Often you will find that the activity’s table and Gantt chart layout settings you so meticulously set up do not translate when you export your Primavera P6 Professional file. How can we include the layouts in our Primavera P6 project exports and imports?
A customer requested that we save a Primavera P6 layout with the associated schedule project file, so when a client of theirs opened the P6 schedule the activity table and Gantt chart settings would be as per their request. Their specific request was to save the Activity Network layout with the associated schedule so when their client opened the project file they would immediately view the Activity Network.
While your desired layout may not always appear immediately when you open your associated project file, you can export/import a project layout with the corresponding project file.
This article describes how to export and import project layouts with the associated project in Primavera P6 Professional.
Project and Layouts
We have here in Figure 1 an example project.
The activity table and Gantt chart are all set up for updating and monitoring schedule progress. Note, in particular, the Activity % Complete column in the table and baseline on the Gantt chart. When we export our project and later have a client open the same project on their computer system we want them to see the same layout. Is this possible or just wishful thinking?
Export XML File
We may not achieve this completely, but we can come close. First we want to make sure we save our layout to capture all those settings we worked so diligently to adjust and set up just right. Select Save As in the Layout drop down menu, Figure 2.
In the Save Layout As dialog make certain to make the layout available to the Project, Figure 3.
Click save. Great! Second, we want to export our project as an XML file. There are several export formats, but the XML format, in particular, allows you export layouts along with the schedule.
Select File, export, and in the export dialog toggle Primavera P6 – (XML), Figure 4.
Click next. Select the Projects to Export and click next again. In the File Name Export
Dialog, select an appropriate Windows OS folder and file name. Also, be sure to toggle “Export all project level layouts”, Figure 5.
This toggle sets the export to include the layout along with the project. P6 then creates a zip folder containing the project file and associated layout files. If you right click on the zip folder and select Extract All the Windows OS will create a folder containing the XML project file and associated Primavera Layout File (PLF) layout files. In Figure 6 we see an XML project file with two PLF layout files in a WELLMONT-9 folder.
Import XML File
To import your project and layouts select File, import, and in the import dialog toggle Primavera P6 – (XML), Figure 7.
Click next. Click the ellipse button to select either a XML file or a ZIP file. For our demonstration we select a ZIP file, Figure 8.
Be sure to toggle “import all project level layouts”. In the Import Project Options dialog select the Create New Project Import Action and the desired EPS node to Import To. Click next and Finish, and P6 will proceed with the import. Select the Activities project icon to view your schedule. Next select the Layout drop down menu, layout, and Open. In the Open Layout dialog you will see your project layouts underneath a project label, Figure 9.
Select your desired layout and click apply. Our project and layout appears as expected, Figure 10.
Export/Import PLF files
If for whatever reason you do not want to export the layout together with your project file, you can export and import the layout separately in the Open Layout dialog, Figure 9. To Export, select export and choose an appropriate Windows OS file with PLF extension. To Import select import and select the desired Windows OS PLF file.
Yes, you can include your project layout settings when you export and import files in Primavera P6 Professional. The XML format allows you to save multiple layouts along with your project file. These layouts must be made available to “project” when they are saved.
Once the layouts are saved to a project then you can export them together with the project file in a ZIP folder. And viewing your preferred layout after importing a ZIP file may be as simple as opening the layout in the P6 Open Layout dialog. This dialog also enables you to export and import PLF layouts separately. So individual layouts may be applied to multiple projects just as each project may have multiple layouts.