If you manage projects in Excel, you’ve probably come across the need to assign tasks to different phases, especially if your project is somewhat complex. There is a right way and a wrong way to set up phases in Excel, and structuring your phases correctly will make it easier to format your charts in OnePager Express.
Many people think that the relationship between a task and a phase in Excel should look like it does in Microsoft Project, with the phase on top, and the tasks indented underneath:
We are pleased to report that OnePager has certified that the latest versions of Project and Office, due out in late 2021, are compatible with the latest versions of OnePager. As a Microsoft Certified Partner, we always get early access to the latest updates from Microsoft to ensure that we test OnePager well in advance of those same updates being pushed to you, our end users.
Our certification process involved testing OnePager 7.0 against the following upcoming releases from Microsoft:
Microsoft Project Professional 2021 has been certified for use with OnePager Pro 7.0.
Microsoft Office 2021 has been certified for use with OnePager Express 7.0.
Microsoft Office LTSC (Long Term Servicing Channel) has been certified for use with OnePager Express 7.0. Office LTSC is a new version of Office designed for highly-regulated devices or devices in secure or classified environments (SCIFs).
If you use Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365), you may soon receive the same updates from Microsoft that are covered under these perpetual license releases, and can expect similar results with respect to OnePager compatibility.
Numerous users of pre-7.0 versions of OnePager told us that their initial charts were full of text collisions, which required manual repositioning of labels to make them suitable for presentations. We honed an algorithm that sequentially applies a series of strategies to avoid these collisions, seeking to produce the best-looking output with the minimum user effort.
Our users’ feedback helped us refine this new technology, so thank you! Let us know how you’re using Smart Text Optimization and what improvements remain to be made.
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.
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?
If you’re using PowerPoint 2019 or Office 365, you have probably switched over to the 16×9 aspect ratio for your slides. OnePager 7.0.7 and later support this aspect ratio as well, which is useful if you’re in the habit of saving directly from OnePager to a PowerPoint file instead of doing a copy/paste.
To change your PowerPoint aspect ratio, go to Home > Chart Properties > Page Layout, and then change the PowerPoint Aspect Ratio setting from 4×3 to 16×9:
In our last post, we discussed the improvements to text editing that OnePager 7.0 makes available. Along those same lines, OnePager version 7.0.6 and later offers additional flexibility to customize the order in which text elements appear relative to each other.
Some users prefer to display not only the name of their tasks, but also dates and percent complete as text next to the task names. While not everyone places a lot of weight on which of these pieces of text comes first, it does matter to some people, so we’ve made it configurable.
For example, if you display both the task name and the dates, perhaps you always want the task name closest to the bar, and the date farther out:
Another advancement that is available in OnePager 7.0 is more flexibility when it comes to hand-editing the text in your chart. While we recommend customizing text globally through Chart Properties, there are always situations that require a nudge here and there, and we aim to make that easier.
In OnePager 7.0, you can now select individual text elements with your mouse, or hold down the Ctrl key to select several elements at once:
This makes it quick and easy to relocate or reformat individual pieces of text without needing to go into the Format form, as was the case in earlier versions.
For advanced users who make a practice of renaming the local custom fields in Microsoft Project, you’ll be pleased with another enhancement in OnePager 7.0: you can now import those custom field names into your field mappings so that they are easier to find.
Another important upgrade in OnePager 7.0 is more flexibility when it comes to adding stripes to your chart. For example, you might want to highlight a given row in your chart by placing a stripe in the background:
Or, you might want to add a stripe to an entire swimlane instead: