In Microsoft Project you can highlight tasks based on certain criteria. For example you can highlight Critical tasks or tasks falling within a particular date range. Highlight will not rearrange or filter tasks it will simply change the text style of the highlighted tasks. stakeholdermap.comThis step by step guide shows you how to apply built in highlight filters to Microsoft Project and we will also cover creating Custom Highlight Filters.
Table of contents
- Built-in task highlight options
- How to change default highlight settings
- Using Task Highlight with Group By
- Building a custom highlight criteria
- Video - Create a filter to highlight tasks with no predecessors
- How to edit Built-in and custom highlight Filters
- Download a free example
- References and further reading
Built in task highlight options
- To access highlight options go to View > in the Data group > go to Highlight. Microsoft Project provides a good range of built in highlight options.
- Click on the Highlight menu to see a list of Highlight Filters.
- Select the filter you want to apply.
To remove the Highlight go to View > Highlight > [No Highlight].
Change default Highlight settingsYou can change the default settings for Highlighted tasks by going to Text Styles under Format. Background color will set the background of the task field. For example text could be black, but background color yellow for Highlighted tasks.
Using Task Highlight with Group By
Highlight supersedes Filters. For example, if you have Filtered your tasks to show Critical tasks only if you then Highlight Critical tasks the filter will be removed.Group By can be combined with Highlight. For example, the below image shows tasks Grouped By Milestone with Critical tasks also highlighted.
Building custom highlight criteria
- Go to View > Highlight > New Highlight Filter...
- Enter the criteria for your new filter. The image below shows a filter to highlight tasks with no Predecessors, but excluding Summary tasks.
- Click Save.
Video - Create a filter to highlight tasks with no predecessors
How to edit Built-in and Custom Highlight FiltersTo edit any Highlight filter go to View > Highlight > More Highlight Filters. Then click the Edit button.
Do you need a custom Highlight Filter?
Scott Daley (2013, ch19) has this great tip - sometimes you can simply Mark the tasks that you want to Highlight or Filter. This could save you a lot of time building custom Highlight Filters & custom fields when simple selection and Marking of specific tasks will do.
Download a free exampleThis Microsoft Project file has the custom highlight filter built-in. You can download it and use it to build your own filter or just add your tasks to the this plan.
References for Microsoft Project FiltersDaley, S. (2013). Project 2013 In Depth, Que.
Marmel, E. (2010). Project 2010 Bible, John Wiley & Sons
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- Project Calendars - Non-working time - enter UK holidays into Microsoft Project calendars
- Constraints part 1 - How to use Microsoft Project constraints
- Constraints part 2 - Common mistakes in using constraints
- Create constraints - How to create project constraints
- Counting totals - How to count totals in Microsoft Project- By Ellen Lehnert, MVP, PMP, MCT - Microsoft Project & Microsoft Project Server
- Critical Path - Viewing the Critical Path - video tutorial
- Filters - How to filter your plan by certain tasks or resources
- Filters - How to create a custom filter in Microsoft Project
- Hyperlinks - How to create hyperlinks in Microsoft Project
- Outlook tasks - How to import Outlook tasks into Microsoft Project
- Progress lines - This how to guide explains progress lines, how to read them and how to use them.
- How to create a PDF of your project plan - Microsoft Project 2010 to pdf
- Detailed guide to using the Microsoft Project Timeline