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Using VBA or Excel query to find out structure and contents of MS Project 2010 custom fields

Posted on 2014-07-18
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Last Modified: 2015-01-16
We use custom fields in Microsoft Project 2010 extensively. We often get plan files from other people and it would be helpful if there was a way to produce a report or data table showing the settings for custom fields as well as any lookup tables or formulas they might contain.

I have typically been opening the custom fields dialog and using screen shots to capture images of the windows, but it's a very manual process. Does anyone know of a way to pull custom field settings and values out of a project plan file using a query or VBA script?
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Question by:Shannon Mollenhauer
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by:aikimark
ID: 40206175
Do you have dsofile.dll on your PC?
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by:aikimark
ID: 40206220
Is this just 2010 versions of Project or do you need older versions?
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by:Shannon Mollenhauer
ID: 40225039
I'm checking my machine for the dll. First search is not turning up anything. I'll download from MS if necessary. Just need to be sure I'm installing the right version.

As for Project versions - 2010 is sufficient. I hate enabling people to keep legacy file formats and applications, so I prefer presenting solutions that work with current or nearly current versions as another reason to quit being cheap and upgrade their most important tools.
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by:aikimark
ID: 40225070
You should be able to open up Project files with VBA code inside a Project.  Once open, you have access to the extended properties.  That way, you should not need the DLL.
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Author Comment

by:Shannon Mollenhauer
ID: 40225093
It sounds like you're referring to the custom fields in document properties. I'm referring to the custom data fields - text1-30, number, duration, data, flag, start, finish, etc. Are those treated the same as document property fields?
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by:aikimark
ID: 40225109
If you see them in the properties dialog of the file, then yes.  There are two sets of these properties.  One set is standard for Office documents.  The other set is custom properties, set by the application code.
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Author Comment

by:Shannon Mollenhauer
ID: 40240324
I'm not looking at the custom properties. I'm looking at the custom fields. These are data fields within the task and resource tables used to store text, numbers, dates and flags. You can rename them, create custom lists, calculate formulas, validate data.

I'll search some of the MSProject forums for some help. Thanks anyway.
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Bembi earned 500 total points
ID: 40405531
OK, lets say....
yes it is possible...., the objects are exposed via VBA and you read them and store them somewhere else...
As I never had this request for single project files, I do not have some code for this...
For project server it makes a bit more sense, but here it is just realized by an SQL query and such fields are common over all projects (same name, same GUID, same lookup tables).

The major problem with this is, that a custom field is represented by an GUID which is generated, when the field it created. That means, for file based projects, custom fields can have different GUIDs in different projects and also the lookup tables can be different and have different GUIDs, nevertheless the content is the same. So, even you are able to get the information, what custom fields and lookup tables you have, I can not really imagine, what you then want to do with this information, as it is not quite easy to get them over each other.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Shannon Mollenhauer
ID: 40554741
Your explanation of the uniqueness of custom fields from one file to another is helpful. I understand the GUIDs could complicate the use. I was just looking for a way to dump custom field content for documentation or manipulation with other tools besides the interactive dialog window and copy and paste steps.
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