Show Calendar Day instead of dates in Primavera P6 Schedule columns

Happy New Year!!!

This is the Primavera P6 version of the Microsoft Project tutorial about showing ordinal dates in the Gantt chart timescale & calendar days in the Start & Finish columns.

Figure below shows a P6 schedule with normal dates in the start column, finish column & timescale.
Let’s start with the easy part, changing timescale dates to ordinal dates.

Right click on any part of the timescale and Select Timescale to open the Timescale dialog box.
Under the Date Format section, tick the Show Ordinal Dates checkbox and select PS (Earliest Project Start) from the Ordinal Start dropdown box. Also, select Month (or desired interval) from the Ordinal Date Interval dropdown box, then click on Apply so that the changes are reflected on the Gantt chart and click on OK to close the dialog box.

You should now notice that the timescale dates have changed from calendar dates to serial month numbers.
That is the first part of our problem solved, what is left now is to change Start Date to Start Day & Finish Date to Finish Day through use of User Defined Fields.

From the menu bar, click on Enterprise > User Defined Fields to open the User Defined Fields dialog box.

With Activities selected in the dropdown box, click on Add to add a field with the title udf_Start_Day and selected data type Integer. Add 1 more field with title udf_Finish_Day of data types Integer. Click Close to exit the dialog box.

Now add 2 new columns to your schedule, Start Day & Finish Day (these are udf_Start_Day & udf_Finish_Day renamed for display).
Right now, these 2 new columns are empty except for 0 in the WBS rows. These 2 new fields are integers and since P6 displays Cumulative at WBS level, 0 is shown as the result of summing all the WBS elements for each column.  We are going to hide WBS level details since we do not want P6 adding up all the Start Day or Finish Day numbers (I’m yet to find a way to use a formula to determine value of WBS level details in P6 as Microsoft Project does)

From the menu bar, click on View > Group and Sort by to open the Group and Sort dialog box.
Untick the Show Group Totals checkbox then click Apply and OK. Now, the Start Day & Finish Day columns should be empty.
From the menu bar, click on File > Export to open the Export dialog.
In the Export Format interface, tick Spreadsheet - (XLS) checkbox and click on Next.
 In the Export Type interface, tick the checkbox for your Project and then click on Next.
In the Select Template interface, click on Select Template to open the Modify Template dialog.
 In the Modify Template dialog, assign a name in the Template Name textfield and select Activities from the Subject Area dropbox.
Under Columns tab, move items from the Available Options section to the Select Options section so that the list is made up of:
  1. Activity ID
  2. Activity Status
  3. WBS Code
  4. Activity Name
  5. Start
  6. Finish
  7. udf_Start_Day
  8. udf_Finish_Day
Click OK to return to the Select Template interface. This new created template should now be listed on the interface.
With this new template (Calendar Days) selected, click on Next.
In the Select XLS File interface, note the location & file name shown in Select Excel File dropdown box and then click on Next.
In the Summary interface, click on Finish to begin the export process and then click Close in the Export Result interface.
Open the exported Excel file and in Task sheet, delete the columns Activity StatusActivity Name & Delete This Row, so you are left with Activity ID, Start, Finish, udf_Start_Day & udf_Finish_Day columns.

In cell G1, enter the project start date and in this example, it is 07-Jun-10 08:00.  In cell E3, enter the formula =C3 -$G$1 and drag down to the last row with data for udf_Start_Day column (exclude this formula from cells with Finish Milestones). In cell F1, formula =D3 -$G$1 and drag down to the last row with data for udf_Finish_Day column (exclude this formula from cells with Start Milestones). The spreadsheet should now look like this.

Close the Excel file and in P6, from the menu bar click File > Import to open the Import dialog. Follow the prompts and import the newly modified Excel file.
Your Gantt chart should now be updated with the Start Day & Finish Day columns populated with numbers representing the Calendar days between the Start Date of an activity and the Project Start Date as well as Calendar days between the Finish Date of an activity and the Project Start Date.
Finally, hide the Start, Finish & calendar columns and your schedule is now ready for submission to the client without specified dates.


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