Background column colors are changing randomly! RRS feed

  • Question

  • Dear all,

    I am working in project professional 2010 and 2016. I have a Master file in which there are about 20 sub-project files imported. Each sub-project file contains less than 200 tasks (this number corresponds to the number of rows). I also use a separate resources file, in common with all the sub-project files. I have nearly 20 columns activated and displayed in the master project file.

    Now when I try to select a complete column and want to assign a background color, sometime for the firs 1 or 2 columns, it works well, but latest for the 4 column, it begins to change randomly the color of cells which got a new background color just before! It seems to be random, but uses only the colors that were used previously, and only affect cells in columns that were assigned previously (i.e. it does not color a cell that has a white default background color).

    The same behavior is observed in Microsoft Project 2010 and 2016, on the files I use (only in the master file). The problem is very annoying. Between the inserted sub-projects, I have some blank lines to facilitate the overview.

    The issue does not seem to occur in the sub-project files, when the sub-project files are opened as single files and the colors applied to columns in the the sub-project files. The problem is that if I apply the colors to the sub-project files, they are not visible in the master file.

    Does anybody have a work around to this annoying behavior? Or any idea to what this behavior could be related?

    Thanks in advance for your answers.

    Best regards


    Saturday, February 18, 2017 8:52 AM

All replies

  • Vincent,

    At any time do you see this message?

    If you have NOT seen this message then I'd say your master file is corrupt.

    For your reference, if you have 20 subprojects of 200 tasks each in your master, you have at least 4020 tasks at master level. If you then have 20 field columns you have a total of 80400 field cells, well in excess of the above formatting limit.

    A few words about master/subproject/resource pool structures. They are prone to corruption. You must never rename, move, overwrite or save off any of the files in the structure. All files should reside in a common directory on a local drive and not be operated over a network. Unless you have a specific need to have all subprojects dynamically linked to the master, you are better off to create a static master each time you need to view/report on all subprojects together. How do you create a static master? Un-check the "link to project" option in the lower right corner of the Insert Project window. That will create a separate file that is a snapshot in time of all the inserted subprojects and as such, you will need to create a new one each time you want an update.

    The reason you do not see formatting of a subproject file when you view in at master level is because in a dynamic master, the subproject files are not actually part of the master, rather, the master contains pointers to each of the individual subprojects. Because of that, view formatting at master level is unique to the master and does not reflect in any subprojects.

    Hope this helps.


    Saturday, February 18, 2017 4:28 PM