none
MS Project 2013 hanging on import from Excel RRS feed

  • Question

  • I wanted to create a template for users to complete in Excel for subsequent import into Project. I created a simple plan and exported it to Excel - all looks OK. This would be the basis of the template. I change nothing and then try to import it into Project to create a new project. It all seems fine - the preview is what I'd hope for, I then click on 'Finish'...Congratulations...I then get a warning about "The last time you opened....it caused a serious error, do you still want to open it?' - I've tried brand new versions of the files and checked it's not disabled (as per a post I read)....Project then hangs and runs at about 30% cpu on my machine. The file I've used as my input (the one exported to) ends up empty.

    Any thoughts?...OK I maybe just figured this out - I import / export only basic fields and I went through them systematically, it's 'Outline Level' which causes the failure - this field is not on display but is still part of the record, I'm assuming.

    p.s. I've also read about file formats possibly being incorrect but I'm guessing this would simply mean the fields were missing?

    Wednesday, December 6, 2017 4:57 PM

Answers

  • Dave,

    You're welcome and thanks for the feedback.

    Yeah, there's a gremlin in the import wizard somewhere but I'm afraid I can't help you with it. Again, my preferred approach is VBA.

    John

    • Marked as answer by dredski99 Friday, January 12, 2018 10:51 AM
    Friday, December 8, 2017 2:07 PM

All replies

  • dredski99,

    One of the biggest problem faced by users who want to import Excel data into Project is that they import too much data. Remember Project has a very specific scheduling engine with fields that interact whereas Excel data is all independent cells.

    You say you import/export "basic" fields but what are they? Project only needs/wants task name, start date, duration. Don't import the finish date since Project calculates that from the start and duration. Predecessors can be imported but care is needed to insure the indexing is correct. Outline level should not be an issue, but if it is causing a problem, import it into a text field and then make the adjustments once the data is in Project.

    You say you created a simple plan. Could you share that with us as a screen shot? If you can't do a screen shot (i.e. account not verified) a detail description would help.

    John

    Wednesday, December 6, 2017 5:50 PM
  • Hi John, I can't send a screenshot, for the reason you suggest.

    The problem - I want to supply a template in Excel for future import into Project - high level milestone stuff. I am beginning to think I am swimming against the current though and maybe another solution will have to be sought?

    OK to the simple project I was experimenting with. I exported this to Excel to get the Excel structure and it failed, 'as is' to be imported back into Project.

    Task Name, Start, Finish (assumed that was OK), Predecessors, Resource Initials, Outline Level, Outline Number - the last two were my attempt to show summary levels rather than everything coming in as a task....if you know what I mean.

    Thanks...Dave

    Thursday, December 7, 2017 9:35 AM
  • ...and regardless of how I do it the import of Outline Number causes it to hang on import. I changed to text format and general (as it had defaulted to) but it hangs. It's not boding well, at this stage, sadly. I can't put the hyperlink in but this site https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/97831/importing-an-task-outline-structure-into-project


    • Edited by dredski99 Thursday, December 7, 2017 4:26 PM
    Thursday, December 7, 2017 4:15 PM
  • Dave,

    I just did a quick test with a simple sample file (upper pane). I exported the Task Name, Start, Finish, Predecessors, Resource Initials, Outline Level, and Outline Number fields using only the Tasks option for the export to Excel. I then directly imported the Excel file into a new project (merge and append require careful considerations to achieve the desired result). The resulting import is shown in the lower pane of the screen shot. The only difference is in the Resource Names field. Since it was not explicitly exported, when imported back to Project the Resource Initial is treated as the full resource name.

    Note also that the import results in constraints on all non-summary tasks, which need to be addressed.

    As I noted previously, I would not import the finish, rather I would import start and duration. I also would not import resource initials but import assigned resource names. Is is also wise to import predecessors into an extra field (e.g. Text1) and then set up links once the data is in Project. Finally, I would not import outline number as this will be calculated by Project. So, try your import with just Outline Level, Name, Start, Duration, Predecessors (to a text field), and Resource Names. Does that work for you?

    However, if I were doing this on a regular basis, I would not use an import map, rather I would use VBA as it is more flexible and in my opinion, reliable.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    Thursday, December 7, 2017 4:20 PM
  • Thanks John - heading homewards now and will try tomorrow.
    Thursday, December 7, 2017 5:09 PM
  • Once again, I'm afraid - once Outline Level gets into the picture it hangs.

    It's all starting to look too complicated and messy to be honest, I'm now looking at a different solution...sadly.

    I appreciate your help to date but suspect there could be a version / installation / build issue along with the complexity.


    • Edited by dredski99 Friday, December 8, 2017 10:08 AM
    Friday, December 8, 2017 10:01 AM
  • Dave,

    You're welcome and thanks for the feedback.

    Yeah, there's a gremlin in the import wizard somewhere but I'm afraid I can't help you with it. Again, my preferred approach is VBA.

    John

    • Marked as answer by dredski99 Friday, January 12, 2018 10:51 AM
    Friday, December 8, 2017 2:07 PM