Display Certainty In Your Plan by Using Conditional Formatting

I often have users ask me how I would display a level of certainty around a particular milestone or task.

The need exists because the initiative spans many years, and therefore, items in the plan set to begin, or complete, in the near future are fairly certain in terms of their target dates.  However, items further out on the timeline need to be interpreted as loose estimates.

This is actually very easily accomplished in OnePager, as long as you have a column with a value that indicates the various levels of certainty you want to communicate.


For example, you may 3 levels of certainty:

  1. High
  2. Medium
  3. Low

Each of these values needs to be clearly displayed and interpreted visually.  Using conditional formatting rules in OnePager, we can do this very easily.  Here are the steps:

1 – Insert a column into your source file to house your certainty values (any Text column in Project will do, and there are no limitations in Excel).


2 – Make sure your Template is set to map in your new column that will be used to create new conditional formatting rules.  To do this, click the Templates button on your Add-Ins tab, then navigate to Other Columns, and select your column.


3 – Create a New OnePager Project View.

4 – Open the Project-View Properties (gears-button on the Home tab in the ribbon toolbar) and click the Manage Rules button at the bottom of the Task Bars tab.  Here, create 3 rules, one for each value.  We’re using border in our example.


You can now very easily see, with the difference in border properties, which task is of High, Medium, and Low certainty, and this is easily voiced over during the presentation.

Certainty Visualized3

As long as the column of data exists, OnePager can interpret the values in that column visually in some way, using conditional formatting.

Have another way you’d execute this?  We’d love to hear it!  Please leave a comment or send us an email at [email protected].

2 thoughts on “Display Certainty In Your Plan by Using Conditional Formatting

    • Hi Cassandra,

      This article was written a few years ago and refers to an older version of OnePager. In more modern versions, this tab has been renamed Field Mappings instead of Other Columns. That said, newer versions of OnePager also don’t require you to pre-map fields for conditional formatting, so you should be able to launch straight into the conditional formatting window and set up your rules without worrying about your field mappings ahead of time.

      If you have additional questions on how to get conditional formatting working for you, please give our support desk a ping at [email protected].

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