What is MPP file extension?
The file extension MPP , or the .mpp file format is used by Microsoft Project, a project management software developed by the Microsoft Corporation. This application is Microsoft’s third windows-based product and has become the dominant software for project and portfolio planning and management.
Microsoft Project is a favorite for project managers for developing plans. It is a versatile tool with many different features and functionalities for assigning resources, tracking progress, analyzing workloads, managing budgets and more. The software is part of the Microsoft Office family, but it is sold as a separate product and a stand-alone product.
In it’s essence, an MPP file is a digital file that holds the extension .mpp at the end, and contains data about a project created in the Microsoft Project software. Detailed information about the project plan, are included in an MPP file, including the entirety of the project schedule, with elements such as the timeline, budget, resources, costs and others.
It is the ultimate blueprint of the entire project, according to which project managers manage the planned project execution.
Once the project plan is created in the Microsoft Project software, the plan is often exported as an MPP file to be shared with the different members of the project team.
Apart from the .mpp file extension, selected project data can be exported and shared with the project team in other formats such as PDF, as well.
However, a format such as PDF has limited static properties in terms of viewing the data. Therefore, .mpp file is the most commonly preferred choice despite the fact, that in order for the team to be able to use data shared in this format, they must posses a special software, as MPP files can be opened with a selected number of special tools.
When sharing the project plan in the .mpp file format, several other concerns are also present.
- Compatibility issues related to the version of MS Project in which the software has been created with
- Inability to open an MPP file due to the use of different OS system.
- A project plan file in the .mpp format, created with a more recent version of the MS Project, can not be opened with a lower version of the software.
- MPP files created with Windows based version of MS Project, cannot be opened the Mac OS. In fact, the Microsoft Project software is not available on the Mac environment.
Although these concerns present heavy limitations that can negatively affect project performance and operations, in this article we will look at some solutions to these problems on which you can rely on and easily implement.
How to open an .mpp file on different OS and devices?
Open MPP files with Microsoft Project
One of the best way to view and open .mpp files is to use the on-premise versions of the Microsoft Project software, Standard of Professional.
This options is perfectly suited if you have a machine running on the Windows operating systems.
Although you can open Microsoft Project MPP file with the Microsoft Project windows based version of the software, this approach could become cost-prohibitive if you need to acquire and implement MS Project across the entire enterprise.
So, how can i open a mpp file without Microsoft Project? – a quite frequent question to ask.
There are alternatives for opening MPP files without having Microsoft Project installed on your device.
A number of .mpp “Microsoft Project Viewer” applications exist on the market today. These applications are considered as utility tools and are usually created by other software manufacturing companies or in other words a third-party provider, and are designed to work together with the MS Project software and support your project operations.
Alliteratively, you can open and view MPP files with the web versions of Project, however you will need a browser with an internet connection to access this version of the software.
Open MPP files with a Project Viewer software
Projects require a team effort to be successful.
That is why communication and collaboration with team members, executives, clients and other stakeholders is imperative during the project execution.
Although .mpp files were originally designed to be used in the closed Microsoft ecosystem, nowadays a number of project viewing software solutions exist on the market that can facilitate the need for broader collaboration, allowing project teams to open and view project plans in the .mpp file format, apart from Project.
Most project viewers, such as Seavus Project Viewer, can open any version of an .mpp file, and have kept up to date with any new changes to Project and MPP file versions as they are introduced over the years.
Additionally, Seavus Project Viewer offers a Mac OS version, which essentially allows users to open mpp on Mac device, acting as a “Microsoft Project Viewer for Mac”.
The general use-case of adopting project viewer can be explained as follows:
Project managers, planners or the “power users” use the MS Project in the enterprise, as they are the only ones with the knowledge and expertise to create the project plan, and implement changes to the schedule during the management of the project execution.
On the other hand, all other employees, from team members to executives and external contractors, who periodically or occasionally need to view the project plan shared with them in the mpp format, in order to see their tasks and assignments, create a report or assess the project status, get a project viewer license.
This use case is applicable to project-oriented organizations who prefer to use the Standard, desktop based version of Microsoft Project product.
Project Viewers help optimize the software “usage” among the different group types of employees in large companies and enterprises, as well as contribute to cost-savings when “Volume” is considered, as one licence is considerable less expansive than a full Microsoft Project Standard license.
While other forms of online and free project viewer tools that allow you to open mpp files also exist on the market today, if you are considering opting for a viewer from a company perspective, or in other words for corporate use, they are a less recommended option to consider.
Project plans contain valuable data about the project and most companies want this data to remain, secure and accessed by selected employees only. For this reason, a desktop based viewer is the perfect option to consider.
One of the best desktop based project viewers on the market today, and during the past two decades, is the Seavus Project Viewer, a tool trusted by 6+million users worldwide.
And in the past few years, Microsoft has introduced many new capabilities and versions related to the online or web versions of the product, thus covering the entirety of collaboratively working and with Project perfectly in their closed ecosystem.
How to open mpp file with Seavus Project Viewer, the leading project viewer on the market
Opening an MPP file within Seavus Project Viewer is simple, fast and quite straightforward that it can be summarized in only two steps.
To open mpp file with Seavus Project Viewer, all you have to do is download the software for your device and operating system.
Seavus Project Viewer has identical look as Microsoft Project, so you will be familiar with all the options and the software is available for Windows and Mac OS.
The Seavus Project Viewer Windows and Mac versions today offer a secure and fast way to open view mpp file data and remain the leader and project viewers of choice to individuals and world’s best companies.
After installing SPV on your computer, the next step is to start the application and open the .mpp file you’ve stored locally.
This can be done with a simple drop down of the file inside the application window, or through the Open Menu.
Time to read and analyze the file. That’s it.
Seavus Project Viewer offers a straightforward way to open and read any MS project MPP file from your device, network, intranet or cloud location, all without having Microsoft Project installed on your computer.
The application offers accurate view of data, in the same way as you were to be reading the file with MS Project, including more than 28 different views, and support for creation of reports from existing data as done in MS Project.
The only difference is that the project viewer is a “read-only” solution. Therefore, editing the data inside an MPP file cannot be accomplished with the Seavus Project Viewer application.
However, one can freely use and interact with the entire project data in existing mpp files, through unique features that allow dynamic way of viewing such as filters, groups, sorts, report creation and more.
If you are considering this solution for a company deployment, we suggest trying Seavus Project Viewer first. A 15-day free trial is available. Get more information on how to download MS Project viewer.
Benefits of adopting Seavus Project Viewer across the enterprise include:
- Fast and secure way to open MPP files on Windows and Mac;
- Helps optimize a company software project environment and introduces big savings on volume purchases;
- Opens any .mpp file regardless of the MS project version in which it has been created with. Compatible with the latest MS Project 2021, and earlier versions;
- Access to all views, with 100% accurate display of data as presented in MS Project;
- Instantly ready for large corporate deployments using a silent setup;
- Concurrent and Citrix licensing options available;
- Customizable to support more than 11 different languages;
- Dedicated support team you can rely on.
Opening Project MPP files from different versions
Microsoft first released the iconic Microsoft Project software in 1984. Since, the application has grown to be one of the most widely used software solutions to manage projects.
Over the years, Microsoft has released different versions of the Project software and their native MPP file format. This list illustrates which different versions of MPP files are supported by the different versions of Project:
- Microsoft Project 98 can open .mpp files created with MS Project 4.x and Project 98.
- Microsoft Project 2000 can open .mpp files created with MS Project 98 and Project 2000.
- Microsoft Project 2002 can open .mpp files created with MS Project 98, 2000, and 2002.
- Microsoft Project 2003 can open .mpp files created with MS Project 98, 2000, 2002, and 2003.
- Microsoft Project 2007 can open .mpp files created with MS Project 98, 2000-2003, and 2007.
- Microsoft Project 2010 can open .mpp files created with MS Project 98, 2000-2003, 2007, and 2010.
- Microsoft Project 2013 can open .mpp files created with MS Project 2000-2003, 2007, 2010, and 2013.
- Microsoft Project 2016 can open .mpp files created with MS Project 2000-2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.
- Microsoft Project 2019 can open .mpp files created with MS Project 2000-2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019.
- Microsoft Project 2021 can open .mpp files created with MS with MS Project 2000-2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 2021.
Opening .mpp file workarounds such as opening mpp file created from a later version of Project and saving the file the latest, current version, in some rare cases, can potentially lead to loss of data and formatting in areas where the later version contains enhanced functionality.
Recommended solutions are to use the latest, up-to-date version of Project, or a project viewer for .mpp files such as Seavus Project Viewer that can open any .mpp file.
Can you use Excel to Open an MPP File?
Another frequently common question that comes to mind when opening .mpp file.
By default, MPP files cannot be imported or opened in Excel.
However, workarounds such the use of special converters to modify the file type or the use of a project viewer to copy and paste the information in Excel, exist.
The MPP format (.mpp) is the native file type associated with Microsoft Project that stores all the data about a certain project created within this application.
MPP files can be opened with the different version of the Microsoft Project software, and special tools called “viewers or readers”.
If you are a project manager, in addition to your MS Project software that you use daily, you can use project reader for opening .mpp file at times when you need to quickly access an information from your project plan, create a quick report for your meeting or other.
If you only need a view access, and you are looking for a fast, efficient, safe and reliable solution, one of the best ways to open and read MPP files is to consider using project viewer such as Seavus Project Viewer.