Present your Microsoft Project schedule in a simple format by using Visio

When you design a presentation for customers or upper management, you want to be clear and thorough. But you probably don’t want to include the level of detail that is important to a project manager. You just want a schedule that is easy to read and presents high-level information and key milestones.

Try this: Convert your Microsoft Office Project information into a simple Microsoft Office Visio® 2003 timeline. You have a quick visual snapshot of your project schedule and you can easily put it into a Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003 presentation or a Microsoft Office Word 2003 document.

Suit your presentation to your audience

Imagine that a customer is coming in tomorrow for a project status meeting. You plan to give a PowerPoint presentation showing the completed milestones and overall project status. You want to include a graphic that illustrates upcoming milestones — but you know that your customer finds Gantt charts confusing to look at.

So, you import your existing Project information into Visio, and highlight only the need-to-know information.

The Import Project Data Wizard

You can quickly import your project information into Visio 2003 by using the Import Project Data Wizard. Afterwards, you can cut and paste your Visio timeline into PowerPoint as a visual that the customer will understand and appreciate.

Microsoft Project information presented as a Visio timeline

A Visio timeline

To import a file from Microsoft Project 2002

  1. On the File menu, point to New, point to Project Schedule, and then click Timeline.
  2. On the Timeline menu, click Import Timeline Data.
  3. On the first wizard page, enter or select the Project (MPP) file you want to use to create a Microsoft Office Visio timeline, and then click Next.
  4. On the next wizard page, select the task types you want to import. See the Description at the bottom for details about each task type.
  5. On the third wizard page, select the shape types you want to use for the timeline, as well as for the milestones and intervals that appear on your timeline. You can also click the Advanced button to set the time scale and display options for your Visio timeline.
  6. Click OK, and then click Next.
  7. Click Finish to create a Visio timeline with the properties you specified in the wizard.

 Note   If you have shapes on the current drawing page, Visio places the timeline on a new page in your current drawing.


To change the shape types for any or all of the timeline, milestone, and interval shapes, right-click the shape on the drawing page, and then click Set Timeline Type, Set Milestone Type, or Set Interval Type.

 Note   The wizard will not allow you to import a project file that is currently open.

Applies to:
Project 2003, Visio 2003