If you’re in project control, you know how important it is to make a schedule layout that’s easy to read and shows all the key info for the people involved in your project. Why is this so critical? Well, it’s all about good communication.

Imagine your schedule layout like a map. If it’s made well, everyone can easily see where the project is headed. This not only keeps everyone on the same page but also builds trust with your stakeholders. Sounds important, right?

If you’re nodding along, you might be interested in learning how to build these layouts yourself. Let’s dive in!

How to Make Your Schedule Layouts Shine:

✅ To create schedule layouts, you need to understand how to adjust the appearance of the schedule bar chart.

✅ By making changes to the schedule bar chart’s appearance, you can create various layouts tailored to specific project needs. You can also make certain activities stand out from the rest, even when dealing with a large number of them.

So, how can you modify the appearance of these bar charts? It’s all about tweaking the bar dialogue box (window) and filters. This involves customising bar style, bar colour, and the filter list.

To become proficient at modifying schedule bar chart layouts, there are three key things you need to know:

1. The Art of Mastering Existing Bar Charts

It’s essential to grasp how the default bars in P6 function. Knowing this allows you to create or modify bar charts effectively.

To explore how the existing bar charts work:

Go to the ‘View‘ menu, select ‘Bars.’

Examine the bar’s dialogue window and their functions, numbered from 1 to 7.


    1. Naming Your Bar Chart – First, decide on a name for your bar chart. This title could describe the chart’s purpose or the data it represents. Feel free to choose any name that suits your chart.
    2. Choosing a Time Scale – Next, select the time scale you want to display on your bar chart. For example, if you’re showing work progress, you might choose ‘Current Bar‘ to show both actual and remaining work. You can pick the desired time scale from a drop-down menu. If your project is ongoing and you want to display actual work done, select ‘Actual Bar‘ from the menu.
    3. Applying Filters – You can filter the activities shown on your chart. For example, if you want to focus on critical remaining tasks, you can apply filters like ‘Normal‘ and ‘Critical‘. This will show or hide specific activities based on your selection.
    4. Previewing Bar Style Changes – Whenever you modify the bar style, you can preview the new style and colour. This helps you see how the changes will look before finalising them.
    5. Viewing Existing Bar Styles – To see the format of an existing bar style, select a bar (such as ‘Summary’) and click ‘Bar Style‘. This will display the shape and pattern of the bar.
    6. Adjusting Bar Settings – To modify the settings of existing bars, click on ‘Bar Settings‘. Here you can alter the appearance of bars by adjusting options like ‘Grouping Band Settings‘ and ‘Bar Necking Settings’.


    1. Adding and changing the bar labels – Finally, click on the ‘Bar Labels‘ option to see if there’s already a name on a bar. A list will appear where you can pick where to put the name on the bar, like on the left or right side. When you look at the chart, you’ll see that you can choose to show details like the name of the activity either on the left or right side of each bar.

These steps should help you customise your bar chart effectively.

Bar Labels Setting



Bar label (e.g. activity name) on the right side of activity bar


2. Elevate Your Activity Bar Chart with Custom Tweaks

After you understand how the current bars in your chart work, you can start making changes to them. Here’s how you can do it:

    1. Pick a Bar – First, choose a bar that’s already in your chart.
    2. Change the Style – Find the ‘Bar Style‘ option and change how the bar looks.
    3. Add Details – Click on ‘Bar Labels’ to add important project details like text, dates, or other data right on the bar.
    4. Adjust the Filters – In the section for filters, pick the filter you want to tweak. A box will pop up for you to make changes. Filters help decide how your bar chart looks, so adjust them to fit what your project needs.
    5. Change the Time Frame – Use the drop-down menu to pick a different time frame for your bars, like ‘Remaining Bar‘ to show work that’s still left.



    1. Show Non-Working Times – If you need to, choose ‘Calendar nonwork time‘ in the settings to show times when no work is happening. This usually refers to holidays and weekends.


Ready to level up your skills?

Let’s dive into the art of Adding Custom Bars for Specific Activities. This nifty trick hinges on unique criteria or codes, known as User Defined Field (UDF) criteria.

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