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Custom Flag Fields in Microsoft Project

Give a Flag field a custom name in your Microsoft Project plan

Flag fields are Yes/No columns in Microsoft Project. They add tremendous value because they allow you to filter your plan as it gets bigger and more complicated. Only want to see the tasks the engineers are working on? Put Yes values in a Flag field for the engineering tasks, and No values in that same field for everything else.

But the names of these fields – Flag1, Flag2, ... Flag20 – are pretty meaningless. If your colleague is looking at your plan, he or she may have trouble guessing what those particular Yes and No values mean. That’s why it's useful to know how to rename or retitle a Flag field to something meaningful to your organization.

  1. To rename a Flag field, right-click on the column heading area, as shown with the red arrow below. When the context menu appears, select Custom Fields.

    Right-click on any column heading in Project to access the Custom Fields dialog box.

  2. The Custom Fields dialog box will appear. Initially, the Type shown in the dropdown in the upper right-hand corner will be Text. Change this selection to Flag, and you will see the 20 Flag (Yes/No) fields:

    The Custom Fields dialog box, showing Flag (Yes/No) fields.

  3. From here, simply select a field and click the Rename... button below the list of fields. A smaller dialog will pop up, prompting you to specify a new name for this field. In this case, we’ve selected Flag20 and will call it Engineers Involved (as in, yes the engineers are involved in this task, or no they are not).

    Renaming the Flag20 field to Engineers Involved.

  4. Hit OK on the Rename Field dialog box, and you will see the name updated in the list of fields:

    Custom Fields dialog box showing Flag20 renamed to Engineers Involved.

  5. Now we can use our renamed field. Microsoft Project displays our custom name, not Flag20, so it's easier for everyone to understand.

    The renamed Flag field as it displays in Microsoft Project.

  6. Microsoft Project has another, less commonly used way to choose a different name for a field, known as retitling. To access this feature, again right-click on the column heading area, being sure your mouse cursor is positioned over the field you wish to retitle (otherwise, this option will be grayed out). This time, instead of choosing Custom Fields, select Field Settings.

    Accessing the Field Settings dialog box to retitle a field.

  7. The Field Settings dialog box will appear. You will see that the Title field is blank. Here, you may retitle your field by entering any text. For illustration, we’ll write Technical Task.

    Retitling the Flag field we have already renamed.

  8. This change replaces Engineers Involved with Technical Task in our Microsoft Project plan.

    The retitling of the field to Technical Task overrides the earlier renaming (Engineers Involved).

Last Modified: December 11, 2020