Manual Task Links for OnePager Express for Version6.1
- 1 About Manual Task Links
- 2 Basic Management of Manual Task Links
- 3 Creating Daisy Chained Manual Task Links
- 4 Editing Manual Task Links
- 4.1 Manual Editing of Task Link Properties in the Project View Editor
- 4.2 Editing Manual Task Links
- 4.3 Enhanced Manual Task Link Property Formatting Capabilities
- 4.4 Editing Daisy Chain Properties in the Project View Editor
- 5 Global Task Link Property Editing Capabilities Using the Template and PVP forms
- 6 Related Links
About Manual Task Links
This article talks about the enhancements made to manual Task Links in OnePager Express 6.1.
1) First, the article covers the basis controls for adding and deleting manual Task Links and goes on to cover other related command for managing manual Task Links in the Project View Editor.
2) Next, the new Daisy Chain feature is discussed and how it can be used to create a set of manual Task Links connecting two or more task/milestones.
3) The next section covers all the controls available in the Project View Editor for editing manual Task Links.
4) This section is followed by a discussion of Global editing techniques for manual Task Links using the Template and Project View Properties (PVP) forms.
5) The final section provides intermediate information on other topics such as selecting multiple Task Links, repositioning Task Link connection lines with the drag and drop method, and taking task shape into consideration when repositioning connection lines.
Basic Management of Manual Task Links
Adding Manual Task Links
Adding manual Task Links to the project view requires you to identify at least two task/milestones to serve as the manual Task Link pair as follows:
1) Select at least two tasks by left-clicking the first task or milestone (predecessor) and then use the CTL+left-click to select the second and following (successor) task(s).
2) Go to the Insert tab on the OnePager Express 6.1 ribbon and click the Task Link button:
3) The manual Task Link appears in the project view between the selected tasks or milestones:
4) You can edit a manual Task Link by right-clicking on it and then clicking the appropriate command in the context menu that appears.
5) Selecting more than one successor task/milestone is supported by OnePager 6.1 and is called a manual Task Link Daisy Chain. This feature is further described below.
Alternative Method for Adding Manual Task Links
6) A new command, Insert task link(s) is available in the task/milestones right-click context menu when two or more task/milestones are selected as shown below
- a) The Insert task links(s) command is not available in the task/milestone right-click context menu when only one task/milestone is selected.
- b) With two or more task/milestones selected, clicking the Insert task link(s) command inserts a manual Task Link from the first task selected (predecessor) to the last (successor) task selected.
The Where Are My Links? Form
7) With the addition of Data-driven Task Links in OnePager Express 6.1 it is necessary to provide you with a list of manual and Data-driven Task Links to assist with the management of all Task Links in the project view and its snapshots.
8) The Where Are My Links form was created for this purpose and is shown below:
- a) The Where Are My Links? form can be accessed easily from the OnePager Express 6.1 Home ribbon in the Editing group of controls using the Show/Hide dropdown as shown below:
- b) The Where Are My Links? form can also be accessed in the PVP form Task Links tab in the Data-Driven Task Links control group.
- c) Please see the article at: Using the Where Are My Links? Form for OnePager Express for more information on using the Where Are My Links? form.
Deleting Manual Task Links
9) To delete a manual Task Link from either the current snapshot or all snapshots, right-click on the manual Task Link and click one of the options for the Delete command in the context menu as shown below:
10) Deleting a manual Task Link from a snapshot removes the entry for the manual Task Link deleted from the Where Are My Links? form.
11) Manual Task Links cannot be hidden whereas Data-driven Task Links can be hidden but not deleted.
Ordering Manual Task Links
12) The Order command in the manual Task Link’s context menu allows you to place the selected manual Task Link(s) within the Graph relative to other graphics in the Z-Level.
- a) The Order command operates similar to other Order command operations in OnePager Express.
- b) Please see the article on Deleting, Ordering, and Changing Images in the Background Images (Portal) group of articles.
- c) The Order command looks like this when you right-click a manual Task Link:
Adding Another Manual Task Link
13) The Add Another … command in the manual Task Link context menu accesses the Task Link Properties form for the selected tasks/milestones.
- a) This allows you to add another manual Task Link(s) between the two or more selected task/milestones.
- b) Having two or more manual Task Links connecting the same set of task/milestones allows you to alter the properties of the manual Task Links in the project view or to reroute their manual Task Link connection lines.
- c) When an another manual Task Link is added to the project view, the added manual Task Link is superimposed over the original manual Task Link but automatically shown as selected so that you can edit the routing of this additional manual Task Link’s connection line as shown below where the second manual Task Link’s connection line is moved to the right:
- d) The additional manual Task Link added to the project view is also represented as a new entry in the Where Are My Links? form as shown below:
Putting Links in all Snapshots
14) The Put in all snapshots command assures that in a multi-snapshot project view the selected manual Task Link is included in all snapshots where the two or more participating tasks appear.
15) To have manual Task Links appear in only some snapshots they must be first established in all snapshots and manually deleted from those snapshots where the manual Task Links are not desired.
- a) You have the option, as noted in the Delete manual Task Links discussion above, to Delete manual Task Links from individual snapshots.
- b) To do this requires going to the desired snapshot and specifically using the Delete command with the From this snapshot sub-command to achieve the desired result.
- c) This option works in the same way as Deleting Curtains from specific snapshots.
- d) Please see this article for reference: Creating and Managing Curtains.
Creating Daisy Chained Manual Task Links
1) As discussed above by selecting more than two task/milestones you can create a series of manual Task Links called a Daisy Chain connecting the multiple task/milestone you selected in one operation.
2) Creating a Daisy Chain of manual Task Links is a two-step process.
- a) First, using your mouse and the CTL+Left-Click, make a series of mouse selections of task/milestones in the order desired from Predecessor to the last Successor task/milestone as shown here:
- b) The second step is to click the Task Link button on the OnePager 6.1 ribbon’s Insert tab shown here:
- c) At the completion of the second step, the project view looks like this with the increased the row height to better show the Daisy Chain of three manual Task Links:
3) Manual Task Links created with this procedure are created as Finish-to-Start Dependency types and have connection lines routed by OnePager 6.1 to minimize conflicts with other graphics.
Alternative Method for Creating a Daisy Chain
4) Daisy Chained manual Task Links can also be created by selecting the tasks/milestones as described above but using the right-click on any selected task/milestone to access the context menu’s Insert task link(s) command to create the desired Daisy Chain as shown in the following example:
- a) Starting with the project view below where the selected task/milestones are to be connected with a Daisy Chained manual Task Link as the first step.
- b) The second step is to right-click any of the selected task/milestones to access the context menu shown below:
- c) When you click the Insert task link(s) command in the task/milestone right-click context menu the Daisy Chained manual Task Link looks like this:
Creating Daisy Chains with the Lasso and Select all Ribbon Options
5) For creating simple daisy chains of manual Task Links it can be easier to use the lasso technique with the mouse left-click drag and drop feature to select all the task/milestones you want to be included in the daisy chain of manual Task Links.
- a) For example, below the mouse is used to select all visible task/milestones by including them inside the lasso as shown:
- b) Releasing the mouse left-click in the lower right of the project view selects all the task/milestones within the boundary of the lasso as shown here:
- c) To complete the process, right-click on any selected task/milestone to access task/milestone context menu and click the Insert task link(s) command.
- d) Doing this causes OnePager Express 6.1 to draw the daisy chain manual Task Links as shown below:
- e) As an alternative to using the lasso to select all task/milestones you can use the OnePager Express 6.1 ribbon’s Home tab in the Editing group of controls to make the selection.
- f) To do this click on the Select all dropdown control in the group and select the Tasks/Milestones command as shown here:
- g) Once all the task/milestones are selected proceed with a right-click on any selected task/milestone to access the context menu and click the Insert task link(s) command.
6) Using the lasso or the Select all technique to create a daisy chain of manual Task Links tells OnePager Express 6.1 that you want the resulting daisy chain to progress from upper left to lower right.
- a) Not selecting all tasks/milestones creates a daisy chain just involving those selected task/milestones with manual Task Links applied in the order that your manual selection of the task/milestones was made.
- b) If you need to select some task/milestones but not all by using the CTL+Left-Click technique for selection, OnePager Express 6.1 can create a daisy chain of manual Task Links in the order selected as shown below where not all visible task/milestones are selected.
- c) With the project view and the task/milestone selections shown above, using either the ribbon command or the context menu command to Insert task link(s), results in the project view shown below:
7) Caution: Some care is needed when using a combination of the lasso or Select all technique with individual task/milestone selections or de-selections to identify those task/milestones to participate in the creation of a daisy chain.
- a) If you do the combination of lasso and then, holding the CTL+Left-Click, you individually select additional task/milestones, OnePager Express 6.1 may not be able to follow your sequence and interpret your intentions.
- b) It is recommended that you do not combine these techniques for selecting task/milestones in a single action but use separate actions in individual steps with the Insert task link(s) command used between steps while making sure that selected task/milestones are de-selected between steps.
Editing Manual Task Links
Manual Editing of Task Link Properties in the Project View Editor
1) Manual Task Links can be easily edited in the project view.
2) Editing manual Task Links results in the edited manual Task Link becoming a maverick.
3) Manual editing of Task Links can be done by accessing the Task Link Properties form which contains the controls found in the PVP form Task Links tab’s Default Task-Links Formatting control group. Using the PVP form to edit Task Links is discussed below.
- a) The Task Link Properties form is accessed by right-clicking on the manual Task Link to access the context menu as shown here:
- b) The Task Link Properties form looks like this:
- c) After making your edits to the selected Task Link(s), click the OK button to apply them to the selected Task Link(s). This action applies all the edits you made to the selected Task Link(s) at one time. You can return to the Task Link Properties form as many times as necessary for further editing to selected Task Link(s).
- d) To restore a manual Task Link back to its default format setting you need to select the mavericked Task Link(s) as shown above and then access the Task Link Properties form again.
- e) When the Task Link Properties form appears, click the Use Default Format button followed by clicking the OK button on the form as shown below to restore the Task Link to default settings:
Editing Manual Task Links
4) Individually editing manual Task Link is initiated by right-clicking on the manual Task Link. This action selects the manual Task Link and accesses the context menu shown below:
5) Deleting a manual Task Link includes two options: (1) At this snapshot and (2) At all snapshots. The handling of each option in OnePager 6.1 is explained below:
- a) At this snapshot: Deleting a manual Task Link At this snapshot removes its presence from the current snapshot
- i) The action also unchecks the entry for this manual Task Link in the Where Are My Links? form for this snapshot but the entry remains in the form.
- ii) At this point you can UNDO the action whereupon the selected manual Task Link is shown and the entry for the “deleted at this snapshot” manual Task Link is rechecked in the Where Are My Links? form.
- iii) Rechecking the entry yourself also restores the subject manual Task Link at the current snapshot.
- b) At all snapshots: Deleting a manual Task Link At all snapshots removes the Task Links presence from all snapshots and deletes the manual Task Link’s entry in the Where Are My Links? form for all snapshots.
- i) Since the entry in the Where Are My Links? form is gone; the deleted manual Task Link cannot be restored through the form.
- ii) However, an immediate UNDO restores the manual Task Link deleted At all snapshots to visibility in all snapshots and restores the entry in the Where Are My Links? form.
6) The Order, Add another …, and Put at all snapshots commands are unchanged from previous versions of OnePager with respect to manual Task Links.
- a) The Order command allows you to place the Task Link within the display area relative to other graphics in the same Z-Level.
- b) This command operates similar to other Order operations in OnePager.
- c) The Order command appears like this when you right-click a link:
7) The Add another … command, when clicked, immediately adds another Task Link to the selected pair of task or milestone with the same properties as the original manual Task Link selected.
- a) This allows you to “add another” manual Task Link between the two selected task/milestones with different properties.
- b) The example below shows a second manual Task Link added that is positioned further to the right of the first selected manual Task Link:
8) The Put in all snapshots command assures that in multi-snapshot project views that the selected Task Link is included in snapshots where the two participating task/milestones appear.
- a) To have manual Task Links appear in only some snapshots, they must first be established in all snapshots and manually deleted in those snapshots where the Task Links are not desired.
- b) You have the option, as noted in the delete manual Task Links discussion above, to delete manual Task Links in individual snapshots.
- c) To do this requires going to the desired snapshot and specifically using the Delete command with the At this snapshot sub-command to achieve the desired result as shown below:
9) Clicking the Properties … command for a manual Task Link accesses the Task Link Properties form as shown here:
- a) When a manual Task Link(s) are selected and the Properties… command is selected from the context menu, all controls in the Task Link Properties form are enabled.
- b) You have the capability to modify all properties of the manual Task Links selected including the Horizontal Anchor points and Dependency Type:.
- c) For manual Task Links, all the controls in the Horizontal Anchor control group are enabled when the Dependency Type: window is set to Custom.
- d) If you specify a specific Dependency Type for a selected manual Task Link (other than Custom), the slider bars for the Predecessor and Successor are disabled as shown below:
- e) For manual Task Links, the Line Style, Arrow Style, Link Comments, and Vertical Anchor control groups are enabled.
- f) The control groups in this form are almost identical to the Default Task-Link Formatting control group in the Template and PVP form’s Task Link Tab.
- i) Making an edit in the above form such that the edit deviates from the default settings established in the PVP form changes the selected Task Link(s) to a maverick.
- ii) The settings for a mavericked Task Link can be restored to the default settings by clicking the Use Format Defaults button shown above.
- iii) This action restores the mavericked Task Link to the settings in the current PVP form’s Task Link tab shown in the Default Task-Link Formatting control group of the form.
- iv) Since Task Link mavericking is considered to be formatting, edits to a Task Link in one snapshot mavericks that Task Link in all snapshots.
- v) When clicking the Use Format Defaults button to restore default format properties to a Task Link in one snapshot, the action restores default format properties to that Task Link in all snapshots that it appears.
- vi) Recall that default Task Link settings can include Task Link Filter rules established in the Template form or by using the PVP form’s Task Link tab’s Manage Rules … button and the Task Link Filter Rules form.
g) Clicking the Use Format Defaults button resets defaults for selected manual Task Links.
Enhanced Manual Task Link Property Formatting Capabilities
Using the Task Link Properties Form to Edit Task Link Format Properties
10) As mentioned above, OnePager 6.1 now has an expanded formatting repertoire for Task Links to give you more options. The Task Link Properties form is very useful for editing the format properties of Data-driven and manual Task Links.
11) Previously, you only had the solid connection line type. In OnePager 6.1 all five connection line type options that are currently supported for connection lines to baselines, deadlines, endpoints to task/milestone are included. These five connection line options are shown below:
12) In OnePager 6.1 there are enhanced Arrow Styles as shown below:
- a) There are five Begin Type arrow styles and five End Type arrow styles to select from. The default setting is the None selection for the Begin Type and the Arrow selection for the End Type.
- b) OnePager 6.1 recognizes which end of the connection line is the Begin and End based upon the Dependency Type.
- c) Caution: You can override OnePager 6.1’s determination of Begin and End Types by making your own selections in the dropdown windows shown in the above form.
13) You also have options when specifying Corner radius of a Task Link connection line regardless of the line option selected.
- a) The Corner radius is a parameter denoting the number of pixels that are used to make the connection line’s 90 degree bends.
- b) The higher the pixel count the more rounded the connection line bend appears.
- c) Below is an example of a Corner Radius of 4:
- d) For comparison, below is an illustration with a manual Task Link with a Corner Radius of 10:
14) For manual Task Links, you have the option of selecting the Dependency type from one of the following:
- a) Selecting the dropdown’s Custom option enables the slider bars to be used to position the Horizontal Anchor points for the predecessor and successor.
- b) Selecting any of the other Dependency Type: options disable the slider bars because the selection in the Dependency Type: dropdown determines the Horizontal Anchor points.
15) There is an additional Task Link Dependency type for manual Task Links called the Custom Dependency type.
- a) This is the default setting when you place a manual Task Link into the project view and shows in the Dependency Type: window of the PVP form’s Task Link tab and Task Link Properties form.
- b) The initial Custom Dependency Type for manual Task Links is Finish-to-Start (FS).
- c) You can edit the default setting for manual Task Links to any other Dependency Type (i.e., FF, FS, SF, or SS) which sets the manual Task Links horizontal Begin point and End point shape’s positions.
- d) If you reset the Dependency Type for a manual Task Link using the Dependency Type: dropdown window in the forms, the slider bars for Predecessor or Successor are disabled.
- e) Leaving the Dependency Type: window set to Custom enables the slider bars for Predecessor and Successor and allows you to use them to position Begin point and End point shapes for the manual Task Link.
- f) When a manual Task Link is selected with a right-click and the Properties … command is selected the Task Link Properties form is brought up as shown below:
16) Finally, for both Data-driven and manual Task Links, you have control over where the Task Link Vertical Anchors connect to the task/milestone. There are four (4) Vertical Anchor point options each for the Predecessor and Successor tasks as follows:
- a) Top: The Task Link connection line anchors at the Top of the task/milestone and departs vertically or horizontally from the Top.
- b) Middle: The Task Link connection line anchors at the vertical center of the task/milestone and departs horizontally or vertically from the middle.
- c) Bottom: The Task Link connection line anchors at the bottom of the task or departs vertically or horizontally from the bottom.
- d) Auto: The Auto option is the default option employed by OnePager 6.1 so that it can initially make decisions on how best to vertically position the Begin point and End point shapes of the Task Link connection line routing through the project view. The Task Link’s Dependency Type is preserved.
Editing Daisy Chain Properties in the Project View Editor
17) Recall that Daisy Chains are represented in the project view as sets of individual manual Task Links conveniently created with a simple technique.
18) As such, the manual Task Links included in the Daisy Chain set can be edited using the techniques discussed above by selecting either a single manual Task Link in the set or multiple manual Task Links. Once selected editing is accomplished as described above.
19) Manual Task Links included in the Daisy Chain set are not represented as such in the Where Are My Links? form but as individual manual Task Link entries.
Global Task Link Property Editing Capabilities Using the Template and PVP forms
1) Global editing of all Task Links can be performed in two ways:
- (1) Using the Template form’s Task Link tab, or
- (2) Using the PVP form’s Task Link tab
2) Both the Template and the PVP form’s Task Link tabs have mostly the same controls so this section describes the controls in the PVP form’s Task Link tab. These same control operations work the same in the Template form’s Task Link tab.
Template Form Task Link Properties Tab
3) As with all “editing” with the Template form, edits made in the Template form control how the first project view is created.
4) After a project view is created, global editing is performed with the Project-View Properties (PVP) form.
5) The Template form Task Link tab looks like this:
Project-View Properties (PVP) Form Task Link Properties Tab
6) The Template form and the PVP form’s Task Links tab have a “master” control for turning the Task Link feature ON and OFF and two major control groups for the PVP form are shown below:
- a) In the Task Link Properties form above accessed by multiple selection of different types of Task Links all control groups are enabled except the Horizontal Anchor (Manual Links Only) control group which is disabled.
- b) For all the selected Task Links regardless of type (manual or Data-driven) you can edit the Line Style, Arrow Style, Link Comments, and Vertical Anchor (All Links) settings.
- c) Caution: You can override OnePager 6.1’s determination of Begin and End Types by making your own selections in the above form.
4) When you make multiple Task Link selections of the same type of Task Links and use the context menu to access the Task Links Properties form by clicking the Properties … command in the context menu, the Task Links Properties form looks the same as the illustration above except that OnePager 6.1 can be able to identify the connection line color and show it in the form.
- a) When multiple Data-driven Task Links are selected, the Task Link Properties form is accessed with the Horizontal Anchor (Manual Links Only) control group disabled. All other control groups are enabled in this situation.
- b) When multiple manual Task Links are selected, the Task Link Properties form is accessed with all control groups enabled.
Repositioning Task Link Connection Lines Using Drag and Drop Methods
5) You can use drag and drop methods for editing the connection line routing of Task Links and the position of Begin and End point shapes on their respective task/milestones. This capability was not provided in previous versions of OnePager but it is in OnePager 6.1 as described here.
6) When one or more manual Task Links are selected, the Task Link Begin and End point shapes are represented with green grab points on predecessor and successor tasks as shown in the illustration in the next paragraph.
7) Task Link connection lines have yellow grab points on the connection line segments in the middle if the Task Link is displayed as a multi-segment connection line as shown in the examples below:
8) Clicking on any of these grab points allows you to use your mouse to move the Begin or End point shapes or the connection line segments in the PVE.
9) Although you can select multiple Task Links and the green and yellow grab points are provided, OnePager 6.1 only allows you to use the drag and drop method of repositioning the connection line or the Begin or End point shape on one Task Link at a time. When using the drag and drop method, the other selected Task Links remain selected.
10) For Begin and End point shapes, the green grab points do not come off of the task/milestone. The selection grab points behave as follows when using your mouse to adjust their positions:
- a) Beginning and Ending Green Grab Points: These green grab points can be moved up and down between three positions on the task/milestone to fine tune their position vertically as shown in the sequence below:
- i) When a Task Link is selected as shown in the first illustration above, OnePager 6.1 indicates where the Begin and End point shapes positions are with green grab points.
- ii) If you select the End point shape of the Task Link as shown in the second illustration above, OnePager 6.1 provides unfilled green grab points to indicate valid snap-to-positions for the End point shape.
- iii) If you position the Task Link’s End point shape in between the snap-to-positions and release the mouse button the Task Link’s End point shape moves to the nearest snap-to-position.
- iv) For manual Task Links, you are able to drag the Begin and End point shape’s green grab points horizontally to adjust the horizontal anchor position as shown below:
- b) Middle Yellow Grab Points: When there is a multi-segment connection line representing a Task Link, the yellow grab point(s) in the middle of the multi-segment connection line are displayed when the Task Link is selected as shown here:
- i) Grabbing a middle yellow grab point with the mouse allows you to move the yellow grab point in either a horizontal or vertical direction within the graph.
- ii) Attempting to move yellow grab point too far in the graph area can produce unexpected results.
- iii) You can manipulate the middle yellow grab point for either a manual Task Link without causing the Task Link to become a maverick.
Repositioning Task Link Connection Lines on Various Task Shapes
11) OnePager Express 6.1 has a variety of task shapes available, so we have a few tips for repositioning Task Link Begin/End points when working with a task shape with rounded or pointed ends.
- a) The two tasks shown below are rectangular with a Task Link Connection Line Begin point originating the Predecessor’s bottom vertical anchor to the Successor’s top vertical anchor:
- b) Changing the Successor task shape to a shape with a point on both ends, as in the example below, shifts the Task Link Connection Line’s End point to appear to be at the Successor’s middle vertical anchor: In reality, the top anchor position has moved downward on the shape do to its geometry.
- c) For a more clear view of how Task Links are attaching to your task shapes, right-click on the Task Link and click the Properties … command. You can now see that the Vertical Anchor point for this Successor task is likely set to Auto as shown here:
- d) Editing the Vertical Anchor settings for the Successor task to Top, Middle, or Bottom enables you to know for sure where the Task Link is attaching.
- e) It is recommended that consideration be given to task shape and connection line routing when considering using the drag and drop method to reposition Task Link Begin/End Vertical Anchor points.