Highlighting Estimated Tasks

The Estimated field in Microsoft Project lets you identify tasks for which dates aren’t yet set in stone:

Simply place a “Yes” next to tasks that are estimated, and leave everything else alone. If you want to make a distinction between estimated and firm tasks in your OnePager chart, you can do so with conditional formatting.

To launch conditional formatting, go to Home > Chart Properties > Task Bars, and then click the Manage Rules button in the bottom. We’re starting out with some conditional formatting rules that assign different colors based on the Status field:

A lot of beginner OnePager users assume that conditional formatting can only used for color, or that conditional formatting can only look at one Microsoft Project field at a time. Both of these assumptions are incorrect. Even though we already have a set of rules that assign color based on status, we can add a separate rule that looks for tasks where the Estimated flag field is true:
Once you’ve set up the condition, scroll to the right and assign a dotted border, like this:
Click OK on the border selector, and you’ll see the dotted border appear in the conditional formatting grid:

Click OK to close the Conditional Formatting Rules screen, and then click OK again to close Chart Properties. Your chart will update so that all estimated tasks appear with a dotted black border, while still retaining their main colors that are based on status:

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About Safford

Safford is a versatile technology professional with a solid history of empowering emerging growth companies in a broad array of industries. His employment history includes energy industry consulting at Quorum Software, Senior Manager of Client Services and Technical Sales at telecom service aggregator GetConnected, and Vice President of Strategic Partner Management at electronic payment processor IP Commerce. Prior to his tenure as OnePager's COO, Safford was the company's Vice President of Marketing and Alliances. Safford holds a BA in Psychology and management from Rice University.

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