Sum the Total Duration for Tasks in MS Project

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Microsoft Project uses the duration field to calculate the difference between the start and finish dates of a task. But what if you want to view the sum of all durations for a set of tasks?

Microsoft Project does not have a field to calculate the total durations for a set of tasks. However this can be easily accomplished by creating a custom field.

Create a Custom Field to Sum Task Duration

  1. Click the Format tab under Gantt Chart Tools on the Ribbon.
  2. Click the Custom Fields button in the Columns group.

Custom Fields Dialog Box

  1. Click the list arrow in the top right corner and select Duration as the type of field we want to create.
  2. With Duration1 selected in the list of duration fields, click the Rename button below the list. Enter Duration Total as the name for the new field.

Rename the custom field

  1. Click the Formula button
  2. Click the Field button and select Duration and then Duration again from the submenu.

Enter formula to calculate total duration

  1. Click Ok.
  2. A message appears warning you that because the field will be calculated by a formula, any existing data will be lost. Click Ok.

Prompt that formula may cause loss of existing data

  1. Select the Rollup option. Click the list arrow and change the function to Sum.
  2. Click Ok to save and close the dialog box.

The field has been created. Now it needs to be inserted into the table.

Insert the Duration Total Column

  1. Right mouse click on the column header to the right of where you want to insert the new Duration Total column.
  2. Select Insert Column from the menu. Type “du” to scroll through the list quickly and select the Duration Total field.

Column showing task duration total

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