Last month, we announced the release of OnePager 7.2. In the coming weeks, our blog will explore many of the new features that are available in this latest version. We’ll kick things off by taking about Symbol Columns, which as the name implies, enable you to place symbols into columns instead of text, as you may have done in the past.
Symbol columns are driven by conditional formatting, meaning that you can write a handful of rules to automatically decide which symbols appear where and when. To get started, let’s assume that we have a basic Gantt chart like this:
This Gantt chart displays percent complete as a progress bar, and also color-codes the tasks based on their status. For example, green tasks are complete, while red tasks are late. We can use symbol columns to display both percent complete and status, either in addition to or in lieu of the formatting in the body of the chart itself.
To set up conditional formatting rules for a symbol column, go to Home > Chart Properties > Rows/Swimlanes. Turn on the Left #1 text column and point it to the Status field:
So far, there’s nothing new here. OnePager’s text columns have always been able to display the values in the Status field. To change the column from displaying text to displaying symbols, click on the Manage Rules button that is new in OnePager 7.2:
Now, you’ll see OnePager’s familiar Conditional Formatting rules engine, but now the rules pertain to columns, not tasks or milestones. We want to set up a series of rules that looks at the Status field and assigns a symbol for each value. The rules themselves are pretty straightforward. The only real departure from traditional conditional formatting is the new Display As choice. Here, because we want the column to display a symbol, we change Display As from Text to Symbol. Once that’s complete, we’re able to assign a symbol and a color instead of plain text:
After applying the rules, OnePager will place symbols into the column based on status, like this:
Completed tasks get a green checkmark, late tasks get a red X, tasks that are on schedule appear as an orange triangle, and any future tasks appear as a clock icon.
As you might imagine, symbol columns offer endless possibilities when it comes to visualizing your project data. In our next post, we’ll walk through another frequently-requested example: using Harvey Balls to represent percent complete.