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Microsoft Project 2007: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Chapter 20. Exchanging Data Between Programs

Managing projects is much more about communicating with people than tweaking Gantt charts. Project planning is a collaborative effort between you, stakeholders, and the rest of the project team. Then, for the duration of the project, people communicate continuously as they complete work, identify and resolve problems, and report status.

As you've already seen, Microsoft Project isn't the only program you need for managing projects, especially when it comes to communicating aspects of your projects: Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and other types of files often have better tools. For example, tracking issues and risks is easier in a spreadsheet or a database. Visio is ideal for presenting project information with easy-to-read graphics.

Information flows in both directions—from other programs to Project and vice versa. For example, after you pummel costs and estimates in Excel, you can bring them into your Project schedule. Similarly, looking at change request documents or earned value graphs from within Project can save the time it takes to open other files in other programs.

In this chapter, you'll learn how to copy and paste data and pictures between files—the most straightforward way to exchange information. For example, you can copy task names as text from a Project Gantt Chart table into an Excel spreadsheet, or vice versa.

Exporting and importing information from one program to another is yet another way ...

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