Microsoft Excel

NetPoint will import activities and resources from Excel 2003 and onwards and export/generate reports based on activities, milestones, and benchmarks; targets; and predecessor and successors. Macro settings must be set to medium/low or disabled to successfully transfer to and from Excel. See Macro Security Certificate.

Importing Activities from a Template

In some instances, it may be desirable to define activities by spreadsheet, entering descriptions, start dates, and durations manually, instead of by drawing them on the canvas.

Completing a Template

To import from a template, the template must first be filled out. Click File > Import/Export > Open Excel for Activity Entry… from the menu bar.

Microsoft Excel will start and a prompt will open. If start dates will be entered, click Yes.

Required fields are Description, Duration, and Activity Calendar. In the Calendar column, a drop down list will populate with all standard and custom calendars that have been defined in NetPoint prior to opening Excel for activity entry. Activity IDs are not required. The Start Date column may or may not show up based on initial selection. For more information on defining activities and their fields, see Activities.


Data must be input in the format given in the column label or as noted in IMPORTANT COMMENTS TO USER. The template will make limited adjustment to data format, but does not automatically change all entries. As a result, copying and pasting data from another spreadsheet would require the format to be modified to the format indicated. For example, dates must be mm/dd/yyyy format. In addition, do not skip or leave empty rows, as an empty row reads as the final row of data and NetPoint will not transfer any data after an empty row.

When copying cells that contain formula(s) from a spreadsheet, be certain to paste the value of the formula into the template. This is because NetPoint cannot read the formula when importing, only the value. To do so:

Copy the cells from the source spreadsheet.

Select the destination cells in the template for activity entry.

While this location is still selected, right-click and choose the Paste Special option. When the Paste Special window opens, select the Values radio button.

excel paste special

Also, keep descriptions short to avoid the text extending past the width of the activity bar. Once imported, the description may be stacked in the Activity Object window by adding a manual return (the Enter key) where the line should break.

After entering activities and their required fields, save the file as a workbook (.xls) to a convenient directory location to be imported.

Loading a Template

To import from a template, click File > Import/Export > Import Activities from Excel Template… from the menu bar.

An explorer window will open. Browse for the desired file and click Open.

If a plan is not already open, NetPoint opens one and populates the plan with the activities. Otherwise the open plan will be updated. Activities import one per grid and are ready for modification and links. The new plan automatically tiles pages to accommodate imported activities. Once the activities have been rearranged and connected, the page size and/or tiling may be reset. See Page Tiling & Setup for more details.

NOTE: Activities may be imported from several different templates, several times, into the existing or new schedules.

Importing Resources from a Template

In some instances, it may be desirable to define resources by spreadsheet, entering cost, categories, etc. manually, instead of through NetPoint’s interface.

Completing a Template

To import from a template, the template must first be filled out. Click File > Import/Export > Open Excel for Resource Entry… from the menu bar.

Microsoft Excel will open.

All fields are required. Use Enter to advance after filling in a field. For more information on defining resources and their fi­elds, see Defining Resources.

excel resources template

After entering resources and their required fields, save the file as a workbook (.xls) to a convenient directory location to be imported.

Loading a Template

To import from a template, click File > Import/Export > Import Resources from Excel Template… from the menu bar.

An explorer window will open. Browse for the desired file and click Open.

If a plan is not already open, NetPoint automatically opens a new plan and populates it with the defined resources. Otherwise the resources will be added to current plan. To double check, click Tools > Manage Resources… from the menu bar.

Exporting Activities, Milestones, & Benchmark Reports

To generate a report based on activities, milestones, and benchmarks, click File > Excel Reporting > Activities, Milestones, and Benchmarks… from the menu bar.

The report will open in Microsoft Excel but is not automatically saved.

Activities are listed first, followed by start/finish benchmarks, and start/finish milestones. Dates, durations, calendars, as well as float, buffer, and drift values are listed for each object, followed by resources, when applicable.

excel report sample

Save the report before closing.

Exporting Target Reports

To generate a report based on targets, click File > Excel Reporting > Targets… from the menu bar or click the Export… button from the Target Comparison window.

The report will open in Microsoft Excel but is not automatically saved.

Current activities, milestones, and benchmarks are listed on the left with their corresponding target dates and durations on the right. If any data has changed, the whole target is highlighted.

excel target report

Save the report before closing.

Note: If an object is deleted from the schedule, its target data is deleted as well.

Exporting Predecessor & Successor Reports

To generate a report based on predecessors and successors, click File > Excel Reporting > Predecessors and Successors… from the menu bar or click the Export… button from the Predecessors and Successors window.

The report will open in Microsoft Excel but is not automatically saved.

Objects are listed alphabetically, in bold, with any predecessors/successors above/below them respectively. Double-clicking any predecessor or successor will jump to that object. In another Excel tab a list describing all the links that are in the exported project will be created.

excel predecessors and successors report

Save the report before closing.