Outline structure printing issue

Hi

When printing a plan using the outline structure why do the vertical bands disappear when using print preview & printing off the plans.

It worked fine in Project 2003 but occurred in 2007, 2010 & 2013 I have tried 8 different PC's using standard and professional and using several different printers so know it isn't a print driver issue.

Microsoft wanted £220 + VAT to log this issue but I'm not prepared to pay to report a bug.

Thanks,

Steve.

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Steve,

Please clarify what view your are referring to when you say "outline structure", as several view show the outline structure. And which vertical bands are you referring to, sheet columns, middle tier, bottom tier, etc.?

Here is an example of a Print Preview of a typical file with the bottom tier set as a dotted line. I'm using Project 2010 fully updated.

John

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Hi John

Thanks for the reply the problem is using the group by facility the vertical bands disappear

This is a quick plan I've thrown together this is a screen shot of what it should print off like the next is from the print preview.


As you put more detail in and and add more groups it looks terrible so cannot be issued to the client.

Best Regards,

Steve.

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Steve,

Wow, this is definitely a case where a picture is worth a thousand words. Even if you had tried to describe this in several paragraphs I doubt I would have known what you were talking about.

You are absolutely right, it works in Project 2003 but not in Project 2007 or Project 2010, I don't have any later versions. I also tried saving as a PDF, hoping that might work but it doesn't. Is it a bug? Yeah probably but to be honest, if it hasn't been "fixed" by now (e.g. Project 2016) it's probably not something that has a priority. You didn't mention whether you tried this with Project 2016 so I need to verify that first with someone I know has the latest version. I'll let you know when I hear back.

Meanwhile, if you really need a printout showing the grouped structure I have two suggestions. First, save the file as a Project 2003 version and print from there. Second, export the data to Excel using simple copy and paste and then fill in the missing vertical color bands manually. Or, automate the export and Excel formatting with VBA (I've done something similar some years ago).

John

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Hi John

Thanks for your assistance, I think one of the reasons it has not been fixed is Microsoft make it very difficult for the user to report bugs, faults or quirks

so might not be aware of it. 

It is very annoying when you pay a lot of money for software that doesn't perform as it is supposed to. Project is now getting more advanced / complicated with each version, trying to catch up to Primavera but are overlooking the basics which are just as important as the advanced features.

I haven't tried 2016 as I am not prepared to pay for another version that doesn't do what I need I will carry on with the old one and probably start transferring into Primavera where I can.

I tried your suggestion of saving as a 2003 file and had the same problem.

As my plan is over 600 lines copying into Excel and back is a non starter, I did however try it on a small section but came up against a pasting error

Another quirk with this problem is, if I highlight a row when the grouping is on it doesn't show up in the main view but does when you go to print preview.

Cheers,

Steve.

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Steve,

I got confirmation that the problem still exists in Project 2016 so I will report it to a contact at Microsoft. If and when I hear back I'll post an update in this thread.

I didn't try the save to Project 2003 myself, I just thought it might be a possible workaround.

I agree, with a file size larger than a hundred tasks, copy and paste to Excel is probably not a good option. That's why I would use VBA, particularly if it's something that needs to be done periodically.

John

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Thanks very much John.

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Steve,

I got a quick reply from Microsoft. I'll paraphrase the response.

Microsoft has been aware of the problem for some time but it has not been fixed because it is not a major issue when compared to the many other performance issues that need to be addressed. It apparently has not impacted a significant number of users since no one has requested a hot fix under a Microsoft support contract for versions of Project from 2007 through 2013.

However, Microsoft did receive a request to fix this for Project 2016 and it is destined to be included in the January 2016 public update. Fixes of this type are not normally back-ported to previous versions unless specifically requested via a support contract request.

Not quite what you wanted to hear but that's the bottom line. If you have a Microsoft support contract, you can submit a hotfix request. If you do not have a support contract I suggest you develop a workaround.

You previously indicated that saving to Project 2003 and then printing did not work however I just tried doing that and it works for me. Are you sure you saved to Project 2003 format? Does your version of Project 2003 have SP3 installed? I my mind, this is the easiest workaround.

And of course, there is the VBA option I suggested previously. I may be able to help you with that.

John

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Thanks for the update John

I think the reason not many people have raised it is because Microsoft do not make it easy to report bugs or potential bugs, having to pay for the privilege is an absolute non starter, I know of quite a few other bugs which affects my confidence in what the software can actually be used for, but i'm not prepared to waste the time trying to report them as I have spent on this issue.

I agree if you want help with a feature you should pay but not to report a problem and then try to claim you money back.

Things will not improve whilst this system is in place.

I did report it to our IT department to take it further but nothing came of it.

As I am using a client PC I only have Project 2010 I can not have 2003 installed so that option unfortunately is not available. Saving as a 2003 file did not work for me.

What I did manage to do was insert some text columns narrow them to the minimum width and then colour code them as required, not ideal but did the trick. 

Thanks again.

Steve.

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Steve,

I agree it should be a clearer path to report problems. You might want to take a look at this link:

https://microsoftproject.uservoice.com/forums/218133-microsoft-project

However, with regard to getting problems fixed, it's all a matter of impact and priority. Those issues that affect basic functionality pop to the top of the list for fixing. Issues that are minor, (and that term will be viewed differently depending on who you ask), or potentially affect a limited number of users may or may not get fixed. That's a pretty normal business model for any business that sells a product.

I'm glad you found a workaround. Myself and a whole lot of other people who have encountered anomalies with Project over the years have had to do the same thing so you are not alone. Do I wish the software were flawless? Sure. Is it ever going to be? Unlikely, so I've learned to adapt when necessary.

John

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To those who may be following this thread,

This issue has been fixed in the September 2017 Public Update for Project 2013. To install that update, run Windows Update.

Note, Project 2007 and Project 2010 are no longer actively updated so don't look for a fix in either of those versions. This issue was fixed in the January 2017 Public Update for Project 2016.

John

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Last updated May 24, 2018 Views 102 Applies to: