What's new in the latest version

Retain text formatting when copying and pasting spreadsheet data to and from other applications

Using Powerproject, you can apply formatting to individual spreadsheet cells, columns and rows, in the same way as you can using Microsoft Project and Microsoft Excel. Before this release, if you copied data from Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel and pasted it into the Powerproject spreadsheet - or if you copied data from the Powerproject spreadsheet and pasted it into Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel - any formatting that had been applied to the cells was lost.

Now, when you copy and paste data into or from the Powerproject spreadsheet, any formatting that has been applied to the cells is retained. For example, if the text in a particular column has been coloured red, the text in a particular row has been formatted in bold italics and the text in a particular cell has been formatted with a particular font, this formatting information is now retained when the data is copied and pasted.

You specify the way in which cell formatting is pasted into Powerproject, using the Pasting from other programs field that has been added to the Spreadsheet tab of the Options dialog:

The new 'Pasting from other programs' field, on the Spreadsheet tab of the Options dialog

More information on copying and pasting spreadsheet data

Apply strikethrough formatting to text

You can now apply strikethrough formatting to text in the spreadsheet and to text in text annotations, using the new Strike through control that has been added to the Home tab of the Ribbon:

The Strike through control on the Home tab of the Ribbon

When you apply strikethrough formatting to text in the spreadsheet, it is applied to all of the text in the selected cell or cells:

Several spreadsheet columns, with strikethrough formatting applied to one selected row

When you apply strikethrough formatting to text in a text annotation, you can apply it to the entire annotation, or to selected text within the annotation - by selecting part of the text in the annotation then clicking Strike through.

A text annotation with strikethrough formatting applied to one word

You can also apply strikethrough formatting to text in the spreadsheet using the Strike through check box that has been added to the Font tab of the Format Cells dialog (pictured below); a corresponding Strike through check box has also been added to the Format Font dialog that you can use to configure the font of text annotations:

The Strike through check box on the Font tab of the Format Cells dialog

More information on formatting spreadsheet cells

New dialog helps you deal with projects that fail to open

The File Open Error dialog appears if you try to open a project that cannot be opened for some reason. The dialog displays the reason why the project cannot be opened, and provides you with access to any backup versions of the project that exist. The following types of backup may be available:

  • The primary backup. This is a backed-up version of the project, backed up from the folder from which you attempted to open the project. Backup files are located in whichever folder is specified against 'Backup Files', on the File Locations tab of the Options dialog.
  • Alternative backups. These alternatives are backups of versions of the project that existed in folders other than the one from which you attempted to open the project, or backups of the project that were created in versions of Powerproject earlier than version 16, which exist in the same folder as the project. If more than one alternative backup exists, each one is listed. You might want to access an alternative backup if the project you are trying to open has been moved between folders and opened in different locations.

If a project cannot be opened, you can use one of its backups in place of the main project.

The fields available in the File Open Error dialog depend on the types of backup that are available. The dialog looks like this if the primary backup is available:

The File Open Error dialog

More information about dealing with projects that fail to open

Remove individual date range shading selections from the bar chart temporarily

Before this release, if you had shaded the bar chart between two dates, it was not possible to remove individual date range shading selections from the bar chart temporarily; you had to either use a display switch to turn off all shading selections, or remove the shading selection permanently.

You can now remove individual date range shading selections from the bar chart temporarily, using the Enabled check box that has been added to the Shading tab of the Date Zone Properties dialog. Select this check box to display a shading selection in the bar chart, or clear it to omit the shading section from the bar chart.

The new 'Enabled' check box on the Shading tab of the Date Zone Properties dialog

More information on shading the bar chart between two dates

Display date range shading in the date zone

You can now display shading between a range of dates in the date zone, as well as in the bar chart, using the Display date shading check box that has been added to the General tab of the Date Zone Properties dialog:

Date range shading displayed in the date zone, and the new 'Display date shading' check box

If you select this check box, date range shading - as configured on the Shading tab of the dialog - is displayed in the date zone as well as in the bar chart; if you clear the check box, date range shading is displayed in the bar chart only.

If the Display progress shading check box is selected, date range shading is not displayed in the date zone and this check box is ghosted, as progress shading takes preference over date range shading.

More information on shading the bar chart between two dates

Display date range shading in the date zone only when printing

You can now display date range shading in the date zone only when printing. You may want to do this to save ink: printing when date range shading is displayed in the bar chart can use a lot of ink, especially if you have a large number of date range shading selections. To display date range shading in the date zone only when printing:

  1. Select the Display date shading check box, on the General tab of the Date Zone Properties dialog, to display date range shading in the date zone as well as in the bar chart.
  2. When printing, clear the Show date shading check box, in the 'Bar chart' section of the Appearance tab of the Print dialog:

Date range shading displayed in the date zone only when previewing a printout

If you are printing a histogram view, clearing the Show date shading check box in the 'Histogram' section of the Appearance tab of the Print dialog has the same effect: it displays date range shading in the date zone only.

More information on shading the bar chart between two dates

Copy and paste date range shading selections between views and projects

You can now copy date range shading selections, by right-clicking a shading selection on the Shading tab of the Date Zone Properties dialog and selecting Copy shading to clipboard:

Copying some shading selections on the Shading tab of the Date Zone Properties dialog

Once you have copied a date range shading selection to the Clipboard, you can paste it into another view - in a different project, if required - by accessing the Shading tab of the Date Zone Properties dialog in that view, right-clicking the grid and selecting Paste shading from clipboard. You can copy more than one date range shading selection at the same time, by CTRL-selecting the selections, then right-clicking one of them and selecting Copy shading to clipboard.

Copying date range shading selections between views enables you to set up shading selections in one view and apply them to other views easily.

More information on shading the bar chart between two dates

Date range shading selections now have a more sensible default start date

Before this release, the start date of date range shading selections - on the Shading tab of the Date Zone Properties dialog - always defaulted to today's date, which made setting up date range shading selections less easy than it could have been.

Now, the start date of each new date range shading selection defaults to the day after the end of the latest shading selection in the grid. For example, if the latest shading selection in the grid had a finish date of 09/11/2021, the start date of the next shading selection you created would default to 10/11/2021.

There are two exceptions to this new behaviour:

  • If the finish date of the latest shading selection is a variable date, the next shading selection you create will start the day after the latest shading selection that has a fixed finish date.
  • If the finish dates of all the shading selections are variable dates, the next shading selection you create will start on today's date.

The Start column highlighted on the Shading tab of the Date Zone Properties dialog

More information on shading the bar chart between two dates

Improved dragging and dropping of multiple objects from the project view

Before this release, if you wanted to assign multiple library objects from the project view to a task in the bar chart using drag and drop, you had to SHIFT or CTRL-click the objects in the project view, release SHIFT or CTRL, then SHIFT-click and drag the selected objects onto the task. This is not standard Windows behaviour.

Now, you can assign multiple library objects from the project view to a task by simply SHIFT or CTRL-clicking the objects in the project view, then clicking and dragging the selected objects onto the task. This is standard Windows behaviour.

Three permanent resources CTRL-selected in the project view

More information on assigning objects from the project view

More appropriate calendars used to calculate the duration of sort/group subheadings

Before this release, the duration of sort/group subheadings was always calculated using the calendar that is selected in the Subheading calendar field, on the Non-Working tab of the Format Bar Chart dialog. This is appropriate if the tasks in a sort/group band use different calendars, but not if the tasks all use the same calendar; in this case, it is more appropriate to calculate the subheading duration using the calendar that is used by the tasks in the sort/group band.

Now, if all the tasks in a sort/group band use the same calendar, this calendar is used to calculate the duration of the sort/group subheading, which means that the subheading duration will be completely accurate. If the tasks use different calendars, the calendar that is selected in the Subheading calendar field is still used to calculate the subheading duration.

The 'Duration' spreadsheet cells highlighted for two sort/group subheadings

More information on sort/group subheadings

More appropriate calendars applied to summary tasks when importing projects from Primavera software

Before this release, the default calendar was applied to all summary tasks when you imported projects from Primavera software. If all the tasks within a summary group use the same calendar, it is more appropriate to apply the calendar that is used by the tasks in the summary group to the summary task.

Now, if all the tasks in a summary group use the same calendar, this calendar is applied to the summary task when you import the project from Primavera software, which means that the duration of the summary task in Powerproject will match the duration it had in Primavera software. If the tasks use different calendars, the default calendar is applied to the summary task.

The 'Calendar' spreadsheet cells highlighted for two summary tasks

More information on importing projects from Primavera software

Match and update existing code libraries when importing projects from Primavera software

Before this release, if you applied a template when importing a project from Primavera software, and the template contained one or more code libraries with the same name as code libraries in the project you were importing, Powerproject would create two code libraries with the same name in the resulting project. For example, if both the template and the project contained a code library called 'Location', the import would result in a project containing two 'Location' code libraries - one containing the codes from the template and the other containing the codes from the project you were importing. This behaviour was not ideal; in most cases, you would want the resulting project to contain a single 'Location' code library, containing both the codes from the template and the codes from the project.

A Match existing code libraries check box has been added to the Primavera XML & XER Import Options dialog. If you select this check box when importing a project and applying a template, any code libraries with the same name in the template and project are combined into a single code library in the resulting project. If you clear this check box, the code libraries are not combined during the import, and the resulting project will contain two code libraries with the same name.

The 'Match existing code libraries' check box, highlighted on the Primavera XML & XER Import Options dialog

More information on importing projects from Primavera software

Specify the location in which backups are stored

  • You can now specify the location in which backups are stored, using a new 'Backup Files' option that has been added to the File Locations tab of the Options dialog.
  • A new Open Folder button has been added to the File Locations tab of the Options dialog, making it easier to access files of various types.
  • The Create BAK files (backups) and Create JOURNAL files (logs) check boxes have been removed from the Edit tab of the Options dialog. Backup and SQLite journal files are now always created for your projects. These check boxes used to be provided to enable you to disable the creation of backup and SQLite journal files if you were using Microsoft SharePoint and did not want these files to appear in SharePoint. Now that you can specify a folder in which to store backups, this is no longer necessary: you can specify that backups are stored in a different folder to your projects.

The File Locations tab of the Options dialog

More information about specifying the location of files

Better handling of projects that are located on a network drive

Before this release, if you opened a project or baseline that was located on a network drive, Powerproject opened the file directly. This could lead to problems if your network connection failed when the project was open.

Now, when you work with a project or baseline that is located on a network drive, Powerproject does not open the project or baseline directly; it takes a copy of the project or baseline file, copies this to the temporary folder on your local computer, and opens this file. This improves performance when working with projects and baselines that are located on a network drives and reduces the possibility of file errors caused by network problems.

Each time you save, the original file on the network is synchronised with the local copy, in such a way to minimise the possibility of network errors causing problems during the save operation - the file being saved is saved under a new file name on the network, then this file is given the same name as the original file. For large files, a progress indicator appears each time this happens, indicating the progress of the save operation:

The Saving File progress indicator

If a save operation to a network location fails, you are given the option to save the file to a different location.

While you work on a project or baseline that is located on a network drive, even though you are actually working on a local copy of the file, the project or baseline on the network drive is locked to prevent other users from accessing it.

Improvements to the dialogs you use to open and save projects

The dialogs that you use to open and save projects have been updated to improve their look and feel. The following illustration shows the revised dialog that you use to open local projects - a separate dialog is now used to open Enterprise projects:

The new dialog with which you can open local projects

If you use Powerproject Enterprise, separate open and save dialogs are now provided for local and Enterprise projects, and a drop-down arrow appears to the right of appropriate buttons to enable you to specify whether you are dealing with a local project or an Enterprise project:

A Local/Enterprise drop-down on the Browse button

In Powerproject Enterprise projects, the Import button on the Baseline/What If Manager dialog also has a drop-down arrow to the right of it, which you can use to specify whether you want to import a local or an Enterprise project or baseline:

The drop-down arrow to the right of the Import button on the Baseline/What If Manager dialog

Copy user options, as well as access rights, to subordinate users

Before this release, you could copy a user's access rights to one or more of their subordinate users, by right-clicking the user and selecting Clone Rights to Sub-Entries. This would display the Clone Rights dialog, which you could use to assign one or more subordinate users to the same security group as the selected user. However, this did not copy the selected user's options to the subordinate users - ie the fields that can be viewed as columns in the Library Explorer list view when viewing the Users library, by right-clicking a blank part of the list view and selecting Show All Fields.

Now, when you copy a user's access rights to one or more subordinate users, the selected user's options are copied to the subordinate users as well.

The Clone Rights to Sub-Entries menu command has been renamed Clone Rights and Options to Sub-Entries:

The Clone Rights and Options to Sub-Entries menu command

The Clone Rights dialog has been renamed Clone Rights and Options:

The Clone Rights and Options dialog

More information on copying user access rights and options to subordinate users

Prevent users from editing project-wide dates

You can now prevent users from editing project-wide dates, using the Edit project date controls check box that has been added to the General tab of the Security Group Properties dialog:

The 'Edit project date controls' check box, highlighted on the Security Group Properties dialog

If you clear this check box, members of the security group are prevented from editing the fields in the 'Dates' section of the Properties tab of the Backstage view, the corresponding fields on the Properties tab of the Properties dialog and - when viewing the properties of the programme chart - the date-related fields on the Project tab of the Chart/Project Properties dialog.

This field is selected by default in new projects and in projects that have been converted from an earlier version of Powerproject.

More information on specifying user access rights

Display code short names when displaying bar and task data in the bar chart

For each code library entry, you can specify a 'name' and a 'short name'. When you display the codes from a specific code library in the spreadsheet, you have always been able to specify whether to display each code's name or short name, but when displaying code names in the bar chart, you have only ever been able to display each code's name.

Now, when you display the names of codes from a specific code library in the bar chart, you can specify whether to display each code's name or short name, using the Use short name check box that has been added to the Attributes dialog:

The Use short name' field, highlighted on the Attributes dialog

Select this check box to display the short name of each code in the bar chart, or clear the check box to display the name of each code.

More information on displaying bar and task information in the bar chart

Specify a progress period as a parameter for many fields in formulae and when displaying task data in the bar chart

Before this release, you could not specify a progress period as a parameter for fields in formulae or when displaying task data in the bar chart. This could lead to discrepancies between what was displayed in a field in the spreadsheet, and what was displayed in the same field in a formula or in the bar chart. For example, although you could configure a spreadsheet column to display the actual cost of tasks within a specific progress period, you could only display the actual cost of tasks in a formula or in the bar chart for all progress periods.

Now, you can specify a progress period as a parameter for many fields in formulae and when displaying task data in the bar chart, using the Progress period field that has been added to the Select Object and Attributes dialogs:

The 'Progress period' field, highlighted on the Select Object dialog

The 'Progress period' field, highlighted on the Attributes dialog

More information on using fields in formulae

More information on displaying bar and task information in the bar chart

Configure the Planned percent complete (PPC) field to display a distributed average for parent tasks

You can now configure the Planned percent complete (PPC) field to display a distributed average for parent tasks, using the Show distributed average for charts/summaries check box, on the Table Definition Properties dialog:

The 'Show distributed average for charts/summaries' field, highlighted on the Table Definition Properties dialog

If you select this check box, Powerproject displays a progress value for expanded and summary tasks that takes into account how the progress is distributed within the subchart or summary group (a distributed average figure, which matches precisely the shading on expanded and summary tasks). If you clear this check box, a simpler value, which indicates the percentage of progress that has been completed without taking into account how the progress is distributed throughout the subchart or summary group, is displayed.

More information about progress fields

Create user-defined fields with names that include space characters

Primavera software enables you to create user-defined fields with names that include space characters - for example, 'Field 1'. Before this release, Powerproject did not allow user-defined field names to include space characters, and converted any space characters in user-defined field names to underscores when you imported a project from Primavera software. For example, a Primavera user-defined field called 'Field 1' would be converted into a Powerproject user-defined field called 'Field_1'. This resulted in duplicate user-defined fields in projects that were transferred backwards and forwards between Primavera software and Powerproject.

You can now include space characters in the names of user-defined fields in Powerproject. This enables you to transfer projects backwards and forwards between Primavera software and Powerproject without any changes being made to the names of user-defined fields.

More information about user-defined fields