Studio User Guide
Last updated Jun 7, 2024

Creating an Object Repository

Important: The Object Repository works with the UiPath.UIAutomation.Activities or the MobileAutomation.Activities package versions 20.10 and higher in projects with Modern Design Experience enabled.

An object repository is a collection of elements grouped by applications, versions, and screens that can come from a:

  • local project, i.e. the local repository.
  • library, i.e. UI Library dependencies to the current project.

A Local Repository can be created either by:

  • using the Capture Elements recorder to capture UI descriptors.
  • manually, by creating applications, screens, and elements directly in the Object Repository panel.

A UI Library can be created by:

  • extracting the local repository from any project into a library project and publishing it as a NuGet package.
  • starting from a new library, building the repository there, and publishing it as a NuGet package.

    You can then use the UI Library NuGet packages and add them as dependencies to your processes.

    Important: The Capture Elements recorder only records objects for reuse in projects, the recorder does not generate a workflow in the Designer panel.

Creating a Repository by Capturing Elements

In a library or process, click the Capture Elements button in the Object Repository to open the Capture Elements recorder.

Click Start recording to begin capturing elements. The Capture Elements recorder uses the Unified Target technology available in the UIAutomation.Activities pack version 20.10 and higher to capture targets and anchors with a certain degree of accuracy for each selector, image, or anchor.

UI Elements are captured together with a Selector, Fuzzy Selector, and Image, each with a degree of accuracy. You can choose to keep only one or all of these target elements. The same is applicable for anchor elements associated to each UI element in the application.

In the recorder, you can:

  • Click Add Application or Add Screen to add a new application or screen.
  • Pause recording at any time by clicking Pause docs image. To resume recording, click Record docs image again.
  • Manage recorded elements:

    • Update the properties of a screen or element by selecting it in the left panel and editing it in the Properties panel on the right.
    • Rearrange and group elements by dragging and dropping them in the left panel.
    • Highlight elements you have already captured to easily identify them by hovering over their name in the Capture Elements window and using the docs image button.
    • While recording is paused:

      • Remove an element by right-clicking it and selecting Delete.
      • Create a new element as a child of a screen or element by right-clicking the existing element and selecting Create Element.
    • Optionally, click Settings docs image, and then select if you want to configure each element or auto-apply changes (both settings are enabled by default).
  • Click Save objects to library docs image to save the changes, close the recorder, and return to your project.

Capturing All Elements

You can use the Capture All Elements feature to capture all the available elements of an application by using Computer Vision technology and add them to the Object Repository. This method is useful for scenarios where the automation relies heavily on Object Repository usage, as you no longer have to manually add all the UI elements, thus saving time when creating the process.

  1. Click the Capture all elements button in the Capture Elements wizard. You are prompted to indicate the window that contains the elements you want to add to the Object Repository.
  2. Indicating the application detects all elements and highlights them green. You can also manually deselect the elements you don't want to add to the Object Repository. The Scan Wizard window lets you choose to Select all or Deselect all elements by using the respective buttons. Once your selection is done, hitting Capture closes the Scan Wizard and returns you to the Capture Elements window.


    This feature requires that you have configured a Computer Vision server for use. There are multiple methods available of achieving this, as follows:

    After choosing your preferred server type, you must select it for use in the current project by editing the Server and Apikey Project Settings.

Descriptor Properties

Applications, screens, and elements should be given descriptive names from within the Capture Elements recorder to make them easily recognizable in the Object Repository.

Element Types

A selector in an application can represent a button, a checkbox, a text field, toggle, list box, any type of element that can interact with the Robot. The captured element can be defined from within the Capture Elements recorder.

From the Type drop-down list, search and pick the type suitable for each element. In the Object Repository the element receives an icon specific to its type making it easier to distinguish between objects.

After capturing elements, click the Save objects to library button, and the objects are added to the Object Repository. To add additional elements, right-click a screen or element in the repository, and select Create Element. To add additional screens, right-click the application and select Create Screen.

Using Capture Elements for Existing Applications and Screens

If you exited the recorder before capturing all the desired elements, or you want to add or modify elements using Capture Elements for an application or screen that is already added to the Object Repository, you can launch the recorder at any time in the context of that application or screen:

  1. Right-click any application or screen under Project UI Descriptors, and then select Capture Elements. This opens the Capture Elements window in the context of that application or screen:

    • If you selected an application, all the screens and elements under that application are pre-populated in Capture Elements.
    • If you selected a screen, all the elements under that screen are pre-populated in Capture Elements.
  2. Update the screens and elements as needed. You can add new screens, start recording to add new elements, edit or delete existing screens or elements. If you make changes to existing screens and elements, the changes are applied to the descriptors in the Object Repository when you save.
  3. Click Save objects to library docs image to save the changes, close the recorder, and return to your project.

Creating a Repository From the Object Repository Panel

You can create your own repo from within the Object Repository panel by defining the application, each screen, and element manually.

Create a UI Application

From the Object Repository panel, click the plus sign in the Descriptors tab or right-click Project Descriptors in the same tab and select Create Application. The Create Application window opens:

Add a unique application name, version, and description. Click Create application. Your application is visible in the Descriptors tab, under Project UI Descriptors.

Create a Screen

In the Descriptors tab, select your application, click the plus sign or right-click your application and select Create Screen. The Add Screen window opens:

Add a unique name for the screen, and a description. Indicate the screen that you would like to automate, and edit the captured element with Unified Target:

  • change the application path if needed.
  • add application arguments.

    When completed, click Create screen.

Create a UI Element

In the Descriptors tab, select your app screen, click the plus sign in or right-click the screen and select Create Element. The Add Element window opens:

From the Descriptor Type section click Indicate element to use Unified Target to indicate and capture the element from the screen.

Add an intuitive name in the Element Name field, and select the type of the element from the drop-down list under Type. Click Save when done.

  • To edit an element from the Object Repository, right-click it, and then select Edit Element, or double-click the element in the tree.
  • To edit the descriptor of an element, use the Edit Descriptor option from the Edit Element window, or right-click the element in the tree, and then select Edit Descriptor.

Using Object Repository With Recorders

If the Object Repository is enforced in your instance of Studio (as per instructions in the About Object Repository page), when using the App/Web Recorder, the generated activities do not automatically reference descriptors from the repository.

At the level of activities, an informative tooltip informs you to add descriptors to the Object Repository or use existing ones.

To do so, click on the icon inside the activity, and follow the steps for adding or reusing descriptors, or select Options > Add to Object Repository to add the element to the Object Repository.

Add Elements From Activities to a Repository

After you've created an object repository you can add more UI elements directly from the Designer panel.

In the Designer panel add an activity that supports selectors, like Click or Type Into. Make sure that the added activity is within a Use Application/Browser activity.

Within the body of the activity, click the Object Repository icon to open the Selection Options window. Capture the element, select Confirm and the Add Element to Object Repository window opens. Add a name to the element and click Save. Notice that the element is added to the Object Repository panel.

Use Objects in Current Project

From the Object Repository, drag and drop a screen or element on top of an activity in your workflow. The object's image, arguments, and other details are automatically added to the activity. When an activity uses a screen or element from the Object Repository, clicking the Object Repository icon in the activity highlights the descriptor it uses in the Object Repository tree.

In the below example, we dragged the MyAppScreen object on top of the Use Application/Browser activity. The application path was automatically added to the activity.

Alternatively, drag and drop an object on top of the plus sign inside the workflow. If you drag and drop a screen, a Use Application/Browser activity is automatically added. If you drag and drop an element, a list of compatible activities is displayed. Select the desired activity and the object is automatically added. Inside the process, the activity receives the following label: activity name + object name. After the object is added, the activity receives the descriptor properties from the Object Repository, visible in the activity's Properties panel.

  • To indicate or edit the descriptor from the activity, select Options docs image, and then Indicate target on screen or Edit Target. A dialog is displayed informing you that the action is performed on the descriptor in the Object Repository. Confirm your choice by selecting Indicate DescriptorandEdit Descriptor respectively.
  • To indicate or edit the descriptor for the current activity only, you must first remove the link between the activity and the Object Repository by selecting Options , and then Unlink from Object Repository. Please note that when the Object Repository is enforced, unlinking removes the target from the activity.

Once objects are added to the workflow, the UI Activities tab in the Object Repository panel displays the activities and the objects they contain in a hierarchical order. If they are not visible, please save the project and check again.

The workflows are marked:

  • with a gray dot, if at least 1 activity from the workflow file references a UI Descriptor from the Objects panel.
  • with a blue dot, if all activities from the workflow reference UI Descriptors from the Objects panel.

The UI activities are marked:

  • with an empty dot, if the activity does not reference a UI Descriptor from the Objects panel.
  • with a blue dot, if it references a UI Descriptor from the Objects panel.

Edit Descriptors

Descriptors can be edited from the Object Repository in two scenarios that we'll refer to as "online" and "offline" editing:

  • online editing - the application or browser can be accessed on the current machine. The app/browser is displayed on the screen, allowing elements to be selected again or modified.
  • offline editing - the application or browser cannot be accessed on the current machine, either the app is not installed, or the machine is offline. The element's selectors are made visible allowing changes to be made.

    Note: Both Selectors and Fuzzy Selectors in your Descriptors can be edited directly in the UIExplorer by using the docs image button.

Online Editing

In the Descriptors tab, right-click an element and select Edit Descriptor. The selection screen opens allowing you to capture a different element, edit selectors, and anchors.

The same can be achieved by clicking on the Edit Descriptor button from within the Edit Element window.

Note: At runtime, the UI Descriptors are resolved from the Object Repository panel, if the activities reference such UI Descriptors.

Offline Editing

The same steps from online editing apply here as well. In the Descriptors tab, right-click a screen or element and select Edit Descriptor.

Offline editing offers the option to make changes directly to the element descriptor settings. However, you cannot indicate new elements. To do so make sure the application/browser is opened in the correct state.

Resolve UI Descriptors

Whenever you indicate a screen or UI Element which is already referenced in the Object Repository either under Project UI Descriptors or UI Libraries, the match is automatically detected and the following window is prompted:

The following options are available:

  • Reuse - adds the matching descriptor from the Object Repository to the current activity.
  • Create New - opens the options window for creating a new screen/element or updating an existing one in the Object Repository.
  • Cancel - keeps the currently indicated selector inside the activity, without making any changes to objects in the repository.

Indicating a screen searches for a corresponding UI descriptor, while indicating a target element searches for a matching UI descriptor. When using the Recorder, corresponding matches for screen and elements are searched within the local UI library from Project UI Descriptors or the imported dependencies from UI Libraries.

Note: At runtime, the UI Descriptors are resolved from the Objects Browser panel, if the activities reference such UI Descriptors.

Variables in Descriptors

To increase their degree of reusability, you can use variables in descriptors.

You can edit a target, add variables to it, and then add it to the Object Repository, or you can add variables to selectors in existing screens or elements from the Object Repository. Whenever you add a descriptor that contains a variable to a process, make sure to create the variable in the process, otherwise the expression cannot be read.

To add a variable to a descriptor selector, right-click the element inside the Object Repository, then select Edit Descriptor and add the variable from the Selection Options window.

Variables added in selectors must be enclosed in double curly brackets. For example, as seen in the image below, <name='{{VarNumber}}'/> adds the value of the variable VarNumber to the name attribute in the selector.

In the below example, we used a variable inside the Browser URL field of the Use Application/Browser activity, and then added the target to the Object Repository as a screen object. In this way, we make sure the descriptor accounts for cases in which the URL changes.

Highlight Elements

In the Object Repository panel right-click a screen or element and select Highlight to highlight elements inside the application, provided that the app is launched on the machine or the web page is opened in the browser.

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