Before we see the method to convert an XLS file in to MPP file let us understand what these files are. An XLS file is the default file format of any excel file. Excel is a Microsoft Office application and it used for creating spreadsheets and performing various calculations on a data entered in those spreadsheets. Microsoft office excel is a widely used application for generating, analysing and forecasting data. Whenever we create and save a file in Microsoft Excel it gets saved with an extension of .xls. On the other hand an MPP file is a default file format for Microsoft Office Project application. This application though has a name “Microsoft Office Project”, but is not a part of Microsoft Office suit and you need to purchase it separately, however Microsoft Excel is a part of Microsoft Office suit and can be installed from the Office installation disk. Microsoft Project is an application designed for project managers and it provides tools to manage the projects they have undertaken. This program allows users to understand and control the project timeline and its finances. It provides them the features to communicate and present the project specific information and to organise work among people to make sure the project gets completed within the time frame specified.
There are many file convertors available on the internet which can easily convert your xls file to mpp but why to use them when we can do the same from office applications. We cannot convert a xls file in mpp directly by using Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel but we can do the same by embedding the excel file in to the project and then saving the entire project as MPP file. Let us see how to do this.
Open the Microsoft Project application. Once it gets opened click on the file menu and select open. Browse to the folder where you have the excel file which you wish to convert and then select the file. By default the open box will only show the MPP files so make sure that Excel is selected in file types dropdown and only then your Excel file will be displayed in it. After selecting the Excel file click on Next. Hitting Next will invoke the import wizard and in this wizard the first screen will ask you to select the project. Here please select “New Map” and “Add New Project”. Further the wizard will ask you to select if you wish to import this new Excel file as a Project Task, as a Project Resource, or as a Project Assignment. Make your selection and click on Next. After clicking on Next you will see a snapshot of your Excel file and here you can sort or re arrange the columns in your Excel file if required. Please not that if you have selected more than one option in the choice of Task, Resource, or Assignment then you will be asked to sort or rearrange the columns for each of them individually. Once your done with this click on Finish. This will import all of your Excel data into Microsoft project and this can then be saved as a MPP file.