MS Project 2010 - Start Vs. Actual Start Column Display

This may be a rookie question, but I have Start and Actual Start columns displayed.  When I update Actual Start, it automatically updates the Start column as well.  Is there a way to show what the original Start date was?  Thanks!
Yes that is a newbie question but a very common one. Project isn't very intuitive and does have a rather steep learning curve. For a quick tutorial, you might want to take a look at MVP Mike Glen's tutorials which can be found at, Mike's tutorials have a wealth of information on how Project operates. However, if you want to get a more thorough immersion in learning Project, I suggest you take at least a 2 day training seminar. You can check out the offerings at,

To answer your basic question. When you create a schedule the dates in the Start and Finish fields are called the schedule dates. They reflect the current plan. Once the whole plan is laid out, you want to set a baseline (Project tab on the ribbon). This will store your original plan dates and other data into a group of baseline fields (e.g. Baseline Start, Baseline Finish, etc.). When you start executing your plan you may either enter dates into the Actual Start and Actual Finish fields or if you update your project using other field entries (e.g. % Complete), Project  will populate the actual fields automatically. Because your original plan now has reality inserted into it, Project will automatically update the original schedule dates with the actual dates. If you want to see how the current plan compares to your original plan, you can view that using various fields and views. For example, the Tracking Gantt view (view tab/Resource Views section/Other views/More views).

Hope this helps.,


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Last updated January 27, 2021 Views 43,002 Applies to: