Absorbing one task into another for Version 7.1
- 1 Introduction to Task Bar/Milestone Symbol Absorption in OnePager
- 2 Overview
- 3 Absorbing Tasks
- 4 Absorbed Task Bar Name Label Comment Boxes
- 5 Unabsorbing Tasks
- 6 Notes
- 7 Relationship to other Features
- 8 Related Links
Introduction to Task Bar/Milestone Symbol Absorption in OnePager
This article describes OnePager’s Task Bar/Milestone Symbol Absorption features. Illustrations used in this article are from OnePager Pro using data from Microsoft Project but the feature's function, controls, and manual edits apply equally to other OnePager editions that import from data sources like Microsoft Excel, Smartsheet, and Oracle Primavera P6.
Task bar/milestone symbol absorption is a handy way to compress information. The idea is to absorb one short duration task bar or milestone symbol into another task bar or milestone symbol with a longer duration, leaving behind only a Comment box (or two Comment boxes depending on the mode selected) to indicate the presence of the absorbed (or shorter duration) task bar/milestone symbol.
Enabling the Absorbing Task Bars Feature
The setting for absorbing one task into another is that the feature is disabled in OnePager default Templates where the Allow absorption checkbox is checked OFF as shown here:
Checking the Allow absorption checkbox ON, enables the absorption feature and it operates in the chart whenever a short duration task bar is dragged and dropped into a longer duration task bar as is discussed in detail in the following sub-sections. The Show absorbed dates checkbox has a default setting of checked ON because it is assumed that you want the absorbed task bar’s start date and/or finish date to appear in the Comment box created for the absorbed task bar’s name label. Unchecking the Show absorbed dates checkbox OFF tells OnePager to only show the absorbed task bar’s name label in the resulting Comment box. This feature is also discussed in the following sub-sections:
Enabling Task Bar Absorption
As mentioned in the preceding section, the absorbing one task into another feature must first be enabled in either the Template Properties form or Chart Properties form’s Advanced tab by checking the Allow absorption checkbox ON as shown below for the Chart Properties form:
Once enabled, any time you drag and drop a selected task bar/milestone symbol onto another task bar/milestone symbol, the feature responds accordingly as long as the task bar/milestone symbol duration conditions are met. If you later uncheck the Allow absorption checkbox OFF, the absorption feature is no longer enabled. Any absorption actions taken previously in the chart remains and are shown in all snapshots.
Absorbing A Short Duration Task Bar into A Longer Duration Task Bar
After assuring that the absorption feature is enabled, to absorb one task bar into another, determine which two task bars are involved, drag and drop the shorter duration task bar/milestone symbol to be absorbed on top of the longer duration task bar that is to absorb it. In the example below, the Resistance calculation task bar is intended to be absorbed by the Engineering Team 2 Development task bar as shown in the task bar selection here:
With the absorption feature enabled, dragging and dropping the Resistance calibration task bar on top of the Engineering Team 2 Development task bar results in the two task bars being placed in the same row and the accessing of the Absorption Options form as shown below:
If the absorbed task bar fits entirely inside the absorbing task bar (in time), the Absorption Options form is accessed asking if you want to replace the absorbed task bar name label by one or two Comment boxes. Additionally, the form asks you where you want the anchors for the Comment box or Comment boxes placed, that is, at what date positions (End or Start Date). The default position option is At end date as shown below
If the At end date option is selected, one Comment box is created showing the absorbed task bar’s name label below the end date as shown in this example:
If the At start date option is selected, one Comment box is created showing the absorbed task bar’s name label below the start date as shown in this alternate example:
If the At both start and end option is selected, two Comment boxes are created showing the absorbed task bar’s name label in each Comment box below the start date in the first Comment box and the end date in the second Comment box as shown in this last example where the two Comment boxes are manually separated in the chart for clarity:
After making an option choice and clicking OK button in the Absorption Options form the absorbed task bar name label is change to one or more Comment boxes and the hidden absorbed task bar remains selected. Note in the illustration series above that the start date and/or the end date appears in the Comment boxes. This is because the Show absorbed dates checkbox in the Chart Properties form’s Advanced tab is checked ON.
Attempting to Absorb A Long Duration Task Bar into A Shorter Duration Task Bar
If the task bar to be absorbed does not fit entirely inside the absorbing task bar, it is not possible to carry out this absorption operation. For illustrating this, suppose we reverse the absorption process by attempting to absorb the Engineering Team 2 Development task bar into the Resistance calibration task bar. The former task bar has much longer duration than the later task bar. With the Allow absorption checkbox checked ON in the Chart Properties form’s Advanced tab, if we drag and drop the Engineering Team 2 Development task bar on top of the Resistance calibration task bar, the drag and drop is successful but the Absorption Options form is not accessed as shown here:
Since the two task bar name labels are in collision in the above illustration and the absorption feature does not resolve this situation, you can use the Smart Text Optimization feature as follows:
1) Select both task bar’s name labels with the CTL+Left Click method as shown here:
2) Right-click one of the two task bars to access the task bar right-click context menu and navigate to the Re-optimize text collisions command as shown here:
3) When you click the Re-optimize text collisions command, OnePager resolves the task bar name label collision to something that resembles the illustration below depending on the Smart Text Optimization feature's settings:
Depending on the situation, you may have to manually reposition the task bar name label of one or more task bars to meet your schedule presentation discussion needs.
Absorbed Task Bar Name Label Comment Boxes
Comment boxes created by the absorption process can be edited like any other Comment box. To edit these Comment boxes, right-click on the Comment box to access the comment box right-click context menu and navigate to the Properties… command as shown below:
These Comment boxes can be dragged and dropped to different positions in the chart and their contents can be edited as well.
For more information on editing Comment boxes, please see the article at: Creating and Managing Comment Boxes
Any Task Links associated with the absorbed task bar/milestone symbols are hidden in the resulting absorbing task bar/milestone symbol representation.
For more information on Task Links, please see the articles at: Linking Task and Milestone Using Manual and Data-Driven Task Links (Portal)
On occasion you may want to unabsorb a task bar/milestone symbol that was replaced by one or two Comment boxes when it is not possible to use the UNDO feature. To do this, right-click on the absorbing task bar/milestone symbol to access the task bar right-click context menu and then navigate to the Unabsorb tasks command as shown below:
When the Unabsorb tasks command is clicked, both the absorbed task bar/milestone symbol and the absorbing task bar/milestone symbol are returned to the way they were before the absorption action took place as shown here:
To complete the unabsorb process, drag and drop the previously absorbed task bar back to its original position or any other desired row position as shown below:
Task Links associated with the previously absorbed task bar/milestone symbols are unhidden after the unabsorb process is completed. For more information on Task Links, please see the articles at: Linking Task and Milestone Using Manual and Data-Driven Task Links (Portal)
Editing the task bar name label text in the Comment box for an absorbed task bar/milestone symbol has the same effect as editing the task bar Name Label of the absorbed task bar/milestone symbol. If you accidentally delete the Comment box for the absorbed task bar/milestone symbol and want to get it back, all you have to do is go to the Home ribbon tool bar tab, click the Show/Hide dropdown button, and then click the Show all Tasks/Milestones command to unhide all the hidden task bar/milestone symbols as shown here:
Clicking the Show All Tasks/Milestones command unhides the absorbed task bar/milestone symbol’s name label back to the location where it resided before the Absorption action took place. We recommend that you use the UNDO function if you want to unabsorb if it can be performed immediately after the absorb function is applied.
Relationship to other Features
Relationship to the Smart Task Optimization Feature
The process for absorbing one task into another operates independently of the Smart Text Optimization feature (new with OnePager) where OnePager takes on the responsibility for making sure that task bar name labels in collision are resolved in the chart. For reference, the master switch for the Smart Text Optimization feature (the Enable Smart Labeling for task/milestone labels checkbox) in the Template Properties and Chart Properties form’s Task Bars or Milestones tab can be checked ON or OFF as shown here checked ON:
The setting of this checkbox has no impact on the absorb feature.
For more information on the Smart Text Optimization feature for OnePager, please see the articles at and within: Resolving Task Bar Name Label Collisions (Portal)
Relationship to Task Bar/Milestone Symbol and Name Label Selection Methods
Additionally, the upgrade made to all editions of OnePager for the selection of task bar/milestone symbols and their associated name labels has no impact on the process for absorbing one task into another. This particular upgrade of OnePager allows you to tell OnePager if you want a mouse left-click on a task bar/milestone symbol to select just the task bar or milestone symbol or to select the task bar name label as well. The setting controlling this feature is in the Template Properties and Chart Properties form’s Advanced tab is the Select associated text as shown here:
For more information on selecting task bar/milestone symbols and name labels, please see the article at: Selecting Task/Milestone Shapes and Text Labels
Relationship to Task Links
If task bar/milestone symbols either being absorbed or are absorbing by other task bar/milestone symbols have either Data-Driven or manual Task Links, it is important to be aware how those Task Links appear after the Absorb processes is complete. Any Task Links associated with the absorbed task bar/milestone symbols are hidden in the resulting absorbing task bar/milestone symbol representation.
For more information on the subject of Task Links and Absorption, please see this section in the article at: Manual Editing of Task Links - Task Links for Absorbed Tasks
Relationship to Critical-Path Segments
If task bar/milestone symbols either being absorbed or are absorbing by other task bar/milestone symbols that have critical-path segments, the critical-path segment bars, if displayed and if present in both task bars are overlaid in the absorbing task bar. Depending on if the absorbed taskbar is totally contained within the absorbing task bar or extends beyond the absorbing task bar, the critical-path segment remains visible. However, it may be difficult to separate visually which portion of the critical-path segment belongs to which task bar.
When an absorbed task bar is represented by a comment box all information pertaining to the absorbed task bar's critical-path segments are lost.