10 Things You Can, But Should NEVER Do In OnePager – #5

Happy New Year!

This is the fifth article in a series meant to highlight the mistakes or missteps we see most often in our OnePager support interactions. These things we wish we could help everyone avoid, and do the proper way instead.

5 – Overwrite Task Labels In OnePager

The wrong way…

As you have likely discovered, OnePager allows you the ability to change its label by double-clicking on the task bar or milestone shape. The experience will look like the image to the left, where you will end up with a dialog box to overwrite the label that was automatically added from your source file (in Project or Excel). By default, our Templates use the Task Name field in Project.

We allow you to do this to help with situations where you may have to quickly update a label on a visual that you will only use once.

Be aware that if you perform an Update > Replace Snapshot > All Properties, OnePager will replace your manual edit with fresh data from your source file, which will overwrite your new manually modified label.

The right way…


Like just about everything in your OnePager document, the labels next to your tasks and milestones come from your source file.

The proper way to update the labels in your OnePager chart is to modify the labels in your source file, and then go down the Update path in OnePager.

It’s also worth noting that you’re not stuck with using the Task Name field in Project, or the field you originally designated from your Excel file, once you’ve created your OnePager visual. In version 6.0 we added the Unlimited or “Retroactive” Column Mapping capability.

If you prefer to use a different field from your source files to drive your task or milestone labels, open the Project-View Properties > Task Bars tab, and click on Task Bar Label Properties. Finally, select the Label field dropdown to choose the other field from Project or Excel that you’d prefer to use to drive your labeling.

You’ll have to perform this series of changes again in the Milestones tab if you have milestone shapes in your chart.

This ability will come in handy, particularly in the situation where you have very verbose task names. In this case, it makes sense to use a field where you’ve added short names, acronyms, and abbreviations, which will cut down on the amount of text in your visual…always a good thing.

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 Best Practices, OnePager Express Tips, OnePager Pro Tips by Jay. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jay

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 OnePager software in a multitude of applications.

2 thoughts on “10 Things You Can, But Should NEVER Do In OnePager – #5

  1. In situations where I’ve created a Virtual Summary Bar, is there a way that I can use the source file to name that virtual summary bar, or is that a manual change? Will that manual change be overridden when I Update>Replace Snapshot>All Properties?

    • Thanks for the question, Jessica.
      VSTs cannot be data-driven since it is a manual roll-up of shapes in OnePager. Modifying the label is manual (double-click on the shape), but it should not be overridden with an Update>Replace Snapshot>All Properties.
      Ideally, and as a best practice, instead of creating a VST, you should add a task in your source file, which will make it data-driven, vs. modifying OnePager after the fact. However, that might not be possible in your case, if you don’t own the data…
      Let us know if you have other questions!

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