Getting Started with OnePager Express Version 6.0 Add-in

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As with the previous version of OnePager Express, version 6.0 of OPX can be launched from a desktop icon as well as from within Microsoft Excel (Add-in).

Please note that after selecting the Add-in launch option that you will not be able to launch the OnePager desktop application. Only one of these applications (Add-in or Desktop) may be active at a time. If you attempt to launch both, a warning message will appear as shown for OPX below.

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Further note that as mentioned in What's New with OnePager Release 6.0?, this new version has enhanced features such as Conditional Import Filters, Additional Text Columns, and Unlimited Column Mappings to name a few. Information on Conditional Import Filters can be found in the Basic Workflows (Portal) Wiki section in the article titled Conditional Import Filters (Portal).

This article covers the Getting Started process when you launch OPX from Microsoft Excel.

The article which provides Getting Started guidance when using the desktop icon to launch OPX is at Getting Started with OnePager Express Desktop.

Launching OnePager Express for the First Time

1) The OPX Add-in automatically displays the OnePager icon on the Microsoft Excel ribbon once OnePager is installed. That tool bar looks like this:

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2) Clicking the OnePager Express… button will take you to the Project View Editor (PVE). Clicking the Templates… button will let you edit the templates for your graphs. For now, it is simplest to use the default template. You can learn how templates let you customize and standardize graph features later in this document.

3) Before you launch OPX, however, you must have certain scheduling fields in your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. There is a lot of flexibility in how these fields can be named. A typical example is shown below. The only mandatory fields are fields representing Start, Finish, and Name. In this example, however, we are also including three optional fields:

a) A category field (Category) that we will use to assign colors to tasks.
b) A selection field (Show It) that we will use to choose which tasks to graph.
c) A Task ID field that OnePager will use to keep track of tasks/milestones as your Microsoft Excel plan is change through additions or deletions over the course of the project.
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4) To control which tasks get graphed, you must specify a flag field (e.g. Show It) that you wish to use. Numeric fields may also be used the same as the text fields where a 1 in a Number field indicates Yes and a 0 in a Number field indicates No. See how this is done in the illustration above.

a) When making your first project view, we strongly recommend that you mark 50 or fewer tasks with Yes.
b) Please note that OPX is shipped with a number of fully populated templates that are based on the Microsoft Excel file used in the tutorial also shipped with the product – BlueGrass Project 2J-303.

5) The following table describes field-heading types that OPX uses and shows variations on the heading titles that OnePager recognizes.

a) It is not mandatory that you used these field names, since OPX gives you a chance to choose the actual Microsoft Excel source plan fields that it will employ. However, using these names will speed things up because it will help OPX make reasonable guesses on which fields to use as its default selections.
b) Note that it shows that three of the field heading types must always be present: Name, Start, and Finish.
c) We recommend the inclusion of an ID field with sequential numbering from top to bottom. This assists OnePager maintain a correspondence with Microsoft Excel’s rows after the Microsoft Excel source plan is updated.
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6) To launch OPX, click on the OnePager Express... button on the Microsoft Express tool bar’s Add-ins tab, which brings up the OnePager Express Start form:

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7) The OnePager Express Start form provides you with three options:

a) NEW Clicking the NEW button will bring up the OnePager choices (OPC) form.
b) UPDATE Clicking the UPDATE button will allow you to BROWSE FILES for an existing project view or select a recently-opened project view.
c) OPEN Clicking the OPEN button will allow you to BROWSE FILES for an existing project view or select a recently-opened project view. Once selected and opened, the project view is available for editing.

Creating a New Project View

8) Clicking the NEW button brings up the OPC form as shown below:

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Options on the New OnePager Choices form

9) We’ve enhanced the OPC form to give you more options for selecting source files. The illustration above shows that OPX was initiated from Microsoft Excel with the source plan shown in the Selected File(s) group shown above. The Add/Remove button gives you the capability to add more source plans to the source packet or, for multiple file packets, to remove files.

a) Clicking the Add/Remove button brings up the Data source selection form as shown below:
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b) The Data source selection form displays the current source plan that was loaded with Microsoft Excel when you clicked the OnePager Express... button. This form lets you Add more source Microsoft Excel source plans to create a multi-project project view or Remove a source plan from a multi-file source packet. These options are detailed below.

Adding a New Source Plan

c) Add a new source plan to the source packet When you click the Add button, OPX will give you the option to bring up a Windows Open form when you select the BROWSE FILES… option as shown here:
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i) Clicking the BROWSE FILES… option will display a Window’s Open from which you may select a Microsoft Excel source plan to add to the source packet. A sample Open form is shown below:
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ii) When you select a desired Microsoft Excel source plan and click the Open button as shown above, OPX will add the source plan to the source packet and display it in the Data source selection window as shown below:
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iii) The selected source plan is added to the source packet as shown above. OPX shows the path name of the source plan in the window if you hover the mouse over the source plan name.
iv) If you select a recently used source plan from the dropdown menu displayed with the Add button is clicked in the Data source selection form, OPX will add that source plan to the source packet.

Removing a Source Plan

d) Remove source from source packet The Remove button allows you to remove a source plan from a source packet. if that source plan is not needed to create the new project view. To remove a file, first select the file in the Data source selection form’s window so that it is highlighted in blue then click the Remove button as shown in the sequence below:
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Other Choices to Make

10) Moving on to the other groups of the OPC form asks you to confirm a few things before you build the project view. It will make good guesses for each of these choices, but you can change any of them:

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a) Starting Template The current Template determines which columns get imported from Microsoft Excel and how the initial project view looks. OPX ships with many sample Templates, but you can also customize your own Templates.
i) To choose which Template to use in building your project view, click the Change… button in the top group of the OPC form.
ii) For now, just stick with the default Template entitled Single Project Gantt View – Detailed, but you can always use a different Template to get a different type of project view.
b) Title of the New Project View This is the title of the graph and also the suggested source plan name in which it will be saved. You can change the source plan name when you save it. We recommend that you enter a title that helps you identify the view later on.
i) For each project view that you create, OnePager remembers colors, titles, legends, font sizes, and all other graph properties so that your work is saved for future use.
ii) Later, you can update the project view with a snapshot of how the project looks on a different date. Then you can browse through the snapshots to see how the project is changing over time.
iii) OPX also saves the path name associated with the source plan (.TAM). Path names are not available in .TAMs produced with previous version of OPX.
c) Task Selection This is how you tell OPX which tasks from your Microsoft Excel source plan to include.
i) Either click the Select all tasks radio button to graph everything or choose a flag field. You can make several project views from a single Microsoft Excel source plan, each using a different flag or number field. In OPX if no flags are set to Yes, OPX will provide the user with a warning message.
ii) Clicking the Select tasks by custom filter button will activate the Edit filters... button. Clicking the Edit filters... button will take you to a form that controls the new Conditional Import Filters feature. Please see the article titled Conditional Import Filters (Portal) for more detailed on the use of this new feature.
d) Snapshot Date This is the date of the report and lets you keep track of how schedules change over time. Each project view can have many snapshots.

11) Since the Show field mappings checkbox near the bottom of the form is checked in the OPC form above, you now have a chance to review and change the Microsoft Excel field mappings to OPX before you make your first project view. To do this, click the Next> button. You will now see the following screen:

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12) Notice in the graphic above that OPX has relied on the current Template to make some guesses on what Microsoft Excel fields should be used in making the graph. You can easily change any of these field mappings by making selections from the dropdown menus. For example, we show below how to change the Finish Date:

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Making the Graph

13) Once you are satisfied with the field mappings, click on Create new project view button to import your selected data and create a project view. After a very few moments you will see a screen that looks like this:

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14) Note that each task or milestone was color coded based on the value in the Category field.

a) The legend contains an optional diagram near the bottom, explaining that the bars inside the Gantt bars represent percent complete extracted from Microsoft Excel.
b) Percent complete comes from a Microsoft Excel field that you specified in the field mapping screen.
c) Note that the current Template, when you press the Create new project view button, is the Template for how things look in the new project view. The Template’s Task Bars tab showing where the color control is located is shown below:
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Opening a Project View

15) The right-most button on the OPC form is the OPEN button. Clicking the OPEN button displays a dropdown menu which happens to be the same for the NEW and UPDATE buttons. The options in the dropdown are discussed below:

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a) Clicking the BROWSE FILES... option will bring up a Windows Open form from which you can select a .TAM that you want to open. Selecting the desired .TAM will cause OPX to display the selected project view. From this position, you may edit the project view, save it, or share it with others.
b) Clicking any of the RECENT project view items the dropdown menu above will cause OPX to load the associated .TAM into the PVE where you may also edit the project view, save it, or share it with others.

Updating a Project View with Changes Made to the Microsoft Excel Source Plan Data

16) Suppose after examining the project view you created before you realize that it would be best to show more task bars. This, you think, would greatly improve the schedule discussion you are about to attend. Updating the project view at this point is a simple matter. Recall that OPX is active and the PVE is displaying the current project view you want to update. Additionally, the Microsoft Excel source plan and the application are active. The original project view looked like this:

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a) Since Microsoft Excel is still an active program and the Microsoft Excel source plan you are using is still being displayed, go back to the Microsoft Excel application and change the Show It field setting for the rows you want to now display from No to Yes. As section of the Microsoft Excel source plan where this is done is shown below:
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b) Once you’ve made the Show It field changes lines 7 through 15 in the Microsoft Excel the source plan will look like this:
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c) With the Microsoft Excel source plan updated, go back to OPX and navigate to the Data tab on the ribbon where you’ll see several buttons. To update your project view to now show the additional rows from your Microsoft Excel source plan click the Replace Snapshot button as shown below:
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d) When you click the Replace Snapshot button, OPX will go back to the associated Microsoft Excel source plan that you just changed, bring in all the rows that changed, and update your project view.
e) At the conclusion of the operation, the updated project view will look like this:
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17) The example above is just one of many uses of the Data tab’s Replace Snapshot button when you need to update a project view. And, you can do this as many times as necessary until the project view is the way you need it. In addition to adding and removing rows by changing the Show It field, you may need to change Start Dates, Finish Dates, or Resource Names' and display these data changes in the project view. Using the procedure above you can do this very efficiently.

18) You can now save the project view by giving it a source plan name. When you save the project view in OPX, OnePager will save the .TAM and within will save the Microsoft Excel source plan name and path information. This is useful when you want to further update the project view or when you want to add a snapshot later on. In the examples below we will assume that the project view was saved as BlueGrass Project 2J-303-Revised.

Adding a Snapshot to a Project View

19) The power of OPX is illustrated when, after a period of progress on the project, it is time to produce another project view. OnePager produces your next snapshot with the same look and feel as the original. Assuming that the Microsoft Excel source plan was updated with actual start and finish, percent complete, and other relevant data during the reporting interval, OPX can easily generate a new snapshot. Launch OPV either from Microsoft Excel or from the desktop icon and click the UPDATE button on the OnePager Express Start form. Doing so will bring up the following OnePager choices (OPC) form:

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a) In the OPC form select the NEW snapshot at date: as shown above. You will want to select a current date for the snapshot so that this snapshot will represent the project at the status date point in time. To see which snapshot dates already exist, just position your mouse over the NEW snapshot-date: window to see a list of the existing dates. Use the built in calendar dropdown or type in the new snapshot’s month, day, and year in the window provided as shown below:
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b) Uncheck the Show field mappings checkbox if you want to use the same field mappings as you used before. The bottom of the screen now looks like this:
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c) Pressing the large New button creates a new snapshot for the project view. The project view opens at the new snapshot. The color, fonts, title, and swimlane assignments are consistent between the two snapshots:
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d) You can go back and forth between the two snapshots by using the snapshot forward/backward buttons on the View tab as shown below:
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Editing the Project View

20) Sooner or later, most of you will edit the font sizes and text position to optimize readability. To do this, hold down the left mouse button and drag a selection box that encloses many tasks/milestones at once:

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a) When you release the mouse, the enclosed tasks/milestones will all be selected:
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b) Click on the Increase Font Size button on the tool bar shown below:
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c) The project view will now look something like this:
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d) Repeating this operation for the remaining tasks/milestones (we could have done Select All and done it all at once!), we obtain a project view with larger fonts on all the tasks/milestones:
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21) Another common editing action is to move the task names from their current positions to a positions elsewhere around or on the task bar. To do this, select a set of tasks/milestones as before, but this time click one of the text-positioning buttons on the tool bar:

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a) Doing this on several batches of tasks/milestones results in the following edited project view. (We have also dragged the legend to a new position and have adjusted some of its font sizes):
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b) In case you change your mind about the last editing action you took, you can undo the last editing action by clicking the UNDO button above the OnePager tool bar. Successive clicking the UNDO button will undo editing actions in the reverse order that they were applied.
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22) Save the edited project view by clicking the Save button above the tool bar next to the UNDO button. All of the font size changes, text-position edits, and the new legend position are now saved in the file structure in case you need to update this project view with new data at a later time.

Copying the Project View to PowerPoint

23) Finally copy the current snapshot of the project view to the clipboard by clicking the Copy button on the Home ribbon. Then paste the graph into a PowerPoint slide, as shown below:

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24) That’s it! You have now created a professional 1-page schedule summary from a complex Microsoft Excel schedule and have copied it into a PowerPoint presentation. You can also print the graph by selecting the Print button on the File tab. OnePager has other features that let you move tasks vertically to different rows and swimlanes, change the number of swimlanes, add swimlane titles, show dependencies among tasks, change task colors, hide tasks, add floating comment boxes, and standardize on graph styles across organizations. To learn more about these features, read about the specific workflows in this Wiki at Basic Workflows (Portal) and Manual Editing .

Related Links

What's New with OnePager Release 6.0?

Getting Started with OnePager Express Desktop

Conditional Import Filters (Portal)

Basic Workflows (Portal)

Manual Editing