Recently we’ve been working on a few projects which require us to utilize Microsoft Project for project planning and scheduling purposes.
Once the plan(.mpp file) was completed, we then sent it out via email for all project stakeholders to view and comment on.
Within 10 minutes later, one partner replied the email saying:
Dude, I don’t have MS Project installed on my machine! Any other way for me to view this project plan?
From what I know, Microsoft has a Word Viewer, Excel Viewer, Powerpoint Viewer for people to download online for free. But as for MS Project, this is what I found out when I did a search for this phrase “view microsoft project files online“
So it’s confirmed, no viewer program for Project files made available by Microsoft. You’ll need to have at least Microsoft Office Project 2003 installed.
We’ve spent so much time developing the project plan via MS Project, we can’t afford to re do the whole thing on Excel instead. There must be a solution.
Here I will reveal four solutions on how to open and view .mpp file without MS Project installed on your machine.
SOLUTION #1 – Gantter.com
Gantter is a free (gratis) web-based project management tool very similar to how MS Project works.
One of the latest feature of Gantter is its ability to import .MPP files. This means that the partner that initially had trouble viewing the project plan can now head to Gantter.com, import the .mpp Project file that we’ve created and view it online. That’s right, nothing to install. Just upload, and begin to view and even edit the file.
If you have past experience using MS Project, then using Gantter will be really easy for you. And you might just notice that with Gantter you cant easily drag and drop tasks around and also perform copy and paste like how it’s possible within Microsoft Project. This is because Gantter is web based as compared to MS Project which is a desktop application.
But if all you need is to create simple project plans, I don’t see why you will need to purchase MS Project since Gantter has most of the available features you could use for free.
Since Gantter is provided free of charge, there’s really nothing much to complain about. I would like to personally take this opportunity to thank the author of Gantter for making this web based online project tool available to the public for free.
SOLUTION #2 – Project Viewer Central
Project Viewer Central is a desktop application which allows you to view MS Project files for your PC withot MS Project installed. The trial version is available for download.
SOLUTION #3 – Kadonk LiveProject
LiveProject is a free standalone .MPP Viewer application for Microsoft Project files. It enables users to view Gantt charts, tasks, resources and other Microsoft Project information, without the need to install Microsoft Project.
SOLUTION #4 – RationalPlan Viewer
RationalPlan Viewer is also a MS Project viewer as well with the aim to provide project stakeholders a chance to view the project files for free. The RationalPlan Viewer, a near 10 MB download is a desktop application which works on Mac OS X, Windows and Linux.
SOLUTION #5 – Projec.to Online MS Project Viewer
Projec.to is an online application which allows you to view and share .mpp files online
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I believe there are a few other MS Project viewers available out there in the market. Do feel free to update us any any that you stumble upon.
If you’re still using MS Project heavily to manage your projects, consider moving your project management tasks to an online web based platform where you can easily manage projects, create tasks, and collaborate online via Huddle (Free Package)