Display outlined subtasks and summary tasks

After you enter tasks (task: An activity that has a beginning and an end. Project plans are made up of tasks.) in the task list and add structure to your project by applying outlining (outline: A hierarchical structure for a project that shows how some tasks fit within broader groupings. In Project, subtasks are indented under summary tasks.), you can use the outlining to hide or show the subtasks (subtask: A task that is part of a summary task. The subtask information is consolidated into the summary task. You can designate subtasks by using the Project outlining feature.) of a summary task (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 to show the grouping of related tasks.

For example, you may want to hide your subtasks to display only top-level tasks and then print that view to create a summary report of your project.

You can also choose to display a project summary task (project summary task: A task that summarizes the duration, work, and costs of all tasks in a project. The project summary task appears at the top of the project, its ID number is 0, and it presents the project's timeline from start to finish.) or outline numbers (outline number: Numbers that indicate the exact position of a task in the outline. For example, a task with an outline number of 7.2 indicates that it's the second subtask under the seventh top-level summary task.) or both in your task list.

For more information about outlining your tasks, including creating summary tasks and indenting subtasks, see Outline tasks into subtasks and summary tasks.

What do you want to do?


Hide and show all summary tasks

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab.
  2. Under Outline options, select or clear the Show summary tasks check box to show or hide all summary tasks.

When summary tasks are hidden, only subtasks are visible.

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Show all subtasks for all summary tasks

To show all subtasks for all summary tasks, click Show Button image, and then click All Subtasks Button image. Subtasks can be hidden only one summary task at a time.

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Hide and show all subtasks for a single summary task

  1. Click the row for the summary task that contains the subtasks that you want to show or hide.
  2. Click Show Subtasks Button image to show the subtasks, or click Hide Subtasks Button image to hide the subtasks.

You can also show and hide the subtasks by clicking the summary task's outline symbol. Outline symbols indicate whether a summary task has subtasks displayed Icon image or does not have subtasks displayed Icon image.

Outline symbol indicates whether subtasks are displayed or hidden

Button image An outline symbol presenting a plus sign indicates a summary task with its subtasks hidden.
Button image An outline symbol presenting a minus sign indicates a summary task with its subtasks displayed.

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Hide and show all subtasks up to a specific outline level

To show only part of the outline, click Show Button image, and then click the outline level number up to which you want to view.

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Hide and show the project summary task

You can also show a project as a summary task in the task list. A project summary task (project summary task: A task that summarizes the duration, work, and costs of all tasks in a project. The project summary task appears at the top of the project, its ID number is 0, and it presents the project's timeline from start to finish.) displays your whole project on a single row with its own summary taskbar.

 Note   When you apply budget resources to a project, the project summary task must be shown.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab.
  2. Under Outline options, select or clear the Show project summary task check box to show or hide the project summary task.

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Hide and show outline numbers

When you display outline numbers in your task list, you can view the outline structure as numerical codes, also known as a work breakdown structure (WBS) (WBS: A hierarchical structure that is used to organize tasks for reporting schedules and tracking costs. With Project, you can represent the work breakdown structure by using task IDs or by assigning your own WBS code to each task.). Project assigns unique outline numbers for each task based on its level in the hierarchy of the task list.

  1. In a sheet view, select the column to the right of where you want to show the Outline Number column. If you want to show the Outline Number column as the last column, you must insert it before the last column and then move it by dragging its heading.
  2. On the Insert menu, click Column.
  3. Select Outline Number from the Field name list.

To change the outline number for a task, you must move the task up or down in the task list or change its place in the project's outline structure by using the outlining buttons.

It is important to note that when you rearrange a task list, the outline numbers for the listed items will change. Outline numbers are updated automatically when you move, add, or delete tasks, because they reflect the current structure of the task list.

 Note   If you are using a custom numbering system that you entered manually, your numbers are not updated automatically. You must manually adjust the numbers to reflect the task's new location if you move it.

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Applies to:
Project 2007