Merlin – Do a little bit of magic in Merlin reports – part XXV

Those of you who do project management with Merlin on your Mac and have checked our post series explaining how to create custom templates for Merlin reports, know by now…

Now let’s do some magic with the reports.

Cost report: Planned, Expected, Actual, Remaining actual cost

We’ve been asked in Merlin support, how to output planned, expected, actual cost along with the remaining actual cost. Merlin provides columns for the first 3 values in its views (View – Show View Options – Columns). There is however no column calculating a remaining cost.

One possible way to realize this, would be to activate the above mentioned columns, copy the rows (or export as a csv file), use the date in Excel (or Numbers, or what ever:-) ) and let it calculate the balance row-wise based on the value of expected and actual cost.

Another way would be to create a report (as for example this one) and let it do the required calculation.

In this case one method in the python part calculates the value and another row in the wbl shows it, as for example…


We’ve used methods introduced in previous postings for outputting tasks hierarchically and not in a flat list. There are options to enable or disable a set of columns when interested in budgets: ‘Approved Budget’, ‘Budget / Actual Cost’ and ‘Budget / Expected Cost’.

Please remember: Custom Merlin reports we provide as templates, can be downloaded and used for free. Furthermore, you may modify and distribute as you like and find appropriate.

An output sample:




  • Extract the zip first
  • place the contained mrept package under the following path of your mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Merlin/Reports
  • (in case you have no “Reports” folder please create it first and pay attention to name it exactly as “Reports”)
  • restart your Merlin and
  • call File > New Report… to find the new report called “Cost Report”.