If you’re using and more importantly sharing MS Project files, there are going to be problems. But those hurdles can be easily cleared if you have a Microsoft Project Viewer to view and edit MPP files.
What Is a Microsoft Project Viewer?
A Microsoft Project viewer, also known as an MPP viewer, is a piece of software that gives users the ability to open, export and print MS Project files without a Microsoft Project license. It’s a life-saver for anyone using or receiving Microsoft Project files because of the many obstacles MS Project presents when it comes to sharing MPP files.
A MS Project Viewer is not project management software, but it allows users to view tasks and task details, as well as resources that are associated with the tasks. You can use the MPP viewer to export to an Excel spreadsheet and print, too.
Using a Microsoft Project Viewer on Mac
If you’re a Mac user, you may be especially interested in using a Microsoft Project viewer since MS Project doesn’t work on Mac.
Just like on a PC, you can use a Microsoft Project viewer for Mac to view and sometimes edit files on your Mac computer, export them and share them with team members who have a Microsoft Project license.
How to View & Edit MPP Files Without MS Project
How do you use a Microsoft Project Viewer to seamlessly import and export MPP files so you can actually edit the files, and support data updates when you share & view files online?
With ProjectManager, you can import and export Microsoft Project files without losing any data thanks to its cloud storage. Plus, you can view and edit MPP files before exporting your changes and sharing with your team members. Best of all, our online software works on both Windows and Mac computers, without requiring any downloads.
1. Start a Free 30-Day Trial
In order to view and edit MS Project files on your computer (Windows or Mac), you must first start your free 30-day trial. Choose any plan you like, as they are all compatible with Microsoft Project, and each plan lets you seamlessly import, export, view and edit MPP files. Once you’ve selected a plan, ProjectManager is free for 30 days and can be canceled at any time—no strings attached!
Follow the walkthrough below to view and edit your MPP files in ProjectManager.
2. Use the Gantt Chart to Import Your MPP File
Launch the Gantt chart tool and click on the import button. You can find it on the top right of your screen. It’s the one with the symbol that looks like a box with an arrow piercing it on top. Once you import your file, you can use ProjectManager as an online MPP file viewer and editor and use all its project management features to edit your Microsoft Project plan.
3. Get Your MPP File
Find the MPP file you want to work on. A popup window will ask which project file you wish to import. Once you’ve selected it, hit next. Make sure your file has the right MPP file extension.
4. Pick Your Options
Follow the choices listed on the new popup menu. You can now add the imported MS project file to an existing project or open it as a new one, as well as replacing the data or keeping it.
5.Import the MPP File into Our Viewer
Choose how you want to import the Microsoft Project file. You can get all the data from it or just the task list. It’s up to you. Choose whichever option gives you more options when it comes to efficiently viewing and editing your MPP file.
6. Get Started Viewing & Editing Your MPP File!
See that window that says success? That means you’ve imported the file and now you can share it, edit it and, if you want, export it back to MS Project, without any hassles. Your project will appear on the Gantt chart at first, but you can manage it in any of the project views available in our cloud platform. It’s Microsoft Project integration done right.
3 Microsoft Project Viewers with Free & Paid Plans
If you’re just looking for a Microsoft Project viewer and nothing else, there are some lightweight options out there that might interest you. All work as a free Microsoft Project viewer, even on Mac, and some can be found in the Microsoft Store.
These tools might not have the features that project managers need, such as Gantt charts, cloud storage, etc., but they’ll act as an online MPP viewer and make those stubborn MPP files workable for iOS, Android and Windows users alike.
1. Project Plan 365
ProjectPlan 365 is a Microsoft Project viewer that can open and save Microsoft Project files. It imports and exports seamlessly to collaborate with MS Project. It works with Mac and has a cloud interface to work online or a downloadable version for your macOS devices. A benefit for Microsoft Project users is that this free MPP viewer has a familiar feel to that tool.
Users have complained that the software crashes, especially if charts are more complicated. Another issue is that customers have complained of bugs, such as the tool doesn’t sync with Dropbox. While it promises a lot, such as Gantt charts, it doesn’t always deliver, and when it does the subscription price for the paid version is high.
2. Project Viewer 365
Project Viewer 365 is another lightweight Microsoft Project viewer. It allows users to view, read, share and print MPP files. It has cloud-based integration with Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox and SharePoint. Pricing starts at $29.99 for one license, though there is a free MPP viewer, and it works with PCs, Macs, and any web browser.
While this is a decent online MPP viewer, it’s nothing else. If you’re only using Microsoft Project then this might be a fine workaround to view files with teams and vendors that would otherwise require the purchase of more MS Project licenses. However it’s so barebones and even with a free version, it’s not worth the money to have another app that does only one thing.
3. Seavus Project Viewer
Finally, there’s Seavus ProjectViewer, another MS Project viewer that supports all the views available on Microsoft Project and MS Project professional, including graphical reports. Like the others on this list, the user interface mimics that of MS Project for ease of use. It even has Skype for Business integration and a task update collaboration add-in.
Trouble is, this is another expensive MPP viewer at $39 for a one-time user. There is a free trial but that’s not going to help customers who need a long-term solution. As a MS Project viewer, you could do worse, but again there are no other project management features. The idea of spending money on a product that does only one thing means you’ll eventually have a handful of expensive apps that can do but one thing when there are affordable alternatives that can view MPP files and much more.
That’s why if you’re looking for a powerful tool that has a free version and different subscription tiers to match your needs and not break your wallet, you’ll want a MS Project viewer such as ProjectManager. It not only views, but edits and shares your MMP files. In fact, you might just give up Microsoft Project altogether.
Why ProjectManager Is the Best Free Online MS Project Viewer for Mac & Windows
When you have imported your MS Project File into an online Microsoft Project viewer that has the capacity to edit MPP files, like ProjectManager, you’re given free rein to work, whether you’re using Windows, Mac, iOS or Android devices. The Microsoft Project files are fully imported into your online MS project viewer.
Now that you’re in the MPP file, there are different project views available to you when you work. Let’s take a short look at some innovative ways to use a MS Project Viewer with project management features, like ProjectManager, and see how this tool can help you work more efficiently.
1. Online Gantt Planning
When you import an MPP file to ProjectManager, the project plan and Gantt chart is immediately populated online, preserving all your custom columns and settings, like color-coding, WBS and task dependencies, as well as importing resources and assignments. You can then immediately view your project plans online and manage them easily with your team once invited to the online project.
This includes collaborating with your team on tasks directly on the Gantt chart, which enables you to also receive alerts when your team members have updated their tasks with comments or file attachments. And you can also manage projects in a portfolio, creating project groups and manage task dependencies across projects.
2. Online Timesheets & Resource Management
When you import Microsoft Project plans online to ProjectManager, you get more than a MS project viewer. You can manage your projects online, including managing resource time, costs and updates.
Since your resource data is imported, you can share the online project plans with your team and invite them to update timesheets. This is perfect for teams in the field. They can update tasks and timesheets anytime, anywhere, and you get email alerts when their timesheets are ready for your approval. All this by importing one project plan!
3. Populate Real-time Dashboards
When you import a MPP file into ProjectManager, for example, your real-time dashboard is instantly populated, showing you instant views of your project data. You might wonder, if you’ve never seen a real-time view of your project data, why you would need a project dashboard? Well the benefits are clear upon import. You can see at-a-glance:
- Project Health
- Task Status
- Team Workload Status
- And more
With ProjectManager, your MPP files are super-powered. Now they can reflect real-time changes in your project. You can easily share documents that were too big to email. Import and export is a breeze, the viewer can do all the formatting for you, and best of all, your project data instantly populates your dashboard with colorful charts and graphs. Ready to try it? Sign up for a 30-day free trial now.
ProjectManager Is More than a Viewer: It’s an MPP File Editor
ProjectManager is not just a free MS project viewer. It’s a Microsoft Project alternative that can be used as an MPP file editor or a fully-featured project management software that gives you complete control over your projects. When you import and export MS Project plans, you want to have the ability to work on them and access to project management features.
With data roundtripping, your imported data columns don’t have to be “mapped,” like in other project viewers. The data immediately and seamlessly is imported in the right places, so you can continue your project planning and scheduling right there online!
With an advanced MPP editor you can:
- Open MPP files
- Manage MPP files online
- View planned, baselines and WBS
- See & update task dependencies
- Merge resources & their rates
- Merge assignments
- Collaborate with your team online
- View real-time dashboard data
- Export updated data as XML into MS Project
Once your Microsoft Project files are seamlessly imported online, you can manage and share your projects 100% online, safely and securely, so you can collaborate with your team. Basically, everything from MS Project transfers over, including formatting such as color-coding.
Team members can update tasks on the Gantt, add attachments and comments. So you can continue planning in just a few clicks. Plus, if you need to export the data back to MS Project, you can simply click “export,” and it will open in MS Project with all the data updates intact. ProjectManager is also compatible with Onedrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Outlook and more than 1000 business apps.
Related: Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Planner
Why You Need a Microsoft Project Viewer
Microsoft Project is expensive, and it doesn’t share well with users who don’t have a copy of the software, which is generally clunky. Therefore, a Microsoft Project Viewer can save a lot of time, money and effort.
MS Project Is Expensive
The price point is one of the difficulties that one encounters immediately with MS Project. While the new MS Project 2019 has a $10/month/user subscription plan, you don’t get a lot of features with it. The more advanced cloud-based subscription will set you back $55 month/user. The on-premise solution is even pricier: the price range is $679.99 for Project Standard 2021 to over $1,000 for the Project Professional 2021 edition.
Why MS Project Is Difficult
While the new Microsoft Project Online does add more flexibility to the product and is certainly an improvement over the desktop version, the learning curve is still steep. It’s not a user-friendly interface, and again, sharing files is not easy. Microsoft offers its Sharepoint as a means to share files, but even their solution is expensive and not easy to use. Add to that the lack of a real-time dashboard, and you can see why people complain.
For those projects that are being managed on a Mac OS device, the problems are much worse. Microsoft Project doesn’t support Apple products. That ignores huge industries, such as publishing and design.
Many Versions of MSP
There are two main versions of Microsoft Project, standard and professional. These are available as 32 or 64 bit options. There is also the aforementioned cloud and desktop version. There is a new 2019 version of Microsoft Project, as well as ones from 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2007. Which is the right one for you can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Benefits of Using a Microsoft Project Viewer
Most MS Project viewers allow you to view and share MPP files online, which, as we’ve established, is pretty hard to do in a Microsoft eco-system. Even with the new Microsoft Project Online versions, sharing files requires the recipient party to have MS Project desktop installed, and it costs extra money, to boot!
A Microsoft Project Viewer, however, lets you:
- View MS Project files online
- Share MS Project files with non-MS Project license holders
- Instantly populate a real-time dashboard with your project data
- Create and share reports
- Collaborate with your team on the project plan
But not all Project Viewers let you do all that. It’s important to consider all the potential benefits of certain viewers, so you can choose the one that’s right for you.
Microsoft Project Viewers FAQ
Microsoft Project is a very commonly used project management software but is not the best tool. That’s why there are many Microsoft Project viewer tools that have been developed for those who don’t want to use MS Project but still need to open and share MPP files. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions online about Microsoft Project viewers.
What is the best Microsoft Project viewer?
ProjectManager is the best Microsoft Project viewer. It’s an online project management software that lets you flawlessly import and edit MPP files.
Is there any Free Microsoft Project viewer?
Yes, there are several free MPP viewers available online, such as in the Microsoft Store, Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
Can you view MS Project files without MS Project?
Yes, you can use a Microsoft Project viewer, MPP file editor or better yet, a project management software.
Can I edit MPP files with a Microsoft Project viewer?
No, Microsoft Project viewers don’t allow you to edit MPP files. With an MPP viewer you can only read, share and print MPP files.
If you’re using Microsoft Project, then look for alternatives to help you share your work with your team and stakeholders. With an online Project viewer and cloud-based project management software tool like ProjectManager, you can do more than just view your files. You can seamlessly manage your MPP files online, update and collaborate on plans online, manage timesheets with your team, view real-time project data, and so much more. See for yourself with this free 30-day trial!