Thursday, 2 October 2008

Transfer Gantt charts to Power Point presentations III


today, we have updated our "internal" tool for transferring Gantt charts from MS Project to MS Power Point to the version 1.5.5. The tool serves to map Gantt charts from MS Project on one slide of MS PowerPoint. Since we have to do it often, we did our best not to do this "work" manually! ;)

This is a video of the tool's general functionality:

There are several interesting improvements. First of all, we decided to add a table with task names to each slide. It gives you an access to the task names in the whole slide, not only in just one shape.

Then we decided to give you the possibility to choose how many symbols of the task name to display in the shapes of Power Point. Since task naming approaches vary from person to person it became quite difficult to provide automatic truncation of long task names that would satisfy everybody. Now you can decide whether you want to see the whole task name or just the first 10 symbols of it.

We also worked a little bit on the design of the resulting presentation. My personal recommendation, though, is that you use PowerPoint2007 which provides very good default "beauty" to the newly created shapes and tables. But since still a lot of people use PowerPoint2003 we tried to format its Gantt chart presentation in a similar way to PowerPoint2007. Hopefully, you will appreciate these design improvements.

There were also added some other minor improvements, but they were not so critical. :)

And finally, we would like to draw your attention to the speed of presentation building. Having to choose between simplicity and functionality we, as for the time being, choose simplicity. Therefore, the add-in is built purely in VBA which is a little bit limited in respect to the languages of .NET platform. Therefore, the construction of the presentation, especially if over 100 slides are to be created, is slow. To drastically improve the speed we recommend that before transferring your Gantt charts to a new presentation you close all open PowerPoint applications. When no PowerPoint application is open the tool creates a new instance of the application which remains hidded. Then, while building the presentation, PowerPoint does not have to display all the modifications in the slides. Or better, it does not have to redraw every single step. As a result, it works much faster!

We thank everybody for feedbacks, collaboration and interest in us and our solutions.

You can find this solution on our Web site YellowRiver (
in the category OUR PROJECTS
where you can also find other projects, ideas and solutions.

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