Ask the Experts: Exporting Only Tasks to Excel

Heather from Naperville, IL asks: When I export tasks to Excel, I seem to export summary tasks, milestones, and detail tasks. Is there any way to export just detail tasks?

Answer: With the help of a custom filter you will be able to accomplish this type of export. A detail task filter could also be used to filter detail tasks before sorting tasks, may be applied to reports, and used when just detail task values are needed. The steps to create a detail task filter are below:

To create the custom filter using Project 2007 and prior versions, go to Project |Filtered for | More filters | New.

If you’re using Project 2010, go to View | Filters | New Filter.

In either version, enter these values:

Ask the Experts: Exporting Only Tasks to Excel

Ask the Experts: Exporting Only Tasks to Excel

Now you’re ready for the export to Excel.

For all versions of Microsoft Project…

1. Open the file that contains the data to be exported.
2. Choose File | Save as.
3. Save as type | Excel Workbook | Save.
4. The Export Wizard will automatically start. Early versions of Project didn’t contain the Export Wizard and the steps are slightly different.
5. Click “Next.”
6. Select Data and click “Next.”
7. Choose New Map and click “Next” (the map may be saved and reused). For this example select Tasks and Export Includes Headers. Click “Next.”
8. The form below appears and the following data is entered in the form:

Export filter: Detail tasks.
Based on Table: Entry (It’s best to create tables containing fields required for export).
Add additional fields or delete as necessary

9. “Next” will allow for saving of the Map for future use; “Finish” will complete the export and the map won’t be saved

Ask the Experts: Exporting Only Tasks to Excel

Note: Export maps are automatically saved into the Global.mpt and can be used with other schedules. Filters aren’t saved and should be copied using the Organizer. If the export map is used without the filter, it won’t function, and an error message will be returned.

To save the detail filter for use with other schedules, follow one of two routes:

Using Project 2007 and prior versions, go to Tools | Organizer.

If you’re using Project 2010, go to File | Info | Organizer. Choose the Filters tab | Detail tasks (it will be in the box on the right side) | Copy.

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Written by Ellen Lehnert

Ellen Lehnert, PMP, Microsoft Project MVP, MCP, is a independent consultant and trainer on Microsoft Project and Project Server. She has taught Microsoft Project over 400 times and is the author of  MS Project 2010 and

2013 published courseware. Ellen is also a contributor and tech editor for many reference books, a developer for the Microsoft Project certification tests and is a frequent meeting speaker for Microsoft, MPUG and PMI. Contact Ellen at

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1 Comment
  1. If you want to keep the summary tasks and the WBS structure when exporting you have to copy the tasks from Project and paste them into Excel. the Export function will not do this for you.

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