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Formatting is being Lost

If you find that some of the formatting in your OnePager charts is not being preserved, this article will help you make better use of OnePager's capabilities so that you limit the amount of re-formatting that you have to do.

As a general rule, OnePager preserves all data-driven and rules-based formatting that you configure under Home > Chart Properties. If, on the other hand, you have been formatting your charts by hand by dragging and dropping, then these manual changes will be preserved in some cases, but not others. Here is a high-level breakdown of how formatting in OnePager works:

Manual Formatting

Data-Driven Formatting

Creating a New Chart

NOT Preserved


Updating an Existing Chart



Creating a new Template

NOT Preserved


This brings us to a OnePager best practice: Whenever possible, make formatting changes from the Chart Properties form, rather than changing the colors/shapes/sizes of task bars and milestones one by one. This will ensure that your formatting is dynamic and will remain accurate even as your project plan changes in the future.

Manual Formatting Loss due to Shifted Unique IDs

If you are updating an existing chart and find that your manually-assigned formatting is not being preserved, it is likely due to an issue with your Unique ID.

In OnePager, the Unique ID is like a serial number or fingerprint for each task. It's important that each task in your OnePager chart always has a consistent Unique ID value as you are updating. In other words, once you've assigned a Unique ID value to a task, don't change or renumber it later.

When you format a task manually, that formatting is associated to the Unique ID of the task. If the Unique ID of the task changes to something different later, OnePager will treat that task as brand-new, and its manual formatting will be reset to default.

Let's take a look at an example of how renumbering a Unique ID will lead to formatting loss:

  1. We'll start with a simple project plan. Here, the task called "Design" is UID #1, "Development" is UID #2, and "Deploy" is UID #3:

  2. When we create a OnePager chart, all three tasks initially inherit the default gray color from the template:

  3. Let's manually change the color for the "Deploy" task to blue. Remember that "Deploy" is UID #3 back in the project plan. Behind the scenes, OnePager is associating that blue color with whichever task is identified as UID #3:

  4. Back in the project plan, assume that we want to add a new task, but we want to add it somewhere in the middle, not at the end. Operating under the (mistaken) assumption that UIDs need to be in numerical order, we insert the new "Test" task and give it UID #3. Because we've bumped the "Deploy" down one row, we renumber it from UID #3 to UID #4. This is where the trouble begins:

  5. If we update the OnePager chart, the UID renumbering is going to start causing serious formatting issues. The newly-created "Test" task that took over UID #3 has also taken over the formatting from the "Deploy" task that used to be UID #3. Meanwhile, the "Deploy" task is now being recognized as UID #4, a brand-new task, and therefore doesn't retain the blue formatting that we assigned it earlier:

  6. To fix this, we need to return to the project plan and restore the UIDs to how they originally were. This means setting the "Deploy" task back to its original UID #3. The new "Test" task can have any UID that's not already in use. If you want to keep your UIDs sequential, you could make it UID #2.5, since it's between UID #2 and UID #3. Or, as we've done here, you can just give it the next number in the sequence, which is UID #4. It doesn't really matter what UID you give the new task as long as it's not in use anywhere else in the project plan.

  7. With the UIDs fixed, we can now update the OnePager chart again. Now that "Deploy" is back to being UID #3, its blue formatting is restored. The "Test" task, as UID #4, goes back to default formatting, since we had never intended it to be a different color to begin with:

Last Updated: September 17, 2020