Create and lookup custom fields in Microsoft Project

 Feb 07, 2014

Microsoft Project allows end users to customise their application views by creating custom fields. Not every company or industry has the same type of information requirements, and although the 'Out of the Box' example is a good standard, sometimes we need to have the exact information as per our industry and company. Today, I'll demonstrate how to create these custom fields in Microsoft Project. Keep in mind that you can use this process in both Project 2010 and 2013.

How to create and lookup custom fields

  1. In the navigation bar, click on the 'Project' tab and select 'Custom Fields.'
  2. In the pop-up dialog box, select the 'Resource' field, choose 'Text1' and rename it to your requirements e.g. State.
  3. In the same dialog box, under 'Custom attributes', click on 'Lookup' to create a drop-down lookup field.
  4. Another dialog box will appear. Add the other states where your company operates for this project e.g. Victoria, New South Wales.
  5. For the sake of this example, I'll set Queensland as the default value and the 'Display order' to be ascending.
  6. Click 'Close' to finish.
If you don't want any other user adding to this table, make sure that you have left the option 'Allow additional items to be entered into the fields' unchecked.  Once you've created your custom field, you can modify your worksheet by adding the field as a column. In the image below, I've inserted the custom field as a column in my Resource sheet. Now, I'll be able to identify and assign resources easily. This custom field can also be added into Gantt charts and anywhere else required.

Custom Fields in Microsoft Project

Note that this is a custom text field. You could apply this process to other types of fields such as cost, data, duration, start, finish, flag, and number fields. However, you can't apply this process to an 'Outline code' field, which will be a different topic for another post.

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About the Author:

Alice Antonsen  

Alice is one of New Horizons’ most experienced Desktop Applications trainers. She is qualified with a Diploma of Business (Computing) and a Diploma of Information Technology. Since joining New Horizons in 2006, Alice has achieved the prestigious status of a certified Microsoft Office Master and for the past 4 years, has been placed in the Top 25 Desktop Applications trainers for New Horizons Worldwide. Throughout her career, she has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in providing training to individuals and groups of varying skill levels. Alice delivers each training session with great care and consideration ensuring each one is tailored to the learning needs of her students.

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