MS Project Custom Fields: Creating Drop Down Lists

Untitled Document

by Jackie Kiadii, Microsoft Project Trainer

Microsoft Project comes with hundreds of built in fields.  Did you know it is possible to create your own custom fields? There are a number of types of custom fields you can create, including fields based on formulas, as well as fields that show icons instead of values. (The icon fields are similar to conditional formatting icon sets in Excel).

In this blog post, you will learn how to create a text field that contains a drop down list.

What is a practical use for this skill? You can populate the list with a list of department, Project Managers, or any other data that’s specific to your organization.

So let’s get started.

Project – Creating a Custom Field as a Drop-Down List

Click the Format tab on the ribbon, and then click Custom Fields (in the Columns group). 




This will open the Custom Field Dialog box, which is shown below.



In the Field section, make sure Task is selected on the left hand side, and Text  is selected on the right.

Make sure Text1 is highlighted.

Click the Rename button.

Type Manager and click OK.


This will take you back to the Custom Fields dialog box. Notice Text1 is now renamed Manager (Text1).


Make sure Manager (Text1) is selected.

In the Custom attributes section, click the Lookup button, which pops up the Edit Lookup Table for Manager dialog box.

Under Value, type the items you want to appear in your drop-down list (one item per line), then click the Close button.


Click OK.


Project – How to Use a Custom Field


Now that you’ve created your custom field, you can use it in your Project Schedule.

Switch to Gantt Chart view.

To add it as another field in the grid, click the Add New Column heading, and start to type the name of  your custom field (in this case, Manager). It should pop up on your list. Click the name of the custom field (Manager) to select it.


To replace a current field in your grid with a custom field, simply double-click the heading (ex., Resource Names). Start to type the name of the field (Manager), and select it.

This tutorial barely scratches the surface of what you can do with MS Project’s custom fields, but it’s a good start.

Free! – The Best MS Project Keyboard Shortcuts

Contact us for your free list of handy MS Project keyboard shortcuts.

Want More? MS Project Training in Atlanta, GA

MS Project 2007, 2010, 2013 Training - Atlanta & OnlineThe next MS Project class is happening soon. 2 days of MS Project  training by expert instructors in a small-class setting so that you get the attention you require. Practical, undocumented tips & tricks. Click here for registration and details

.Prefer group training at your site? Call 770.498.7333. Our courses are affordable and customized to your needs. Available for groups of 4 or more students.


About the Author of this  MS Project Tutorial.

Since 2001, Jackie Kiadii has taught employees of some of the largest employers in the Southeastern United States how to use MS Project. For more information, visit ProjectTrainingAtlanta.com.

Atlanta Computer Training on Facebook Atlanta Computer Training - LinkedIn Software Tips on Twitter




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>