Bar Styles with Rolled Up Tasks

Copper Contributor

I would like to create a bar style to format rolled up tasks. I want three different styles. I want a style to be used when a task is Rolled Up and when Flag 1 is active, a different style to be used when a task is Rolled Up and Flag 2 is active, and a third style to be used when a task is Rolled up and Flag 3 is active. I have removed all other styles that are not in use in my Gantt chart. No matter what I do, as soon as I add any other condition to the bar style besides "Rolled Up", all symbols in the "Rolled Up" task line disappear. In the attached screensnip, all rolled up tasks appear with the blue pentagon, regardless of whether other flags are active or not. As soon as I type "Flag 1" after "Rolled Up" in the "Show For... Tasks" column, all symbols disappear for rolled up tasks, regardless of which flags are active. I have tried creating unique flags, to be used exclusively for rolled up tasks. I have tried activating the flags before creating the bar style, and I have tried activating the flags after creating the bar style. No matter what I do, I cannot create more than 1 bar style to govern the appearance of rolled up, recurring tasks. What am I doing wrong?

12 Replies


I looked at your screen shot and read your scenario and I don't quite understand what you're saying. But, this is what I get when I implement rolled up bar styles with Flag fields.


What version of Project are you using?


It's important to understand that bar styles at the bottom of the list take precedence over potentially conflicting bar styles toward the top of the list. In your screen shot I see only 1 bar style with rollup criteria so even though it is at the top of the list, it will be the only rollup style available.




Hi John; thank you for your quick reply. I've attached a screenshot of the behavior I want to see. Each of these rows represents a rolled-up, recurring task, with 0 duration, where the bar style is formatted as from Task Finish to Task Finish. In actuality, because I could not get the bar styles to work as desired, I created this by formatting each symbol individually, which is quite tedious for a task that recurs monthly over many years. I've attached another screenshot in which I've included another bar style for a rolled up task with Flag 4 active. You'll notice that the blue pentagon is still shown in the last row, while the desired orange triangle is not shown.
The information regarding precedence is very helpful - I was not aware of that. However, it appears that what actually happens is that both symbols are printed, but the lowest symbol in the bar styles list is printed on top of the other symbol(s). I've attached another screenshot indicating this behavior.
The version of project is Version 2307 (Build 16626.20170 Click-to-Run). The product is Microsoft project Standard 2016.


Sorry but I don't see any difference between "desired appearance" and "actual appearance" with respect to what I assume are the three summary levels.

What exactly are the summary lines at the top? It would help to see the hierarchy along with the Flag fields and the Gantt display.

Yes, you are correct about the overwriting. That's why you need to be careful in setting up bar styles.


The desired appearance, shown in the first 3 rows, has been achieved manually. The fourth line of the image entitled "Bar Styles - Actual Appearance" shows you how the software is actually behaving. Notice that there is a style called "M Comments2", for which the "Show for... Tasks" field is populated with "Rolled Up,Flag4." In that row, the task is rolled up, and Flag 4 is active. Therefore, the orange triangle should be showing. Instead, the blue pentagon is showing.

I will try to be more specific in these images: the first image, "Bar Styles - Desired vs Actual" shows, in the first three rows, the behavior I would like to see. I have formatted each and every one of these symbols individually in order to achieve this appearance. The next three rows show the actual behavior of the software when the bar styles are formatted in the fashion that I believe should achieve the appearance you see in the first 3 lines. But of course, the first style, "Rolled Up", seems to supersede all other styles.
The next image, "Bar Styles - All Symbols Disappear" shows what happens when I remove the "Rolled Up" style.  You will notice that all rolled up symbols disappear.

@Thetravis12 I suspect your Summary bar style conflicts with your Rolled bar styles. Exclude all the flags from the Summary bar style definition. Just like I've excluded Flag 1 in the screenshot below.


bar styles.png




Perhaps this is the problem. Do any non-summary tasks under each of the "Desired" summary lines have the Rollup and Flag fields shown with a "yes" like this?


If not, then that's why you are not seeing the rolled up symbols.




Thank you both again for your quick reply.

In the attached screenshot "Bar Styles - Showing Rollup Status and Summary Bar Style" you can see that the Rollup Field is set to "Yes" for all tasks, (and always has been), but the issue persists.

In the second screenshot "Bar Styles - Summary Excluding Flags", I have followed PlannersPlace's advice and explicitly excluded flags from the summary bar style, but the issue persists.

It is notable that the summary status of all the recurring tasks is "Yes". Perhaps I can get some traction by changing this field.


Nevermind; the summary field is not a field that can be changed, in this instance.


Apologies, John; I realize you were asking about the non-summary tasks underneath the rolled-up "summary" heading. I can confirm that those tasks, also, have a "Rollup" status of "Yes" and a "Summary" status of "Yes".

I am attaching now the MS Project file. It took some time to strip it of all sensitive information and isolate this issue, specifically.

In this file, I just deleted the "Summary" bar style entirely, since it seemed like that might be part of the problem. A .mpp file cannot be attached so I have zipped the file.


best response confirmed by Thetravis12 (Copper Contributor)


Thanks for the file. I didn't know you could attach a zipped file. Previously if needed to see someone's file I'd ask them to send me their file via e-mail. So, I learned something new.


This issue is that none of the subtasks under the summary lines have any Flag fields set. Just setting the Rollup field to "yes" at summary level does NOT create the display you want. There has to be something to "roll up". I showed that in my first response but I guess I didn't highlight it.


I tweaked your file so it's something easier to see. I eliminated the summary level "blue house" bar style so it doesn't get in the way and then set the Flag fields. I had to toggle the "Rollup" field at each summary level from "yes" to "no" and then back to "yes" to get things "re-ordered" (I suspect your poor file is so confused that it needed a little reset). Anyway, this is what you'll have. I think it is what you want.


If that is not what you want you'll have to give me a better explanation. I know it's all real clear in you head as to what you want but I'm not in your head.



YES!! That's it, thank you so much.
Wow, I would not have guessed that the sub-tasks needed to have the same status as the rolled-up summary in order for the rolled-up summary to display that way. I also didn't know what the order of precedence was on those symbols, and I couldn't find that information anywhere in the help files or by searching online. Do you have any resources you can recommend for someone who's looking to get the most out of Project?
Thanks again!
Ooh Hoo!! It took a bit but we got there. You're welcome and thanks for the feedback.

Yeah, there are a few (perhaps to many) subtle parts to Project that drive new users nuts. But then. . .that's why we're here. As far as resources, check out Dale's response on this thread: