How templates are used in Microsoft Office Project 2003

Applies to
Microsoft Office Project 2003

So why are templates in Project so different from templates in other products, where they usually provide a quick way to get started and to deliver great results?

Because it's almost impossible to provide an easy solution for all the different project scenarios and address the scheduling needs of many different industries in a few basic templates. Instead, Project templates focus on standardization of functionality and display features, and can serve as example projects that you can follow to establish your own project. Learn which templates are available for Project.

What's the function of templates in Project?

What types of templates does Project provide?

How do I work with the global file?

How does the enterprise global template work?

How do I use the enterprise global template?

How do the enterprise global template and global file interrelate?

How do I use a template file?

What's the function of templates in Project?

Project templates are useful for standardizing the use and appearance of Project files within a team or across an entire organization. Some templates work behind the scenes and are not visible to the user. Other templates are example projects that you can open in Project.

Information in a template can include views (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.), calendars (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.), forms (form: A type of view that gives you detailed information about an individual task or resource.), reports (report: A format in which you can print schedule information that is appropriate for the intended recipients. You can use the predefined reports provided by Project or create custom reports.), tables (table: A set of columns that shows specific information about tasks, resources, and assignments in a sheet view.), filters (filter: Specifies which task or resource information should be displayed or highlighted in a view. For example, when you apply the Critical filter, only critical tasks are displayed.), toolbars (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options used to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, point to Toolbars on the View menu, and then click the toolbar you want. To see more buttons, click Toolbar Options at the end of the toolbar.), menu bars (menu bar: The horizontal bar below the title bar that contains the names of menus. A menu bar can be the built-in menu bar or a custom menu bar.), macros (macro: An action or a set of actions that you can use to automate tasks. Macros are recorded in the Visual Basic for Applications programming language.), and options settings.

What type of templates does Project provide?

Project uses the following types of templates to help you standardize information across projects:

How do I work with the global file?

The global file itself cannot be opened in Project. It is merely a collection of settings that are applied to all projects, such as views, tables, and calendars.

Typically, any changes you make to views, tables, filters, calendars, reports, and forms are local and applicable to the active project file, and any changes you make to toolbars, menus, and import/export maps are global. Global changes are made to the global file immediately and apply to all project files on your computer. When you open a new project file, it reflects your customized toolbars and menus.

Using the Organizer, however, you can copy a project's local custom elements (such as views and tables) to the global file. This is the easiest way to update the global file to make custom elements available in all new projects.

Custom formatting (such as bold, italic, color, or bar shape) only applies to the active project file and cannot be copied to other project files on your computer. Changes you make to Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) modules can be either global or local, according to your preference.

How does the enterprise global template work?

Standardization is a requirement for working with projects on an enterprise level and provides a common language for all project managers. The use of views, calendars, and fields (project, resource, and task fields) within the enterprise global template ensure this standardization.

Unlike the global file (or Global.mpt), the enterprise global template is a special project that is opened from Microsoft Office Project Server 2003. Only someone with administrative privileges (privileges: These specify the items in a project that a user can either see or modify. For example, only someone with administrative privileges can modify outline codes to be used by all project managers within an organization.) on the server can open and change items in the enterprise global template.

How do I work with the enterprise global template?

Before project managers can use projects and resources within the enterprise, the enterprise global template needs to be customized for the organization. Customizing the enterprise global template allows your organization to set up standards for project management, ensuring that project data is consistent throughout your organization.

 Note   Only someone with permission to save the enterprise global template (for example, your project management administrator (administrator: Sets up and manages user accounts, assigns permissions, and helps users with network or server access issues. This person can also manage and customize various elements in Project Professional and in Project Server.)) can check out and change items in the enterprise global template. Some of the items that can be customized in your enterprise global template are:

  • Enterprise outline codes    These codes are used to define resource skills. Your project management administrator may have made these outline codes required, which allows your organization to use the Resource Substitution Wizard in Project.
  • Additional custom fields    These are fields other than custom outline codes that you may be required to include in your projects. You may be required to supply information for your enterprise resources, such as enterprise resource pay rates, skills, or position within the organization, using resource breakdown structure (RBS) (RBS: The structure that describes an organization's hierarchy. The RBS code defines the hierarchical position that a resource holds in the organization.) codes.
  • Enterprise-specific views, tables, and reports    
  • Enterprise-specific toolbars and menus    
  • Project and resource calendars     These calendars help ensure that projects and resources are scheduled in a standard way throughout the organization.
  • VBA modules     These VBA modules allow all project managers working on enterprise projects to automate project tasks.

Resources and tasks are not added to the enterprise global template. If they are added, they aren't saved when the enterprise global template is checked back in.

How do the enterprise global template and global file interrelate?

Project Professional 2003 uses both the enterprise global template and the global file (or Global.mpt).

When an enterprise project is opened from Project Server 2003, the enterprise global template settings, such as default views, toolbars, or tables, are applied to the project.

After the enterprise global template is applied to your project, any items in the global file that do not have the same name as the enterprise global template are also applied to your project file. Therefore, if you have created a custom view, table, or filter that has the same name as one in the enterprise global template, you are prompted to rename or overwrite the custom item.

The enterprise global template takes precedence in most cases over other templates.

 Note   The precedence of toolbars and menus is treated differently than other items in the enterprise global template. Toolbars and menus in the global file, including different language versions of them, take precedence over those with the same name in the enterprise global template.

Only an administrator can add items to and from the enterprise global template, such as a view, table, or resource breakdown structure (RBS) code. You can copy items from the enterprise global template into the global file as long as these items do not have the same name as an item in the enterprise global template. All new enterprise projects that you create have this copied item available, but the item isn't saved back to the enterprise global template. When you work on a project offline, you have two options for how you want to work offline:

How do I use a template file?

Templates allow you to reuse existing schedules as the starting point for creating new schedules. Any Project file can be saved as a template for future use. Learn how to base a new project on an existing project or a template.

The following information can become part of a planning template:

  • Task and resource information
  • View and text formatting
  • Macros
  • Project-specific settings

You can also open templates that are shipped with Project. Learn which templates are available for Project.

If you use Project Professional and are logged on to Project Server, you can use enterprise project templates provided by your administrator.