Progress lines in MS Project

Learn how to use progress lines in Microsoft Project to show:
  • project status at a glance
  • tasks that are on schedule
  • tasks ahead of schedule or behind schedule

What are progress lines in Microsoft Project?

Progress lines show whether tasks are behind, or right on schedule. They appear as lines on the Gantt Chart view. You can:
  • Display progress lines at regular intervals
  • Display progress lines based on a specific status date
  • Display progress lines for specific dates you select
  • Display progress lines compared with the baselineplan

The progress lines can be a little difficult to interpret. The lines drag left for tasks that are behind schedule and are vertical for tasks that are on track. Lets look at this more closely:

Progress Lines in Microsoft Project

In this example the progress lines are shown against a project status date of 23/03 (Status date is set under Project > Project Information). The black lines on the task bars indicate % completion.

  • Task 1 is 75% complete, but it was due to finish on 20/03 so it is behind schedule. The progress line drags to the left.
  • Task 2 was completed on schedule. The progress line is straight down.
  • Task 3 is 50% complete, but behind schedule, it should be 80% complete by the status date.
  • Task 4 is not started and behind schedule as it is was due to be completed on 23/03.
  • Task 5 is ahead of schedule. The progress line is vertical and the task % completion is ahead.
  • Task 6 is on track. The progress line is vertical and the % complete is on track.

How to show progress lines

Go to Tools > Tracking > Progress lines.
show progress lines by going to Tools, Tracking & Progress Lines
In MS Project 2010 Choose Format > Format > Gridlines > Progress Lines

Choose your options in the dialog box. To show the lines from "At project status date" you will need to set the Project Status date under Project > Project Information.
progress lines dialog box
Select the line style in the "Line Styles" tab.
progress lines, line styles tab on the dialog box
Click OK. Progress lines will appear in the Gantt View.

Video - how to show progress lines in Microsoft Project

Watch how to show progress lines in Microsoft Project in 40 seconds!

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