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Completely remove column from my MS-Project Plan RRS feed

  • Question

  • I need help/guidance on how to permanently remove (not just hide) a column from my MS-Project Plan Ghant View. 
    Sunday, January 15, 2012 5:04 PM

Answers

  • carlitoni,

    Sorry, no can do. Columns in Project views are fields and cannot be deleted. They are a permanent part of the underlying database that contains all of Project's data.

    Rows on the other hand are tasks developed by the user. Tasks can be deleted.

    The more important question for you is, why do you want to delete Project fields? If it is to prevent another user (e.g. customer, client, etc.) from viewing critical data, then sorry but if a project file is given to anyone they will be able to see any and all data, unless that file is password protected. In that case, they won't be able to see ANY of Project's data without the password. The best way to supply a project file to someone without giving them the full file is to either provide a hardcopy, or save as PDF or other format that doesn't preserve the full file data.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    Sunday, January 15, 2012 5:20 PM

All replies

  • carlitoni,

    Sorry, no can do. Columns in Project views are fields and cannot be deleted. They are a permanent part of the underlying database that contains all of Project's data.

    Rows on the other hand are tasks developed by the user. Tasks can be deleted.

    The more important question for you is, why do you want to delete Project fields? If it is to prevent another user (e.g. customer, client, etc.) from viewing critical data, then sorry but if a project file is given to anyone they will be able to see any and all data, unless that file is password protected. In that case, they won't be able to see ANY of Project's data without the password. The best way to supply a project file to someone without giving them the full file is to either provide a hardcopy, or save as PDF or other format that doesn't preserve the full file data.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    Sunday, January 15, 2012 5:20 PM
  • This reply certainly deserves the response, "Why can you not imagine the need to delete a field or are not able to explain why all fields become a permanent part of the underlying database?"   The answer branches off into an explanation that is maybe tangentially related to the original question.  While it is admirable to volunteer time to collaboration boards, these types of responses are not productive.  Which is illustrated by the original user not responding to your question.

    Here is my case:

    In Task view -> Add New Column (In my case 'Deliverable Name').  

    Oops, the project must be published to add deliverables (short sighted Use Case analysis in my opinion).  

    Ok, to publish a project, Project must be connect to a Project Server.  My company hasn't allocated any resources for a project server.  

    Ok, I didn't know what I was doing, I'll just delete the column.  

    Now, "why do you want to delete Project fields?".  

    Monday, July 29, 2013 3:06 PM
  • I don't know if this action completely removes the column (field) from the project file.  I suspect that it does.

    Highlight the column and hit the "Delete" key on your keyboard to completely remove it from the project.

    Monday, July 29, 2013 3:12 PM
  • Ted --

    This action merely hides the column.  If you right-click on any task column header and select Insert Column on the shortcut menu, you will find that the column is still available on the pick list of available task columns.  Your question in your previous post is a good one, BTW.  It does make sense to ask the original user why he/she wants to totally delete a column.  Thanks for saying so.  :)


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Monday, July 29, 2013 4:08 PM
    Moderator
  • I too like to delete column at times! While i am preparing new project plan, i like to add few columns for my planning on experimental basis., then later i like to remove prior to sharing of plan to further stakeholders, unfortunately i can't remove the same. It's painful to create new version all over again with traditional cut and paste..!

    Suresh

    Monday, December 16, 2013 9:04 AM
  • Hi,

    The point is, you even can't "add a few columns to the project plan". You can SHOW existing fields and if they are custom fields you can RENAME them but you CANNOT add new columns. After the need for showing them has gone, you can now HIDE them (the action is often called delete but it merely hides!). Since you can show and hide, there is absolutely no need for cut and paste!

    Greetings,

    Monday, December 16, 2013 10:16 AM
    Moderator
  • I understand the need to delete data from within a column. For example, you may have had sensitive cost info in there that you don't want the customer to see when you give them a copy of the plan.

    As has been stated, you can't delete a column, but you can delete:

    1. the custom configuration for a column
    2. the data that resides within that column

    The column will still persist, but there won't be any data or formulas against it. The methods (assuming you're on 2010 or 2013) for doing this are:

    1 - Deleting a custom columns configuration
    From the ribbon menu, select File > Info > Organizer, then open the "Fields" tab. You can then select the custom field in the right hand pane and click Delete. This will delete the custom field configuration, e.g. any formulas applied to it, custom names assigned to it.

    2 - Deleting data that resides within a column
    This is a bit trickier as it requires some VBA, but the code example below will delete any data in the tasks' text1 column from your project:

    Option Explicit
    
    Public Sub DeleteCustomColumnData()
    
    Dim tsk As Task
    
    For Each tsk In ActiveProject.Tasks
        If tsk Is Nothing Then GoTo NextTask
        tsk.Text1 = ""
    NextTask:
    Next tsk
    
    End Sub


    • Edited by Andrew Simpson Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:12 AM correct 203 to 2013
    Monday, December 16, 2013 4:24 PM
  • Ted,

    I don't know if you are still monitoring this thread but I didn't see your comment to my initial response or I would have countered back in July.

    I believe I answered the original question very succinctly and my response was supported by Dale Howard and Jan De Messemaeker in more recent followup. In other responses to this thread no one has provided a compelling reason why Project should allow users to actually delete and not just hide fields.

    John

    Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:03 PM
  • Ted...Big thanks. This is the only one option that totally worked. I feel relieved.
    Monday, January 11, 2016 3:59 PM
  • Hi Jag,

    I feel this thread cannot end on a fairy tale. This "solution" does not "totally work". It is merely equivalent to "hide column". The "deleted" colum can be re-inserted at will.

    Greetings,


    Monday, January 11, 2016 6:58 PM
    Moderator
  • I too would like to delete Columns (remove data/formula) from my project.

    I think the term delete is causing the problem (for me and others here). I don't need to actually "Delete" a column, I want to delete the data/contents in a column with an easy "Delete" button - Like the Hide option.

    I have added several columns to a (very large) complex project, that I was using for "Private" company confidential information, that should not be released to customers, with formulae to calculate information we need to monitor internally. 

    We released the monthly updates to customers as PDFs - all good - I thought!

    Now we have had requests from the customers for a copy of the "Live" MS Project file, so they can use to do their own data analysis.

    To enable me to release, I now have to maintain the Live project file (with all extra columns), and take a copy each month to release to customers - without the calculations and data that we consider "Private".

    The way I now do this is, I take a copy of the project, I have to go into each "private" column and delete the formula, then delete the data from the additional Text columns.

    A "Delete all from Column and Hide" button, would be great!


    Thursday, October 22, 2020 1:08 PM
  • 12Mag12,

    Wow, this is an old thread. The functionality you want is easy to implement with VBA and if you can identify the exact fields you wish to purge each month, I'd be happy to write the code for you. The macro can be readily set up to be run from a custom icon (i.e. one button execution).

    If you'd like to see this functionality built-in as a new feature in some future update to Project, you can submit your request at:

    https://microsoftproject.uservoice.com/forums/914203-project-for-the-web

    John

    Thursday, October 22, 2020 2:27 PM
  • This is just a simple matter of housekeeping and file management.

    The need to manage (mainly restrict) the MSP data that you provide to another party has always been an issue for more than 20 years, and just something that you need to be on top of.

    What I do.

    I make a number of custom tables which have all of the custom fields of the various types. So there is a table with all of the cost fields, another with all of the text fields, another with all of the date fields, and so on. I keep a note of which ones I have used for what. If necessary, it takes just a few minutes to switch from table to table, to remove the formulae and delete the data in them.

    If necessary, or just a bit better, it is easy to make a macro just by recording the process.

    Sure, it's a bit of work to set it up, but not very hard, and once set up it never has to be done again.

    Thursday, October 22, 2020 3:09 PM