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Publish or Refresh Work Items in Office Project

You can control which work items are published and refreshed in your Office Project plan. Publishing refers to uploading to the Team Foundation work item database the changes that you have made to tasks in your project plan. Refreshing refers to downloading work items from the Team Foundation work item database to your project plan, so that the plan matches the current values in the work item database.

By default, publishing and refreshing affect all work items in the project plan. However, you can override that default behavior for any set of work items in an Office Project plan. When you disable publishing for a work item, any changes that you make to that work item in Office Project are not synchronized to your team project until you re-enable publishing. When you disable refreshing, any changes made to that work item in Team Foundation do not appear in your project plan.


The time it takes for Team Foundation to complete a publish or refresh operation depends on the number of work items in your project plan, server load, and network traffic.

Required Permissions

To perform this procedure, you must be a member of the Contributors group or have your View work items in this node, and your Edit work items in this node permissions set to Allow. For more information, see Team Foundation Server Permissions.

To enable or disable publishing or refreshing of a work item

  1. In the Office Project plan, be sure that the Publish and Refresh column appears. 

    The Publish and Refresh column shows by default in both the Team System Gantt and Team System Task Sheet views.

  2. Find the work item for which you want to change the publishing status, and in the Publish and Refresh column, click one of the following options:

To publish or refresh a project plan

  • In the Office Project plan, follow one of these steps:

    • To publish the project plan to Team Foundation Server, click Team, and then click Publish.

      Team Foundation validates the changes that you have made to tasks prior to writing them to the work item database. You must correct any validation errors that occur before the publish operation can complete.

    • To refresh the project plan, click Team, and then click Refresh.

    If a publishing error occurs, see Working in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project Connected to Team Foundation Server.