Printing a complete schedule displaying the full names of activities on the Primavera P6 Gantt chart often can prove a challenge. Here we look at how to adjust activity labeling to fully utilize our available real-estate for displaying and printing the Gantt chart.
Typically schedulers find themselves torn between fitting their activity table and Gantt chart on one 11×17 sheet of paper and displaying all the activity labels. You do not have to compromise between the two goals though. It is possible with some effort to adjust the activity labeling to display labeling either on the right or left of the activity, as desired.
This article describes how to plot activity labels either on the right or left of the activity, respectively, to support timescale compression efforts often required for printing the P6 Gantt chart.
Below in Figure 1 is our demonstration schedule.
Let’s assume that to print our schedule, including Gantt chart, on one 11×17 sheet of paper we must compress the timescale to Friday, March 17th. No labeling can extend beyond Friday, March 17th. This is possible, but several steps are required.
We begin by creating the activity code, LABEL, Figure 2. Select Enterprise | Activity Codes to create a new activity code.
The defined codes to add are left and right, Figure 3.
Insert the column, LABEL, and assign activity LABEL codes, accordingly, so no normal activity labels extend beyond Friday, March 17th, Figure 4.
Note we will have to address the level of effort (LOE) activity and work breakdown structure (WBS) element labeling separately.
Next we create two filters, Label-Right Figure 5 and Label-Left.
In support of our layout definition select ‘copy as layout’ for our Label-Left and Label-Right filters, Figure 6.
We create a ‘Non Level of Effort’ filter, Figure 7, to select all activities except our LOE activity.
Again, copy ‘Non Level of Effort’ as layout to support our layout definition.
Next in the bars feature create two bar definitions, Label-Right and Label-Left, Figure 8.
The bar style for both these is none. The Label-Right bar uses Label-Right and ‘Non Level of Effort’ filters, Figure 8. Obviously the Label-Right bar inserts a bar label position right for activity name, Figure 9.
The Label-Left bar uses Label-Left and ‘Non Level of Effort’ filters. And the Label-Left bar inserts a bar label position left for activity name. That’s it for our normal and milestone activities!
Now for our WBS elements or summary bars insert group name and position bottom, Figure 10.
Do the same for the ‘remaining level of effort’ bar, Figure 11.
To display labels on activity or WBS element bottom we need to increase the row height. Select Table Font and Row, Figure 12.
In the Table, Font and Row dialog un-toggle ‘keep current row height’, toggle ‘select height for all rows’, and adjust the row height to 30, Figure 13.
Our final schedule with compressed timescale and appropriate labels is displayed in Figure 14.
The WBS element and LOE activity are bottom labeled. The non-LOE activities are labeled left or right, as required to compress our timescale to Friday, March 17th. As a side note you may want to now save your layout as a project layout. If you applied ‘copy as layout’ as directed your layout definition will include the filters you created to support the activity labeling.
It is possible with the appropriate application of activity codes and bar filters to label activities either right or left of the activity as desired to support timescale compression.
Additionally, you will want LOE and WBS elements to be bottom labeled, again, in support of timescale compression. Be sure to save your layout and make it available to your project. If you are still struggling to fit your activity table and Gantt chart on one 11×17 sheet of paper, consider removing columns in the activity table.
If you have many WBS element levels toggle ‘shrink vertical grouping bands’ in the group and sort dialog. That may help shrink the width of your activity table without affecting the number of columns displayed. Yes, it does require some effort, but making a nice print out is achievable in Primavera P6 Professional.