Hi, it’s Jon K again. In this post, I’ll introduce Project 2010’s new Backstage view. The Backstage view is the new experience seen when you click on the File tab in Project 2010. While the other ribbon tabs focus on things you do in your project (add tasks, edit resources, change formatting), the Backstage view is focused on things you do to your project as a whole—for example, save, print, and share.
The Backstage view is new across all Office apps for 2010, whereas the ribbon was a part of other Office applications for Office 2007 but is also new for Project 2010. In this post, Clay provides some background on the thinking behind the introduction of the Backstage view. His comments there apply to Project as well, so I recommend you take a break from this post and go read his post first if you’re new to the Backstage view. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…
OK, welcome back. When you click the File tab in the ribbon to enter the Backstage view, you’ll see a new list of tabs down the side: Info, Recent, New, Print, Save & Send, Help. Additionally, there are single-click “fast commands” for frequent options like Save, Save As, Publish, Open, and Close. Below these tabs you’ll also find a button to configure Project options.
When you first click the File tab in Project, you’ll see Project’s Info tab:
The Info tab is where you can get high-level status about your project and make related changes. A few things to notice:
- The Backstage view is full screen. Since you’re not working with the content of your document, the Backstage takes over the screen and allows for more screen space to describe the relevant features
- “Temporary” sections provide status about special conditions such as a Read-Only file as shown above.
- The info tab also provides:
- A convenient place to reference the location of your document, and copy it to the clipboard
- A place to manage your connections to Project Server (if any)
- A link to the Organizer, where you can move project elements
- A thumbnail view of your project, which you can click to exit the Backstage view
- A place to view and edit key properties of your project. For example, you can click on the Status Date to directly edit inline
When you’re connected to Project Server, you’ll see a number of new Info tab options “light up” as shown here:
As you can see, a number of Project Server-dependent features are now shown, such as:
- A convenient link to your Project Web App home page
- Date/time of your last publish to PWA, and a button to publish again
- Buttons to check for updates, manage permissions, and work with the enterprise global
The right-side pane now also lets you control the tracking method, edit custom fields values, and link to related information like documents, issues, and risks.
I won’t go into as much detail on the other tabs here, but here’s a quick overview:
- The Recent tab provides quick access to your recently opened projects, and lets you pin the projects you want to always keep on the list
- The New tab brings together a number of ways to start a project, including:
- Blank new project
- Recent templates, local templates, and Project Server templates
- New from existing project, from Excel workbook, or from a SharePoint task list
- Templates from Office.com, which you can now navigate and open directly in Project without having to open a Web browser
- The Print tab combines print preview with changing common print settings, providing a convenient all-in-one interface for printing. I’ll come back to this in a moment.
- The Save & Send tab (this was called “Share” in the Beta) is where you go to publish to Project Server, sync a list to SharePoint, change your file format, save as PDF or XPS, send as an email attachment, and more
- Project’s Help tab is similar to that of the other Office apps and is described here.
- Finally, Options takes you to Project’s options interface, which we’ve redesigned for 2010 and perhaps we can cover that in more detail separately.
The Print tab is a good example of the benefits of the full-screen experience in the Backstage. Where before you might have had to toggle between setup dialogs and preview, the new print experience lets you change the common settings and immediately see the impact in the preview. So you can easily change your printer, number of copies, page layout, date range, and the like and then hit Print once you’re ready. Here’s what this looks like:
There’s more to discover, but I hope this overview gives you a sense of what’s new with the move to the Backstage view and why we hope you’ll find it useful.
Finally, if you’re interested in programmatically customizing the Backstage view, see here.