Bulk add or modify work items with Excel
When you have a lot of work items to add or modify, using Excel can save you time. Use a flat list to bulk add or modify several types of work items at once, such as backlog items, tasks, bugs, or issues. Use a tree list to bulk add or modify work items and their parent-child links.
You can also bulk add and modify work items using Microsoft Project.
If you don't have Microsoft Excel 2007 or later, install it.
If you haven't installed Visual Studio or Team Explorer, you'll need to install one of these versions to get the Team Foundation add-in to Excel.
In Excel, start with a blank worksheet. If you don't see the Team ribbon (or the Team menu if you use Excel 2007), see step 2.
If the Team ribbon no longer appears, you might need to re-enable it.
Connect to TFS and the team project where you want to add work items. If you can't connect, get added as a team member.
If it is your first time connecting to TFS from Excel, you might have to add TFS to the list of recognized servers.
Your worksheet is now bound to your team project as a flat list. What this means is that you can add work items to the team project from the worksheet or add work items to the worksheet from the team project.
Specify the titles of the work items you want to add and their work item type.
Notice how the State and Reason fields automatically fill in with default values.
Publish your worksheet.
Notice how IDs are now assigned to your work items.
Also, note how you can open a work item in Team Web Access to add more information.
You can make changes to work items in Excel, Project, Team Web Access, or Visual Studio Team Explorer.
Follow these tips to keep your work in sync:
You can bulk add a nested list of work items, such as a work break down structure or a hierarchical set of user stories and customer experiences. For example, you can add a nested list of tasks, subtasks, and bugs, as shown in the following illustration, or linked tasks to product backlog items, as described in the following steps.
Follow steps 1 through 6 from the previous procedure.
Convert your flat list to a tree list by adding a tree level.
Notice how the list type is now labeled Tree, and an additional Title 2column has been inserted.
Enter titles for backlog items under Title 1 and for tasks, under Title 2. Also, select the corresponding work item type for each.
Publish your worksheet.
TFS assigns IDs to each work item and creates parent-child links for each task listed under a backlog item.
Useful tips when working with a tree list:
A: Yes. You can’t open a query from the web client; however, you can open the query from Excel. To use Excel, you must get the Team Foundation add-in, which installs when you install Visual Studio or Team Explorer. If you don’t have one of these versions installed, install it now. You can install Team Explorer for free.
Once you’ve installed Team Explorer, open Excel and look for the Team menu or ribbon.
A: Use the following table as a guide for selecting your list structure.
Create and publish many unrelated work items
Perform bulk edits on many unrelated work items
Query list or input list
Perform bulk edits on many work items and their dependent or related work items
Perform top down planning and publish parent-child linked work items
View and modify the hierarchy and parent-child link relationships of many work items
Review reports based on a filtered set of work items that change over time
Flat or tree list
A: If the Tree group commands are not available, your worksheet is configured as a flat list. You can convert the flat list to a tree list as described in step 2 in Add backlog items and tasks and their parent-child links using a tree list.
A: Remove any content entered under the tree-level Title number column you want to remove—the highest numbered column—and, then Refresh your worksheet.
Always publish changes that you have made to work items before you remove a tree level. Removing a tree level requires a refresh, which overwrites data in the work item list. You will lose any data you have not published.
A: Yes. You can use many Excel features, such as cut, paste, automatic fill, format, sort (flat list only), filter, and add formulas.
You can cut and paste rows to re-sequence items within a list and change link relationships among work items.
To drag a work item, select the work item or contiguous set of work items that you want to move, open the context menu and choose Select, Table Row, point to the border of the selection, and—when the pointer becomes a move pointer —drag the row to another location.
When you refresh the work item list, not all formats may be retained. For example, date formats are set by TFS. Any changes you make to a date format field will be overwritten with the date format used by TFS.
A: If you want to disable the add-in, see Add or remove an add-in.