Business Productivity

How to open and view .mpp file without MS Project installed

gantter-screenshotRecently 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

No Microsoft Project Viewer

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)
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About the author

Bob Lee

Hi! My name is Bob Lee and I’m a web developer / technical writer who specializes in developing and reviewing web applications. As an entrepreneur, blogger, developer, and tech enthusiast, I have been in this field for more than 10 years, and have been loving every minute of it.

10 Comments

  • Steelray Software’s Microsoft Project Viewer is also a desktop application with very interesting, easy features. Customer service is responsive. Good product.

  • I use Valleyspeak project server and its an excellent Microsoft project viewer which allows the Project Manager to get real-time updates about the project status from their teams.

  • If you need a tool to manage your software development projects,
    I can reccommend

    http://www.ganttzilla.com
    It includes complete set of features for web-based creation, editing, viewing, discussing, versioning, secured sharing and publishing of project plans.

    It’s free!

  • Hi,

    The single best software for viewing Microsoft Project (all versions, including 2010) plans is the Seavus Project Viewer. It is excellent Viewer for Microsoft Project that allows users to open, view and print project plans (mpp files) apart from Microsoft Project with all current MS Projects functionality integrated.

  • I haven’t come across any online apps capable of opening MS Visio diagrams.

    I guess your best way to view the visio diagrams would be to download the free Visio 2007 Viewer.

    Hope it helps!

  • Be careful with the Gantter project software, it crashed on me and I couldn’t get it to re-open the XML file. It has great potential but I think it is not quite ready for production.

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