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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Color-Coding by a Custom Status field in Microsoft Project

Many of you already use OnePager’s conditional formatting to automatically assign colors to your charts based on Microsoft Project’s Status field. But what if you need status calculated differently than how Microsoft Project does it out of the box?

In this article, I’ll show you how to create your own custom status field in Microsoft Project, and then bring that into OnePager to drive the color-coding of your timeline.

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Using Separate Fields for Task vs. Milestone Text

When creating a chart in OnePager, we want to make sure that the audience knows what the tasks and milestones represent. This is why the labels in a chart are so important.

Most of the time, using the same text field from MS Project will suffice for both your tasks and your milestones, but there are situations where you need to label tasks one way and milestones another. In this article, we are going to discuss how you can import data from two different Microsoft Project fields so that you can use the first field to label your tasks and the second field to label your milestones.

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Endpoints: How to not lose track of dates on a timeline

Endpoints are a little-known feature of OnePager that allow you to assign special symbols to different dates in your schedule and have those symbols appear near your main task bar. Endpoints are especially useful if you have several tasks left-to-right in a timeline layout and are worried that the overlap between those tasks will mask the true start and finish dates.

Let’s start with this simple project, which is initially in a Gantt chart layout. You can see that some of the tasks are scheduled back-to-back, but that other tasks are at least partially concurrent:

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Changing Tasks to Milestones for Birds on a Wire

Many of our OnePager users like “birds on a wire” charts, which place a summary task in the background and then layer related milestones on top of the bar so that everything is in one line.

If the “birds” that are going to sit atop the “wire” are truly milestones, it’s easy. But what if the “birds” are actually tasks, and you want OnePager to display them as milestones? In other words, what if your birds on a wire chart is nothing but wires? How do you create birds when all you have are wires?

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Hybrid Gantt Chart and Timeline Layout

Most of our users are already aware that OnePager has the ability to build charts in a Gantt chart layout with each task in its own row and in a timeline layout where multiple tasks are lined up left-to-right. What if you want a hybrid approach with portions of your chart looking like a timeline and the rest looking like a Gantt chart?

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Avoiding Uneven Swimlanes when Microsoft Project’s WBS is Inconsistent

Most of our Microsoft Project users like having OnePager Pro automatically group swimlanes by one of the outline levels tied to the WBS of the project plan. For example, grouping by Level 1 Summary Name will create swimlanes based on the top-level parent task, whereas grouping by Level 2 Summary name will create swimlanes based on summaries one level lower.

But what happens if your WBS in Microsoft Project isn’t set up so that every outline level matches up to where you’d like to see a swimlane? Take this Microsoft Project plan for example:

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Unique IDs in Project Online and Project Server

In our previous post, we covered the ins and outs of unique IDs with Microsoft Project locally on the desktop. This article discusses some of the differences in how unique IDs work when you are using Project Server or Project Online.

When you launch OnePager as an add-in to MS Project, you have the option to connect directly to Project Server/Online or to let MS Project connect to the server and then funnel the information back to OnePager through the desktop client. When you’re using OnePager as a standalone application outside of MS Project, all connections to Project Online and Project Server are direct and do not involve MS Project.

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Unique IDs in Microsoft Project

Continuing our earlier discussion of Unique IDs, we’ll turn our attention this week to Microsoft Project. Project generally does a pretty good job of creating and maintaining Unique IDs so that you don’t have to worry about it, but we’ll cover a few gotchas in this article.

Your Unique IDs in OnePager will vary in MS Project based on whether you are:

  • Using Project on the desktop or connecting directly to Project Online or Project Server over your network; and
  • Reporting on a single project or on multiple projects
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