How to Schedule with Calendar Options and Work Times in Project 2013

By Cynthia Snyder Stackpole

Calendar options are used to change the standard settings for a working day, week, and year in Project 2013. You can set a project calendar to Standard, for example. By default, that’s 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days a week.

Working time is used to adjust the time available for work on a particular date or days. Suppose that you make a change to the calendar options so that you have 8-hour days and 32-hour workweeks. Also check your working time to ensure that you specify 3 nonworking days of the 7-day week, to jibe with the 32-hour week.

If you want to set a certain date as nonworking for your project, such as the company offsite meeting day, you can do that using the working-time settings.

To ensure that the project is scheduled accurately from the get-go, make all changes to calendar options and working times before you add tasks to the project.

You have to change the calendar options and calendar settings for every new project file you create. However, you can set up a calendar that can be used for all your projects and shared in a single global location, as explained later in this chapter, in the section “Sharing Copies of Calendars.”

When you make changes to a resource calendar or task calendar, you simply adjust the times that a resource is available to work or the time during which a task occurs; you don’t change the length of a typical workday for the project.

A day is still 8 hours long if that’s the project calendar setting, even if you say that a task that takes place on that day uses the 24-hour base calendar template.

To change the length of a typical workday to ten hours rather than eight, for example, you must do so on the Calendar tab of the Options dialog box.

Follow these steps to modify the calendar options:

  1. Select the File tab on the Ribbon and click the Options button.

    The Project Options dialog box appears.

  2. Click the Schedule category on the left side of the screen.


  3. From the Week Starts On drop-down list, choose a day.

  4. To modify the start of the fiscal year, select a month from the Fiscal Year Starts In drop-down list.

  5. To change the working hours in a typical day, type new times in the Default Start Time and Default End Time fields.

    If you change the default start or end time setting, change the corresponding working time also, as described in the following section.

  6. Modify the Hours Per Day, Hours Per Week, and Days Per Month fields as needed.

  7. Click the OK button to save these settings.

Worrying about every calculated hour can be tedious. Most professional schedulers avoid changing the default calendar settings. Unless you truly want to track the scheduling of tasks to the hour, simply manage tasks to the day or week and keep track of scheduled deliverables in this manner.