Add another dimension of insight to your Swimlane Timeline reports with conditional formatting and legends to highlight key tasks for quicker analysis, review and decision-making.
The "ST Add/Show" menu Baseline View option gets its formatting from the currently applied color palette. Although, the Baseline View endpoint shapes are currently fixed as triangles, you can use a custom color palette to change the Line Format to get different looks.
Use the "ST Manage/Palette" option to define a new palette. Give the palette a name, for example "Baseline". In the "Baseline" section of the custom color palette, edit the "Line Format" as shown below:
You can, for example, change the Line Color to "Red", and change the Line Weight to a larger size like "2.5", and then change the Line Pattern to "Solid". When you hit OK to apply your custom color palette, you will notice that the baseline view goes from this default view:
Now you can use the "Swimlane Timeline/Color Palette" option to change between the default "Primary" palette, and the new created custom "Baseline" palette.
BTW, if you would like to see the Baseline Start/Finish actual dates, then you can use the "Swimlane Timeline/Date Marker" option to show them.
By default, tasks are placed in swimlanes in the order they are encountered in the source data after applying our shape and text collision avoidance algorithms. The Swimlane Timeline task Sort option can automatically reorder the tasks in swimlanes based on values in a custom task field.
If you had a custom task text field, for example "ST Sort", and it contains values A1-A9, B1-B9, C1-C9, …etc. then in the Swimlane Timeline you can reorder tasks within swimlanes by selecting "ST Sort" from the field pick list in the task Sort option. Tasks will be placed within swimlanes in alphanumeric order, and any tasks with the same "ST Sort" value will be grouped together within a swimlane.
Let's say the source data with the "ST Sort" field looked like this:
Default layout - compressed, with text and shape collision avoidance auto-applied, and tasks shown in the order encountered:
Task layout after applying task Sort and specifying the "ST Sort" field (NOTE: Tasks are placed in alphanumeric order, and any tasks with the same "ST Sort" value are grouped together):
The Swimlane Timeline will read in all of the Project Online Enterprise Fields that are showing in the Gantt Chart view. Make sure that MS Project is showing the Gantt Chart view, and then Insert Columns for the Enterprise Fields that you want read in to the Swimlane Timeline.
The Swimlane Timeline expects that the Windows OS date format is set to a format that has a 4-digit year setting (yyyy). If you change it to some other setting, for example a 2-digit year setting (yy), then you could get the following error when you launch the Swimlane Timeline:
Check in your “Control Panel\Clock, Language, and Region\Region” option and verify that your Short date and Long date settings have the default 4-digit year (yyyy) format as shown below:
Yes, the Swimlane Timeline does work with non-English versions of Visio, Office and Project, but there are a couple of setting changes you may need to make:
1) Ensure the MS Project “Display Language” is set to English as shown below:
- Open MS Project and select “File/Options/Language”
- Make sure the "Display" Language is set to English
Open Visio then "File/New" and by default you will see the "Featured" Visio solutions. Now select to see all solution "Categories". Navigate to the "Visibility" Folder and double-click on the "Swimlane Timeline Solution" preview icon.
From then on you will see the Swimlane Timeline offered in the default "Featured" Visio solutions section.
You can quickly and easily override the default width of the swimlane title text box area by clicking on the right side of the swimlane title block area (you will see the line endpoints as shown below) and then click-and-drag the line either right or left to increase or decrease the swimlane title area.
Windows can sometimes turn off all application add-ins. If you don't see the Swimlane Timeline menus in Visio anymore when starting the Swimlane Timeline from the desktop shortcut, then try the following:
Go to “Visio/Files/Options/Add-ins” and change the “Manage” option, located at the bottom of the dialogue, from "COM Add-ins" to be “Disabled Items” instead and select "Go..."
If you see that the Swimlane Timeline is currently disabled, then select it, and re-enable it. Close Visio, and restart the Swimlane Timeline from the desktop shortcut and you will now see the Swimlane Timeline menus are again visible.
If you would like to use Text23 as your milestone task nickname to be displayed instead of the “Name” field, then go to the “ST Manage/Text” option to create a custom named text setting. Select “Define New”, then give the custom setting a name (for example, Nickname), and then “Edit” the type of shapes you would like to change.
In your example, you might change the “Milestone Text” to be ‘Text23” instead of “Name” field as shown below:
Once created, from then on you can access the custom named text setting, in this case called “Nickname”, from the main “Swimlane Timeline/Text” option.