or task filter to change the content.
Use this assignments report To print
Who Does What A list of resources showing their assigned tasks, the work scheduled for each task, the start and finish dates, and the resource details. You can edit this report and include details such as notes and objects. You can change the table or resource filter to change the content.
Who Does What When A list of resources showing their assigned tasks and the daily work scheduled for each task. You can change the task filter or resource filter to change the content.
To Do List A list of tasks with their durations, start and finish dates, and predecessors broken out by week for a resource you specify. You can change the table or task filter to change the content.
Overallocated Resources A list of overallocated resources and the tasks to which they are assigned. You can change the table or resource filter to change the content.
Use this workload report To print
Task Usage A list of tasks showing assigned resources and the amount of scheduled work in weekly increments. You can edit this report and change the time increments to different time periods. You can change the task filter or resource filter to change the content.
Resource Usage A list of resources showing the tasks to which each resource is assigned and the amount of scheduled work in weekly increments. You can edit this report and change the time increments to different time periods. You can change the task filter or resource filter to change the content.
Use this custom report To print
Resource Usage (material or work) A list of resources showing the tasks to which each resource is assigned and the amount of scheduled work in weekly increments. You can edit this report and change the time increments to different time periods. You can change the task filter or resource filter to change the content.
Base Calendar A table showing the working days, hours of work, and nonworking times (nonworking time: Hours or days designated in a resource or project calendar when Project should not schedule tasks because work is not done. Nonworking time can include lunch breaks, weekends, and holidays, for example.). You can change the appearance, but not the content.
Task A custom report showing task information (task information: Information provided in Project about a specific task. You can see summarized task information in the Task Information dialog box [on the Project menu in a task view].). You can use tables, task filters, and other elements to create a custom task report.
Resource (material or work) A custom report showing resource information (resource information: The categories of information shown in the Resource Sheet view that specify details about a resource, such as name, type, group, maximum units, and standard rate. Apply a different table to the view for other resource information.). You can use tables, resource filters, and other elements to create a custom resource report.
Crosstab A custom tabular report with task and resource information in rows and time increments in columns. You can use task filters or resource filters and other elements to create a custom crosstab report. You may want to look at the Task Usage and Resource Usage views for this type of information as well.