Creating a new default calendar in Project 2010

The default working calendar within Microsoft Project is for working Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm with an hour for lunch. If this is not the standard hours worked by your organisation, you may want to change the default calendar so that it reflects your standard hours for each new project.

In MS Project 2010, to change working time, go to the Project tab, then in the Properties group, click Change Working Time.

Use the Exceptions tab for non-working times like Bank Holidays – type the name of the exception and select the Start and Finish dates.

Use the Work Weeks tab to set the default working/non-working times:

  •  Click on the Default row and click the Details button.
  • For working days, select the appropriate days of the week (select adjacent weekday names by dragging or non-adjacent days by holding down the Ctrl key).
  • For these selected days, choose the third option Set Day(s) To These Specific Working Times.
  • Type in the relevant Start and End times
  • For non-working days, select the relevant days of the week and choose the second option Set days to non-working time.
  • Click OK to complete your changes.

At the bottom of the Change Working Time dialog box, click Options.

Change the Default start time, Default end time, Hours per day, Hours per week and Days per month as appropriate to match what you have done in the Change Working Time dialog box.

Click OK twice.

To change the default working time for all new projects, open the good project plan with the required working times, then:

Click File then in the Info section, click Organize Global Template.

Click the Calendar tab. There should be two sides – the lhs will be the original default settings created by MS Project (says Global.mpt at bottom), the rhs covers the Calendar we created on Friday. Click Standard on rhs and then click Copy. You will get a message asking if you are sure this is what you want to do. Say Yes. When it has done so, close the dialog box. Now it should work for all new projects.

Find details of our Microsoft Project training courses London or details of our Microsoft Project training courses Sydney.


About jdonbavand

I am a trainer of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project and Crystal Reports. I have called my blog "If Only I'd Known That...." because I hear it so many times in training sessions. In fact, if only I had a £100 (or 150 Aussie dollars)for every time someone says "If only I'd known that." ....
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15 Responses to Creating a new default calendar in Project 2010

  1. Alex says:

    How can I change the duration to calendar days instead of working days. Most of my projects will say be 30 calendar days, when I schedule them it will only take say 20 working days. So how do I show the 30 days and not the 20?

  2. Kevin says:

    I don’t understand why the user has to change the values in the calendar Options as well. What happens if the user does not do this? Alternatively, what happens if the user changes the values in the Options section but not the Change Working Time calendar?

    • jdonbavand says:

      If you only do it in one section you get odd results. Say you change the day to start at 10am in Change Working Time but not in Options where it stays at 8am. You the create a recurring weekly project meeting. You will get an error message saying that they are outside working time as it will be trying to schedule them as per the calendar under Options. I admit it is a difficult concept.

  3. Gini Chadbourne says:

    For the person looking to display calendar days instead of work days – if you want to do this for ALL your tasks without displaying “edays” (they confuse many of my clients) you may want to change the working time to seven day weeks, with the same 8-5 time with a one hour lunch. BE CAREFUL WITH THIS – someone used 8-5 without the lunch (creating a nine-hour day) on one of my schedules but left the workday as 8 hours under “options”. Whenever I entered sequential tasks, they would start during the previous calendar day, walking backward by one hour for each day of duration – long duration tasks lost one day out of every 8, and it took me several hours to identify the cause!

  4. Hiba says:

    Hi Jdonbavand,
    I did all the steps you advised,
    I was trying to set my calendar to 7 hours per day, 35 hours per week 9:00 am – 12: pm, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
    BUT, I get odd results, for example. I get .86 when I enter the same date for start and end dates.
    Somehow resources are assigned 6 hours per day…I am not sure why.
    Can you please help me.

    Thank you.

    • jdonbavand says:

      Did you go into the File – Options on the Schedule tab; make sure you have set the times there to the same as in Change Working Time dialog box and that you have set hours per day there to being 7 and hours per week to 35.

      • Hiba says:

        Thank you so much for the quick reply.
        Yes I did.
        There is no option to enter the lunch-hour break, but other than that I entered all the info.
        It works fine if I keep the scheduling “auto”, but my boss wants it “manual”. Also it would work fine if I enter the dates or duration before the resource name..but that is not how my boss works..he enters the dates much later.

        Can you help please?

  5. jdonbavand says:

    Check the Start date of your Project – it may still be set at 8am rather than 9am.

    • Hiba says:

      Do you mean start time? I set it to 9:00 am (in Options -> Schedule)
      the start date for the project I set it to 8/26/2015 (in project -> Project information)

  6. Hiba says:

    Can I send you a sample that reflect what happens with the project?

  7. jdonbavand says:

    You can but I would check the Start time of the Start date of the Project. On the File – Options General tab, change the date format so you can see time as well, then go to Project – Project Information and check what it says for the start time there. You may find it says 8am although you have set the working day to start at 9am!

  8. Hiba says:

    You solved it!
    Thank you so so much!
    Should I have been able to figure this on my own?

  9. jdonbavand says:

    Glad it worked. I don’t see why you should have figured it out on your own. It is not obvious that it would have a different start time for the project than the working time. Hope it all works OK now.

  10. Hiba says:

    Thank you.
    I would not have been able to leave it alone without figuring out how to fix it…you saved me so much headache and time, very kind of you.

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