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Microsoft Project 2010: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Chapter 24. Defining Your Own Fields

In the previous chapter, you learned all kinds of ways to cajole Project into showing you the information you want to see. In this chapter, you’ll go deeper. You can customize fields to track information that Project’s built-in fields don’t, and then add them to tables in Project views (Changing Tables). For example, you can create a field that holds the number of lines of code written for each development task. With hours worked and code quantities, you can calculate programming productivity.

You can create custom fields that accept only the values you want by defining lookup tables. That way, you or anyone else can pick a valid value from a drop-down list. Custom fields can also contain formulas to calculate results. The usual arithmetic suspects like addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication show up as buttons in the Formula dialog box. But Project offers all sorts of fancy functions that you can combine with any Project field to spit out the answers you’re looking for.

Graphical indicators make it easy to see whether a project is on track, going better than expected, or headed for trouble. By customizing fields, you can tell Project to display icons instead of numbers or text.

Outline code fields work like the WBS values that project managers know and love. You can set up outline codes to categorize tasks and resources. Each level of the outline can have its own rules for values and what those values represent. Outline codes can be ...

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