Accessing Data Using Shortcuts and URLs

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Team members, project managers, executives and administrators


If your team already has project files and assets stored in a useful location, or you want to point people to another web based system, then ‘shortcuts’ are for you. You may opt to present third party information within an iFrame, or a new tab or even launch a new browser window without any programming or cost.


  • Understand how to set up system wide shortcuts
  • Learn about the different click actions

Key Points


Managing your project files and projects assets is an integral part of your project management processes. Also, as part of your day-to-day activities, you may need to access data stored in other web-based systems or on web pages.

To support this, Project Insight has shortcuts to enable you to connect to files and other applications all without custom programming. This can streamline your processes with easy links to all your data and systems from one location.

There are different ways shortcuts can be created.

Shortcut as Web Page on Dashboard

The first one you are going to see is adding a shortcut as a web page on your dashboard. Anyone that accesses Project Insight can do this.

This can be a corporate portal web page or another type of web page or cloud-based system that you access frequently.

What you are seeing here is a common team member dashboard with a work list, a calendar and notifications.

Click on the Collapse icon on the Work list to collapse that section.

Repeat that for the Calendar and Notifications as well.

To add a shortcut as a web page on the Dashboard, hover on the Display Options icon, hover over Web Pages.

Four different web page shortcuts can be added to your dashboard.

Click on Web Page 1.

A Web Page has been added to the dashboard.

Click on the light blue header bar of the Web Page and drag it upward to position it on top.

More details about managing your dashboards are available in the webinar called Dashboards 101.

Click on the Set a URL text.

Enter the URL of the web page or web-based system you want to connect to.

You have to enter the full URL including the http or https information.

Enter in

You can also specify the height of the web page component. If you just leave it blank, it will default to somewhere around 600 pixels.

For now, leave the height blank and click Save.

Click on the Expand icon on the web page.

You can see that the web page is displayed, in our case the Project Insight website.

Links on this web page are fully functionality.

Project Insight uses iframes to display the web page information on your Dashboard. You will need to ensure your security settings are set to allow iframes and the web page or web-based system you are creating the shortcut for, also is allowed to be displayed in an iframe.

Not all applications or web pages support the use of iframes like Project Insight does, so if you are having problems displaying a web page on the dashboard it is most likely because of a restriction on that application. If you are having problems putting web pages on the dashboard because of iframes, you will see some work arounds to that in a moment.

You may also want to change the layout of your dashboard so that you display the web page in the full width.

Hover on the Dashboard Options icon and select Dashboard Layout.

Choose a format with a full width for the top section.

Click Save.

You can see it’s now displayed in the full width.

That’s adding a shortcut on the dashboard.

Click the Collapse icon on the Web Page.

Create Shortcut in Documents Repository

Now, you are going to see how to create a shortcut in the documents repository. You can create a shortcut in any folder in the software or to any item where shortcuts are allowed to be created. Your System Administrator will have determined where shortcuts can be created.

One of the most common places to create a shortcut is in a projects document repository. The steps to create a shortcut there are the same as creating a shortcut for a different item or in another folder.

Expand the left navigation.

Click on the Folders section to expand.

Click on the Projects folder.

Click on the Software Development project.

The project task list is displayed.

Collapse the left navigation to give you more space.

Hover on the Views menu option and select Documents.

This displays the documents repository for this project.

Hover on the Add icon and select Shortcut.

The Add shortcut form appears.

The first thing you need to enter is the name of the shortcut. This is what you and others will see so make it as descriptive as possible.

Enter Project Documentation.

The URL is where you enter the link information.

It is possible to create a shortcut to an internal file server. For example, you may have a directory set up on file server where all the documents for this project are stored.

Project Insight has the functionality for you to manage documents directly in the system, but some organizations have pre-project documentation or legacy or historical data on their file server that they want to create a shortcut to, or they may have internal policies that require data be stored on an internal server.

In order to create a shortcut to an internal server, you must enter the URL according to the file server standard protocol.

To help you with that, an article has been setup in the Project Insight Community.

Hover on the Help icon and select Project Insight community.

In the search enter local windows files.

Click Search.

Look for the help titled, Hyperlinks and References to Local Windows Files Using Internet Explorer.

Click on that.

This help document describes how to link to local windows files using Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Currently, Chrome does not support this functionality nor does Safari if you are using MACs. That’s a limitation of those browser systems and is out of control of Project Insight.

For Internet Explorer, the URL has a specific format which is the file name, machine name and folder name.

It is recommended that you have your IT department help you set this up.

You may want to copy this and paste is in the shortcut URL to make it easier to enter the information in the format required.

Click back on the Project Insight tab.

Paste it in the URL.

Replace the machine name and folder name as appropriate for the folder or file you want to connect to.

Switch back to the help by clicking on that tab.

There are also some other Internet Explorer security settings you may have to change. Just follow the rest of the instructions in the help to do that.

That’s how it is set in Internet Explorer.

To do this in Firefox, you need to install an add-on program and there are instructions for that and also a link to that program.

Click on the X to close the help window.

Click on the Project Insight tab to switch back to the Project Insight system if necessary.

Not only can you link to an internal file server but you can also link to other web pages. In that case, you would enter the URL of the web page, including the http or https extensions.

For example, enter

You have some additional options here: display in an iframe, display in a new browser window when clicked, display in current browser window, display in targeted browser window.

Click Display in an iframe.

Click Save.

Click on the short cut link. Click show all content to any additional prompts you may get.

The web page displays within the context of Project Insight in the same browser window and you still have the menu options and headers.

Click the Back button.

Hover on the Edit icon and click Edit Shortcut.

Click on Display in a new web browser window when clicked.

If you are having problems displaying web pages or cloud-based systems on the dashboard or using the iframes option, then this is the recommended option.

Click Save

Click on the Shortcut.

You see that it is displayed in a new browser window and the Project Insight tab is still there.

Click on X to close the browser window.

The Project Insight form is displayed.

Click the Edit icon next to the shortcut.

Click on Display in Current Browser window.

Click Save.

Click on the Shortcut.

You can see that it displays in the current browser window and Project Insight is no longer displayed in a separate tab.

Click the back button in Internet Explorer to get back to the Project Insight form.

Click the Edit icon next to the shortcut.

The last option, Display in a Targeted Browser window is more advanced and requires HTML knowledge to use. Consult with your IT department to determine if and when you would use that option.

Click Cancel.

You can also create shortcuts in the left navigation for one click access to information.

Expand the left navigation.

For example, you can put a shortcut right in the folders navigation.

You must be a System Administrator to do this.

This is really useful if you want to give your customers, team members or other stakeholders access to certain information in Project Insight and you want to make it really easy for them to navigate to that information.

For example, you may give your customer access to Project Insight to get a list of documents associated with the project, but you do not want them to see the task list or any other details.

To do that, you need to know the web address or URL of the item you are creating the shortcut for.

Navigate to the form or folder that you want to create the shortcut to.

In this case, you are going to create a shortcut to the Software Development project, documents repository.

The URL for that is displayed.

This URL contains other information besides the shortcut, for example, it contains details about the last page you were on and that is used if you click the back icon.

All you need for your shortcut is the information up to the &rtn text.

Highlight everything before that and copy it.

Click on the Administration section to expand that out.

Click on Edit Folders Navigation.

Hover on the Add icon and click Add Shortcut.

In the URL, paste the shortcut.

Enter the name such as Project Documents.

Click on Display in current web browser window.

Click Save.

A shortcut to the project documents folder has been created in the left navigation.

Click on it and it will take you directly to the software development project document repository instead of having to navigate to the projects folders, then the projects, then the documents.

In this case, the permissions have been set so that everyone in your company is seeing that shortcut and also the team members in your company have access to the documents repository .

You need to grant additional access to the document repository to users in the company that this project is being done for.

To change that, click the Edit icon for the documents folder.

Click Permissions.

Prior to this, the security was set up so that by only users belonging to your company can access to this folder.

To grant permissions to users in the other company, leave Company checked and in the drop down, select the company.

In this case select Customer ABC.

Click the Add icon.

Uncheck Add Contact, Change and Delete for Customer ABC.

This means that users associated with this customer company can read the information in the folder but cannot add new content, change or delete content.

Click Save.

You also need to change permissions so that only those users in that company see this shortcut. You do not want all your users in your company to see the shortcut, just the users in Company ABC.

In the Administration section, click on Edit Folders Navigation again.

Click the Edit icon for the Project Documents shortcut.

Click the Edit Item Properties for the shortcut to change the permissions.

Click Permissions.

You would setup permissions on this shortcut so it is visible only to certain users.

Uncheck inherit permissions from parent item.

In Grant Permissions by, leave Company checked.

In the drop down, select the company. All users associated with that company will see this shortcut. Select the Company ABC.

Click the Add icon.

Uncheck Add Contact, Change and Delete functionality, leaving just Read functionality.

Click on the X icon to remove access by all Users in My Company.

Click Save to save those changes.

The user you are logged in as, did not belong to that company, so you can no longer see the folder that is why this permission form is appearing.

However, you can impersonate the user that can see the folder so you can see what it looks like.

Only System Administrators can impersonate other users.

Click Users.

Right click on the user associated with that company and select impersonate.

You can see that you are now logged in as a different user.

You are now seeing what that user would see.

Click on Folders to expand it out if you need to.

You can see the shortcut. Click on it.

It takes you directly to the Software Development Documents Repository.

If you tried to navigate to the project by clicking on the project name, you are not able to, because you do not have access to the project task list. You just have access to the document repository for the project.

By using shortcuts and setting up permissions, you can give easy one click access to information specific to that user, while restricting their access to everything else.

This can eliminate phone calls and status reports and give your customers and other team members and stakeholders access to real time information when they need it.

Setting up permissions is covered in more detail in the Secure Your Project Insight Data with Permissions training session.

Hover on this users name and click Stop Impersonating.

Shortcuts to Saved Reports

Shortcuts are used automatically in other areas of Project Insight as well.

Hover on the Reports menu option.

Hover on the different report categories and you’ll see shortcuts to saved reports.

Click on a report to run it.

The report is displayed. That gives you one click access to saved and shared reports.

In order for reports to appear here as shortcuts, they must be a report that you saved or that someone shared with you.


You can also create shortcuts to any page in Project Insight and set it as a favorite.

Click the Projects folder.

Click the Software Development project.

Hover on Views and click Documents.

This is one way to navigate to the documents repository for this project, but you can create a quick shortcut to this as well. Anyone can do this, not just the system administrator.

System Administrators had to be the ones to add shortcuts in the left navigation, but anyone can add a shortcut in their favorites.

Hover on Favorites and select Add to Favorite.

That creates a short cut in Favorites to the same location.

Hover on Favorites and click on it.

You can add as many and also easily remove favorites as you require.

Hover on Favorites and hover on the shortcut, then click Remove Favorite.

If you are working on a specific project, you can quickly create shortcuts to the task list or documents repository and then remove from your favorites when the project is completed.

Default Home Page

Any form can also be set as your default home page instead of the dashboard.

Hover on My Insight and select Home Screen.

If you wanted this to appear as your default when you login, hover on Favorites and select Set as Default to do that.

When you login, this form will be displayed instead of your dashboard.

To reset it, hover on your user and click Edit Preferences.

Click on Reset Homepage to Default Location.

Click Save.

This resets it so that your default dashboard appears when you first login.

Dashboard Shortcut

If you click on My Insight, that is a shortcut to your main dashboard from anywhere in the system.

If you hover on My Insight, you will also see shortcuts to other commonly accessed forms, such as the Home Screen, your work Calendar, your weekly Allocation, your specific Auto-Alerts, a directory of users, your other saved dashboards and your time and expense entry forms.

This gives you one click access to your most used functions.

My Work Shortcuts

There are also other shortcuts in the left navigation.

Click on the Administration section to collapse it.

Click on the Folders section to collapse it.

Click on My Work to expand that out.

Click on the arrow next to a section to see the details.

Click on Work List.

You will see short cuts to all your work.

Click on one to have it display in the main part of the form.

Usability Shortcuts

There are also other shortcuts you can access that were designed for efficient navigation and data entry.

Click on the arrow next to Projects to expand that section out.

Click on the Software Development project to display that.

Collapse the left navigation.

Throughout Project Insight, you can access different menu options through the icons in the upper right hand corner of the form.

For example, the menu options here are applicable to a project because that is what you are working on.

However, instead of having to scroll over to those menu options each time, you can just right click on the white space or gray menu bar and context sensitive menu options appear.

Just click on the function you need.

If you right click on a Task, context sensitive menu options specific to a task are displayed.

If you had a really long task list or a lot of columns of information displayed this gives you easy access to the different functions you need to perform instead of having to scroll to the top of the form each time and select it from the menu options there.

In some cases, you can also right click on the column headers to bring up menu options specific to the headers such as freezing headers and left plans and toggling to full screen.

First hover on the Tools icon and select Expand All Summary Tasks so you are seeing all tasks.

There are now a large number of tasks showing and then disappear off the form.

Scroll down to see the tasks.

The column headers disappear.

Scroll back up and right click on the Headers.

Click Freeze Headers and Left Panes.

Now if you scroll down, the headers remain visible.

If you had more columns that would display on one form, you can also freeze the left pane so that you are always seeing things like the task name if you scroll to the right.

Right click on the Headers and select No Freeze Pane.

That is the last topic in today’s session.

You can create customized shortcuts to support your different business processes and streamline access to data for different types of stakeholders.

You can also use built-in shortcuts to easily access information with one click and to access functions sensitive to what you are doing and this is all without any custom programming.

Online 6/2/2015
Updated on: