View All Predecessors and Successors for a Task

A question in the Project Standard and Professional user forum caught my eye recently. I answered the user’s question in the forum and then decided to blog about it.

The user asked how to create a view in which he could select any task and see all of the task’s Predecessors and Successors, along with their Start dates, Finish dates, and Percent Complete values. Following are the steps to follow to meet this interesting reporting requirement:

  1. Apply the Gantt Chart view with the Entry
  2. Right-click on the Start column header and select the Insert Column item on the shortcut menu
  3. In the list of available task columns, select the % Complete
  4. Drag the split bar to the right edge of the Finish
  5. Click the Format tab to display the Format
  6. In the Bar Styles section of the Format ribbon, click the Task Path pick list button and select the Predecessors item on the pick list.
  7. Click the Task Path pick list button again and also select the Successors item, such as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Use the Task Path pick list button


After completing this setup, select any task in your schedule. Microsoft Project will format the Gantt bars of all Predecessors with a light orange color and will format the Gantt bars of all Successors with a light purple color. For example, notice in Figure 2 that I selected task ID #60, the Construction Complete task. You can clearly see that task IDs #53-59 are Predecessor tasks, as indicated by their light orange Gantt bars. You can also clearly see that task IDs #62-66 are Successor tasks, as indicated by their light purple Gantt bars.

Figure 2: Predecessors and Successors displayed


If you want to save this customized version of the Gantt Chart view as your own personal custom view so that you can quickly reapply it when needed, complete the following additional steps:

1. Click the Task tab to display the Task
2. In the View section Task ribbon, click the Gantt Chart pick list button and select the Save View item at the bottom of the menu.
3. In the Save View dialog shown in Figure 3, enter a name for the custom view in the Name field, such as Predecessor and Successor Analysis, and then click the OK

Figure 3: Save View dialog

4. Click the Gantt Chart pick list button again and select the Gantt Chart This view is currently customized and needs to be reset back to its default settings.
5. Click the Gantt Chart pick list button one final time and select the Reset to Default item on the bottom of the menu.
6. In the confirmation dialog shown in Figure 4, click the Yes

Figure 4: Confirmation dialog


When you saved your new custom view using the Save View dialog, Microsoft Project saved both the customized view and the customized table (set of columns on the left) in your Globlal.mpt file. This means the custom view is now available for you to use in any project you open. When you reset the Gantt Chart view back to its default settings, Microsoft Project reset the defaults for both the Gantt Chart view and the Entry table as well.


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Written by Dale Howard
Dale Howard is currently a Senior PPM Consultant with Arch Systems, Inc. His hair and beard have turned white because of using Microsoft's project management tools for more than 20 years. Dale started his career using Microsoft Project 4.0 for Windows 95 and began using Microsoft's PPM tools when they introduced Project Central in 2000. Dale is the co-author of 23 books in Microsoft Project, Project Server, and Project Online. He is currently one 0f 26 Microsoft Project MVPs in the entire world and one of only 4 Project MVPs in the United states.
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  1. Great article I have 2010 version so Task Path not available is there another way to achieve the same??

  2. thanks Dale – nice trick

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