In Primavera P6 Professional, layouts can be used to adjust how data is displayed. A layout consists of any adjustments made to the Activities, WBS, or Projects screens that are then saved globally, to a User, or to a Project. Layouts allow you to quickly jump between different views of data and make adjustments to those views without having to manually restore them later on. Everything from the width of columns to the colors and fonts of WBS layers can be adjusted to create a new layout.
This article will outline how to open, create, and save layouts in Primavera P6 Professional. The following examples are taken using Primavera P6 Professional 18.
Opening a Layout
To open a previously saved Layout, select Layout > Layout > Open.
A popup will ask you if you would like to save adjustments to the current layout. Saving these changes would override the current layout with any adjustments made while using it. In most cases, it’s useful to keep layouts in their default form, as you may want to use the layout later on.
Select No to prevent layout adjustments from being saved to the current layout.
The Open Layout window allows you to apply previously saved layouts to the screen you currently have open. The layouts available to open are contextual, so if you open the Open Layout window in the Activities screen, you will only be able to open layouts saved to that screen.
To apply a layout to the current screen, select it from the list and press Open.
Creating a Layout
There are many adjustments that can be made to any of the screens in P6. For this demonstration, we will focus on editing the Activities screen, but the same changes can be made for the WBS and Projects screens.
There are a variety of changes that can be made to the P6 interface. The following examples will go over a few of the many adjustments that can be made to create a layout.
Adjust WBS Layer Appearance
The WBS layers in the activity list can be adjusted in both appearance and order.
To adjust the WBS layer display, select Layout > Group and Sort.
The Group By section lets you adjust each WBS layer level in a variety of ways.
To change the visual appearance of the layers, select Font & Color. A new window will open, letting you choose a font, font style, text size, and color for each WBS layer level.
Adjust the WBS Sorting Order
From the Group and Sort window, you can also adjust the sorting order of activities within their respective WBS layers.
To adjust the sorting order or create a new sorting order rule, select Sort.
Under Field Name, you can choose from a variety of variables to sort by. Under Sort Order, you can choose to sort in either ascending or descending order.
Although activities will remain grouped together by the WBS layer they’re placed in, the activities within each layer will sort according to the selected sort order.
Sorting orders can also be changed by selecting the column headers in the table.
Adjust Columns in Table
Another way you can adjust the table is to change what columns, and subsequently, what data, is displayed. P6 allows you to display a wide range of data for each activity, from dates and duration to resources and budgeted costs.
To adjust the table columns, select Layout > Columns.
The Columns window is divided into two sections: Available Options and Selected Options.
Available Options will display all possible columns that can be added to the table, divided into expandable categories. Selected Options will display the columns that are currently displaying in the table. From either list, column options can be moved from one section to the other using the single arrow icons.
Once all columns have been moved to the desired section, select OK.
The data displayed for each activity in the table will adjust to match the selected columns.
Adjust Gantt Chart Bars
In P6, the Gantt chart will display each activity as a horizontal colored bar placed on a timeline. The color, size, and shape of the activity bar is determined by the activity’s type, float, and progress. For example, by default, Summary type activities will display as a black spiked bar, activities with Float will display as a green bar, and completed activities will display as a blue bar.
The Gantt chart bars can be customized for each layout by means of color, shape, and pattern.
To adjust the Gantt chart bars, select Layout > Bars.
The Bars window will display the types of activities with a preview of their current appearance.
To adjust a bar, select it from the list and use the Bar Style tab. Each bar can be adjusted in its shape, color, and pattern.
Select OK to apply the bar style changes.
Adjust Top Display
Most layouts in P6 will default to having the top half of the interface split, with the table on the left and the Gantt chart on the right. It’s generally useful to have both the table and the Gantt chart displaying, as you can quickly see both activity details and the project timeline. However, if your workflow requires a different top layout, the right half of the top display can be adjusted
To adjust the top section of the interface, select View > Show on Top.
The dropdown menu will provide a variety of options that can be turned on to replace the Gantt chart.
Selecting Table from the dropdown will simply turn off the Gantt chart and expand the table, whereas the rest of the options will replace the Gantt chart with different information, such as Usage Spreadsheets or the Activity Network. Selecting Gantt Chart will return the upper right half of the interface to its default display of the Gantt Chart timeline.
Adjust Bottom Display
The bottom half of the P6 interface can also be adjusted. Most default layouts in P6 either have no bottom display, or display the Details section, which can be useful for adding metadata to activities.
To adjust the bottom display, select View > Show on Bottom.
The Bottom layout can display a variety of sections, including the data table, the Gantt Chart, Usage Spreadsheets and Usage Profiles. When adjusting metadata for a project, turning the Details section on can be very useful.
To remove the bottom display and expand the top half of the screen, select No Bottom Layout.
Adjust Details Tabs
The Details section, when displayed, allows you to quickly add a variety of metadata to each activity in the data table. The Details section consists of many tabs that can be added or removed to ensure you’re able to enter in the metadata that you need.
To adjust Details tabs, right click anywhere in the Details section and select Customize Activity Details.
The Customize Activity Details window is similar to the Columns window. It has an Available tabs list, showing all tabs that can be displayed, and a Display tabs list, which shows the tabs that are currently displaying.
Use the arrows to move options between the two lists, then select Okay to apply the settings.
Saving a Layout
Once you have adjusted the screen to your liking, you can save it as a layout.
To save a layout, select Layout > Layout > Save As.
The Save Layout window allows you to give your new layout a name and determine who the layout will be available to. Layouts can be saved to the Current User, another user, the Project, or to All Users.
Select Save to save the layout.
The layout will then be available to open up again when needed from the Layouts window.
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Lauren Hecker is the instructor for the Primavera P6 Professionals Basics course. To see her next open enrollment course, please visit our calendar. To schedule an onsite or custom course, please contact us!