Most likely you spent some effort creating the exact desired look and feel of your task table and Gantt chart. You will probably want to save this and then apply it to other projects. Yes, this is possible to copy views in Microsoft Project.
Stakeholders want customized views of your project. And once you have spent the effort to create a Gantt chart view acceptable to your stakeholders you will want to leverage these view settings on other projects. In Microsoft Project it is feasible to create and save custom views and share them with other projects.
How to Copy Views in Microsoft Project
This article demonstrates how to create and save views and then share them between Microsoft Project schedules.
This demonstration may appear done before beginning. That’s because Microsoft Project is set to automatically copy new views to the global template. This global template makes the views available to all projects. This is great! But this automatic setting may quickly clutter your global template with views that are rarely used.
Let’s assume you do not want to copy all new views to the global template. We need to update Microsoft Project’s default settings. Select File | Options and Advanced in the Project Options dialog, Figure 1.
Toggle off ‘automatically add new view, tables, filters, and groups to the global. Okay, now our views will not become cluttered, but we have to manually copy views from one project to another.
In Figure 2 we have our ‘Manufacture-2.mpp’ demonstration project.
The table and Gantt chart in this view are set for presentation of our schedule. Note the task table including the total slack column. The Gantt chart has a suitable grid, nonworking time color shading, and labels as may be required by your stakeholders.
We want to save our table and Gantt chart view settings. Select the view tab, task views ribbon group, Gantt chart drop down menu, and finally save view, Figure 3.
Type in an appropriate view name, such as ‘view standard layout’, Figure 4.
Select view tab, task view ribbon group, Gantt chart drop down menu, and finally more views, Figure 5.
‘View standard layout’ appears in the list of available views for ‘Manufacture-2.mpp’, Figure 6.
Good! We have now captured our table and Gantt chart view settings in the layout ‘view standard layout’.
Our next process is to copy these view settings to another project, ‘Motor Model-4’, which was recently imported in to Microsoft Project from an XML file. We switch the view to ‘Motor Model-4’, Figure 7.
Again, select the view tab, tasks views ribbon group, Gantt chart drop down menu, and more views. Note that ‘view standard layout’ does not appear in the list of available views for ‘Motor Model-4’, Figure 8.
So we need to add it to ‘Motor Model-4’. In the more views dialog select organizer, Figure 8. Select the views tab in the organizer, Figure 9.
(Note that ‘view standard layout’ is not available in the Global.MPT template.) Set the copy from file from Global.MPT to Manufacture-2.mpp, again, Figure 9. The copy to file should be already set to ‘Motor Model-4’. Highlight ‘view standard layout’ in Manufacture-2.mpp and copy it to ‘Motor Model-4’, Figure 10.
In Figure 11, ‘Motor Model-4’ includes the view ‘view standard layout’.
Because our table columns setting is unique we also need to select the tables tab in the organizer, Figure 11. Copy ‘view standard layout table 1’ from Manufacture-2.mpp to ‘Motor Model-4’, Figure 12.
In Figure 13 we have the table ‘view standard layout table 4’ copied to ‘Motor Model-4’.
Close the organizer, Figure 13. Observe that ‘view standard layout’ now appears in the available list of views for ‘Motor Model-4’, Figure 14.
Select apply, Figure 14. The ‘Motor Model-4’ schedule now appears with the desired table and Gantt chart view. Figure 15.
So being creative and customizing your views in Microsoft Project is encouraged. In addition to specifying a unique Gantt chart and table view you can customize other tables, filters, and reports. You can copy views in Microsoft Project. This also includes views, tables, filters, and reports. Once again, you can copy views in Microsoft Project from one project to another and it does require a little effort that the novice scheduler may stumble with.
This is why the default settings in Microsoft Project are set to automatically copy new views to the global template when they are saved. The more skilled scheduler will want to disable this setting to avoid cluttering the global template.