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How to create a constraint in Microsoft Project

by | reviewed 16/10/2019
Microsoft Project allows you to fix a task's start or finish in relation to a particular date. There are two main ways that you can create a constraint. By default when you create a new task it will have a constraint type of As Soon As Possible.

Fix a task start or end date in Microsoft Project

Method 1

Double click on the task to open the Task Information dialog box. Select the Advanced tab.
How to create a contraint in Microsoft Project

Use the calendar control to select the Constraint date.
Use the calendar control to set the constraint date in Microsoft Project

Finally set the constraint type:
Set the MS project constraint type

Method 2

Click select the task finish or start date in the Gantt view.
Create a Microsoft Project Constraint using the task start or finish date
This method will default to a constraint type of Start No Earlier Than or Finish No Earlier Than. To adjust the constraint type open the task information form.

You can check easily check if a task has a constraint using the Indicator column.
Microsoft Project Constraint symbol

Note that setting a constraint impacts the critical path of your project and can create a scheduling conflict. Make sure you understand the consequences of creating contraints by checking out:

Constraints: what they are used for

Contraints - common mistakes.

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Written by the founder of Stakeholdermap.com
  • Concise, focused guide that cuts through the clutter
  • Step-by-step instructions for creating a project plan in under a day
  • Master essential skills like work breakdowns and task sequencing
  • Real-world troubleshooting for 20 common scheduling challenges
  • Rapidly get up to speed if you're new to Microsoft Project
  • Includes glossary, support resources, and sample plans
The cover of the book 'Essential Microsoft Project: The 20% You Need to Know'

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