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Using OnePager Pro to Make Project Summary Timelines

How do I create a project summary timeline in MS Project?

With OnePager Pro, you can take your typical Microsoft Project file and quickly prepare a timeline view of the project. Once prepared, this timeline view can be updated and used in downstream presentations and schedule conversations as your Microsoft Project file is updated with current status information.

Project summary timeline created in OnePager Pro.

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We will illustrate below how Microsoft Project, with OnePager Pro, can produce a quality timeline chart that can be updated as the project proceeds. You don't need to do anything special in MS Project to make this happen--OnePager Pro does the rest and provides you with a professional timeline presentation report that can be used in PowerPoint presentations, distributed as a PDF, or included in an email message.

If you don’t already have OnePager Pro, you can download a 15-day free trial to see how it works:

  1. To illustrate the creation of a summary project timeline we’ll use the following project and create a single project timeline Gantt chart.
    Microsoft Project plan to be summarized in OnePager Pro.
  2. Double-click the OnePager Pro icon on your desktop. Choose New from the Start menu that pops up, and choose your Microsoft Project plan as the source file for your project summary timeline. An import wizard will appear, allowing you to only select summary-level tasks:
    OnePager Pro can be configured to only import summary-level tasks.
  3. Clicking the Create new chart button at the bottom of the wizard will create an initial project report that looks like this:
    Initial project report created based on summary-level tasks.
  4. The view above is more of a Gantt chart, so if we want to convert it to a timeline, we'll make a few modifications. Start by going to Home > Chart Properties and to the Task Bars tab. Here, we'll tell OnePager to color-code each summary task:
    Customize how a summary project plan is color-coded. This will help the audience distinguish one phase of the project from the next. OnePager will assign colors automatically. We're also going to reduce the height of each bar so that it fits better on the final timeline.
  5. Next, we'll go to the Rows/Swimlanes tab to tell OnePager to collect each summary task into a single-row timeline instead of a Gantt chart:
    Collect all of the summary tasks into a single row for the timeline view.
  6. Click OK. We now have a project summary timeline that looks like this:
    Project summary timeline created in OnePager Pro.
  7. You can adjust the page size and relative bar height if you want to tighten up blank space, to create a timeline like this:
    Project summary timeline created in OnePager Pro.

This article presented an approach for taking a Microsoft Project plan and creating a summary timeline report on one page. In the process, we discussed how powerful OnePager Pro is when it comes to creating a customizing a project summary timeline.

Once created, this project summary timeline is easily inserted into PowerPoint presentations, posted to SharePoint, or sent as email messages so that others can understand issues and accomplishments.

Using OnePager Pro allows you to create dynamic, informative project presentations with the click of a button, and it eliminates the need to rebuild your presentation by hand every time your project schedule changes.

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

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