Creating and Managing Comment Boxes for Version 6.1
- 1 About Creating and Managing Comment Boxes
- 2 Adding Comment Boxes
- 3 Adding A Comment Box Using the Comment Box Button
- 4 Editing Comment Boxes
- 5 Notes
- 6 Deleting Comment Boxes
- 7 Ordering Comment Boxes
- 8 Adding Another Comment Box
- 9 Putting Selected Comment Box in All Snapshots
- 10 Making Comment Boxes Invisible Except for the Text
- 11 Moving and Resizing Comment Boxes
- 12 Additional Comment Box Content Options
About Creating and Managing Comment Boxes
1) Comment boxes are a way to attach additional text to a task or milestone shape that do not otherwise exist in your Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel source plan.
2) They are a great way to call attention to critical information to support schedule conversations.
Adding Comment Boxes
1) To add a comment box to any selected task/milestone, right-clicking the task/milestone and select the Comments… command from the context menu as shown below:
2) This action accesses the Create or edit comment box form shown here:
3) A brief description of some of the parameters in this form follows:
- a) Comment. The text you enter that appears in the comment box.
- b) Box Size. The size of the comment box in inches or centimeters.
- c) Offset from Anchor. The displacement of the comment box from the anchor position on the task/milestone shape. Normally to move a comment box drag the box to a new position, but you can also set the position with these controls.
- d) Anchor Position. The horizontal location along the selected task/milestone at which the comment box is anchored. It is a percentage of the task/milestone’s time duration.
- e) Font. The dropdown gives you access to the Font properties form with its controls for changing the font type, color, and size of the text in the comment box are accessed. Additionally, you have control over the text with respect to Bold, Italics, and Underline.
- f) Bkg Color (Background Color). This control uses the standard Color Chooser to select the color for the background within the comment box.
- g) Anchor Shapes. The control lets you select from the symbols available the anchors shape for the comment box to the task/milestone. The anchor shapes are the same shapes available for milestones.
- h) Anchor Color. The control lets you select the color of the anchor shape on the task/milestone.
- i) Attach Comment to All Snapshots. If this checkbox checked ON, the comment box appears in all snapshots. Later on, you can delete the comment box from any snapshot you choose.
- j) Restore Defaults. Checking this checkbox restores the default properties of the comment box to the settings in the Project-View Properties (PVP) form.
4) Make your option selections in the Create or edit comment box form and click OK to represent the comment box on the selected task/milestone.
Adding A Comment Box Using the Comment Box Button
1) As an alternative way of adding a comment box to a task/milestone, select the desired task/milestone and then click the Comment Box button in the Insert tab of the ribbon as shown below:
2) Clicking the Comment Box button accesses the Create or edit comment box form where you can make your setting selections.
3) When all settings are made, click OK and the comment box is displayed with the selected task/milestone.
Editing Comment Boxes
Drag and Drop
1) After creating a comment box, you can drag it another position in the document area, as is shown below:
Manage Comment Box Properties
2) Select one or more comment boxes (hold down the CTRL key to select several of them) and then change their properties in one of several ways:
3) Right-click one to get the context menu shown below:
4) Select the Properties… command to access the Create or edit comment box form shown above. In this form you can change properties of the selected comment boxes.
5) As an alternative, you can use the controls on the Home tab to change the font properties or background color of the selected comment box:
6) Go to the Home tab and then choose one of the editing commands that are active for selected comment boxes:
Managing Background Color
7) There are a couple of options regarding the background color for a comment box:
- a) When a comment box is created for an individual task/milestone, the Create or edit comment box form is displayed and the Bkg color window in this form allows you to change the background color for that individual comment box.
- b) You can change the comment box’s background color by right-clicking on the comment box to display the context menu and select the Properties… command to access the Create or edit comment box form. Then, click the Bkg Color control.
- c) You can turn on the No Fill feature by selecting the No Fill checkbox after clicking the Bkg Color control shown below:
- d) Clicking the OK button changes the comment box to look like this:
1) You can eliminate the border, connecting line, and anchor for a comment box by checking the Transparent checkbox shown above in the Create or edit comment box form.
2) Unchecking the No Fill checkbox is a three step process as described in this article: Changing Individual Task/Milestone Properties (Color, Shapes, etc.).
3) The checkbox called Attach to All Snapshots on the Create or edit comment box form appears on the form during the creation of the comment box. The Attach to All Snapshots checkbox is absent from the form when the form is accessed to edit a comment box.
Deleting Comment Boxes
1) To delete a comment box, follow the steps shown below:
2) Right-click on the selected comment box and choose Delete from the context menu. You have two (2) option to delete the comment box:
- (1) from the current snapshot only, or
- (2) from all snapshots.
3) Generally, it is more common to delete a comment box from all snapshots, unless you want it to reappear in a different snapshot later on.
Ordering Comment Boxes
1) Comment boxes, when created, are automatically displayed in front of all other graphics.
2) If you want to avoid covering up tasks/milestones or labels, you can use the Order command to adjust the display of comment boxes on the Z-Axis as described in the steps below:
- a) Right-click on the selected comment box and then click on the Order command as shown below:
- b) Mouse over the Order command to access the four sub-commands as shown above. These are explained in detail in the The Project View Legend (Portal) group of articles.
3) As shown above, the comment box appears to be hiding the baseline element of the task.
4) If you want that baseline element to appear on top of the comment box, click the Send to back sub-command and the project view looks like this:
Adding Another Comment Box
1) You can have more than one comment box attached to a selected task/milestone.
2) To accomplish this, use the Add another… sub-command as described in the steps below:
- a) Right-click on any comment box attached to the task/milestone that requires an additional comment box.
- b) Then click the Add another… sub-command in the context menu.
2) These actions access the Create or edit comment box form where you can specify the new comment box’s text label and other properties.
3) When you click the OK button, the added comment box is displayed on the selected task/milestone as shown here as an example:
Putting Selected Comment Box in All Snapshots
1) The default setting for created comment boxes is to put the comment box in all snapshots.
- a) Sometimes a comment box is only appropriate for a selected snapshot and should not appear in all snapshots.
- b) When this is the desired result, you should uncheck the Attach to All Snapshots checkbox in the Create or edit comment box form when the comment box is first created.
2) The comment box created in this manner has all its other properties set to the default values.
3) Should you subsequently decide that this comment box should be included in all snapshots, right-click on the comment box and click the Put at all snapshots sub-command in the context menu as shown below:
Making Comment Boxes Invisible Except for the Text
1) Sometimes it is convenient to put some text at some arbitrary position near a task or milestone but not have it surrounded by a box border and connected by an anchor line.
2) In the example below, we push the task name into a comment box and then make the comment box itself invisible.
3) We start with this:
- a) Right-click the task/milestone, select Format… command, and then go to the Task Label tab of the Change Marker Properties form shown below:
- b) Change the Label Position window to the in comment box option.
- c) Start and finish dates, if displayed with the task label, are not brought into the comment box.
- d) This pushes the task name into a comment box as shown below:
- e) To make the comment box and anchor line disappear, right-click on the comment box and click the Properties… command in the context menu to access the Create or edit comment box form:
- f) The last step is to check the Transparent checkbox, which makes the comment box look like this:
4) Above, the comment box’s border and connector are both transparent.
5) You also have the option to make to connecting line visible even if the comment box border is transparent by checking the Show connecting line when transparent checkbox ON.
6) When this is done, the project view with the transparent border on the comment box looks like this:
Moving and Resizing Comment Boxes
1) To move or resize a comment box, the box it must first be selected.
2) Selecting a comment box, results in the comment box being highlighted and surrounded by eight grab boxes as shown below:
Moving a Comment Box
- a) To move the comment box, just select it and drag the outline to the new position:
- b) Releasing the left-mouse completes the move as shown below:
Resizing a Comment Box
3) To resize a comment box, select the comment box to display the highlight and eight (8) grab boxes used to resize the comment box as shown below:
- a) In the project view above the upper left grab box is selected.
- b) When the mouse is moved a rectangle shows the proposed comment box new position. This intermediate step is shown below:
4) When the left mouse button is released, the comment box is resized and redrawn as shown below:
Additional Comment Box Content Options
1) OnePager allows you to display a task bar or milestone’s label in a comment box connected to the task bar or milestone symbol.
- a) This has always been the case.
- b) OnePager can display task bar start and finish dates, the milestone date, and task bar and milestone percent complete (%Complete) information in a comment box.
2) Whenever, either through the Template Properties or the PVP form, you elect to display start date, finish date, and/or percent complete text for task/milestones, you can cause this information to be displayed in a task/milestone comment box.
3) This is shown below where all tasks/milestones are displaying label text, start dates, finish dates, and percent complete values in one task was selected to display this information in a comment box.
4) Controls for the outcome illustrated above are found by right-clicking on the selected task, selecting the Format… command in the context menu, and then using Change Marker Properties form’s Dates tab and Percent Complete tab's controls to achieve the desired combination of information to display.
5) The settings for the Dates tab and the Percent Complete tab of the Change Marker Properties forms are shown below: