Refresh timeline data imported from Project

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Overview

If you have a timeline imported from Microsoft Project, that timeline remains linked to the original .mpp file. This way, you can update it effortlessly when your Project plan changes using Office Timeline’s Refresh Data wizard. This guide will show you exactly how it works.

You'll read about:

 

A) Getting started
B) Filtering what you see in the Refresh data list
C) Selecting the items to refresh and what happens depending on status

 

Read the whole guide or use the links above to jump to the section you’re interested in.

 

A) Getting started 

 

To get started refreshing a timeline imported from Project, first click the Refresh Data button on the Office Timeline ribbon in PowerPoint.
refresh-data-button-office-timeline.png

The Office Timeline add-in will connect you your linked Project file and open the Refresh Data wizard, where all the magic happens.refresh-data-wizard.png

Quick tip: If you wish to use another .mpp file than the one already linked to your timeline, click on “Change file” next to your file’s name in the upper left corner of the Refresh Data window.
change-file-refresh-project.png

 

B) Use filters to view what's relevant to you

 

In the Refresh Data window, you will see a list of all data that’s different in Project compared to your current timeline, as well as a Status for each item, so you can get a clear overview of the updates.

list-of-updates-refresh-project.png

If you’d like to customize what you see in the data list, there are 2 ways you can filter your view: 

  1. You can use the Status filters to show or hide from view all items with a specific status.  Simply click the arrow on the “Status” column header and check or uncheck whatever you wish from the dropdown menu. filter-by-status.png

  2. You can also create custom filters to refine your view even further. To do so, click on the Filter button located on the top-right of the data list, and then add your desired conditions in the window that pops up. custom-filters-refresh-project.png

Note that both types of filters (Status and Custom) will affect only your current view – they’ll have no impact on the final timeline. Only the rows you select (or deselect) from the data list will actually impact the visual. 

 

C) Selecting the items to refresh and what happens to them depending on status

 

After you’ve set up your filters to see exactly what you need in the refresh list, you can easily select the updates to make to your timeline by checking the boxes in the leftmost column:

select-individual-updates-to-include.png

To move even faster, you can use the checkboxes above the data list to select or deselect whole groups of items depending on their status.

select-updates-by-category.png

But speaking of statuses, let’s see what each of them means and what happens to the different types of rows when refreshing data:

 

Overview of statuses

Changed 
changed.png
One or more of an item’s values (title, start date, end date etc.) differ in Project compared to your current timeline. We’ll show you both the timeline version and the Project version of said item (task/milestone), with the differences highlighted, so you can easily decide which version to keep.

  • Select a Changed item to bring its Project version into your timeline when refreshing data.
  • Deselect it to keep the values you currently have on your visual.

Deleted
deleted.png
The task/milestone exists on your current timeline but was deleted from the Project file.

  • Select a Deleted item to remove it from your timeline.
  • Deselect it to ignore the deletion and keep the task/milestone on your timeline.

New
new.png
The item didn’t exist in Project the last time you imported the .mpp file.

  • Select a New task or milestone to add it to your timeline. 
  • Deselect it to ignore it when refreshing data.

Imported
imported.png 
The item is already on your timeline and hasn’t suffered any changes since you last imported it.

  • Select an Imported item to keep it on the timeline.
  • Deselect it to remove it.

Not Imported
not-imported.png
The item existed in the Project file the last time you imported it, but you didn’t bring it into the timeline.

  • Select a Not Imported item to add it to the timeline. 
  • Deselect it to ignore it when refreshing data.

Invalid
invalid.png
The item is not importable (e.g. the title or start & end dates may be missing). To “fix” invalid items, go back to you Project file, double-check the task names and dates, and correct any errors or empty cells in your data.

 

Once you’re done choosing the items to refresh, click the green Finish button in the bottom right corner, and that’s it - your timeline will instantly be updated.

click-finish-to-refresh.png

 

Notes:

  • You can use the Data refresh settings menu in the upper-right corner to choose whether you want to import 1-day tasks as milestones or to ignore title changes when refreshing data.
    refresh-data-settings-project.png
  • Refreshing data goes one way only. It will update your PowerPoint slide to match the changes in your Microsoft Project file. Office Timeline will not impact or change your original .mpp file in any way.
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