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Creating and Using Project Templates in Project for the Web

Background

Because Project for the Web is still such a new application, with new functionality being added to it every month, there is currently no default method for creating and using templates. This includes both personal templates that you create and use, along with organizational templates that someone creates for everyone to use in your organization.

On the other hand, Microsoft recently added a new feature that allows users to create a new project by copying an existing project. You can leverage this new feature to create and save “pseudo project templates” from which you can create new projects.

 

Creating a Pseudo Project Template

To create a pseudo project template, first navigate to the Home page of your organization’s Project for the Web. At the top of the Home page, click the + New blank project button shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Click the + New blank project button

 

Project for the Web creates a new blank project named Untitled project, such as the one shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: New blank project

 

Click the Untitled project text at the top of the new blank project. Project for the Web displays a project sidepane on the right side of the page, such as the one shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Project sidepane

 

In the project sidepane, replace the Untitled project text with a project name which signifies that the project is a pseudo project template. For example, you might append the word “master” or “template” at the end of the project name. You may also want to change the date in the Start field to a date in the future. When finished, close the project sidepane.

The next step in creating the pseudo project template is to create the task list in the project. You will need to manually type the name of every task needed in the project, and you may optionally need to specify Duration values and to set task dependencies for each task as well. For example, Figure 4 shows my pseudo project template with the tasks needed to open a new “brick and mortar” store for our company. Notice, by the way, that I appended the word “Master” to the end of the project name to denote that this project is a pseudo project template.

Figure 4: Pseudo project template with completed task list

 

As you create your pseudo project template in Project for the Web, you do not need to save your project. This is because the software automatically saves every project change you make in your project. When finished, click the Home button in the upper left corner of the page to return to the Home page of Project for the Web.

 

Creating a New Project from a Pseudo Project Template

To create a new project from a pseudo project template, navigate to the Home page of your organization’s Project for the Web, if needed. On the Home page, click the name of your pseudo project template to open it, and then click the name of the template in the upper left corner of the page. As expected, Project for the Web opens the project sidepane on the right side of the page. At the top of the project sidepane, click the More Options button (the button) and select the Copy project item on the More Options menu, such as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5: More Options menu

 

Project for the Web creates a new project by copying the existing project, such as shown in Figure 6. Notice that the software used the original name of the pseudo project template, and appended the text “- Copy” to the end of the project name. Click anywhere in the name of the new project, enter the name of the new project in the project sidepane, set the Start date for the project, and then close the project sidepane.

Figure 6: New project created by copying an existing project

 

Designating Pseudo Project Templates as Favorites

After creating the pseudo project templates from which you want to create new projects, you may also want to designate these templates as favorites. To do this, navigate to the Home page of your Project for the Web, if necessary. Float your mouse pointer over a pseudo project template and then click the Mark Favorite icon, such as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Click the Mark Favorite icon

 

Project for the Web adds the pseudo project template to the Favorites section at the top of the Home page. For example, notice in Figure 8 that I added two pseudo project templates to the Favorites section of the Home page. Adding your pseudo project templates to the Favorites section of the page will make it easier to locate these templates when you need to create a new project from them.

Figure 8: Two pseudo project templates in the Favorites section

 

Written by Dale Howard

Dale Howard is the Director of Education for PROJILITY. He has used Microsoft Project since version 4.0 for Windows 95 and he has used the Microsoft PPM tool since the first version of released as Project Central in the year 2000. He is the co-author of 21 books on Microsoft Project, Project Server, and Project Online. He is currently one of only 28 Microsoft Project MVPs in the entire world and one of only 6 in the United States.

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  1. Very nice Article!

    This is a minor point but “Project for the Web” is called by Microsoft “Project for the web.” Why they don’t capitalize the “W” is beyond me. I almost fell into the same trap on this week’s “Cloudy Conditions” article. Happy Halloween!

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  2. Ron — You are so funny! Thanks for the minor correction. Like you, I have NEVER figured out why the name is “web” and not “Web” as it should be. — eDale
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