Merlin – when to enter an actual start when updating a task

on 24. January 2014

When managing a project with Merlin on your Mac you create your tasks and assign them to your resources. As your resources work on their tasks, you as a PM usually update your Merlin project by entering actual values and record progress.

There are various ways to record progress on your tasks:

  1. You use the ‘Actuals’ inspector
  2. You enter the completion % in the ‘plan’ inspector
  3. You enter the completion % in the according column in the outline.
  4. You select a completion % in the according sub menu of the context menu you get, when you right click a task.

Should you go for the first approach
You enter first the actual start date and then the progress by entering the percentage of completed work or the absolute work done as explained here.

If you choose to directly enter the progress on the task (without defining an actual start date), Merlin assumes the actual start was the same as the planned start and enters this date as actual start.

Should there be a difference between the planned and actual start of the task, a grey Gantt element will be shown in addition (for the planned values).

Should you go for approach 2, 3 or 4
Merlin assumes (as explained above) that the actual start was the same as the planned start and enters this date as actual start.

To push the colored Gantt element to the place where the grey is shown, edit its actual start date (in the ‘Actuals’ inspector).

To push the grey Gantt element to there where the colored is, just edit its planned start dates (in the ‘Plans’ inspector). You may also remove the actual information altogether if it was entered by mistake.

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Written by Vicky Stamatopoulou
Vicky Stamatopoulou works at ProjectWizards. She contributes to the MacPM.net blog, Merlin user forums, or other web spaces of ProjectWizards. The content provided is about Merlin or Mac usage, documentation, AppleScripting, or customization. Google+


  1. Comment by kenn fisher (March 24, 2014 @ 6:55 am

    could you please advise me how i can access the ‘inspector window’ in Merlin 2?

  2. Comment by Vicky Stamatopoulou (March 24, 2014 @ 8:03 am

    To open the ‘inspector’ you click on the toolbar button with the white i in the blue circle.
    Best regards, Vicky

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