Due to the visual nature of NetPoint, adding and modifying activities is best done graphically on the canvas. When the cursor is moved over the canvas, the date and day-of-the-week display above the crosshairs. As the cursor moves around the canvas, the date changes to reflect the exact calendar date that the cursor is at. If the date is a non-working period or holiday (according to the default calendar for the schedule), the text will appear red. If the default calendar were the Calendar Day calendar, the date will appear black.
Adding to the Canvas
- Click the Activity or Delay/Gain icon in the toolbar.
- Move the cursor to the desired date, indicated by the text above the crosshairs.
- Left-click with the mouse.
- Without releasing, drag the cursor to stretch the duration (displayed in blue) until the intended finish date.
- Release the mouse. The Activity Object window will open.
- Enter a Description.
- Click OK.
- Click the Select Tool icon in the toolbar.
- Select the desired activity on the canvas.
- To change both the start and finish date simultaneously, left-click with the mouse and drag it to the right or left.
- Release the mouse.
- To change the duration, hover the mouse over the start or finish node until a double-arrow appears.
- Click and drag the node earlier or later until it lands on the desired date.
- Release the mouse.
NOTE: Dates and durations can also be modified in the Dates tab. To do so, double-click the desired object, or right-click and choose .
Converting Between Activities to Delays
- With the Select Tool chosen in the toolbar, right-click on the desired activity or delay.
- Choose or , respectively.
NOTE: If an activity has an embedded node or resources have been assigned to it, the option to convert to a delay will be disabled.
Editing the Description
- With the Select Tool chosen in the toolbar, double-click the description directly on the canvas. A text box will open.
- Edit as desired.
- When finished, click anywhere outside the text box on the canvas.
Positioning Fields on the Canvas
- Begin at step 1 of Through GEM Mode.
The Properties tab is where general settings are changed.
|Description||A text field for describing the activity. To stack, use the ENTER key. Descriptions must be less than 120 characters for P6 and less than 100 for Open Plan. Otherwise, they’ll be truncated upon export.|
|Abbr. Description||A text field limited to 48 characters to be displayed on the canvas if the description is too long.|
|ID||A user-entered unique identifier. By default, the ID is not displayed, but it will display before the description, surrounded by brackets, if it is turned on. NetPoint internal ID displayed below.|
|Delay Type*||A field for categorizing the type of delay. *Only available for delay activities.|
|Codes||A window for adding or modifying code assignments.|
|Resources||A window for adding or modifying resource assignments.|
|Progress||Whether or not the activity has been started. An activity can only be actualized if a data date has been set. For more info, see Data Dates.|
|Calculated Complete*||The amount of progressed duration divided by total duration. *Only available for actualized activities.|
|Estimated Complete||A user-entered estimate of work completed.|
The Dates tab contains all date related fields, such as the start and finish, duration, calendars, and constraints.
|Calendar||The schedule that work on the activity can take place. For more info, see Project Calendars.|
|Duration||The amount of time the activity takes to complete.|
|Start||The date and/or time the activity begins.|
|Finish||The date and/or time the activity will be finished.|
|Start Constraint||An optional boundary preventing the activity from starting any earlier than the date selected. For more details, see step 1 of Constraining Activities.|
|Finish Constraint||An optional boundary preventing the activity from finishing any later than the date selected. For more details, see step 1 of Constraining Activities.|
|Work Type||A field for capturing the type of work the activity is representing. If physical work is chosen, a duration formula may be entered.|
|Quantity||The amount of units represented by the activity.|
|Rate||The number of units performed per day, or unit of time.|
|Formula Duration||The duration, computed as quantity x rate.|
The Displays tab contains checkboxes for hiding or showing different fields on the canvas.
|Description||The description of the activity. Only one of the description fields can be displayed at any given time.|
|Abbr. Description||A shorter description for viewing on the canvas if the description is too long.|
|ID||A user-entered unique identifier. If no description field is displayed but the ID is, then the ID will inherit the formatting of the abbreviated description.|
|Calc. Complete||The amount of progressed duration divided by total duration. Only available for actualized activities.|
|Est. Complete||A user-entered estimate of work completed.|
|Duration||The amount of time the activity takes to complete. When actualized, Duration is replaced by Progressed and Remaining durations.|
|Start Date||The date the activity begins.|
|Start Time||The time the activity begins; only enabled if the schedule time unit is smaller than days.|
|Finish Date||The date the activity will be completed.|
|Finish Time||The time the activity will be completed; only enabled if the schedule time unit is smaller than days.|
|Drift Buffer||The amount of time an activity can gain before advancing the finish of its nearest predecessor.|
|Drift||The amount of time an activity can gain before advancing the start of the project.|
|Float||The amount of time an activity can be delayed before delaying the completion of the project.|
|Buffer||The amount of time an activity can be delayed before delaying the start of its nearest successor.|
|Total Float||Drift + Float.|
NOTE: Drift, float, buffer, and total float are displayed in that order below the activity bar on the same line. They may be distinguished from one another by the shape of their bounding boxes: drift points to the left, or project start; float and buffer point to the right, or project completion; and total float points in both directions. Either buffer or total float may be displayed, but not both at the same time. If too many fields are being displayed for the duration of the activity, the data may stack under and perpendicular to the bar. To customize the position of the fields on the canvas, see Repositioning Fields (GEM)
The Format tab contains controls for changing the look of the object on the canvas.
Bar & Nodes
|Size||The size of the bar.|
|Pattern||The pattern of the bar. NOTE: Patterns display best when printed. Depending on your screen resolution, page size, zoom factor, and activity sizes, patterns may show up inconsistently on screen. For best results on screen, use the large bar size.
|Color||The color of the bar. NOTE: Avoid red, since red is used to signal criticality. For more info, see Criticality.|
|Node||The color of the start and end nodes.|
The description and the abbreviated description can be styled/formatted differently or the same. To make them different, choose Description from the dropdown, customize the options, and then choose Abbr. Description from the dropdown, and customize the options for it. The settings will be saved, and you can switch between the two to confirm.
To make them the same, choose Both from the dropdown, and then customize the options. Note that choosing both will only overwrite the options that receive a change. For example, imagine the description’s font has been formatted to Arial and the abbreviated description’s font has been formatted to Tahoma. If Both is chosen from the dropdown and the font is set to Calibri, then the font for both the description and the abbreviated description will be set to Calibri, but the color, alignment, style, and size will be unaffected, since they didn’t receive any change. This can be confirmed by switching between the description and the abbreviated description and reviewing them without losing any of the changes.
|Font||The font for the description, abbreviated description, or both.|
|Color||The color of the description, abbreviated description, or both.|
|Alignment||The alignment of the description, abbreviated description, or both.|
|Style||The style of the description, abbreviated description, or both.|
|Size||The size of the description, abbreviated description, or both.|