10 Things You Can, But Should NEVER Do In OnePager – #2

This is the second post in a series that highlights the OnePager mistakes we see most often in our support interactions. These are mistakes that we wish we could help everyone avoid, and do the right way instead.

2 – Manually Dragging Shapes Up and Down In Your Chart

courtesy: missouribusiness.net

The wrong way…

We allow you to do this, and there are many cases where you can’t avoid it. But, as we constantly state, if you can make your visuals data-driven, you should!

For manual manipulation of the vertical location of your shapes:

  1. Click on a shape and drag it up or down in your mouse
  2. Select one or more shapes using your mouse and then use your arrow keys to move them up and down

The only exception is that you cannot drag your shapes left and right, and this is on purpose…to protect you from deviating task start/finish dates from your source file.

The right way…

We provide you some specific settings to be able to group tasks automatically, using data from your source file.

All of these settings can be found in the Rows section of the Rows/Swimlanes tab of the Project-View Properties, as shown in the screenshots below.

The main setting for Swimlanes is “Group rows into swimlanes by.” Selecting a field from your source plan here will form the main vertical grouping with labels showing in the far-left column of the chart.

Just because this is initially set for you, it doesn’t mean you can’t change it.  Simply hit the dropdown and change the field in Project or Excel where the values live that you want to use for automated grouping.

If you don’t currently have a field populated that works for this function, you can always add it. This is actually pretty common. In Project, the Outline structure that you build into your plan is rarely exactly how you want things organized, and in Excel you might not have the values created yet.

In Project, you can Insert a Text column, and Excel any column will do. Just add the values you want…it can be anything. For example, I might want my tasks and milestones to be grouped by a Region value, which isn’t yet in my data. So I just add that column/field to my source file and then type in my Region values.

After performing an Update, to make sure OnePager has the new values that I added to my source file, I can then switch the setting in the Rows/Swimlanes tab of the Project-View Properties to the new field in my file. Once I click OK, I will see my new grouping.

We also provide the ability to collect tasks and milestones into a single row, automatically.

This setting is pointed to in the below screenshot, and is called Collect tasks into rows by.

There are also two related settings to the right, which will help either avoid or ignore overlap.

Again, if you don’t have values in some field in your source file to drive this, you can add it later, Update, and then switch the dropdown to use that newly populated Column/Field to drive the collection automatically.

Have another bad habit that you’ve eliminated or hidden feature that you found recently that helped you be more efficient with OnePager?  We’d love to hear your comments!

This entry was posted in OnePager Express Tips, OnePager Pro Tips by Jay. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jay

Devoted father of two, lover of mountains, entrepreneurism, and beer. Jay carries with him fourteen years of project management experience within the cable, telecom, construction, software development, and energy industries. The spectrum of projects and programs that Jay has managed throughout his career is broad and deep, enabling him to help clients implement Chronicle Graphics software in a multitude of applications. His employment history includes positions at Narvaes Construction, Leslie Brothers Construction, CSG Systems, Echostar Satellite Services, Comcast, and Level 3 Communications.

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