Link tasks in a project

You can link (linking: In a project, establishing a dependency between tasks. Linking tasks defines a dependency between their start and finish dates. In OLE, establishing a connection between programs so that data in one document is updated when it changes in another.) any two tasks in a project to show their relationship (also called a task dependency (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].)). Dependencies drive the project schedule — once you link the tasks, every change you make to the predecessor affects the successor, which affects the next one, and so on.

  1. Click View > Gantt Chart.

Task Views group on the View tab.

  1. Hold down Ctrl and click the two tasks you want to link (in the Task Name column).
  2. Click Task > Link Tasks.

Link button in the Schedule group of the Task tab

To remove a link, select the two linked tasks and then click Task > Unlink Tasks Unlink Tasks button on the Tasks tab of the ribbon..

Project creates a simple finish-to-start task link by default, which means the first task (the predecessor (predecessor: A task that must start or finish before another task can start or finish.)) needs to finish before the second task (the successor (successor: A task that cannot start or finish until another task starts or finishes.)) can start.

Project supports four kinds of task links. If you want to change the link type, see Change a task link.

More ways to link tasks


Insert a task between linked tasks

With Project 2013, you can autolink tasks — insert a new task between linked tasks, and have the new task automatically link to the surrounding tasks. But to use this feature, you first need to turn it on:

  1. Click File > Options.
  2. In the Project Options dialog box, click Schedule and scroll to the Scheduling options in this project section.
  3. Select the Autolink inserted or moved tasks check box.
  4. Insert the new task.

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Link tasks in a Network Diagram

  1. Click View > Network Diagram.

Image of Network Diagram button on the View tab.

  1. Point to the center of the predecessor task box.
  2. Drag the line to the successor task box.

Image of two tasks linked on a network diagram

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Link tasks in a Calendar

  1. Click View > Calendar.

View tab, Task Views group, Calendar button.

  1. Point to the predecessor task’s (predecessor: A task that must start or finish before another task can start or finish.) calendar bar.
  2. Drag the line to the successor task's (successor: A task that cannot start or finish until another task starts or finishes.) calendar bar.

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Link manually scheduled tasks

When you link a manually scheduled task (manually scheduled task: This type of task can be placed anywhere in the schedule without Project rescheduling it; it does not move as related information about the task changes.) to another task, Project places the manually scheduled task relative to the other task.

You can configure Project 2013 so that a manually scheduled task does not move when you link it to another task:

  1. Click File > Options.
  2. In the Project Options dialog box, click Schedule and scroll to the Scheduling options in this project section.
  3. Uncheck the Update manually scheduled tasks when editing links check box.

Learn more about manually and automatically scheduled tasks.

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Other ways to link tasks

  • If you have tasks that depend on the successful completion of an entire project, consider setting up a master project.
  • To highlight how a single task relates to other tasks, use task paths.

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Applies to:
Project Professional 2013, Project Standard 2013