Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Microsoft Project 2010 Tasks Missing? Have you checked the filter option? Filter versus AutoFilter

I see this happen many times, especially with new users. I get a call from a rather distressed client who explains their project schedule is missing tasks. My response, “Hmmmm that’s not good.” First thing to always check in that instance, “Are you using a filter in that particular view?” “No” is the response. “The Filter is set to a value of No Filter”. OK Can you please reselect ‘No Filter’ from the filter drop down control in the ribbon bar again? Suddenly bursts of joy and laughter follows as they express relief to see all their tasks back again along with some slight embarrassment.



So what’s going on, well don’t feel bad as it is a little confusing at first but let me explain. Microsoft Project 2010 contains two methods of filtering. The drop down box under the View menu in the ribbon bar is referred to as the ‘Filter’. Think of this Filter as a named or predefined filter which is part of that view. For example you could have a Filter called ‘Active Tasks’ but that filter could consist of multiple filter conditions. For example,  where ‘Active’ = ‘Yes’ and ‘Tasks Status’ = ‘In Progress’ may define an active task as such.



The other filter which exists is referred to as the ‘AutoFilter’. Whenever you use on of the column headers directly to filter your results, you are using the ‘AutoFilter’.



Notice you will also see a little filter icon on the right side of that filtered column. However if you hide the column, the AutoFilter will still be applied



When you use an auto filter a message ‘AutoFilter Applied’ will appear in the bottom left corner of MS Project.



Now this message is configurable so if you don’t already have this enabled, right click on the lower left corner of the screen where it reads ‘Ready’.



Ensure AutoFilter is selected and yes we also have one there for Filter as well.


So the take-away message from this is that the ‘Filter’ drop down under the view menu contains a ‘No Filter’ value. Selecting this option will actually remove all Filters in that view for both the Filter and AutoFilter so if in doubt select the ‘No Filter’ option again from the Filter drop down to make sure there are no filters.


Lastly, you can actually choose to turn the AutoFilter on or off from the Filter menu.



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  2. Thanks very much, this is really helpful!

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