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How to clean "POBS data" bloated .Xer with Notepad++ (Picture Heavy)

Recently, my companies POBS data was bloated. It has since been cleared, but I wanted to share a way to clear an .Xer of POBS bloat, since I could not find a decent step by step guide. 

Before you start make a copy of the .Xer, just in case something gets messed up. For this step-by-step, I made a copy of 2 files in a new folder, with no Job numbers or customer names.


Here you can see that I have 2 contaminated .Xer files from our contractor, from previous knowledge the 1st file should only be about 400KB in size not 10.8 MB, and the 2nd should be about 300KB, not 10.5MB. 


Since an .Xer file is essentially a text file with information about the schedule, we can open it using a text editor like note pad. I prefer to Use Notepad++ since it has a Begin/End selection Feature that allows you to search while selecting text, and shows the line numbers in the left hand margin.


Once you have Notepad++ or Note pad open, search for %T, this is what marks the beginning of a new section in .Xer file. Search until you find "%T POBS" this is the beginning of the POBS  section. 

My snip was cut off, but the POBS section started on line 292


If you are using notepad++ you would left click in front of the "%T POBS" line and select Begin/End Select. 

If you are using notepad, or another text editor that does not have this feature, you will have to do it the long way, Hold shift down and press the down arrow until you reach the next %T line, usually it is "%T Risktype"


For the notepad++ user from this point you can use the search function to find the very next "%T" line. As stated before it usually is %T Risk Type. After you have found this line, right click at the end of the line right above it and click Begin/End select again.  

If you went through this in notepad you, would stop selecting text at this point, and give your fingers a break.

As you can see the POBS data is from line 292 to 66012, this is why the file is so big compared to what it should be. When imported this information gets added to your own POBS data, and will snowball from import to export, making the .Xers larger and larger, creating longer wait times for export and import activities. 


Delete this entire selected section, until the "%T Line after "%T POBS" is on the line that "%T POBS" started on. In this case, "%T POBS" started on line 292.

You just wiped out 65,719 lines of your .Xer, make sure you use the Save As, command if you did not make a copy before starting, if something went wrong or you deleted one to many lines or letters on accident, you can start again.

7)Now that you are finished, you can verify that the file is smaller, and Import it into P6 to make sure that it works. 

Hope this helps, and remember, if you know your .Xers are bloated it is common courtesy to notify who you are sending them too, and to clean, and test them yourself first. 

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