What’s New for Microsoft Project in 2019!

There are a lot of exciting features coming to Microsoft Project in 2019! Subscribers will get all of the updated features automatically, while non-subscribers must buy the next version to get the features.

1. Link tasks using a drop-down menu is an amazing enhancement that I love. I no longer have to remember or scroll to figure out the task ID. Also, I no longer have to create some strange task name to differentiate types of tasks (e.g. “S-Task Name” to indicate Summary task). Tip –You can use this drop-down feature nearly anywhere that a Predecessor or Successor might need to be entered. 

2. The Task Summary Name field is especially useful in Resource Usage view when you want to figure out “which” task is being listed. To clarify, let’s assume you have multiple tasks in your project with the same name but repeated in different phases. There used to be no way to distinguish those tasks without adding the name of the phase to the task. Now you can simply add the field and see the difference. 

3.Timeline bar labels and task progress are features that customers ask for all the time (as recently as last week)! Now when you present a visual timeline summary of your project, it indicates progress (partial or complete) and can even indicate the audience for which you intended the bar. How I used to do this before the features existed is I would paste the timelines in PowerPoint and then modify them further. I’m happy to be able to skip this step! 

4. The last new feature that I want to discuss are the Accessibility improvements. Project supports Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA) which helps Assistive Technology products interact better with the software. As an example, a screen reader software can help explain the screen for a visual impairment. In the past few months, I have worked with several companies who have taken advantage of accessibility features and here are some examples from customers. Tip – Many of these features have been available in previous versions.

a. The color name is given, which is extremely helpful to many colorblind or color deficient users. 

b. Nearly any feature with a color can be changed including text, bars, gridlines, report colors, etc. Project also supports high contrast mode.

c. You can navigate almost anywhere using the keyboard instead of the mouse. For example, click the Alt key and notice the Key Tips that appear for navigation. Sticky keys automatically start when needed to eliminate the need to have to hold down keys.

d. Reports can be zoomed in and out easily to meet the needs of the user. As you can see, there is a lot to be excited about in Project 2019! 

For those of you who are subscribers (Project Online Professional or Project Online Premium), you already have all of these features, and even a few more. I’d love to hear how you are using these new features in your business!

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