Merlin Project Help



Thank you for buying the latest version of the leading project-management software for the Mac.

The guides for Merlin Project will help you get off to a flying start, providing you with basic and further information. All the guides can be found on our website under the Support > Documentation section.

The individual guides include explanations, references, and examples. This ensures you can get to know the operating principle and what the program can do quickly and easily.

Help and support

Use the built-in help in the Help menu.

Tip For further help and support, please visit the Support section on our website: or email our support team

System requirements

Merlin Project requires an Apple Mac with Intel processor and macOS 10.11.6 as a minimum.

Installation and trial period

Visit our website and go to the Products section. This is where you will find all our products and further information. Click Merlin Project.

Clicking Download 30 days Demo will download Merlin Project to your Mac in the »Downloads« folder.


After downloading Merlin Project, open the »Downloads« folder on your Mac. There you will find the program you just downloaded.

Double-click the Merlin Project icon. Then click Move to the »Applications«" Folder.

Move MPP

From the »Applications« folder you can drag & drop the Merlin Project icon directly into the dock (the application bar at the bottom of the screen) and start it from there by clicking it.

Note If you want to start Merlin Project from another folder in the future, mark the checkbox Do not show this message again. This stops the notification from being displayed again.

30-day trial

Try Merlin Project for free and without restriction. The first time the program is started, the following message will appear.

Merlin 30-Day Demo Active

Click Start 30 Day Trial for your free 30-day demo.

The trial period allows you to test Merlin Project in full for 30 days starting from when you first launch the program.

Merlin Demo Active

At the end of the trial period you’ll still be able to open and view project files, although you won’t be able to edit them. A subscription is required to edit projects again.

30-Day Subscription Notification
Tip During your 30-day trial period a notification will be displayed on the top right of the program window. This tells you how many days remain of the trial period.


If you start Merlin Project after the trial period, the message Not licensed will appear in the upper right corner of the main window.

Not Licensed Subscription Notification

If you click Not licensed, the following window will appear.

Subscription Expired

By clicking Subscribe Now…​ you will be taken automatically to Preferences > Subscription.

If you click Only Use for Reading, you can only use the application to open and read Merlin Project documents.

Preferences > Subscription

You will find all the subscription options under Preferences > Subscription.

Preferences > Subscription
  • Subscribe…

  • Manage Existing Subscription…

  • Activate Team Device…

Note If discounts are available, the first button will notify you.

Click Subscribe… and read in the following section how to subscribe to Merlin Project.

Subscribing to Merlin Project

You can subscribe by clicking the Subscribe button under Preferences > Subscription.

Subscribe to MPP

In the following dialog, select the desired subscription.

  1. Select your Country from the drop-down menu.

  2. Enter your Zip code.

  3. Enter the Number of simultaneous users.

  4. If you have a Coupon code, enter it in that field.

  5. Click Subscribe.

Then enter a valid email address and set a password.

Note You’ll need the email address and password you used to subscribe to use Merlin Project on other Macs. Please keep these details safe. And be sure to use an email address to which you have access.

Manage Existing Subscription

Click Manage Existing Subscription to open the Settings for your subscription.

Manage Subscription

Enter the Email and Password for your subscription and click Continue….

The options for managing your subscription will now be shown:

Activate Subscription
  • Activate This Device

  • Extend Subscription…

  • Cancel Subscription…

  • Payment Information…

Click Activate This Device. Your subscription will then be activated for this Mac.

Close Close to close the dialog without making a selection.

Activate Team Device

The *Activate Team Device *option is required for subscriptions with more than one user.

This will unlock Merlin Project for other users on your devices.

Team Device Subscription

A license code is required to unlock the team device. If you enter the license code, the team device will be enabled for use.

Deactivate a specific device from a subscription

To deactivate a specific mac from a running subscription, go to Preferences > Subscription. Press and hold the alt key. The Manage Existing Subscription button will change to Deactivate Device.


While holding down the alt key, click Deactivate Device to remove a specific mac from a running subscription.

Cancel Subscription

To cancel a subscription, go to Preferences > Subscription. Click Manage Existing Subscription. Enter the Email and Password for your subscription and click Continue…. Now click Cancel Subscription….

Styles and Contents

This guide contains information on using and modifying styles and contents in Merlin Project.

What are styles?

Styles let you change how elements (bars, groups, milestones, columns, timescales, etc.) are displayed in the views to suit your preferences. You can do this using the style options for view elements, such as to change the format of colors, borders, shadows, or fonts.

Styles: Info

What are contents?

Contents let you store a range of project information in the view, for example in the labels (to the left and right of the bars and on the bars themselves) or in the Cards of the Net Plan or Kanban view.

Contents: Info

Style and Content Inspector

The Style and Content Inspector gives you control over styles and contents in a couple of mouse clicks.

You can access the Style and Content Inspector quickly by right-clicking an element in the active view and going to the associated context menu.

Styles: context menu
Note Depending on the element you right-clicked, either the Style option on its own or the Style and Content option will appear in the context menu. The selection options they include open the associated options in the Style and Content Inspector.

There is also a new way to access the Style and Content Inspector by clicking the paintbrush icon.

Styles: Icon

Elements are displayed graphically in the Style and Content Inspector.

Depending on the active view, you can see schematic displays for bars/groups or cards there.

Styles: bars and groups
Styles: Kanban

Using the Inspector

Click an element to access the style or content options. In the above drop-down menu, you can see the selection you made and the selected element will be highlighted in blue.


In the following, the Bars (1), the entire Row (bar row type) (2) and the Reference Bars (3) are activated.


Styles: Editor Bars


Styles: Editor Rows


Styles: Reference Bars Editor


Activate the left label by clicking Title and changing the content of the left label using the option in the drop-down menu with the same name. You’ll also find style options here for modifying the Color and Font of the content.

Styles: Left Label Editor

From the Content drop-down menu, select the Expected Start instead of the default Title selection. This will display the expected start of the activity as a date in the left-hand label.


The General tab controls the styles for the display of many general elements in the active view.

If no selection is active in the view and you click the magnifying glass icon, the Style Inspector will open with the General tab.

Styles: General

The general settings for Style and Content apply in principle to all style options across the project.

The elements for the particular view, which you can configure to suit using the options available in the Inspector, can be found in the drop-down menu.

Styles: General > Drop-down Menu

By Rules

The By Rules tab lets you control style and content options automatically depending on specific conditions.

Styles: Rules > View

For example: You want all activities to which a specific resource has been assigned to appear in a specific color or alternate font automatically.

Styles: Rules > Conditions Drop-down Menu

For Selection

The For Selection tab controls the styles and contents for the selection. This lets you adjust elements individually.

In a view, select an element and click the paintbrush icon. The Style Inspector will open with the Selection tab.

Styles: Editor
Note In principle, you can control styles and content by right-clicking and selecting the option Style or Style and Content from the context menu.

Work Breakdown selection

Right-click a bar in the Work Breakdown view, a column row, or the Outline to access and edit the associated style and/or content options.

Styles Context Menu: Various
  • (1) Outline text style and content options

  • (2) Column row style options

  • (3) Outline style options

  • (4) Timescale style options

  • (5) Bar, milestone, and group style and content options

  • (6) Gantt chart style options

Style and content examples

Here is a small selection of practical examples.

Example 1: Modifying the color of non-working time

Right-click Non-working Time (6) in the Gantt chart and in the drop-down menu click the option Style > Non-working Time.

Styles Context Menu: Right-click
Note Alternatively, you can also click the paintbrush icon and then in the General tab select Non-working Time from the drop-down menu.

The General tab will open in the Inspector with the style option for Non-working Time.

Styles: Non-working Time

Click the Background Color color well to change the display color of the Non-working Time in the Gantt chart.

Colors: macOS Window

The macOS Colors window will then appear. This includes a range of options for setting colors and the opacity.

Tip Learn more about macOS’s Colors window at Apple online.

Changing the background color. Following that, Non-working Time will be displayed in the selected color in the Work Breakdown.

Colors: Non-working Time

Example 2: Custom bar colors

Open a new or existing project in Merlin Project.

To change the color of a bar, milestone or group, first right-click a bar, group or milestone.

From the context menu, select the option Style and Content > Bars.

Styles Context Menu

The For Selection tab will open in the Inspector. There you will find options to modify the styles for the selected bars.

Styles Inspector

Click Background Color. In the Color window, choose the desired color. This will be adopted immediately for the selected bars. Repeat the process for the Fill Level Color.

Note The fill level color is displayed only once the activity has progressed in the rows.
Applying Inspector Options

If required, make further changes to options in the Inspector to modify the style of the selected bars.

Undoing Inspector Values

Click the cross icon if you want to undo the value of an option. In doing so, the value of the parent level or condition for the option will be used instead.

Tip The above steps also work with multiple selections. You can select several bars using the Caps Lock key or cmd key and use the Inspector.
Multiple Values Inspector

When making a multiple selection, if the bars have different values then Multiple Values will appear in the Info field. Click the field and adjust the color so that all selected bars are assigned the new color. This overwrites the old values.

Otherwise, click the cross icon to revert from multiple values to the default values.

Style properties

Outline style properties

All elements in the Outline include various options to change styles. These are summarized graphically in the following image.

Outline Element Style Options
Tip Right-click a title in the Outline. From the context menu, click the style options for Rows, Cells, and Separator Lines in the Outline.

Outline column style properties

Outline columns include various options to change column styles. These are summarized graphically in the following image.

Outline Column Element Style Options
Tip Right-click a column title above the Outline. From the context menu, click the style options for Rows, Cells, and Separator Lines in the Outline.

Gantt chart bar style properties

Gantt chart bars include various options to change the bar styles. These are summarized graphically in the following image.

Gantt chart bar style options
Tip Right-click a bar, milestone or group. From the context menu click the style options for Bars in the Gantt chart.

Net Plan box and histogram style properties

Net Plan boxes and histograms include various options to change the bar styles. These are summarized graphically in the following image.

Net Plan Box and Histogram Style Options
Tip Right-click a bar, milestone, or group. Select Style and Content > Bars in the context menu. In the Inspector, in the Row Type drop-down menu select either Boxes or Histogram instead of Rows.
Row Type Style Options

Labels in Gantt

In this guide you will learn how to activate further labels for activities, groups, and milestones:

Click the brush icon. In the Inspector, select the appropriate tab.

 Brush - Labels

Select the General tab so that the change applies to all content in the view.

Context Menu Content - Labels

Click the desired label in the preview.

Drop-Down Menu

There are three labels to choose from:

  • Left Labels (title)

  • Middle Labels (middle labels)

  • Right Labels (resources)

Click the Content drop-down menu and select the desired content for the active label.

Content Checkbox Marked

The Content drop-down menu contains all the information that can be used in labels.

First steps with new projects

The following guide will help you get started with new projects.

Opening a new project

When starting Merlin Project a window will be displayed allowing you to select and open existing projects.

Create a new project by clicking the New Document button.

Selection Window.
Tip New projects can also be created using the menu item File > New or the keyboard shortcut cmd + N.

Opening an existing project

Open an existing project by clicking the Open button.

Tip As an alternative to opening existing projects, you can use the menu item File > Open or the keyboard shortcut cmd + O.

Naming your project

Name your project. To do this, double-click New Project in row #0 of the outline and give your project a new title.

Change Title in Outline

Project Inspector

Display the Inspector by clicking row #0 (the project). It contains a number of options for the selected project. Here you can also change the title and start date of the project.

Tip Each Inspector has multiple tabs containing further options. When you select elements, as in this case row #0, the corresponding Inspector always appears.
Project Title Inspector

Start Date

In the Inspector, click the Calendar icon in the Start > Earliest field. Use the calendar to set the earliest planned start for the project.

Project Start Inspector

Regular working times

Working times are configured in the settings for each project. Click the Settings icon (1) and then the Calendar tab (2).

Project Inspector Regular Working Times Settings

The Inspector shown here contains calendars for the Regular Week and Exceptions, such as vacation time and extra working time.

Click the Regular Week tab:

The default calendar is active (checkbox ticked). Further calendars are available in the list and can be configured as project calendars.

Tip By clicking the plus or minus icons you can create new calendars or delete existing ones.

Click one or more (while holding down the cmd key) weekdays and then click the Work intervals to change the calendar settings.

Note The calendar settings have a direct impact on project planning and the working time in the active project.

The exceptions work according to the same principle. Read more about this in the Non-working Time guide.

Creating project content

Below you will learn how to create project content (activities, milestones and more) in Merlin Project.

Plus icon

New Content - Plus

The easiest way to create new activities is to click New (the plus icon in the toolbar) or even faster with the keyboard shortcut cmd + N.

Note If you repeat the step several times, the activities appear in chronological order.

Newly created content is activated and ready to be named. Add a title to the activity.

Tip You can quickly convert an activity into a milestone. To do this, tick the checkbox next to the Milestone option in the Inspector. If you uncheck the box, a milestone will become an activity again.
Activity to Milestone
Insertion options

If you click the arrow to the right of the plus icon, a menu appears with further content for selection.

New Content - More Selection

Depending on your current selection, you can create the following content:

  • Activity (creates an activity)

  • Milestone (creates a milestone)

  • Child (creates an indented activity)

  • Aunt (creates an outdented activity)

  • Predecessor (creates a link to the successor)

  • Successor (creates a link to the predecessor)

  • Assignment (creates an assigned resource)

  • Attachment (creates an attachment)

Note The aunt option remains grayed out until an indented activity is selected at least one level down. Only then will an outdented activity be created using the aunt option.

Insert menu item

You can also create the content listed above using the Insert menu item.

New Content - Insert Menu Item

Insert option in the context menu

In addition, the context menu shown can be called up in the view by performing a secondary-click. Among other things, it includes the Insert option.

New Content - Insert Menu Item
Tip New content is created beneath the current selection. If nothing is selected in the main area, new content is created beneath the last row at the end of the project.

Creating a project structure

This guide shows you the first steps behind creating the project structure in Merlin Project.

Grouping activities

It’s a good idea to group activities together to structure your project. This gives a clearer picture of the individual project phases.

Group Example


Toolbar - Indentation

The indention of activities in the outline creates groups and, if required, further indented child activities (children) and child groups automatically.

Indenting to another level creates a child activity and a resulting group automatically.

Toolbar - Group/Child Activity

The activity above the indented content becomes a group automatically, which is identifiable graphically by the group bar.

Tip A project is always a group and, like all groups, can be expanded and collapsed using the small triangle.


Toolbar - Outdenting

The outdent icon moves activities out of a group and its child groups.

Select one or more activities and then click the outdent icon.

Outdenting is only active if the selected activities or milestones are already in a group. An outdented activity is called an aunt.

Tip You can indent multiple selected activities/milestones. Additionally, you can use your mouse to nest activities in other activities or indent or outdent activities in the levels using the Structure → Indent or Structure → Outdent menu item or the corresponding keyboard shortcuts cmd + → or cmd + ←.

This guide shows you how to create dependencies in Merlin Project.

The aim of linking content in a project is to define the sequence in which the activities are worked through logically.


Example: Only when Activity A is completed can Activity B begin. Activity A is the predecessor of Activity B, which is its successor.

You can link project activities. When linking, dependencies are created that define a logical sequence.

Select at least two activities that you want to link together.

Link Button

On the toolbar you will find the Link button. If you click the arrow to the right of the Link icon, the available link types and the option to separate existing links appear.

Link Context Menu

Click the Link icon or use the keyboard shortcut ctrl + cmd + L for the End to Start dependency type. The two activities are now linked with an arrow.



All roads lead to Rome, including the various possibilities for creating links.

Menu and context menu

In the Structure → Link menu item you will find the same options.

Link Context Menu
Note Secondary-clicking selected content will display the context menu. This contains the dependency option with the four dependency types.
Linking using the mouse

Links can be created directly in the Gantt chart using the mouse. Keep the alt button held depressed and hover the mouse pointer over an activity bar or milestone.

Link Mouse

The small black dot appears on the activity. While holding down the alt key, move the mouse to another activity (successor).

The dependency is created when you release the mouse button.

Linking with columns

In the Predecessor or Successor columns, you can see the predecessor or successor activity numbers (#).

Link Columns

If you enter a value in the columns, a dependency to the predecessor or successor is created automatically.

Note The successor column is not activated by default.

To disconnect links, click a link line and press the delete key.

Disconnect Link

If you need to delete several links, select all activities and use the Disconnect option in one of the Link menus.

Dependency Inspector

If you select a link, the Dependency Inspector appears.

The options contained in the Inspector are responsible for the dependency of linked activities, groups, and milestones.

Dependency Inspector

Here you can modify the predecessors and successors, and find them quickly in the project by clicking the arrow.

In the Type drop-down menu, you can select the dependency types. This lets you change the current dependency:

  • End to Start

  • End to End

  • Start to Start

  • Start to End

Click a link line to access the Inspector for the dependency.

Disconnect Link

Enter a time unit in the Lead/Lag field to lengthen the dependency between the linked activities.

If you enter a negative value, the dependency and the linked activity will move back along the timeline according to the entered lag value. For example, enter -2 days in the Lead/Lag field.

Tip Lead/Lag can be entered manually in the Predecessor or Successor columns.
Dependency Inspector

Example: If you enter the value 5ES+2 days in the Successor column for an activity, an End to Start dependency is created with the Activity #5 and a lead/lag of 2 days.

Activity #5 is assigned the entry 1ES+2days automatically in the Predecessor column.


This guide shows you how to create and use assignments in Merlin Project.

What are resources

Merlin Project offers the following resource types:

  • Person (involved in the project actively or inactively)

  • Material

  • Company

  • Equipment

Note The default resource type is Person.

Creating resources

The Resources icon contains a pop-up window called the Resource Pool.

Toolbar - Resources

You can quickly create new resources in your project by clicking New Resource in the Resource Pool window.

Toolbar - Resources
Note To display the resources view click Resources View.

Using resource pools

The resource pool is perfect for gaining a quick overview of project resources and switching quickly to the resources view.

Toolbar - Resources View

The resource pool can be used as a separate window. Move the window down with the mouse pointer.

Toolbar - Resources
Tip You can quickly show or hide the Resource Pool as a separate window using the F4 key or via the Window menu item.

Creating assignments

Move a resource from the Resource Pool to an activity, group, or milestone. An assignment is created automatically.

Note A resource assigned to an activity is called an assignment. This resource works on the activity assigned to it in the project.
Assignment - Resources

The assignments are identifiable by the white triangle. Multiple assignments can be created for an activity and these share the work automatically.

Assignment - Resources Triangle

For selected activities in a view, the Assign option appears in the Resource Pool. This allows you to add additional resources as assignments to the activity quickly by marking the check box.

Assignment - Resources Checkmark

If the checkmark is removed, the assigned resource is also removed from the activity.

Tip You can create new assignments for the selected activities automatically using the Insert → Assignment menu item or the corresponding shortcut option + cmd + A .


The Library (1) lets you use existing contacts as resources in the project.

Library - Resources

The Contacts and Outlook Contacts (only appears if Outlook is installed on your Mac) folders are populated automatically with content from the Contacts and Outlook applications.

Drag & drop (2) contacts from the Library by dragging them using the mouse pointer and dropping them on activities, milestones, or groups. These contacts are added as resources to the project and assigned to the activities automatically.

Contacts - Resources
Tip The Contacts app can be used, just like the Library, to add existing contacts, and therefore to create new resources in the project.

Mouse and keyboard

This guide provides basic information on using Merlin Project.

Mouse and keyboard

Both the mouse and keyboard are useful when using Merlin Project.

Many commands can be accessed directly and quickly with keyboard shortcuts; other tasks are accomplished easily using the mouse.

Keyboard Shortcuts
Tip The keyboard shortcuts are displayed next to the commands in the menus.


The mouse is a device used to control the mouse pointer. For laptops, this can be the trackpad.

Tip The latest Macs support a wide variety of input devices (mouse, trackpad, pen tablet, etc.).

For videos explaining the different gestures you can use with mice and trackpads, go to System Preferences in macOS.

System Preferences:Keyboard, Mouse,Trackpad

There you will also find options such as the secondary click (also known as the right-click in Windows).

System Preferences:Trackpad

In System Preferences → Trackpad under the Point & Click tab you will find options for controlling the input gestures for your trackpad.

Context menus

Perform a secondary-click to open context menus in Merlin Project. This provides you with additional options for the clicked content.

Context menu:Project

Move (Drag & Drop)

You can drag & drop content using your input device. This lets you move content with ease.

Tip This function lets you create new groups, arrange the sequence of project content in the Outline, assign resources to activities, and create attachments.

The procedure is always the same:

  1. Select object(s)

  2. Move the selection while keeping the mouse button held depressed

  3. Drop the selection over an object by releasing the mouse button

Creating a group using »drag & drop«

New groups are created using this technique in Merlin Project. You can drag several activities and drop them on another activity.

The activity the content is to be dropped on will be highlighted in blue. Once you release the mouse button it will turn into a group (bold) automatically and the activities will become its child activities (indented).

  1. Click a selection and keep the mouse button held depressed

    DragEnDrop-Step 1a
  2. With the mouse button held depressed, drag the mouse pointer to an object - in this example an activity (don’t release the mouse button yet)

    DragEnDrop-Step 2a
  3. Release the mouse button to drop the selection

    DragEnDrop-Step 3a

Changing the project structure sequence

In Merlin Project, you can re-sort the sequence of activities, groups, and milestones. To do so, drag several activities and drop them between other activities.

When doing this, blue line with a circle appears to mark the position between the content.

  1. Click a selection and keep the mouse button held depressed

    DragEnDrop-Step 1b
  2. Move the mouse pointer between two objects, in this example between "Activity A" and "Activity B", with the mouse button held depressed (do not release the mouse button yet)

    DragEnDrop-Step 2b
  3. Release the mouse button to drop the selection

    DragEnDrop-Step 3b

Activity C now appears between Activity A and Activity B.


The following keys are the important ones on a Mac for using keyboard shortcuts.

Important keys

Keyboard:Keys 1
Keys and their descriptions:
  1. Shift key (shift) → upper-case key

  2. Control key (control) → corresponds to Ctrl.

  3. Option key (option) → corresponds to Alt/Alt Gr

  4. Command (command) → corresponds to Windows

Tip In the menus, the ctrl key is represented by the ^ icon.

The command key is abbreviated to cmd.

For instance, the Enter/Exit Full Screen option under the menu item Window is controlled using the keyboard shortcut ctrl + cmd + F.

To edit content, the following keys are especially useful.

Keyboard:Keys 2

1.Delete key (backspace) → backspace key 2. Function key → (Function) → no corresponding key with Windows 3. Enter (Return) → Enter 4. Delete (Delete) → DEL

Keyboard shortcuts

Merlin Project uses a host of keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard shortcuts consist of several keys pressed simultaneously, for example, saving projects is performed with cmd + S. F keys (F1,F2, etc.) are available on all newer Apple keyboards using the fn function key.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Most menu entries are provided with the corresponding keyboard shortcuts. They are located directly next to the individual menu entries. This lets you access these menu entries quickly and easily using the keyboard.


This guide contains information on creating and using groupings in Merlin Project.

What are groupings?

Groupings let you group project content by different requirements. This allows information to be sorted as required in the particular view.

Merlin Project comes with a range of pre-defined groupings. Plus, it’s quick and easy to create your own groupings.

Note The Kanban view groups by status field. For further information, see the Kanban guide.

Advantages in project planning

Groupings are highlighted graphically and displayed with corresponding information in the current view.

Grouping In View

Among other things, this lets you make different levels of progress in the project visible quickly, classify activities rapidly, and evaluate and visualize information easily.

Using groupings

Click the Grouping icon and the Inspector will open with a list of built-in groupings.


Mark the checkbox to the left of an entry to activate a grouping. The content in the current view will be sorted and displayed automatically based on the grouping.

Select Grouping
Note An active grouping will be displayed next to the Groupings icon at the top with its name in blue and remains active until you unmark the checkbox in the list.
Grouping Active

Creating groupings

Create and add your own groupings to the list of built-in groupings. Click the plus icon on the left below the list.

Create Groupings

The category »Custom« will be created. This is to differentiate between the groupings you create yourself and those that are built-in. Give the grouping you created a distinctive name so it’s easy to tell what it is for future use.

Name Grouping
Tip To remove your own groupings from the list, click a grouping and then press the delete key.

Modifying groupings

Click the magnifying glass icon and use the grouping options.

Grouping Conditions

Use the »Group« drop-down menu to group. Depending on the active view, you can choose between the following grouping options in the drop-down menu:

  • Activities

  • Resources

  • Assignments

Set options according to which they are to be grouped. Use the drop-down menu to do this.

Additional Grouping Conditions

Click the plus icon to add further condition rows or remove options by clicking the minus icon.

The hierarchical display of the grouping can also be changed using the view options at the bottom.

  • Without activity hierarchy

  • Flatten activity hierarchy

  • Include activity hierarchy

Further grouping options

The gear icon includes additional grouping options.

Grouping Gear

If you select a grouping in the list, you can choose from the following options under the gear menu:

  • Activate/Deactivate Grouping (mark/unmark the checkbox)

  • Duplicate (creates a copy of an existing grouping)

  • Share with other local projects (allows use in other local projects)

  • Publish Changes (publishes changes in a shared grouping to all local projects)

Duplicating groupings

This option can be handy to use an existing grouping as a template for a further grouping. A copy of the grouping is created.

Select a grouping and click the gear icon followed by Duplicate.

Duplicate Grouping

A copy of the grouping will be created and assigned a number. Name the grouping.

Following that, click the magnifying glass icon to modify and expand the grouping options.

Sharing groupings locally

The Share with other local projects option lets you share individual groupings with all other projects stored locally on your Mac.

The shared groupings are arranged in the list under the category Shared.

Shared Groupings

Publishing changes

If you want to publish changes in a shared grouping to local projects, click the gear icon and then the Publish Changes option.

Reverting changes

The arrow icon is handy to undo changes in shared groupings.

Undo Groupings

It undoes changes made in shared groupings.

If you click the icon, a dialog will appear with options to undo changes.

Undo Groupings dialog

Select an undo option and then click the »Reset« button.

Stop sharing groupings

If you no longer want a grouping to be shared locally, click the desired grouping and then click the gear icon.

Stop Sharing Groupings

In the list, click Share with other local projects. A marked checkbox in front of the option indicates that the grouping is already being shared.

Manual ranking

If you sort manually in different views and activate a grouping, this produces a manual ranking.

Stop Sharing Groupings

This option is indicated by a star icon in the # column.

Stop Sharing Groupings

Click the column followed by Reset Manual Ranking to deactivate the option.


This guide contains information about the Kanban system in Merlin Project.

Kanban is a Japanese term and has a wide range of meanings such as card, board or document.

What is Kanban?

Alongside Scrum, Kanban is one of the most widely used methods in project management.

It was originally developed for production management, meanwhile the agile method is now also used widely in project management.

The use of Kanban offers improved utilization, higher transparency, and faster iterations during the project.

Kanban principle

The Kanban system is based on cards that can be moved from left to right in column rows along a board.

Every to do is noted on a card. Depending on the processing status, a card moves along the board from left to right until it is completed.


In moving along the columns, the cards are given a defined status. As the project progresses, an increasing number of cards move from left to right.

Columns in Kanban

In the simplest Kanban system, the Kanban board is split into three columns. The cards always move from left to right.


To Do: In the left-hand column, to dos are entered that have not been worked on yet. These to dos are planned and are to be worked on soon.

In Progress/Doing: As soon as work starts on a to do, its card is moved to the center column. The card remains in this column while being worked on.

Done: Once the to do is done, the card moves to the right-hand column. This means that the to do has been completed successfully.

Kanban in Merlin Project

Merlin Project lets you plan using traditional and agile project management methods, and to switch between them or even use both simultaneously whenever you want.

The progress and thus the status between the traditional and agile planning method views is updated automatically. This unique function lets you work flexibly and plan using different methods.

Kanban:Traditional vs. Agile

The boundaries between agile and traditional project management have finally vanished with the introduction of Merlin Project.

Tip You can switch whenever you want between the traditional Work Breakdown > Entry and Net Plan > Kanban view. Activate the secondary project view for a simultaneous overview of both methods.

Choose between two Kanban display modes in Merlin Project: Traditional and Compact. For the compact view, from the Net Plan drop-down menu select the Kanban Compact view.


Using the Kanban view

Kanban offers a very flexible approach to working with projects. Read on to learn how you can get off to a quick start with Kanban in Merlin Project.

Open a new or existing project. To do so, click File > Open or use the keyboard shortcut cmd + O.

To create a new project, click File > New or use the keyboard shortcut alt + cmd + N.

Change from the Work Breakdown > Entry view to the Net Plan > Kanban view.

Kanban: Switching Views in the Window
Note You can switch quickly between views using the View menu. Just click View > Net Plan > Kanban.
Kanban: Menu Display

Creating the Kanban view

When you first access the Kanban view a notification will appear with the button Group by status field.

Kanban: New
Note Kanban needs to be grouped by a status field and the status values it contains for the Kanban columns.

Click the button to open the Grouping by Status Field wizard.

Kanban: Status Field Dialog

The wizard includes pre-defined status field templates.

Note See the »Groupings« guide for further information on "groupings" in Merlin Project.

The options »by new field:« and »Simple Kanban« are preset automatically. Click OK to work with this Kanban status.

Note "Field" refers to custom fields. These fields can be created and managed in any Activity Inspector under the »Tags and Fields« tab.

The status values in the supplied »Simple Kanban« field can be seen as columns in the Kanban board.

Note New fields can be created or existing ones edited quickly. See the Tags and Fields guide for further information.

You can arrange the Kanban cards based on these status values and edit them with a defined Kanban status in the traditional view.

The status values can be changed in the wizard. Click on an entry to change it.

Note Read on to learn more about the individual status value options.
Kanban: Add Values

Click the plus to create new status values or click minus to remove them.

Tip The »Simple Kanban« field is perfect for a variety of projects. It makes it quick and easy to get started with the Kanban methodology.

Applying the Kanban methodology

The following tells you more about using Kanban in Merlin Project.

The status values from the »Simple Kanban« field appear in separate columns in the Kanban board.

The columns are arranged from left to right with the following status values:

  • Backlog

  • In process

  • Verifying

  • Done

Kanban: Kanban Board with Content

If the project has activities, these appear automatically in the columns as Kanban cards. The card’s status in the project dictates in which column they are arranged.

You can create new Kanban cards by clicking the plus icon or using the keyboard shortcut cmd + N.

Kanban: Kanban Card with Content

The card that is created appears automatically as an activity in the traditional view. Click the arrow on the right next to the plus icon to create further card types as well as attachments.

Kanban: Kanban Card Plus with Arrow Pointing Downward
Note The same functions as appear under the arrow can also be found in the Insert menu.

Select one or more cards and then click Attachment.

This option lets you add any files or information to the selected card(s). Attachments are represented by a paperclip in the lower left corner of the card.

Kanban: Kanban Card with Attachment

Wizard: grouping Kanban by status field

Grouping by status field is required for the Kanban view.

The wizard includes the following status field selection options:

  • by new field from template:

    • Simple Kanban

    • Software Development

    • Issue Fixing

    • Editor

    • Exhibitor

    • Sales

    • Attention level

    • Field with custom status values

  • by existing field:

    • Status (calculated)

Once you have selected the status field, a preview will appear of the status values contained in the status field.

Kanban: Kanban Dialog

The by new field from template option lets you start directly with a new pre-defined template. This is the easiest way to create a Kanban.

The drop-down menu options can already be used for a variety of projects. The by new field from template option lets you select custom fields, that are already included in the project, to group the columns.

Note In newly created projects, the existing Status (calculated) field appears in the drop-down menu.

The Status (calculated) field differs from most fields as it accesses the values calculated in the project. This means you can no longer move the Kanban cards in the Kanban view manually; they are moved automatically by the values calculated in terms of the project’s progress.

Kanban: Kanban Status Calculated

Should a Kanban board be grouped by Status (calculated), the Unscheduled column is shown as a single column until the project is progressing within actual values.

The status can be also shown in a column with the same name in the Work Breakdown > Entry view.

Kanban: Kanban Status Calculated

Re-accessing the grouping wizard

Click the Grouping icon to display the list of built-in groupings.

Kanban: Kanban Groupings

Click the gear icon in the Group Inspector and a drop-down menu will appear as shown. Click the option Group by Status Field.

Kanban: Kanban Groupings Gear

The Grouping by Status Field wizard will appear. Select your desired grouping for the Kanban view.

Kanban: Kanban Grouping Wizard

Creating custom groupings

Click the Grouping icon to display the list of built-in groupings.

Click the plus icon on the bottom left in the Group Inspector. A new grouping in the "Custom" category will be created.

Kanban: Grouping Inspector

Name the grouping and then click the magnifying glass.

Kanban: Grouping Inspector

The dialog for modifying the grouping will be displayed. You can set the grouping options here. The view will be grouped based on these options. To do so, use the drop-down menu.

Kanban: Grouping Inspector

Click the plus icon to add additional grouping conditions. Click the minus icon to remove them again.

Kanban: Grouping Inspector

Click the rectangle on the left next to a grouping to activate it and apply it directly in the Kanban view.

Note You can modify existing groupings if required. To do so, select an existing grouping and click the magnifying glass to the right of it. Once you have modified it, the new configuration will be adopted in the selected grouping.
Kanban: Grouping Inspector

The active grouping will be displayed next to the grouping icon. Click it to access the list where you can change or modify the grouping whenever you want.

Adjusting status fields

Click a column title in the Kanban view to display the "Group" Inspector. The clicked value of the status field will be displayed there and can be adjusted.

Note Columns with calculated values are an exception as these cannot be changed or adjusted in the Inspector.
Kanban: Group Inspector

You can choose from the following options in the "Group" Inspector:

  • Value (column title name)

  • From Completion (drop-down menu with completion values from 0% to 100%)

    • Edit All Values…​ (displays the Custom Fields Inspector)

    • Select Status Field (displays the Grouping by Status Field wizard)

  • Number of Cards

    • Minimum Count

    • Maximum Count

Note The Grouping by Status Field wizard includes the same settings for the values.

Click the *Edit All Values*option in the "Group" Inspector to open the Inspector for the current grouping values. See the Field Values Inspector section for further information.

The Minimum Number option lets you set the minimum number of cards displayed in the column.

If you set a minimum number of cards, a counter with the current number of cards and the minimum number set is displayed in the title column.

Kanban: Inspector Max/Min
Note If the minimum value is higher than the current number of cards, the title column is highlighted in orange.

The Maximum Number option lets you set the maximum number of cards displayed in the column.

If you set a maximum number of cards, a counter with the current number of cards and the maximum number set is displayed in the title column.

Kanban fields

You can edit and adjust the field values in the Custom Fields Inspector.

Kanban: Inspector Field Values

These field values set the progress for the cards and in doing so for the activities in the Kanban view and other views in Merlin Project.

Field Values Inspector

The current grouping and associated values can be found in the Custom Fields Inspector.

Click the icon to the right of the value and all available values in the active grouping will appear in the drop-down menu. These values are used for the columns in the Kanban view. The selection is applied immediately for the selected card(s).

Kanban: Inspector Field Values Drop-down Menu

Pre-defined values

You will find a list of pre-defined values for the active grouping further down in the Inspector. Click the plus icon or minus icon to add/remove values to the grouping.

Kanban: Inspector Pre-defined Values

The values can have different properties. These are:

  • Value

  • Completion

  • Min

  • Max

  • Level

Value is also the title of the column in the Kanban view

Kanban: Inspector Pre-defined Values

Completion controls the progress of the activities both in the Kanban view and in all other views.

The following options are available:

  • Empty (no completion)

  • Not started

  • 0% to 100% (in increments of ten)

Kanban: Inspector Pre-defined Values Completion

When entering a % value for an activity that corresponds to the % value in the Completion column, the card associated with the activity is moved automatically in the Kanban column.

Conversely, you can also move a card manually. If you move a card in this Kanban column, the activity is assigned the % completion value automatically.

Min is the minimum number of cards in the Kanban column. This value corresponds to the Group Inspector option with the same name.

Kanban: Inspector Pre-defined Values Min/=Max

Max is the maximum number of cards for the Kanban column. This value corresponds to the Group Inspector option with the same name.

Level includes the optional categorization of the value in:

  • Neutral (white circle)

  • Normal (green dot)

  • Warning (yellow triangle)

  • Critical (red rectangle)

This categorization is only visible in the list of vales and has no planning impact; it is for the planner’s information only.

Kanban: Inspector Pre-defined Values Level
Note The Allow free entry option is deactivated as the status fields use pre-defined and/or calculated values. Free entry is therefore not possible.

Resource Pool

This guide contains information on creating and using resource pools in Merlin Project.

What is a resource pool?

A resource pool lets you use the same resources in multiple projects centrally and to level this use across projects.

What’s special about a resource pool is that the resources are available for multiple projects, whereby all resource changes are synced automatically across all projects that are using the resource pool.

The Publish Assignments option also lets you view resource pool assignments from all projects linked to the resource pool.

Advantages in project planning

The resource pool is the perfect solution when working on more than one project where the same resources are used regularly.

The resource pool lets you use the same resources with multiple projects, whereby all the resource information from the resource pool is available to everyone working with projects linked to the resource pool file.

If resources change in the resource pool file, the information is updated automatically in the connected projects.

Using resource pools makes it easier to work on a number of projects with the same resources and assignments.

Creating a resource pool

You need a new project file to create a new resource pool.

Start Merlin Project and open a new project. To do so, click File > New or use the keyboard shortcut alt + cmd + N.

Note Alternatively, click the New Document button on the bottom left in the Open dialog.
Respool: New Dialog

Creating resources

It’s quick and easy to create new resources for the resource pool.

Respool: New Resource Dialog

Click the Resources icon in the toolbar.

Respool: New Dialog

Then, click the plus icon to create a new resource.

Respool: Name Dialog

Name the new resource. Continue by clicking the plus icon. Repeat these steps until you have added all required resources to the resource pool.

Note If you’re in the Resources view, click Insert and then the option Resources or use the associated keyboard shortcut cmd + N to add new resources.

Resources view

Respool: Resources View

Switch to the Resources > Entry view to edit resources in more detail. In this view, columns with a host of information are available to modify resources.

If you select a resource, the Resources Inspector is also displayed. It contains all the fields to modify the selected resource. For further information see the Resources guide.

Creating resources from contacts

If the or Microsoft Outlook already includes contacts, you can add them directly in the Resources > Entry view by using your mouse to drag and drop them, thereby adding them as resources to the resource pool.

Please note that the blue lines perform different functions when adding contacts.

Respool: Add Resource

Place the business card between the rows and the contact from this card will be added to the resource list.

Respool: Replace Resource

If you place the business card on top of an existing resource (on the line), the contact on the card will replace the resource.

Respool: Resource VCF
Note When adding a contact from the or Microsoft Outlook, business cards are used in the vCard format.

If you use other apps that export to the vCard (.vcf) format, these contacts can also be dragged and dropped to the Resources view and used as resources.

The information in the vCards is imported automatically into the individual columns in the Resources view. This includes the contact’s photo, email address, and telephone number if these details are included in the vCard.

Adding a resource pool to projects

Once all the resources and required information, such as standard rates (meaning the cost of the resource per time unit), have been fully entered in the resource pool, save the file.

To do so, click File > Save or the keyboard shortcut cmd + S.

Name the resource pool file and then click Save.

Note The filename will be used for the resource pool in the Resources view.
Respool: Resource Pool File Name

Open a new or blank project in which you want to use the resource pool file.

Respool: Utilization Inspector

In the toolbar, click the Settings icon (1) and select the first icon on the right, the Utilization tab (2).

In the Utilization Inspector you will find the Respect pool assignments option in the Utilization Calculation area.

It is activated by default. If the project includes resource assignments from resource pools, they are taken into consideration in the utilization calculation. Unmark the checkbox and the pool assignments will not be included in the utilization calculation.

The Resource Pools list is located in the lower area.

Respool: Respool Utilization Inspector

Here you can add, remove, and edit pool files for the opened project as resource pools.

The Publish Assignments option shows all assignments from the projects in the resource pool file. This option is activated by default. Unmark the checkbox if you do not want assignments to appear in the pool file.

Note This is useful for projects containing confidential information where you do not want this information to appear in the pool file.
Respool: Respool Utilization Inspector
Tip See the Utilization guide for further information on the topic.

Adding a resource pool using the mouse

The easiest way to use one or more project files as a resource pool is to drag and drop it/them into the Inspector field using the mouse.

Respool: DragEnDrop-

When adding the resource pool, all resources are imported automatically.

Respool: DragEnDrop- Dialog
Note Project files with activities cannot be used as a resource pool. If the project file contains activities, the following dialog is displayed.
Respool: Problem

First delete the activities from the project file to then use it as a resource pool.

Adding a resource pool using the icon

Respool: Problem

Use the plus icon to add one or more resource pools.

In the Open dialog click a project file you want to use as a resource pool.

Respool: Plus

Repeat this process if you want to add further resource pools.

Removing resource pools

Select one or more resource pools from the list and either use the delete key or click the minus icon.

Respool: Minus

The connection to the resource pool will be removed from the project and the following notification will be displayed.

Respool: Minus

Only delete the connection if you are certain that you no longer want to update the resources. While the resources will remain in the project, they won’t be updated by any changes. This means that the original resource pool file will no longer be connected to.

Respool: Respool in Respool
Note No resource pools can be included in a project file that is already being used as a resource pool.

Using resource pools

After including a resource pool in the project, the resources are listed in the Resources view.

In this view, all resources from the resource pool are included and listed in the project. These resources are marked with a double-headed arrow icon in the Info column.

Respool: Respool in Respool

The resource group in the resource pool is represented below the project resources by a folder with a double-headed arrow icon.

Click the triangle to expand and collapse the resource folder.

Note The resource pool folder has the same name as the corresponding resource pool file from which it obtains the resources.

Dragging and dropping resources from the pool into the project

To integrate resources from the resource pool into the project, switch to the Resources view.

Respool: Respool in Respool

Using the mouse, drag and drop the desired resource(s) from the resource pool into the resources area in the project.

Dragging and dropping resources from the project into the pool

To integrate resources from the project into the resource pool, switch to the Resources view.

Respool: Respool in Respool

Using the mouse, drag and drop the desired resource(s) from the project into a resource pool area.

Updating from the resource pool

If you want to update project resource information to the latest status of the connected resource pool, switch to the Resources view.

Then, right-click one or multiple resources.

Respool: Update Respool from Respool

In the context menu, click Update From Resource Pool.

All new information on the resource will then be sent from the resource pool, thereby updating it.

Updating the resource pool

If you want to transfer information from resources in the project to the connected resource pool, switch to the Resources view.

Then, right-click one or multiple resources.

Respool: Update Respool in Respool

In the context menu, click Update Resource Pool.

All new information on the resource will then be sent to the resource pool, thereby updating it.

Disconnecting from the resource pool

If you want to make resources independent of the resource pool, switch to the Resources view.

Then, right-click one or multiple resources.

Respool: Disconnect Respool from Respool

In the context menu, click Disconnect From Resource Pool.

All new changes and modifications to resources disconnected from the resource pool will now only be saved in the project, with no updates sent to or from the resource pool.

Showing/hiding the resource pool

The resource pool is show in the Resources and Assignments views. This causes resources to be displayed multiple times in the project and resource pools.

To show/hide these options, click the View Options icon.

Respool: Respool On/Off

In the View Options Inspector mark/unmark the checkbox next to the Resource Pools option.

This option lets you show/hide all resource pools in the view.

Note The resources connected to a resource pool are marked by a double-headed arrow icon in the Info column if you have chosen to hide resource pools.


This guide provides basic information on using documents and content in Merlin Project.

A project needs content. This content can be imported into Merlin Projectfrom different documents or created from templates and content.


Merlin Project imports many types of document format, including Microsoft Project, CSV (Excel), OPML, XML, and Mind Maps.

File → Open

The File → Open… menu item opens and imports existing documents. If the selected format is supported, Merlin Project opens the content in a new program window.

Drag & drop using the mouse

You can drag & drop a document directly onto the Merlin Project program icon or an open blank project.

Creating content

You can create content quickly using the Insert menu item.

»Insert« menu item

Different types of content are available in the Insert menu item. With the keyboard shortcuts shown next to the options, you can insert content into the project using the keyboard.

Insert Menu Item


External and additional content can be added as attachments to the project. These include, for example, all common file types. Use the File attachment type.

Activities and resources

A project can also be populated with new activities, milestones, groups, and resources.

Tip More information about these types of content can be found in the First steps with new projects guide.

Content from templates

The supplied project templates are perfect for creating a new project quickly. A large number of templates can be found in the File → New From Template (1) menu item.


Templates make working with recurring content very easy and facilitates the process of working with many similar projects.

Custom projects can be saved for later use as templates. You can create a custom template from a project using the File → Save As Template… (2) menu item.

Library content

The Library contains content suitable for the modular creation of projects. Furthermore, you can store custom content in the Library and use it in any project whenever you want.

Use Library

Click the Library icon on the toolbar or Windows → Library in the menu to open the Library.

Use Library

You drag & drop custom activity groups into the Library using the mouse pointer. This content is saved automatically in the Library for later use.

Save Library

More information on this topic can be found in the Library guide.

New Project Settings

This guide tells you how to configure the project sorting direction and other handy settings for a new project in Merlin Project.

Setting the project sorting direction

A project needn’t necessarily be planned in a forward-looking manner. If you’ve already got a fixed end date for the overall project, you can also take a backward-looking approach. To do this, in your project click Settings and set the Direction to »Backward«.


Setting the project start date

As we all know, every project starts with a date. Once you’ve set the project sorting direction, the next step is to set a project start date.

Start date

First day of week

In most countries a week doesn’t start on a Monday, but on another day of the week. Under the project settings, you’ll find the option to change the first day of the month. You may need to do this for projects taking place abroad, for instance.

First day of week

Duration units

In Merlin Project, durations are assigned time units dynamically. If you want durations to be displayed using a specific time unit, change this from »Dynamic« to the desired time unit under »Duration« in the project settings.

Duration Time Units


In Merlin Project there are several views for viewing the project.

The views let you display content in different ways graphically with different project models, helping you when planning a variety of projects.

The views include the traditional Work Breakdown, the Net Plan, and the Kanban board.

Further views for resources, assignments as well as reports and attachments are available in the respective project.

Selecting views

Click a view in the upper left corner to use the selection list.

Change View

Click Work Breakdown for the selection list of all views.

Change View

Click Entry to see all built-in Work Breakdown views.

Change View

The Edit option lets you modify existing views and saves the changes as new, custom views for selection.

The Publish Changes option publishes views edited by the user and enables other users to see changed views.

Work Breakdown

The Work Breakdown view is a traditional view and contains the following information displayed as an Outline and Gantt chart:

  • Entry

  • Schedule

  • Budgeting

  • Progress

  • Cost Expectation

  • Cost Planning

  • Earned Value

  • Milestones

  • Notes

  • Resource Leveling

  • Plan/Actual Comparison (Cost)

  • Plan/Actual Comparison (Time)

  • Status Compact

You create further views with the Edit option. The Edit window lets you choose from the built-in views; you can create new views by clicking the plus icon.

Net Plan

The Net Plan view lets you select various graphical plan views:

Switching Subview
  • Schedule

  • Kanban

  • Kanban Compact

  • Mind Map

  • Organizational Chart

  • Organizational Chart with Status

  • PERT

  • Phases

  • Status Compact

Note You can create additional views by clicking the Edit option. The existing views are displayed in the window and you can create new views by clicking the plus icon.


The Schedule view contains the logical connections and the structure of the project in the form of a Net Plan.

Net Plan

You can modify how the Net Plan is displayed in the View Options (1) using the Layout drop-down menu (2). The Inspector contains additional options for displaying the Net Plan.

Net Plan

Kanban/Kanban Compact

The Kanban view is intended for agile project management and offers a variety of possible applications.

The Kanban Compact view is a slimmed-down variant of the Kanban view.

Net Plan
Tip Further information about Kanban can be found in the guide of the same name.

Mind Map

The Mind Map view is perfect for displaying projects graphically. You can adjust the layout of the Mind Map in the »View Options« and change how it looks. Click the displayed icon.

Mind Map
Tip Further options for displaying the Mind Map can be edited using the Inspector View Options. To do this, click the spanner icon.

Organizational Chart

The Organizational Chart view in the Net Plan is perfect for the hierarchical display of different projects.

Organizational Chart

You can adjust the layout of the Organizational Chart in the »View Options« and change how it looks. Click the spanner icon.


The Resources view contains all resources involved and assigned in the project. This gives you an overview of the resources available in the project.


Resources can be viewed in the four following views:

  • Work

  • Entry

  • Costs

  • Earned Value


The Assignments view contains all assigned resources in the project. The chart shows each resource’s utilization values for each day.

This gives you a quick overview of utilization levels (shown in red) of individual assignments, allowing you to spot potential cases of over-utilization and correct these.


The available views for the assignments are:

  • Schedule

  • Work Distribution

  • Cost Expectation

  • Cost Planning

  • Resource Leveling

  • Plan/Actual Comparison (Cost)

  • Plan/Actual Comparison (Time)


The views let you check the assigned project resources according to different aspects, for example according to the Expected Costs.


The Report view lets you create reports from different view modules. Here you can combine any views to report the required project information.

Note More information about reports can be found in the guide of the same name.


The Attachments view provides an overview of all attachments in the project.


Using the drop-down menu, the attachments can be listed by type in the view:

  • Checklists

  • Files

  • Events

  • Information

  • Issues

  • Risks

Note More information about attachments can be found in the guide of the same name.

Traits column

Trait column icons

The Traits column contains various icons.

Traits Icons

These icons result from different entries already made by the user in the project.

Icon Name Meaning Note



Row #0 is the project row and is always marked with this icon.

When projects are collapsed, the sub-projects are marked using this icon.



This icon indicates that an activity includes one or more attachments. 

Groups, milestones, and assignments also support attachments.


Alignment »ASAP«

An activity, group, or milestone is aligned with an early start.

This icon is only displayed with backward-planned projects. With a forward-planned project, all activities, groups, and milestones are assigned an ASAP start automatically.


Alignment »ALAP«

If an activity, group or milestone in a forward-planned project is aligned with a late start, this icon appears.



This icon indicates that further information is available in the Traits column, but not all of it is visible.

Change the column width to display all the icons.



This icon indicates that the activity has a specified calendar.

In the activity Inspector you will find the calendar option under »Advanced«.



This icon indicates that the activity has a fixed date.

The Inspector must contain an exact activity start or end date.



This icon indicates that the activity has a note.

The notes tab is located in the activity Inspector.

Resource Pool

Resource Pool

This icon means that the resource comes from a resource pool.

Planning conflicts

If logical problems occur during planning, the planning conflicts appear. The Warnings window lists all conflicts with a brief description.


Remove the checkmark next to *Show weak conflicts*and only strong planning conflicts will appear in the list.

Icon Name Meaning Note

Weak planning conflict

Planning conflict (weak)

This icon indicates that the activity has at least one weak planning conflict.

Click the icon. A »Warnings« window will open with a list of all planning conflicts in the project together with further information.

Strong planning conflict

Planning conflict (strong)

This icon indicates that the activity has at least one strong planning conflict.

In contrast to a weak conflict, a strong planning conflict prevents planning. This could be because the activity commences before the project starts. This issue will need to be resolved.

Title column

The title column includes the titles of the activities, groups, milestones, and assignments. Two icons are used in the title column: one black and one light triangle.

The triangles indicate groups (black) and assignments (light).



This icon indicates a group. Click the triangle to expand or collapse the group.

This allows you to show or hide all group content.



This icon indicates that an activity, group or milestone has one or more assignments. Click the triangle to see the assigned resource.

Tip The menu items Structure → Expand and Structure → Collapse let you expand or collapse several groups and assignments simultaneously.

Time scale

This guide provides basic information on using time scales in Merlin Project.

What is the time scale

The time scale is the display of time in the Gantt chart. The default time scale contains two rows, the upper and the lower one.

In the time scale Inspector, you can make a range of adjustments to the time units and other options.

Time scale Inspector

Click a row in the time scale to open the corresponding Inspector.

There you will find a range of options for adjusting the clicked time scale and settings for the Date Range and Non-working Time.

Note For more information on the Date Range and Notes options, refer to the guides of the same name.
Time Scale Inspector
Note The selected time scale is shaded blue. The Unit, Fix Time Unit, and Date Format options only apply to this selected scale.

Current Time Unit

Current Time Unit

If you tick the checkbox next to Current Time Unit, the current time unit will be shaded in blue automatically in the Gantt chart. This allows you to find the current time period in the project quickly.

Tip The current time unit is fixed with the Fix Time Unit option and remains unchanged even when zooming the view.

Time line

Time Line

Like the Current Time Unit, the Time Line is a vertical marking in the Gantt chart, only much more accurate.

If you tick the checkbox for this option, the current time appears as a thin red line in the project.

The red Time Line is updated automatically with the actual time.

Time scale context menu

Secondary-click the time scale to display the context menu.

Add Top Tier

Up to two further rows can be added to the time scale using the Add Top Tier option.

Remove Tier

The Remove Tier option lets you remove the selected tier from the time scale.

Note The time scale can include up to four tiers. The minimum is one tier.
Adjust Scale to Fit Labels

The Adjust Scale to Fit Labels option adjusts the width of all active time scale columns automatically.

The available space on the time scale is set automatically to the best width.

Zooming in and out

The time scale is enlarged or reduced according to the selection.

The content of the time scale grow or shrink with it. The time units are adjusted automatically as required.

Fit Project

The Fit Project option adapts the time scale to the project.

The entire project is zoomed into until it fits into the visible area. The time scale grows automatically with it.

Fit Selection

The Fit Selection option adapts the time scale to the activities selected in the project.

The selection is zoomed into until it fits into the visible area. The time scale grows or shrinks automatically with it.

Note At least one activity, group, or milestone must be selected in the project for this option to be active.
Complete Work as of

The Complete Work as of sets all activities contained in the project to the status Completed up to the date clicked in the time scale.

This makes it easy to determine the progress of the project just by clicking.


The Style option changes the graphical appearance of the time scale.

Tip For more information on style options, see the Styles and contents guide.

Date range

The Date Range option contains settings to restrict the visible date range in the project.

This is especially handy with large projects. Time phases in the past can be hidden. The focus is placed on the visible date range.

Restrict Date range

The date range is set in the Time scale Inspector.

Click the time scale. The Inspector will appear. This contains the Date Range options.

Time Scale

Enter the desired start and end date for how you want the date range displayed. To do this, click the calendar icon and the desired date.

Tip If you leave the end date blank, the end of the project is adopted automatically as the end date for the end of the date range.
Date Range Start Date

Once you’ve set the date range, the project displays the specified time period automatically. A blue bar above the Gantt chart (1) indicates the activated date range.

Hiding rows

Another option appears in the Inspector that lets you control the display of hidden rows in the outline.

Date Range Set

You have three options to choose from:

  • Never

  • With main bar out of range (default)

  • With main and reference bar outside of range

Never shows all rows, including those rows with link lines that are in the date range, but the corresponding activity bars are not visible in the date range.

With main bar outside of range refers to all rows containing an activity bar, but which are not in the date range.

With main and reference bars outside of range means all rows containing an activity bar and a reference bar, but which are not in the date range.

Note Reference bars are the grey bars that represent the originally planned state of the activity. They can be controlled in the View Options using the Secondary option.
Date Range Reference Bars


The Labels drop-down menu contains settings for controlling the display of labels in the activated date range.

Date Range Labels

The default option Extend visible range displays the labels in full.

The Cut off at edge option cuts off the labels at the edge of the date range.


Presets are values that are required for planning. As a project planner, you choose the presets based on your experience and other requirements for the planned course of the project.

Presets can include work, duration, as well as the start and end date for the respective activities in the project.

Default values

This is the easiest way to see the default values in the columns. This is where you will find all the standard values that are available for the project and its individual elements.

Column Defaults

The presets for work, duration, start, and end are most frequently required for planning. You can also find these presets in the Inspector for the selected project elements.

Inspector Presets

The presets can be entered in the columns as well as in the Inspector. The choice is entirely up to you.

Tip For dynamic planning, all you need to do is configure a preset for the work and to set the respective activities, groups, and milestones with dependencies on each other. Merlin Project will then calculate the expected values from the presets.

Work and duration presets

Learn below how the units differ from presets in Merlin Project.

The difference between Work and Duration is relevant for planning. These two units are entered in time units but have different meanings.


Work is based on the calendar entries in the project. This forms the basis of work for the regular week. A work day comprises the specified working hours plus the defined break(s).

Note You can read more about regular week in the Calendar and Working Times guide.

In the Inspector you can enter the planning values for work for selected activities. The values are entered in different time units (for example hours, days, weeks etc.).

Note Work is the time during which the working times configured in the project (hours, days, months etc.) are worked. It is therefore pure net time in which no vacation, holiday, or sick days are added. No activity-related delays or waiting times are factored into the work.
Work - Details

The »?« after the unit has no impact on planning. It only indicates that the value is estimated.

Tip The Default Value 1 day ? can be set individually for the project under Settings → General. Delete the question mark if required.
Work - Default Value


Like work, the duration is based on the calendar entries in the project. This forms the basis of the duration of the regular week. The duration determines a time period for activities.

Duration - Details

If a Consecutive Duration based on a 24-hour day is entered, you just need to change the unit by adding an e for “elapsed”. For instance: 1 eday. This duration then corresponds to 24 consecutive hours.

eduration - Details
Note The duration is the total time it takes to complete an activity. Don’t confuse the Planned Duration preset with the Consecutive Duration preset.

Example: An employee needs 1 day (work) for a task. The work can be done within the next 2 weeks (duration). Depending on non-working hours, the consecutive duration may be different.

The Inspector lists the expected values. They always show the default and the consecutive time in brackets for the duration.

Expected Work - Duration

Start and end presets

You can enter the time presets, such as Start, Earliest, and End as well as the ASAP and ALAP alignment of activities in the Inspector.

Presets - Time

You can choose from various options in the drop-down menu as well as date options which can be selected using a datepicker.


Based on the different Start, End, and Alignment presets, the project activities adapt automatically if any changes are made. The changes will trigger other activities, links, and calendars.

Calendar and working times

In Merlin Project calendars define working time and exceptions for the whole project and for individual resources. The calendars control the work for regular weeks and exceptions such as vacation, holidays, or extra working time in the project.

Regular project working times

Click the Project Settings icon (1) or File → Project Settings. The corresponding keyboard shortcut is cmd + ; (semicolon).

New Project:Calendar

Then click the Calendar tab (2). This contains the list with different calendars and the active Project Calendar. It is identifiable by the marked checkbox.

Each calendar has two setting options for the regular week and for the exceptions (3).

Project exceptions

By clicking Exceptions (1) you can set single days or time phases as exceptions for free time and extra working time in the active calendar.

Calendar Exceptions

New exceptions are created by clicking the plus (2) icon. Each exception can be customized with the following information:

  • Title

  • Start Day

  • End Day

By default, new exceptions are defined as non-working hours.

These times are only active as additional working times (outside regular working time) when times are added in the Work intervals bar (3).

Tip Exceptions with extra working time have a clock icon in the list.

Importing and exporting exceptions


Click the gear icon followed by the Import option. This adds exceptions to the calendar as ics files. This is how you can enter vacations, for example, as exceptions in the project.

Tip On the website iFeiertage you can find national holidays for the individual German federal states free to download.

Click the gear icon followed by the Export option to create an ics file with all the project exceptions. You can then import these exceptions into another project.

Working times for resources

Configure the options for regular working time and resource exceptions in the same way as for the project. To do this, select a resource and click the Calendar tab in the Inspector.

Calendar Resource

The project calendar is used automatically as the base calendar for the resource calendar. If you make changes to the resource calendar, these settings take priority for the resource calendar.

Use the base calendar drop-down menu to select a base calendar for the active resource.

If you click Reset to Base Values, the settings from the project calendar are used for the resource.

Non-working time

Displaying non-working time

Non-working time is grayed out in Merlin Project. For example, the weekends in the project calendar are darkened by default.

Non-working Time

Click the time scale. In the Inspector you will find three options for adjusting the non-working time.

Non-working Time Settings

Based on

The Based on option lets you display the calendar based on its non-working time in the project.

Non-working Time Based on
Note By default, the project calendar is preset as the base calendar for non-working time. There are further calendars to choose from in the drop-down menu. The calendar settings are located in the project settings and can be edited there.
Settings > Calendar


The Darken option has three configurations to control the display of non-working time in the project:

  • None

  • Uniformly

  • Individually per row

Darken Non-working time

The Never option stops darkening the display of non-working time in the project.

The Uniformly option is set by default. The non-working times for the regular week in the project are displayed.

Activate the Individually per row option so that you can see the non-working times of resources and their vacation periods in the project in the respective row.

Regular non-working time

Using the slider, set whether you want the regular non-working times to be displayed or hidden.

Choose from the following options to display the working times:

  • Show All

  • Hide all regular non-working minutes

  • Hide regular non-working hours

  • Hide all regular non-working days

  • Hide all non-working days

  • Hide all non-working times

Darken Non-working Time
Note The effect of the slider setting depends on the selected zoom level in the active view.

Project settings

Merlin Project] provides a number of settings for the open project. Click the Settings icon or use the File → Project Settings menu to open the Inspector.


The General tab contains the following settings for the project:

  • Date Presets

  • Work

  • Duration

  • Status Date

  • Resources

Note The visibility of the project relates to multi-user use and Merlin Server.

Here you will also find settings for the currency sign used in the project and the visibility of the project.

Date Presets


Date Presets relate to the project and are therefore important.


The direction sets whether the project is forward planned or backward planned.

The Forward option is active by default and lets you begin a project from the start date.

The Backward option allows you to work backwards in the project starting from an end date.


The Start is the start date for the project and is required.

Note Whenever you create a new project, tomorrow’s date is always set automatically as the start.
First day of week

The First day of the week option specifies the day on which the week begins. This varies from country to country. By default, in Europe a week starts on Monday.


This is where you will find the project work settings.

The following values can be set:

  • Hours per working day

  • Hours per working week

  • Days per working month

Default Value

The Default Value is used for newly created activities. Each new activity is assigned the Default Value for Work automatically.

The ? is only an indication that the Default Value is estimated. Delete the ? if not required.


This is where you will find settings for the project duration.

As with work, a Default Value for Duration can optionally be set. This means that new activities are assigned the Default Value automatically for the duration.

Calculation unit

The calculation unit sets the duration unit.

It is set to Dynamic by default. This means that the units are calculated dynamically. This means that 7 days becomes 1 week, 4 weeks becomes 1 month, etc.

Units are available in the drop-down menu. Once you set a unit, it is used for the entire project.

Status Date

The Status Date allows you to view the project from a certain date.

If a Status Date is set, it is used as the current date for the entire project.

This allows you to simulate the progress of the project on the status date specified.

Dynamic Planning

Dynamic Planning is enabled by default.

When activated, Dynamic Planning shifts the content of the project based on the Status Date.

Two variants for Dynamic Planning are available in the drop-down menu:

  • Expected & planned values

  • Only expected values

If you select the first option, dynamic planning is applied to both the expected and planned values in the project.

Tip If you activate the columns Expected Start and Planned Start, the consequences of dynamic planning are easier to see.

If dynamic planning is activated, further settings appear.

The granularity determines how detailed dynamic planning should be in relation to the status date. The time units are available in the drop-down menu.

For example, if week is selected as granularity, a different date appears calculated based on the status date and granularity. It serves as the basis for dynamic planning.

Actual Start/End

The Actual Start/End option is calculated automatically by default.

Two further options are available in the drop-down menu:

  • From expected values for change in completion

  • From status date when changing completion

These options take effect when changing the completion of activities and influence the actual start/end of the activities.


The setting for granularity is also displayed with the From status date when changing completion option.


To deactivate the status date, click the calendar icon and the Today button. If you want the status date to move automatically, click Auto.


This is where you set the Initials Style for project resources. The Initials are under the Style options. The Format must then be set to Initials.

Share their Work

The Share their Work option is important when there are multiple simultaneous assignments. For example, if two resources are moved to one activity, both share the work equally.

Remove the checkmark to stop the automatic assignment of labor to assigned resources.


In the Calendar section you will find the list of calendars. Here you can edit and create new calendars. Tick the checkbox to select the default calendar.

New calendars can be created by clicking the plus icon. To remove existing calendars, click the minus icon.


The regular working week for the project can be set for each calendar. This refers to the fixed working times in the project.

A separate tab is available for Exceptions. Here you enter the vacation and special working times for the calendar. Using the gear icon you can import or export calendars for use with other users. The format used for the calendars is ics.


The settings for Codes control the display and output of Outline Codes and WBS Codes. Here you can set how the codes are formatted and output.


Click the plus icon to create a new code. Following that, click the relevant fields in the row to select the options. The setting you have configured for the code is displayed as an example below the list.

Note Activate the Code column so that the codes appear in the outline.
WBS Codes

To create and edit a WBS Code, follow the same procedure as for Outline Codes.

The WBS Code offers you two additional options:

  • Generate code for new tasks

  • Verify uniqueness of new codes

Note Activate the WBS Code column so that the WBS codes appear in the outline.

Value Lists

Value Lists are for use with attachments in Merlin Project.

Here you can create new or modify existing value lists for the attachments.

Value Lists

First select an attachment type from the For drop-down menu, and then click the plus icon to create a new entry in the value list.

Change the name of existing entries by double-clicking the title of the entry.

Click the minus icon to delete values from the list.


The Utilization tab contains various options for Utilization Calculation, Resource Leveling, and for Resource Pools.


Utilization calculation

Three options are available for Utilization Calculation.

Here you can set the % values for the over-utilization and under-utilization thresholds. These values have a direct influence on the utilization calculation in the project.

The Respect pool assignments option also lets you include resources assigned from resource pools in the utilization calculation based on the thresholds.

Resource Leveling

You have a multitude of options at your disposal to perform resource leveling in the project:

  • For (entire project or an area)

  • Over-utilization interval (unit)

  • Clear former delays (on by default)

  • Within slack only (off by default)

  • Leveling Order (default, priority, or # manual order)

    • Level Now*


Click the Level Now gear icon and select one of the leveling options:

  • Level All

  • Reset All (restores the original state)

  • Level Selection

  • Reset Selection (restores the original state)

Resource pools

Project files can be added as pools in the Resource Pools list.

The Publish Assignments option lets you make the resource pool assignments visible.

Tip Further information about resource pools can be found in the guide of the same name.


You can print from Merlin Project via the File → Print menu item. This uses the standard print dialog integrated into macOS. The Page Setup settings can be found there.

Printing project content

The macOS print window has two views: One with fewer details and one with more details.

Print Menu:Fewer Details

This basic view only offers a few options. Click the Show Details button. This opens the advanced print view. Here you will find the options described in the following.

Print Menu:All Details
Note The page setup and orientation settings depend on the printer used.


The Content drop-down menu offers options for configuring the content to be printed.

For example, you can configure the print area:

  • As in project view

  • Outline and Gantt chart

  • Outline only

  • Gantt chart only

Print Menu:Contents

The other options control how the project is printed graphically:

  • Print background

  • Print gradients

  • Print shadow

  • Repeat header columns on every page (useful for printing over several pages)

  • Smart column page break (useful for printing over several pages)

  • Smart row page break (useful for a printout over several pages)

Page distribution

Under Page distribution you set the scaling of the project to the configured paper format. If you want to output a large project on A4 paper, it may come out looking very small.

Print Menu:Page distribution

The number of pages, based on the width or height of the selected paper format, determines the size of the output.

Note If you set the width to one page, the project will be scaled to fit the width of the sheet. See the following section.

Printing the project on a single sheet

Click the paper orientation option to select whether you want your project content printed in portrait or landscape format.

Then select Page distribution from the drop-down menu. If, for instance, you have selected landscape, set the width to one page.

This resizes the entire project to fit the full width of one sheet.

Print Menu:Page width
Note This setting is marked with a star. All other values are derived from this setting.

The options for the header and footer offer a variety of settings. You will find pre-defined entries arranged at the bottom. The Format drop-down menu contains text formatting options.

Print Menu:Header/Footer

Select the information you want to appear in the header and footer, and select the alignment in the row (left, center, or right). Following that, you can drag & drop the entries in the field to move them around. You can also enter your own text to expand on the entries.


The Borders option can be used for headers and footers as well as a watermark.

Print Menu:Borders

Enlarge the borders if the header and footer as well as the watermark are covered when printing out project content.

Note The distance from the paper margin varies depending on the printer model.


The Watermark option lets you include a graphic in the printout. This allows you to include custom company logos in the printout.

The various options control the position, size, and opacity of the image in the printout.

Print Menu:Watermark

First tick the checkbox next to print watermark.

Then move a graphic file, which you want to use as a logo for the watermark, into the image field.

Next, set the position, style, scaling, layer, and opacity of the watermark.

Print menu:Watermark size

Set the scaling to manual, so that the size of the image can be changed in percentage terms.

In the mini preview you can see the result of the changes in real time.

Note Any graphic format supported by macOS and Preview can be used for the watermark (JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG and others).


The Filter function allows information in the project to be made visible according to different presets. Other information is hidden. Several evaluation options are created by filtering the project contents.

Note Filters help you select certain information for large projects and to display them graphically in the different views.

Click the funnel icon and the built-in filters will be displayed in the Inspector.


Tick the checkbox to the left of an entry in the Inspector to activate the filter. The relevant project content is then displayed automatically by the activated filter.

Select Filter
Note An active filter will keep on being displayed next to the funnel together with its name and remain active until you click the funnel again and remove the checkmark the active filter in the Inspector.

Adjusting filters

Adjusting Filters

Click the magnifying glass to the right of an entry and a dialog will open in which you can see and modify the conditions for the active filter.

The drop-down menus contain information and values which allow you to configure the conditions for filtering your project.

Manage how the filtered results are displayed using these three options:

  • Show non-matching hierarchy

  • Show only matching hierarchy

  • Show as a flat list

Add new conditions for a filter by clicking the plus icon. Click the minus icon to remove existing conditions from the filter.

Creating Custom Filters

Create and add custom filters to the list of built-in filters. To do this, click the plus icon in the filter list.

Create Filter

The category Custom will be created. This allows you to differentiate custom (own) and supplied (built-in) filters from each other.

Give custom filters a unique name for easier identification later on.

Name Filter

Click the magnifying glass and create the conditions for the filter.

Use the options to adjust the filter in the drop-down menus. You can add further conditions by clicking the plus icon, or remove the existing conditions by clicking the minus icon.

Filter Conditions

With the All drop-down menu you can filter the conditions to All or also to Any or None of the set values.

The graphical display of the filter is controlled with the three View Options for hierarchy and flat list.

Tip You can delete custom filters from the list by clicking the filter and then pressing the delete key.

Gear menu

The gear menu contains useful options for using the filters:

Filter gear menu
  • Deactivate Filter (disables the active filter) * Duplicate (_makes a copy of an existing filter)

  • Duplicate (creates a copy of a filter)

  • Share with other local projects (the filter is available in all projects on the local Mac)

  • Publish Changes (for shared filters, the changes are published for all local projects)

  • Save Changes (for shared filters, the changes are only saved in the current project and not published)

Duplicate filter

Use this option to modify an existing filter. A copy will then be made.

Duplication saves you from having to go through the conditions from the original filter and set them manually.

All conditions are transferred during duplication and can be modified or added to.

The original filter remains unchanged.

Sharing filters locally

Use this option so you always have a filter available on your Mac for all local projects.

If changes are made in a locally shared filter, a white dot appears next to the filter.

Filter Change

Use the options under the gear menu to apply the changes:

  • Publish Changes

  • Save Changes

Resetting filters

You can reset changes in a shared filter.

Filter Arrow

To do so, click the rotated undo arrow. A dialog will then appear in which you can undo the changes.

Filter Dialog

Reset the filter:

  • by discarding changes

  • to version shared with other local projects


Merlin Project offers you an built-in Find function to search for content within projects.

Use the keyboard shortcut cmd + F to open the search box at the top of the active view.

Note You will find all the search options together with the relevant keyboard shortcuts under the menu item Edit → Find.

If you enter a term in the search box, all hits will be highlighted automatically in the view, making them easy to spot.

You will find the magnifying glass icon on the left in the search box. Click it and a menu will appear with the options shown.

Find:Options 1

Click Insert Pattern and a further menu will open. There you will find a selection of pre-defined patterns. These patterns make it easier to search.

Find:Options 2

For example, if you select the option Word, individual characters of a word are marked automatically as hits.

Find:Options 3

If you enter a letter before the word, e.g. an N, all words starting with N will be found in the project.

Find:Options 4

The right-hand corner of the search box displays the number of search hits and includes an x to delete the current search.

To the right of the search box are buttons for navigating the search results.

If there is more than one search hit, use the arrows to the left and right. This takes you to the next (→) or previous (←) search hit.

Find:Options 4

Click the Done button to exit the search and hide the search box again.

If you tick the checkbox next to the option Replace, another box appears. Now you can find and replace terms in the project.


The Replace function is very easy to use. Enter the word(s) to replace in the upper search box. In the lower box, enter the word you want to replace the hits with.


On the right next to the Replace box you will find three buttons:

  • Replace (_replaces search terms step by step)

  • All (replaces all search terms at once)

  • Done (finishes replacing)

Find menu

In the menu item Edit → Find you will find all the search options described above as well as the following ones.


Using a selection for searching

Use Selection For Find lets you additionally search through hits.

Use the keyboard shortcut cmd + E for the option.

Jump to Selection

Jump to Selection lets you jump to a previously made selection, such as a selected activity or several items of selected content in the project.

Use the keyboard shortcut cmd + J for the option.

Jump to Current Date

Jump to Current Date lets you find the current day in the project quickly.

Use the keyboard shortcut cmd + D keys for the option.

Jump to…

Jump to… lets you jump quickly to individual project rows.

Note This feature is particularly useful for very large projects.

Use the keyboard shortcut cmd + L keys for the option.

Find:Jump to

The Jump to box will appear in the active view. Enter the desired row number into the box.

By clicking the triangle you set your preferred numbering:

  • #

  • Code

  • WBS Code

Tip If you also use custom Code or WBS Code in addition to the default # numbering, you should display the corresponding columns.


Printing PDFs

You can create PDF files quickly and easily via the print window.

Click the Show Details button. This opens the advanced print view. Configure the print options as necessary. Following that, click the PDF button on the bottom left.


Click Save as PDF. The macOS Save dialog will open. Name the PDF file.

Print:Save PDF

In addition, further options for creating the PDF file can be found here:

  • Tags (tags used in macOS Finder)

  • Title (document title)

  • Author (author and copyright holder of the document)

  • Subject

  • Keywords

Note These are optional settings that can be used if required.

PDF security options

The Security Options… button gives you the option to password protect the PDF file and its contents.

Print:PDF Password

Save as single-sided PDF

To create a single-sided PDF, select the menu item File → Export and its Options.

In the Export dialog click the Image format.

Print:PDF Export

On the right-hand side you will see the setting for exporting the image.

  • Project view (click the magnifying glass to search for the project view for printing)

  • Parts (outline and Gantt chart or only one of the two ranges_)

  • Watermark

  • Format (image format in our case *PDF vector graphic)

Click the magnifying glass and specify which project view(s) should appear in the one-page PDF.

Print:PDF Export Views

Add further project views by clicking the plus icon. Then click the entries in the list to set the views.

Print:PDF Export Views Multiple

Specify which parts you want to export as a single-sided PDF.

Print:PDF Export Views Multiple

Further settings for modifying the PDF output can be found here.

Print:Save PDF Export

For instance, select the Watermark option to add a custom image to the PDF.

Note If a watermark is already used in the print settings of the project, it can be used directly.
Print:Save PDF Export

Click the magnifying glass and the settings for the watermark will appear.

Tip Read more about Watermark in the Print guide.

Then click Next. In the dialog box, enter a filename for the PDF and select the desired storage location. Finally, click Export.

Print:Save PDF Export

A PDF created in this way is suitable for forwarding to project participants by email or printing on a large format printer.

Scroll bars

Scroll bars are used to move the visible area in the program window.

System settings

Note The scroll bars and their behavior are controlled by the operating system. By default, scroll bars are only displayed in macOS when scrolling.
No Scroll Bars

The content in the different views of Merlin Project can be moved around the visible section using input devices such as a mouse or a touchpad. The scroll bars only appear when scrolling.

Tip With the Apple Magic Mouse and the Apple Trackpad, you can watch short animated guides to using gestures to move content under System Preferences → Mouse and System Preferences → Trackpad.
System Preferences: Mouse Gestures

Displaying the scroll bars

Open the System Preferences in macOS and click the General icon. There you will find the options for displaying scroll bars when scrolling.

System Preferences: General

The three options for scrolling using the scroll bars are system-wide and apply to all programs used.

  • Automatically based on mouse or trackpad

  • When scrolling

  • Always

If you select Always, the scroll bars will then always appear in Merlin Project and in all other programs.

Always Scroll Bars

Saving options

Saving in Saving options

In Merlin Project and other applications used as of OS X 10.9.x, the option File → Save As is no longer visible.

Note The option Save As has been replaced by the option Duplicate. In principle, it performs the same function.

Displaying "Save As"

File > Duplicate
Tip Press the option key and File > Duplicate will become File > Save As….
File > Save As

Work and duration


In Merlin Project there are three values that are important when planning a project. The most frequently used value is work. This lets you specify the effort for completing an activity based on the working time set in the project.

Note The working time is set individually in the project settings. The working time defined in the project calendar affects the work and duration of the project.

For example, an activity that requires 2.5 days of work requires 20 hours (52 ehours) by default [where the prefix "e" denotes "elapsed"].

Work > Duration

The activity with the planned 2.5 days of work starts at 8am and ends at 5pm. There is a lunch break between 12pm and 1pm. This means the first day, has a consecutive duration (incl. lunch break) of 8am - 5pm which corresponds exactly to 9 consecutive hours (ehours). The work lasts 8 hours (four in the morning, 4 in the afternoon).

Added to this are the rest periods at night, which is the time between 5pm - 8am, which corresponds to 15 hours per night. This gives a total of 30 hours and two lunch breaks at 1 hour each, meaning that there are exactly 32 hours of rest in addition to the 20 hours of work. Therefore, the consecutive duration is longer and results from 20 hours of working time and 32 hours of free time.

Work settings

Work > Settings

You can change the values for work in the project calendar as well as under Settings > Work.

Note The ? after Planned Work is only an indication that this activity has a planned value that can change. It has no impact on project planning. The Default Value for work is set in Settings > Work. Remove the question mark there.


The Duration value lets you manage activities which have no work or which, in addition to work, cover a specific time period.

Duration Example

Example: Tiling

The Lay screed activity has a planned work of 1 day and requires approx. 6 weeks of drying time. The 6 weeks are entered as eduration.

Duration Example

Although a builder only needs one day of work, the activity takes 6 consecutive weeks.

Only after the 6 weeks have elapsed can the tiling activity take place.

Note You can select whether to enter the value as a duration or consecutive duration.

Consecutive duration

Always use consecutive duration if an activity exceeds the working time. The consecutive duration also covers non-working time.

Note The consecutive duration is also referred to as elapsed duration.

The consecutive duration is always based on the usual calculation of time, i.e. one day corresponds to 24 hours, one week corresponds to seven days and one year has 365 days.

Consecutive Duration
Tip Every time unit supported by Merlin Project can be entered as a consecutive duration in the Duration field using the prefix e.
Example: 24-hour activity

Enter the value 1 eday as the Default duration for an activity. The activity starts at 8am and ends the next day at 8am.

Duration Example

In the Inspector you can see all planning values under Expected.

Note If you set the start time to midnight, the whole day until midnight is populated by the activity.



Merlin Project] offers you project finance options. Every activity, milestone, resource, attachment, or assignment can be assigned a budget and costs.

The easiest way to do this is to use the Finance tab in the Inspector.

Finance Inspector

There you will find three more tabs:

  • Budget

  • Costs

  • Balance


Note Budget means money that is available for the project.

Select an activity, milestone, or assignment and then click the Finance → Budget tab in the Inspector. Here you can enter all budget information in the fields provided.

Finance Inspector
Tip If you do not have a budget and would like to keep track of project costs, use the tab Finance → Cost.


In the tab Finance > Cost you can enter base costs for the selection.

Note Base Costs are all costs that arise during planning and execution of the project.
Finance Inspector > Cost

If you have several cost items, first click the triangle next to Base Costs and create new entries one after the other by clicking the + icon. Merlin Project will then add up the individual cost items automatically. The Base Costs field lists the total of all cost items.


Under the Finance → Balance tab you will find an overview of individual cost values listed by Expected, Planned, and Actual.

Finance Inspector > Balance
Tip Select the project in row #0 and go to Finance → Balance in the Inspector. You will see an overall list of all cost items contained in the project.

Cost views

The View Options for Merlin Project contain an initial selection of different cost views.

  • Budgeting

  • Cost Expectation

  • Cost Planning

  • Plan/Actual Comparison (Cost)

Cost Views

These views contain columns that give you an overview of the costs for individual groups, activities, milestones, and assignments.

Note Go to one of the many cost views for quick access to budget information in the project.


The Library in Merlin Project is a handy way of working with frequently-used content. You can find and manage your documents, activities, and contacts in the Library.


The easiest way of moving content into or out of the Library is by dragging & dropping it.

Move Library Content

If you drag & drop a phase or group from a project into the Library, this content will be available for other and new projects. This makes life easier for you as repeat content does not have to be created from scratch each time.

Note For a better overview, arrange your content in folders. This gives structure to the Library and allows you to work quickly with the content.

Library contents

The Library contains the following information, enabling you to use and manage the following content:

  • Attachments

  • Documents

  • Contacts

  • Outlook contacts

  • Activities

Tip The Documents section lets you manage all project-related and frequently-used documents of any type. This helps you enormously in keeping your workload down in the case of frequently-occurring content.


Reports provide you with a better overview of project content and information, and are perfect for forwarding to project participants.

The Report view in Merlin Project includes several preinstalled reports.

Existing reports can be used directly or adapted to your own needs.

Each report uses modules which compile the content from the various project views to produce the report.

Report Modules

Report modules

The modules can be clicked in the report using the mouse and modified in the Inspector.

Report Modules

Click the plus icon to create new modules.

Report Modules

The following module types can be used in a report:

  • Bar Chart

  • Budget Cost Chart

  • Project View

  • Text

  • Time Phase Chart

  • Time Phase List

The Project View module is used most frequently. Project view columns and Gantt chart options can be modified and managed directly in the module.

Use the Filter and Filter Mode options in the Inspector to filter the display of information in the module.

Use the Grouping and Grouping Mode options in the Inspector to group the display of information in the module.

The Inspector offers different options depending on the type of report module selected.

The Budget Cost Chart provides budget columns for the chart, making it handy for creating reports with cost information.

Budget Cost Chart Inspector, scaledWidth=

The Time Phase List, however, requires values for sampling duration and the fields.

Time Phase List Inspector

The same applies to the Time Phase Chart:

Time Phase Chart Inspector

Click the plus icon to create a new field. In the Type column, set the chart display type. If you tick the cumulated checkbox you can display cumulated field values in the chart.

Creating custom report views

You can create a custom report view as follows:

View, scaledWidth=

Click a report view and select the Edit option.

View, scaledWidth=

Name the new report view and click Activate.

View, scaledWidth=

Now continue by building the newly created report view with modules. Click the plus icon to add new modules.


Inserting and removing columns in the »Status« report view

To activate and deactivate columns in the Project View report module, you first need to configure the actual project view instance.

Under Report → Status several project views are displayed in the modules. In the Inspector, the views for the module* can be selected using the Type and View drop-down menus. In the example shown, the Slightly Behind Schedule module is selected. It uses the Work Breakdown → Status Compact view. This view is controlled by the filters.

In this way, individual modules can be integrated with the filter option for activities that are, for example, on or behind schedule.

Project View Inspector, scaledWidth=

To insert another column in the module, first switch to the view that the module accesses (in this example Work Breakdown > Status Compact).

Insert the desired column by clicking the arrow in any column and then selecting the option New Column.

Add Column
Tip You can customize the format of the column either in the original project view or in the report module. If you want to apply the change to all report modules with this view, change the format in the original project view.
Date Format

To remove the column use the delete key or click Hide in the column header.


The steps listed above produce the following column combination in the Status Compact view:

Add Column

When you return to the Report > Status view, the changed columns from the view appear in the report modules.

Result Module

Changing the sampling duration in the »Earned Value« report view

Switch to the report view Report > Earned Value.

Click the module with the Earned Value chart.

Sampling Duration - Example 2

Enter the desired Sampling duration in the Time Phase Chart Inspector, for example 1 eday.

Note You can use days, weeks, quarters, and years. Alternatively, you can use edays, eweeks, equarters, and eyears.
Result - Example 2

The accuracy of the chart increases because the values are calculated per consecutive day.

Note If you select a long sampling duration, the information is displayed linearly in the chart.

Displaying work costs per resource in a chart and table

In Merlin Project you can customize existing report views and save them as new views using custom report modules. In this example, switch to Report → Budget/Cost Overview.

Duplicate Report - Example 3

Under the View menu item, click Reports > Edit.

Select the Budget/Cost Overview view, then click the plus icon to duplicate the view.

Activate - Example 3

Name your custom report and click Activate.

Delete the Budget Cost Chart and insert the Bar Chart module.

Insert Chart - Example 3

Edit the title (e.g. Work). Activate the filter by clicking the magnifying glass. Configure the filter setting for All Resources except the Default Resource.

Bar Chart Settings - Example 3

Add the Project View report module.

Set Type to Resource and View to Costs. Activate the Filter for Real Resources. Set the Grouping to Role.

Result - Example 3

The result shows you all resource costs filtered by real resources and grouped by role.

Sharing the report view with other local documents

Under the Display menu item, select Reports → Edit.

Select a desired report view.

Click the gear icon and then click Share with other local projects.

Share Report With Other Local Projects

Earned value