Customizing Cost Fields in Microsoft Project 2007

When you're using Microsoft Project and displaying the Cost table with fields — such as the Standard Resource Rate — you can click in any cost column and enter a rate for each resource. A neat shortcut is to customize those fields with a lookup table.

A lookup table allows you to create a drop-down list of values in a field to select from. So, if your company has a few standard hourly rates or per-use costs for materials, customizing these fields can make your information entry faster and also help prevent data-entry mistakes that can occur when you enter all rates manually.

To customize a cost field in Project 2007, follow these steps:

1. Display a table with the column you want to customize.

You display tables by choosing View --> Table and selecting one from the list that appears.

2. Right-click the column heading and choose Customize Fields from the shortcut menu that appears.

The Custom Fields dialog box appears.

3. Click the Lookup button.

The Edit Lookup Table dialog box appears.

4. Enter a value (if you're filling in a cost field, this would be a dollar amount) in the Value column.

5. Enter a description (for example, plant worker or engineer for the category of resource charged at this rate) in the Description column.

6. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 to enter additional values for this field.

7. If you want to restrict the field to accept only the values in this list, make sure the Data Entry option Allow Additional Items to be Entered into the Fields check box is not selected.

You may have to click the plus symbol to the left of Data Entry Options to see this check box.

8. Click a radio button to select an order for the list.

You may have to click the plus sign to the left of Display Order for Lookup Table to see these options:

By Row Number: Lists the items as you've listed them in this dialog box

Ascending: Lists them in ascending value order, lowest value first

Descending: Lists them in descending value order with the highest value first

9. Click Close and then click OK to save the list and close all dialog boxes.

A good view to use if you want to see all of a resource's work assignment information is Resource Allocation view. You can display it by clicking the Resource Allocation View button on the Resource Management toolbar, or you can select it from the More Views dialog box.

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