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Conditional Formatting in Microsoft Project

Using OnePager Pro to define rules for the color, shape, and style of a Microsoft Project Gantt chart

When you are presenting a project plan to management, it needs to be well-formatted in order to be understood. Microsoft Project's Gantt View and Timeline View allow you to change colors here and there, but don't give you an automated way to define the look and feel like Excel does with conditional formatting.

OnePager Pro timeline software gives you the ability to create conditional formatting rules so that your Microsoft Project plan can be formatted just as easily as an Excel spreadsheet. You can download a free trial of OnePager Pro and follow along with the steps below to see how it works:

  1. Start with a Microsoft Project file:
    Microsoft Project plan data. If you only want to show certain tasks or milestones, put a "Yes" next to them in the "Flag 20" column before launching OnePager Pro.
  2. Double-click the OnePager Pro icon on your desktop. From the Start screen that appears, choose New.
    OnePager Pro Start screen.
  3. Choose your Microsoft Project plan as the source file for your OnePager Gantt chart.
    OnePager Pro source file selection.
  4. When the import wizard (below) appears, give your report a name and a status/snapshot date:
    OnePager Pro's easy import wizard creates Gantt charts and timelines in seconds.
  5. Click the Create new project view button to create your initial OnePager Pro report:
    This initial view looks better than Microsoft Project, but doesn't have a lot of formatting yet. It's a good starting point for the rules we'll create in the next few steps.
  6. To begin setting up conditional formatting rules, click on the Home tab and on the Project View Properties button:
    All of OnePager Pro's powerful editing tools are right at your fingertips with the Project-View Properties button.
  7. Now, go to the Task Bars tab, and click on the Manage Rules button at the bottom of the form:
    The Project View Properties form allows you to change the settings of your OnePager Pro chart.
  8. This will launch the conditional formatting rules editor. In this example, we'll set up four rules to dynamically define the shape and color of each task based on the value of the "Resource Names" column in Microsoft Project:
    OnePager Pro's conditional formatting rules are based on your existing Microsoft Project plan. You can create as many conditional formatting rules as you'd like, and you can use any Microsoft Project data to define the rules. So, if you want to drive your shape by "Resource Names" and your color by "Status", you can. OnePager Pro's conditional formatting rules are very flexible.
  9. Clicking OK twice will return you to your OnePager Pro chart, which will automatically be updated based on the rules you just defined:
    Gantt chart with conditional formatting rules, made in OnePager Pro
  10. If you like the way your chart looks, just click the Copy Graph button on the Home tab, and paste your chart into PowerPoint or e-mail to share with others on your team.

OnePager Pro is the only application that lets you apply conditional formatting rules to an existing Microsoft Project plan without having to export data to Excel or redraw a Gantt chart by hand in PowerPoint. OnePager Pro reports look great, and save you tons of time because they're so easy to create!

Get started today by downloading a free trial or attending one of our demonstration webinars.

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