You can also make it so that any individual task is Manually Scheduled by going to .

Notice that all tasks selected to be Manually Scheduled have a picture of a thumb tac in the Indicator column.

Whenever you set a task schedule manually, you may or may not enter information about the dependencies, durations, date constraints, etc.

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You need to look at a view like the Leveling Gantt (as shown below) in order to understand the scheduling logic.

To get to the Leveling Gantt view, go to If you think a date or a link is acting strangely, then don’t give up.

Another feature in MS Project is the Task Inspector, which explains some of the logic behind the automatic scheduling engine.

This tool can be helpful when you are truly confounded, but this article is meant to make these considerations much more intuitive so that you don’t have to refer to the Task Inspector for every single task date that you set.

Figure 2 shows some examples of how tasks may appear when they aren’t being automatically scheduled. Note that the calendar shown–the Standard (Project Calendar)–is the default calendar for the entire project.

Figure 3 In Figure 4, Task 14 was originally scheduled to start on 10/8, but as we can see, the scheduling engine delays it until the next working day.

Looking closely at the Gantt Chart, you can see that Monday the 8th has been grayed out for the entire project, indicating that it is a non-working day.

Figure 4 It is possible for tasks to have specific calendars that are different from the default calendar for the project.

Have you ever been unable to change the start date of a task in Microsoft Project?