OnePager issued patent for Smart Text Optimization

We’re excited to announce OnePager was issued its seventh U.S. patent today, for Smart Text Optimization, a new feature available in version 7.0.

Numerous users of pre-7.0 versions of OnePager told us that their initial charts were full of text collisions, which required manual repositioning of labels to make them suitable for presentations. We honed an algorithm that sequentially applies a series of strategies to avoid these collisions, seeking to produce the best-looking output with the minimum user effort.

Our users’ feedback helped us refine this new technology, so thank you! Let us know how you’re using Smart Text Optimization and what improvements remain to be made.

Fixing Individual Text Collisions

If you’re using OnePager 7.0, you probably know that there is a new set of algorithms that automatically optimize the text in your chart to minimize text collisions.

These algorithms work very well, but every so often, you may find a text collision that sneaks through. In other cases, you might have moved text or shapes around by hand and created a text collision that wasn’t there originally.

If your chart looks good overall, but you have a couple of lingering text collisions, you don’t have to re-optimize your entire chart to fix it. Instead, you can select the pieces of text that are in trouble and re-apply the optimization just to the area of your chart that needs it. In this example, we have three pieces of text that are hard to read. So we can select all three with a Ctrl+Left-Click, and then right-click on any one of the three selections to choose the Re-Optimize Text Collisions option from the context menu:

OnePager will re-run the optimization algorithm only for the selected tasks. So if you’re happy with the layout of the rest of your chart, you don’t have to worry about messing it up while you’re fixing a collision elsewhere.

Big Charts: How much is too much?

Photo Credit: Gabby K from Pexels

If you’ve taken a OnePager training class, you’ve probably heard us say “less is more” — which, despite sounding trite, really is true when it comes to building charts. A chart with only 50 tasks is many times more readable, and therefore more valuable, than a chart with 500 tasks, even when your manager thinks otherwise.

This article is dedicated to the people who’ve already told their manager that big charts are a bad idea and end up having to create one anyway.

When creating a large chart in OnePager, think of it like a balloon: you can keep filling it with air for a long time, but eventually, you’re going to exceed the physical limitations and pop that balloon. This begs the question: What is the size limit of a OnePager chart?

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What’s New in OnePager 7.0: 16×9 PowerPoint

If you’re using PowerPoint 2019 or Office 365, you have probably switched over to the 16×9 aspect ratio for your slides. OnePager 7.0.7 and later support this aspect ratio as well, which is useful if you’re in the habit of saving directly from OnePager to a PowerPoint file instead of doing a copy/paste.

To change your PowerPoint aspect ratio, go to Home > Chart Properties > Page Layout, and then change the PowerPoint Aspect Ratio setting from 4×3 to 16×9:

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What’s New in OnePager 7.0: Text Element Ordering

In our last post, we discussed the improvements to text editing that OnePager 7.0 makes available. Along those same lines, OnePager version 7.0.6 and later offers additional flexibility to customize the order in which text elements appear relative to each other.

Some users prefer to display not only the name of their tasks, but also dates and percent complete as text next to the task names. While not everyone places a lot of weight on which of these pieces of text comes first, it does matter to some people, so we’ve made it configurable.

For example, if you display both the task name and the dates, perhaps you always want the task name closest to the bar, and the date farther out:

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What’s New in OnePager 7.0: Easier Text Editing

Another advancement that is available in OnePager 7.0 is more flexibility when it comes to hand-editing the text in your chart. While we recommend customizing text globally through Chart Properties, there are always situations that require a nudge here and there, and we aim to make that easier.

In OnePager 7.0, you can now select individual text elements with your mouse, or hold down the Ctrl key to select several elements at once:

This makes it quick and easy to relocate or reformat individual pieces of text without needing to go into the Format form, as was the case in earlier versions.

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What’s New in OnePager 7.0: Refreshed User Interface

One of the most noticeable changes in OnePager 7.0 is the brand-new user interface. We wanted the newest version of OnePager to look clean and modern, but at the same time, we didn’t want to rearrange all of the settings just for the sake of doing it. So, while you’ll find that OnePager 7.0 looks fresh and new, the buttons that you’re accustomed to are still in the same places:

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