Lesson 2: General Settings


Before proceeding to create the schedule of your project, certain general settings for your project should be established. Of course these options can be anytime changed during the planning phase of the project, but it is recommended being set from the beginning.

Among these it can be mentioned:

  1. Date format: this option helps you to specify the order of day/month/year components of a date. Once a date format is selected, all the date values from your project will be displayed according to it. You can choose among various date formats. The default date format will be the one used by your system.

    This option can be set from the General Settings tab of Options dialog, which can be accessed from the File menu:



  2. Currency: allows you to set different options (Currency name, Symbol, Decimal digits and Placement) for displaying the currency values in your project. This will have an impact on how cost values are shown in different views. In the drop-down list several currency names are available and according to it the symbol value is set. It can be found in the General Settings section of Options dialog.


  3. Show project summary task: when checking this option, the project summary task from your project is displayed. The project summary task summarizes the duration, work, and costs of all tasks in a project. The project summary task appears at the top of the project, its ID number is 0 and it presents the project's timeline from start to finish. This option can be found in the Advanced section of Options dialog.

  4. Default task types: using this option you can set the default task type for the tasks that will be inserted in your project. You can choose among three values: fixed duration, fixed units and fixed work, fixed duration being the default one in Project Plan 365. This option is available in the Schedule section of Options dialog.


  5. Language: using the Select Language option you can set the current language of the application. The Select Language option can be found under Format menu or in the General Settings section of Options dialog. Thus, you may change the active language of the application by selecting a language from the displayed combo box. Currently there are available the following languages: Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.


  6. Fonts: this option helps you to change the text style for different items in your project. You can highlight categories of tasks (i.e. noncritical tasks, critical tasks, summary tasks, milestone tasks, project summary tasks), or you may want to format a Gantt Chart view to quickly identify specific tasks. This setting is available in the Text Styles dialog. As can be seen below, for the items to change you can specify font name, font style, font size, color and background color.


       7. The default calendar used in Project Plan 365 is the standard one, that assumes that a people work from Monday through Friday, 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. However, from the Project Info section of Options dialog you can change this and choose among two other options: Night Shift and 24 Hours. Also you can specify other calendar related options from the Schedule section of Options dialog.



  8. AutoSave: this option helps you protect your files in case of a crash. To avoid losing all your work in case of a crash, make sure the AutoSave option is turned on. You can turn on AutoSave and specify how often you want your file to be saved, by opening the Options dialog and heading to the General Settings tab.


      In case the file you were working on closes unexpectedly, but the AutoSave option was turned on and your file was regularly saved, you can restore the last version that was saved. You can do this by clicking on the Open Unsaved Project option under Open menu.

image003.gif  Practice

   1. Open Project Plan 365 for PC/Server application, which is available on this website: www.projectplan365.com. For any questions and for contact purpose, use this email address: info@housatonic.com.

          2. Head to the File backstage menu and from there choose New, and then click on Blank Project option, to create a blank project.


          3. Once doing this, you will notice that a blank project appears, which is displayed on Gantt Chart view.


          4. Notice that also in the New menu, you may find some project templates, especially useful if you don’t have on hand a project plan and you want to get a base from where to start.


          5. Another possibility is to use the New from existing project option, also located in the New menu, which is useful if you need to start a plan based on an existing project.


          6. From the Options dialog, available under File → Options menu, indicate English as the current language of the application., which is the default language.



         7. Also by using Options dialog, select USD as the currency name, which is the default value for currency.


    8. From the same General Settings tab, select a date format which also shows the day of the week



    9. In the same General Settings tab, enable the AutoSave option and specify that the project plan file to be regularly saved at every 5 minutes.


image003.gif  Video

       If you prefer to see things in action, rather than reading text, watch out this video, which covers some of the topics from this section.