Merlin html WBS

MerlinHtmlWBSWe get asked from time to time in support if the ‘Net plan’ view of Merlin can display the WBS of a Merlin project as a tree from top to bottom.

The answer for this is no and yes. No, as there are no options for modifying the direction of the ‘Net plan’ view graphical elements. They always get displayed from left to right.

Yes, because if one has installed OmniGraffle he or she can transfer the WBS to OmniGraffle by the use of the following  SendTo script.

And yes. We have written an applescript exporting  the project WBS into html. This is a sample of how the resulting HTML could look like:

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Merlin integration to GrandTotal

Many Merlin users praise the software among other reasons for its excellent integration with Mac OS X and other Mac applications. In Merlin’s product page one can find a list of possible connections and supported technologies. Just as we finalized our list, we found a new application on the Internet that supports Merlin, called GrandTotal.

It is an invoicing application for Mac OS X with wysiwycg (what you see is what your client gets) features and a layout editor. The software is localized in more than 10 languages.

Read more about GrandTotal here

So how does GrandTotal and Merlin integrate? Simple. By the use of a “Send To” AppleScript provided by GrandTotal, you can let GrandTotal create an Estimate or Invoice from the selected Merlin project structures.

Enjoy Merlin’s flexibility.

Merlin import of EXCEL files

Merlin can import  lots of file formats, here a list of the currently supported formats:

  • MS Project (.mpx, .mpp, .xml)
  • OmniOutliner (.ooutline, .oo3)
  • OmniPlan (.omniplan)
  • NovaMind (.nmind)
  • MindManager (.mmap)
  • Merlin 1 (.merlin)
  • Merlin 2 (.xml)
  • Text files (.txt, .csv, .tsv)
  • OPML files (.opml)

So you look at the list above, have project WBS saved in MS EXCEL and don’t know how to proceed?

Import from EXCEL is also possible, it cannot work however seamlessly. Merlin cannot know where project related information is contained in any particular EXCEL file, which EXCEL columns contain which Merlin column information or how contained values are to be interpreted in each and every case.

An MS Project, Merlin, OmniPlan, Mindmap file contains data in a predefined way. That means, a developer know exactly where to find  the value of task’s title or task’s duration and map it to Merlin title and duration of a newly created task. So when considering importing EXCEL files into Merlin to create tasks out of the sheet, you have to keep in mind that you will perform some additional configuration steps. EXCEL is not a project management software after all, isn’t so?

So, first step is to open your EXCEL file in Microsoft EXCEL and save the sheet as a text file. It can be a comma separated values (.csv) or tab delimited text (.txt) file. As next you open this file with Merlin, select correct separators, quotes, line endings, map your information to Merlin columns and let Merlin create the new tasks for you.

The workflow in detail:

Lets suppose you have an EXCEL sheet. Continue reading

Merlin: using Merlin iPhone app

With the optional web or iPhone sharing, you have always direct access to your Merlin projects, practically from anywhere. The Merlin iPhone app is as intuitive as Merlin itself, should you however like to read more about it, you may want to download the Merlin iPhone Quick Start Guide.

Please find hereafter the answers to the most frequently asked questions:

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Merlin: iCal calendar import

icalDid you know? I had not until now. You can import iCal calendar onto your project or resource calendars and get the entries added as exceptions. Cool, isn’t it?

For those of you, like me, not knowing this functionality until now, here is how to proceed:

  1. You locate the iCal calendar you want to import(*) to your Merlin project.
  2. Open your Merlin project, select the top most entry in the outline, switch to the ‘Working Time’ tab on the inspector, click onto the gear symbol and call ‘Import…’. Continue reading