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physical layout view? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have setup a simple Microsoft Project file (version 2016) for my vegetable garden this summer.  Each vegetable is a task with start date, duration, etc.  I would like to view the physical layout view of these tasks, based on their position in the garden.  The garden is divided into 8 rows (A through H) which are subdivided into 5 columns (1-5).  In project, I have allocated each vegetable a resource denoted A1 through H8.  I would like to view a time-based layout of my 8x5 grid, with the task name in each grid at the appropriate time.  Is there a way for me to get MS Project to show this type of view?
    Thursday, March 7, 2019 5:44 PM

All replies

  • Hi, No.

    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | downloads | P2O

    Friday, March 8, 2019 8:51 AM
    Moderator
  • twd113,

    I've seen some interesting non-standard uses of Project, but I think this one takes the prize.

    The rows and "columns" of your garden plot sounds pretty straightforward but it isn't at all clear as to exactly what the rows and columns represent from a scheduling standpoint, which is what Project needs. For example, what exactly are the tasks and what exactly are the resources?

    So, it might be an interesting use for Project, but as Ben said, "no" you are not going to be able to represent your garden plot as an 8 x 5 grid in Project. You might be able to configure it such that the data can be exported to Visio or some other graphics application but I think you'd be better off starting with another more appropriate application.

    My two cents.

    John

    Friday, March 8, 2019 4:06 PM
  • twd113,

    I've seen some interesting non-standard uses of Project, but I think this one takes the prize.

    The rows and "columns" of your garden plot sounds pretty straightforward but it isn't at all clear as to exactly what the rows and columns represent from a scheduling standpoint, which is what Project needs. For example, what exactly are the tasks and what exactly are the resources?

    So, it might be an interesting use for Project, but as Ben said, "no" you are not going to be able to represent your garden plot as an 8 x 5 grid in Project. You might be able to configure it such that the data can be exported to Visio or some other graphics application but I think you'd be better off starting with another more appropriate application.

    My two cents.

    John

    Thanks John.  I'm a fairly non-standard type of bloke, I guess.  I'm not familiar with Visio but if you can suggest a more appropriate tool, I'm all ears.  I chose Project because it allows to me to define predecessors and successors (starting seeds --> transplanting outdoors) and viewing the resource allocation (minimizing empty grid locations).  It has worked well thus far, I just need to define a custom view.

    Here is a screenshot of my simple Project (cannot post until my account is "verified" how do I do that?).  Project already knows everything it needs to know  - start date, finish date, vegetable name (Task Name), grid location (Resource Name).  You can see that is show the task bars from left to right across the project duration.  I would like to see an 8x5 grid of squares, where each square has the name of the vegetable inside (Task Name).  As I slide the timeline across, Project would update the grid boxes to be filled with the appropriate Task Name that is occupying it for that date.


    Wednesday, March 13, 2019 7:53 PM
  • twd113,

    Normally a new user is "verified" once he/she has posted a few messages over a period of time. There used to be a place to go on the forum to speed up that process but I can't find it now. If you can upload your screen shot to a separate link where it can be accessed, then I can take a look at it and then maybe figure something out.

    However, if you're hoping for an 8x5 grid in Project, you're in for a long wait as Project just doesn't have that capability and I seriously doubt it will in any future release.

    I only mentioned Visio since you appear to be looking for a graphical interface well beyond Project's limited capability and I know Visio is a graphics type application but I've never used it.

    John

    Wednesday, March 13, 2019 9:30 PM
  • twd113 and John,

    I've prepared time-phased animated layouts of job site works that utilize a similar concept, sometimes in PowerPoint, sometimes in Visio, and sometimes in Excel.  All require at least some vba (i.e. rudimentary computer programming).  With a simple grid layout, I'd suggest an Excel/Project interface would be easiest.  Then, instead of manipulating shapes, you can just create some conditional formatting (with a legend) to automatically respond to the dates (e.g. different tasks active at a given "data date" apply a different color to the cell.)  For a one-off, you could bypass the vba altogether and just copy/paste the dates and task names from Project to Excel.

    Good luck, tom

    Wednesday, March 13, 2019 11:28 PM
  • here is a link to my screenshot: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lbTqN8sEPXqG3as_Ndcrijld-Dl91IC3uXlUFkndBXhuOokT4CVd26_lE2zlxJW0eY4wXlgFGjveKe8L0ah7cp68Z0dfJeckXD3NAst_qBm-HKoYzY3ymaHekcx7LvrhVrKSC1-a_-6Jp5PodLhD3Gt7ycI6NtYbuVij52QJHwTnr6TXrXMOI2_GCcIqOzpDlB1-z14H2Hdy3WWHGgbUm7GRnVg-Vw8p-V97sKFg6ot3ACGF5nYoMNt4luk3pR7aWiZxD_dBtH6YktbWYtB5JZFGisgbGTg43QyJY8tDpe1VK3TodHpLHdUJCqPlhQ1FAVgGmPu_fh2_QqmdS2MZxHSchmHpjE7mRn2XqEcWBJdx1qGRPbm7mqzr0CgMGLPANOkyB6BAO1vcQJ1dG9MzR3n6Qtp0cBdCPep3mircxrO_OuS2j8_yJ-VAdVUerGKgcMMsAMFRTiIik6PDm_Ab0zjESzf3VcJK9NYw2yRHRs2dw6A7SWntFI1XlACJyVE27xipzZtPVitBU1amHI9obZ2GKGWN56DgHbDzhlNbvkAZgNQ9qCqASbI8GdKlQDVf9ve6uonLlqSeGXSoqMY3yHprZDsfQEpNQZhUd-0ywgqw9BaTUiYVbI-L0uPerLTQDYP53IPCyVSDTh6mBrKrulWsJVSpzfU=w1560-h841-no
    Thursday, March 14, 2019 1:23 PM
  • I'm comfortable with some VBA programming. It's been  few years, but I'm sure it will come back to me.

    I'm thinking you're right about some sort of Excel:Project interface.  I need to put some thought into what that workflow looks like.

    Trying to avoid copy-paste as the idea is to dynamically update the grid layout when I change my mind on where and when to plant certain crops.  I want to be able to visualize rows getting planted and harvested throughout the season so I can optimize the use of space.

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 1:30 PM
  • twd113,

    Wow, that's some link. Unfortunately when I try to view it, I only get a small circle with a white box in the middle of the screen.

    I think the idea of exporting your Project data to Excel may be a good one. I've written tons of macros like that myself. However, you mention dynamic updating and that won't happen unless you set up the macro with some type of Event based "trigger". Since that is more complicated, I suggest you manually initiate the macro code whenever you want to update the Excel grid layout.

    If you want a starting point, take a look at the following Wiki article:

    https://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/32126.ms-project-truncated-project-notes-when-viewingexporting.aspx

    John

    Thursday, March 14, 2019 3:52 PM