Project 2010 included many new features compared to the previous version, including the new Timeline View which appears at the top of the screen above the Gantt chart and tables. The Timeline view shows a single bar across the screen containing tasks and milestones showing overall project progress from start to finish.

This Timeline view has become a very popular way to show project details in a very clear and concise way. The view can be printed, or copied and pasted to any other Office application.

How to use the Timeline View

The Timeline view appears automatically above the Gantt Chart view when Project launches. It can also be turned on manually by selecting the View tab and ticking the Timeline checkbox in the far right of the tab. The Timeline panel can be resized by dragging the dividing line immediately below the panel. This allows you to more easily edit the Timeline and add tasks and milestones.

To start editing the Timeline first click into the Timeline panel and ensure the context sensitive Format tab is selected. This tab has various Timeline commands to let you, for example, change the displayed date format, or turn on/ off the Detailed Timeline option which shows a higher or smaller sized bar.

How to add or removing tasks or milestones to the Timeline

You can add tasks, summary tasks or milestones to the Timeline to show the required level of detail. You can do this in three different ways.

Firstly, ensure the Timeline panel is selected, then on the Format tab select Existing Tasks, tick the required tasks and click OK to complete. All the selected tasks now appear on the Timeline.

Secondly you can select one or more tasks or milestones on the left hand table view and drag them to the Timeline space to also add tasks to the Timeline.

Thirdly you can add tasks or milestones from the Gantt chart. To do so right click on a task or milestone on the Gantt chart and choose Add to Timeline.

You can remove a task from the Timeline by first selecting it pressing Delete key. Using the CTRL key lets you select multiple tasks on the Timeline.

How to format tasks and milestones on the Timeline

To make the details on the Timeline stand out, particularly if you intend to copy and paste the Timeline to another application, you can format the task, summary task or milestones. To do this select one or more tasks or milestones, then apply font and background formatting using the commands to the left of the Format tab.

How to create tasks as Callouts on the Timeline

Another way of showing tasks on the Timelines is by using callouts. To do this first add one or more tasks to your timeline. Then on the Timeline right click on a task and select Display as Callout. The task will show above or below the Timeline. Alternatively you can drag a task off the Timeline to create a Callout. The resulting Callouts can be dragged into new positions within the Timeline panel to help you create very clear Timeline summaries.

How to copy and Paste the Timeline to other Office applications

You can copy the complete Timeline and paste it into another Office application such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Outlook. This is becoming a very popular way to show a simple and clear project summary. To do this ensure the Timeline space is still selected, click the down arrow on the Copy Timeline button and select For Presentation. You can then switch to Word and then choose paste to copy the Timeline to the other application. The Timeline will autofit across the page.

If you choose Copy Timeline, For Email the resulting timeline is reduced in size but still can be copied to any application or to an email message.

The new Timeline view in Project 2010 allows you to create very clear and easy to understand project summaries. To learn more about Project 2010 you might like to consider attending one of the many courses available to really boost your Project skills.