Project 2010 New File Format

imageWith the Project 2010 client nearing launch, I thought it would be timely to remind everyone who is going to use this fantastic new release that the file format has changed. As such, schedules you create in Project 2010 need to be saved in a previous file version to share with people using Project 2007 and 2003. Luckily Project 2010 makes it really easy to save your schedules in a previous file format.

To save a file in a previous file format

Choose File > Save As. In the Save as Dialog, select the file version to save the file as from the ‘Save as type’ combo box.

Default files to save in a previous file format

You can also configure Project 2010 to default all new schedules created to save to a previous file format via the Project Options > Save option, and choosing from either Project 2007 or Project 2000 – 2003 in the ‘Save files in this format:’ combo box.

Opening an existing file

If you open a schedule in one of the previous file formats and try to save it, Project 2010 detects that it is an older format and prompts you to save in the newer format.

Upgrade the file

Unfortunately the dialog displayed doesn’t seem to respect your default Save Options configured above, instead if you’re not reading the dialog properly you can accidently upgrade your schedule to the newer 2010 format.

Compatibility between versions

As you would expect, the new file format is designed to support some of the new features, including inactive and manually scheduled tasks. So it makes sense if you save your schedule in a previous file format that some of these features will be not be saved in the file. If you try to save a Project 2010 created schedule in a Project 2007 file format, Project will warn you if a feature of that schedule is unsupported via a tool called the Compatibility checker.

Compatability checker

The compatibility checker will advise if a feature is unsupported, how many occurrences of that feature are in the schedule and what changes will be made. From scouring the Project 2010 help, the following features are unsupported when saving a Project 2010 schedule in the Project 2007 file format:

  • Manually scheduled tasks Manually scheduled tasks are set to automatic scheduling.
  • Inactive tasks Inactive tasks are deleted.
  • Strikethrough font Strikethrough font are removed. The task is not deleted.
  • Colour effects 32-bit colour is set to the closest of the 16 types of colour for bar styles, indicators, and other graphical effects.
  • Summary tasks Summary tasks that are manually scheduled are set to milestone tasks in Project 2007.Of course, none of this will be required if your colleagues all upgrade to Project 2010, but in the meantime I hope this is of use :)
  • 2 thoughts on “Project 2010 New File Format

    1. Is there any way to turn that 2010 warning off?

      I need to work with users who have MS Project 2007, and it’s so annoying to be continually prompted to save the file as 2010… and it’s so easy to do this WRONG.

      And if you turn on auto-save, it gets even worse because it prompts you EVERY TIME IT AUTO-SAVES… Even if you turn the auto-save prompt off.


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