Try Out These Useful Techniques in Microsoft Project Tables

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated July 2, 2016

Applies to: Microsoft® Project® 2010, 2013 and 2016 (Standard and Professional)

Tables are a core component of Microsoft Project. They appear in many views and display specific fields available in Project. The default tables that appear in the Tables drop-down menu on the View tab include:

  • Entry
  • Cost
  • Hyperlink
  • Schedule
  • Tracking
  • Variance
  • Work
  • Summary
  • Usage

Each of these tables display a different set of fields and can be applied to different views.

Recommended article: 10 Timesaving Shortcuts in Microsoft Project’s Gantt Chart View

The following are some helpful tips when working with tables.

1.  Applying a table to a view using the Ribbon

To apply a table to a view, display the desired view, click on the View tab on the Ribbon and then select a table from the Tables drop-down menu.

Apply tables to a view in MS Project using the Ribbon.

2.  Applying a table to a view using a menu

To apply a table to a view using a menu, right-click on the intersection point on the top left of the table (to the left of the first column and above the first row) and then select a table from the Tables drop-down menu.

Applying tables to a view using a menu in MS Project.

3. Resetting the Entry table

The Entry table is the default table that appears in the sheet area on the left in the Gantt Chart view. It also appears by default in many other task views. It can be confusing to some users if fields other than the default fields such as Duration, Start and Finish are displayed. It’s a good idea to save a custom table if you want to display other fields.

If the Entry table has been changed (new fields added or columns hidden), to reset the Entry table:

  1. Display the Entry table.
  2. If it’s been modified, click on the View tab on the Ribbon.
  3. Click on the Tables button and from the drop-down menu, select Reset to Default.

Resetting a table to its default in MS Project.

4. Adding a column to a table

You can quickly add a column to a table by right-clicking on a column heading, selecting Insert Column and then selecting a field. When the Field Name list is displayed, you can press the first letter of the desired field to go to that field. Columns are inserted to the left.

5. Resizing a column

To quickly resize a column in a table, double-click on the right edge of a column heading to resize to best fit.

6.  Renaming a column

To quickly change the name of a column, double-click on the column heading, enter a new name for the field in the title area and press Enter. This creates a caption rather than applying a different field.

Renaming a column in a table in MS Project.

7.  Hiding a column

To quickly hide a column in a table, click on the right edge of the column header and drag it to the left until it disappears. You can also right-click on the column heading and select Hide Column from the drop-down menu.

8.  Unhiding a column

To display a column you’ve hidden, you can right-click on a column heading, choose Insert Column and select the field you’ve hidden.

9. Resizing the screen to view more fields

You can drag the dividing line between the table and the area on the right (usually a Gantt Chart) to display more fields in the table.

10. Saving a custom table

If you have inserted and/or hidden columns, you can save the modified table as a custom table:

  1. Modify a table.
  2. Click on the View tab on the Ribbon.
  3. From the Tables drop-down menu, select Save Fields as New Table.
  4. Enter a new name for the table and click on OK. You will then be able to apply the table from the Tables drop-down menu on the View tab.

Saving a custom table in MS Project.

Try out these useful strategies to control the way you view tables in Project.

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Recommended Microsoft Project training courses

Microsoft Project: Introduction

Microsoft Project: Intermediate / Advanced 

Microsoft Project: Introduction to VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) 

Microsoft Excel: Intermediate / Advanced


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