Hiding the Today indicator from the Project 2010 Timeline

Over the past few months I have found myself using the new Timeline feature of Project 2010 more and more to communicate project schedule information to audiences that may not be comfortable reading Gantt charts.  By default, the timeline will show a ‘Today’ indicator that highlights the current date as can be seen below.

Timeline view with today indicator

Whilst this is fine in most cases, there have been a few times where I didn’t want the today indicator to be visible in the timeline, but I couldn’t work out how to hide it. Looking at the timeline tools ribbon I couldn’t see any prominent setting in the Show / Hide section.

Timeline Tools - Format Timeline

So to hide the indicator I used to export the Timeline out to Word and then edit the resulting graphic to physically remove the Today label and the associated dotted line.

Until today.

Whilst building a timeline view for a project, I needed to change the Date Format and noticed three little Show / Hide options buried at the bottom of the Date Format menu.

Timeline - Show / Hide items

Each option allows you to toggle whether the Task Dates, Today indicator or Timescale is displayed on the timeline view. I am not quite sure why it’s buried at the bottom of the date format menu, but that can be easily fixed by a quick customisation of the Timeline Tools ribbon:

  1. Select File > Options > Customise Ribbon;
  2. Create a new group called ‘Toggle Today indicator’; and
  3. Add the ‘Today’ option to the ‘Toggle Today indicator’ group in the Timeline Tools / Format tab as per the screenshot below.

Customise Ribbon - Add Today to Timeline Tools

Resulting in this much improved Timeline tools ribbon with a prominent today indicator toggle.

Timeline Tools - New Improved with custom Today group

Happy Timelining Smile

Speaking at Tech Ed Australia 2010

teched badgeI am really excited to announce I will be speaking at Tech Ed Australia, presenting an interactive session entitled ‘Leveraging SharePoint 2010 for Project Management’ in the AvePoint Interactive Theatre. The session outline may sound familiar, but I have made some changes and pimped out a few of the demo’s..

Today it is more important than ever to ensure every project your organizations undertakes is delivered effectively. To accomplish this, it is essential that there is clear communication and effective tools to facilitate your project management process. Come and see how SharePoint 2010 can improve the management of your next project, including the new Project 2010 client integration, Visio Services and Team Site improvements.

As if the content wasn’t enough, I also have a one year Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate + MSDN subscription to give away during the session, courtesy of MSDN, valued at over $20,000 AUD. So please come along and support your favourite project management tools, SharePoint 2010, Project Server 2010 and Project 2010.

Update: Thanks for all of you that came along to the session at TechEd, whilst the presso was pretty short (only 30 minutes allocated) and the kind guys of the .Net Rocks podcast decided to sing using a VERY loud amplifier for the entire session, the feedback was great. The slide deck for those of you that asked, is available here.

Three new Project 2010 demo videos

Today whilst looking around the Project site I noticed some new videos covering a number of new features of Project 2010. I was so impressed with them, I thought I would post them here so you can watch them too.

Team Planner View & MS Project 2010 Video

The video’s cover off the following topics:

As well as the excellent instruction the presenter provides, there are also a number of step-by-step walkthroughs which take you through each of the features in more detail.

Step by Step Walkthrough

Don’t forget to check out the main Microsoft Project site, which contains links to a wealth of training material and other useful information about Project and Project Server.

Project 2010 Group Policy

imageSince the release of Project 2010, a few people have been asking in the forums on how to restrict or configure functionality of Project administratively. The Office 2010 Group Policy Administrative templates outline the various settings of Office that can be configured via Group Policy so organisations can centrally ‘configure’ aspects of Office 2010 for their users.

Given some of the new features in Project 2010 such as manually scheduled and inactive tasks could be quite confusing until a user has had a chance to undergo training, this is a valuable tool in ensuring some of those new features can be turned off until the user has been trained to use them.

Most of the group policy settings have remained the same between Project 2007 and 2010, but with a few notable additions, which are outlined below:

Policy setting name Location in Group Policy Object Editor console
Set default start date for new tasks Microsoft Project 2010\Project Options\Schedule\Scheduling options for ‘Project1’\
Set new tasks to be automatically scheduled Microsoft Project 2010\Project Options\Schedule\Scheduling options for ‘Project1’\
Update manually scheduled tasks when editing links Microsoft Project 2010\Project Options\Schedule\Scheduling options for ‘Project1’\
Tasks can be made inactive Microsoft Project 2010\Project Options\Schedule\Scheduling options for ‘Project1’\
Keep tasks on nearest working day Microsoft Project 2010\Project Options\Schedule\Scheduling options for ‘Project1’\
Show tasks schedule warnings Microsoft Project 2010\Project Options\Schedule\Scheduling options for ‘Project1’\
Show tasks schedule suggestions Microsoft Project 2010\Project Options\Schedule\Scheduling options for ‘Project1’\
Automatically add new items to the global project Microsoft Project 2010\Project Options\View\Show\

You can grab a spreadsheet giving an overview of the Group Policy changes between Office 2007 and 2010 from here, or the Administrative Templates used to configure group policy from here (2007) or here (2010).

SharePoint 2010 and Managing Projects – A match made in heaven

This morning, I presented with William Cornwill a session at the Australian SharePoint Conference entitled ‘SharePoint 2010 and Managing Projects – A Match made in heaven’. The idea behind the session was to give people an idea of how SharePoint 2010 can be leveraged to assist in managing your next project using some of the out of box features.

The slide deck is available here for your viewing pleasure :)

As a companion to the presentation, I will be publishing a series of posts in the coming weeks outlining some of the great new features of SharePoint 2010 that could be leveraged in your next project including:

  • Document Sets;
  • Workflow;
  • Managed Metadata;
  • Wiki Improvements;
  • Visio Services and;
  • Graph web part

and possibly a few other features if time allows :) Stay tuned.

How to change the Project Date Format

Recently a user asked on the forums about how to customise the date format of Project 2010 as it was not reflecting his localised regional settings by default.

Gantt Chart View

Project comes with a large set of predefined date formats that can be used throughout the application and will do its best to match one of these to the settings you have in your locale, but it can’t match all of them.

However setting the date format manually couldn’t be simpler, to do so,  choose File > Options > Date Format and select the format of the date you want to use, there are 21 different formats to choose from which should meet any of your customisation needs.

Project Options

Australian and New Zealand Office 2010 Community Launch

This past Thursday I was lucky enough to attend and present at the Australian and New Zealand Office 2010 Community Launch. The launch which was the brainchild of a colleague of mine, Chris O’Connor, was a simultaneous launch across New Zealand, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart and Perth bringing the various community groups in those states together.


Melbourne had a fantastic turnout, with 120+ people registering and about 100 turning up on the night. As well as video crosses to the other states there were a number of competitions and presentations covering the products in the Office 2010 release. The Melbourne theme was a ‘ten things you may not know about XXX’, as we have been hitting the user groups pretty hard in the last few months with Office 2010 related content. The presentations covered off the Office 2010 client suite (Elaine van Bergen), Project and Project Server (me) and SharePoint 2010 (Rai Umair).

As promised in my presentation, below is the slide deck, including the various links.

Thanks to all that attended, by the end of the evening it was pretty clear the attendees were as excited by the 2010 wave as  I am :)