Top 7 Microsoft Project options

May 27, 2020 | Project Hints and Tips

Microsoft Project default options are really worth considering changing.  Some of these will depend on how you use the software and others really should be altered.

All these options are found from the File menu under options.  Many can be altered for this project or for all new projects going forward.

1. Change default view

The default view shows the Gantt chart and timeline.  On a small screen the timeline takes up a significant portion of the screen so consider changing the view to Gantt chart only.  The way the date is displayed can also be amended from here.  Both these options are accessed from the general tab. 

 2. Manual vs auto scheduling

This option defaults to manual scheduling but auto-scheduling is a far better option which automatically updates your Microsoft Project plan as changes are made.  It is found on the schedule tab. 

 3. Other scheduling options

Also on the schedule tab are following options

4. Autolink inserted or moved tasks.

If a task is inserted or moved between 2 others which are already linked then it links the tasks in order.

5. Tasks will always honour constraint dates.

This is ticked by default which means that the constraints would override the links.  This reverses if the option is deselected.

6. New scheduled tasks will have estimated durations.

This is also checked by default which puts a question mark on the duration for each task entered to indicate its duration is yet to be confirmed. 

7. Calendar options for this project

It is vital that these correctly reflect the hours worked on the project and what is meant by a day, a week or a month to ensure the scheduling is accurate.  Again these are on the schedule tab. 

8. Advice from planning wizard

The planning wizard will give relevant advice to help you use project properly.  Various messages pop up as you are proceeding with your plan.  These are initially really useful but can become irritating as your knowledge of the software grows.  They can be switched on and off from the advanced tab.  They can also be switched off from the dialogue boxes that appear using the option of do not show me this again. 

 This is not an exhaustive list but these are some of the key Microsoft Project default options it is worth looking at if you are regularly using Microsoft Project.

Want to learn more about Microsoft Project? Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft Project Courses I run.