If you tried to Copy and Paste a cell down a column in Primavera P6 Professional similar to how you would in say Microsoft Excel, you may have become quickly baffled. Copy and Paste does not work the same in Primavera P6. You are not without hope though. Primavera P6 has a Fill down tool that enables you to copy a cell down a column.
I have had students tell me they could not get Copy and Paste to populate a cell down a column in Primavera P6, so they had to resort to manually entering each cell’s value down the column. This quickly becomes laborious. Fortunately, P6 has a feature for duplicating a cell down a column. This is the Fill Down feature. Once you become familiar with the Fill Down approach, populating columns becomes quite instinctive. And you will have a handy tool in your P6 toolbox.
This article describes how to utilize the Fill Down feature in Primavera P6 Professional to populate a column with a desired value.
Copy and Paste – Projects View
We begin by demonstrating how and why the copy and paste does not work in Primavera P6 Professional similar to say in Microsoft Excel. We have in Figure 1 the projects view displaying the enterprise project structure (EPS) system.
I want to copy the project status of the Critical Chain project down the Project Status column. Note that the cell I want to copy is outlined in yellow. As I would in Microsoft Project I right click on the cell populated with the ‘Planned’ value. From the resulting menu I select Copy, Figure 2.
I then highlight all the cells I want to populate with this ‘Planned’ value, right click again, and select Paste, Figure 3.
As you can see in Figure 4, this procedure does not populate the column as anticipated.
What appears is the first dialog in a series of dialogs for copying the entire project. This is much more than we want to accomplish.
Fill Down – Projects View
Let’s try this again using the Fill Down feature. This time we highlight Planned in the Project Status column and all the additional cells in the Project Status column that we want to populate, Figure 5.
Note the last cell I want to populate in the Project Status column is outlined in yellow. Right click on this cell and select Fill Down from the resulting menu, Figure 6.
The Fill Down feature populates the Project Status column as desired, Figure 7.
Now we want to populate the Rate Type column from GEAR to LEVELING-3 with External Rate, the CRITICAL CHAIN Rate Type value. Highlight External Rate and down to the last cell we want to populate with the External Rate value, Figure 8.
Note the last cell is outlined in yellow. Right click on this cell and, again, select Fill Down from the popup menu, Figure 9.
As anticipated, the Fill Down feature duplicated ‘External Rate’ down the Rate Type column, populating all the highlighted rows down to and including the yellow outlined cell, Figure 10.
Fill Down – Activities View
We now demonstrate the Fill Down feature’s application while in a project’s activities view. In Figure 11 we want to duplicate the Fixed Duration and Units/Time duration type from the ‘Notice to Proceed’ activity down to the ‘Quality Assurance Inspection’.
Again, note the yellow outlined cell indicating the column and last row for the duplicate Fixed Duration and Units/Time value. As displayed in Figure 11, select Fill Down from the popup menu. Fill Down populates the Duration Type column as expected, Figure 12.
Move one column over. This time we want to populate the Phase column with IMPROVE. Note the yellow outlined cell in the last row, Figure 13, and select Fill Down. Again, the Phase column is populated according to plan, Figure 14.
Novice Primavera P6 Professional schedulers may resort to Copy and Paste to duplicate a cell value down a column. This does not work, and puts you on a path to copying much more than just a cell value.
The Fill Down feature, however, provides a way to populate or duplicate a cell value down the column as specified. The Fill Down tool also works in both the projects view and activities view. The column Fill Down feature, further, quickly becomes instinctive with continued usage.