Microsoft Project 2010 Changes - Columns Repackaged

Columns Repackaged discussion

So what can we say about columns here? We thought it would be a good idea to keep all the related “stuff” together. Hope everyone agrees. For all intents and purposes these commands existed in old versions of Project, it’s just that with the Ribbon is now used to do the same thing – “it’s easier” they say – you decide.

Format tan with the Columns group of commands highlighted

Columns - Insert Columns

Insert a New column to a view. Choose the name of an existing column from the list or type a custom value to insert a new custom field.

Click on the column heading that is to the right of where the column is to be inserted. Click on the Format tab and then click the Insert Column command in the Columns group. From the New Column pick list that appears select the Column name that’s needed to be added.

Insert Column command showing Column added

Column - Text Alignment

Text Alignment commands

These commands allow for the alignment of column text data. Click either on the column header or any cell within the selected column and then click the required Text Alignment command.

Examples of Text - Align Left, Center and Align Right respectively

Columns - Wrap Text (New in Project 2010)

Text Wrap command

Wrap Text = Make all content visible within a cell by displaying it on multiple lines. This is a new feature to Microsoft® Project 2010.

By selecting a column in any view that contains a table (except the Team Planner). Then right-click on the column header, then click the Format Tab, then the Wrap Text command in the Column group.

Wrap Text process example with Input and Output

·       To Wrap Text in a row cell, the text needs to have at least one space within it so that Microsoft® Project 2010 knows where to automatically break a line for word wrapping.


·       Wrap Text cannot be manually control for where the line break will occur.


  • Text wrapping only occurs if the text is too long for the width of the row cell

Columns - Column Settings commands

Columns - Column Settings command

Insert, hide or update a column in the view. After selecting the column by clicking on the column heading, and clicking the down arrow in the Column Settings command will display a pick list of further commands.


Hide Column command will remove column from current table view.


Wrap Text command already covered in previous section.

Columns - Field Settings command

Columns - Field Settings dialog box

Field Settings by clicking the Field Settings command will display the dialog box for the selected column.


Field name: by clicking the down arrow will open available Fields so the existing field could be changed if required.


Title: the Microsoft® Project 2010 field given name can be renamed by entering a title here. Can also be used where existing field names are the cause of confusion to the Team members, so change it to something they will be comfortable with.


Align title: change the alignment of the column heading (or title) by selecting from the pick list Left, Center or Right.


Align data: change the alignment of the data within the column by selecting from the pick list Left, Center or Right.


Width: column width can either be set by entering the numeric value directly into the window or use the scroll arrows to either increase or decrease the column width.


Header Text Wrapping: default is set on (checked). In cases where filed names is a long Name Text Wrapping will allow the economy of space on the display.


Best Fit button- use this when it’s not known what the width of the column should be set to.


Click OK or press the Enter key when complete to apply changes to Field Setting.

Columns - Column Setting - Data Type command

Column Settings and Data Type pick list

Data Type becomes active (not ghosted out) when selection is made of a customized field.  

After selecting the customized column click on Data Type and then make selection from the pick list.  

Special care needs to be taken here. Depending on which data type is changed from and to will depend on Microsoft® Project 2010 will giving a warning message to say that data could be lost. So be careful here!




Columns - Custom Fields command

Columns - Custom Fields command

By clicking on the Ribbon Format tab and then the Custom Fields command in the Columns group will show the Custom Fields dialog box to create custom fields to store information specific to the project, team members or enterprise.

Columns Custom Fields - dialog box

As always Microsoft® Project 2010 provide the project manager / scheduler with a number of different ways of navigating to the same place. This is one of them.


Custom Fields will be covered in more detail in other sections of this site.


Columns - Column Settings - Display Add New Column option

Click on this option to either add or remove the New Column in the current table being displayed. Other tables will be unaffected by this change.