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UiPath StudioX

The UiPath StudioX Guide

Automation Basics

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Note:

The information on this page applies to projects with the Windows and Windows - Legacy compatibilities. For information specific to designing cross-platform projects, see Cross-platform Projects in the Studio guide.

About Activities

Activities are the basic building blocks of an automation project, each representing one or more manual tasks that StudioX can automate. A sequence of related, interconnected activities makes up an automation project. When you consider automating a repetitive process, you must first break down that process into each of the individual manual steps you take, and then identify the activities in StudioX that automate each of those steps.

For example, let’s say that you want to automate the following workflow:

  1. Open a spreadsheet.
  2. Open a business application
  3. Copy the data from a cell in the spreadsheet.
  4. Paste the copied data into a field in a business application.
  5. Click a button in the application to submit the data.

When you create a project in StudioX to automate that process, you use the following activities:

  1. Use Excel File to indicate which spreadsheet you want to use.
  2. Use Application/Browser to indicate which application you want to use.
  3. Type Into to select the input field in the business application where to copy the data as well as the cell from which you want to copy the data.
  4. Click to indicate which button to click to submit the data in the business application.

There isn’t always a one-to-one relationship between a manual step and a StudioX activity. As you can see in the above example, the Type Into activity covers two manual steps because you use it to indicate both the source and the destination of the copied text.

The Activities Panel

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The Activities panel shows available activities that can be added to the current project. You can search for activities by name or description using the search box at the top of the panel. To add an activity to your automation, double-click it or drag and drop it to the desired place in the Designer panel.

Hovering over an activity in the panel displays the package it belongs to and its description. To add an activity to the list of favorites, right-click it and select Add to favorites.

Customizing the Activities Panel

Click the View Options filter activitiesfilter activities button at the top of the panel to open a menu that allows you to customize the panel. See the following table for a list of available options.

OptionDescription
Show FavoritesShow a section with favorite activities. This option is selected by default.
Show RecentShow a section with the ten most recently used activities. This option is not selected by default.
Show CategoriesGroup activities by the category they belong to. This option is selected by default.
Group by PackagesGroup activities by the package they belong to. This option is not selected by default.
Pin FavoritesWhen searching in the panel, keep favorite activities always visible. Available if Show Favorites is selected. This option is not selected by default.
Show DeveloperShow activities designed for the Studio profile. This option is not selected by default.

These activities may not function as expected in the StudioX profile.

For example, if you are trying to view all Excel activities, you can select Group by Packages and deselect Show Categories.

Container Activities

Container activities define a scope or the conditions to be met for the execution of the activities added inside them. A container activity can be described as a parent activity that contains one or more child activities. Examples of container activities include:

  • Resource activities - Add an application resource to the automation and make that resource available to the activities added inside them.
  • For Each activities - Define a collection of items and repeat the activities added inside them once for each of those items.
  • Repeat number of times - Similar to a For Each, but it repeats the activities added inside it for a specified number of times.
  • If, Switch, and Check App State - Evaluate a condition and determine the flow of the automation by executing specific activities added inside them based on the result of the evaluation.
  • Wait for Download - Detects a file download initiated by the activities added inside it and makes the file available in the automation.

Resource Activities

Activities are grouped into categories based on the application they apply to. Before you can automate tasks you perform in an application, you must first add the required application resource to the automation. The following activities add resources to your automations:

  • Use Excel File - Use a specified Excel file. The data in the Excel file is available to all the activities added inside this activity. When you configure child activities, you can select individual cells, ranges, or sheets in the file directly from StudioX.
  • Use Desktop Outlook App, Use Outlook 365, and Use Gmail add a desktop Outlook, Outlook 365, and Gmail account to the automation. The emails in the account are available to all the activities added inside this activity. When you configure child activities, you can select individual folders, messages, or message fields directly from StudioX.
  • Use Word File - Use a specified Word document. Add the activities to perform on the file inside this activity.
  • Use Application/Browser - Use a specified desktop application or web browser page. Add the activities to perform in the application or web browser inside this activity.
  • Use PowerPoint Presentation - Use a specified PowerPoint file. Add the activities to perform on the file inside this activity.
  • Use OneDrive & SharePoint - Select an account to use for OneDrive and SharePoint automation. Add the related activities inside this activity.

You can add as many resources as your automation requires. For activities that use more than one application, add the resources one inside the other. For example:

  • To add activities that use both data from an Excel file and emails from an Outlook account, add a Use Excel File activity inside a Use Desktop Outlook App activity, and then add the common activities inside Use Excel File.
  • To add activities that use both data from a web page and a Word document, add a Use Application/Browser activity inside a Use Word File activity, and then add the common activities inside Use Application/Browser.

Adding Global Resources to the Automation

When you add a resource to the automation using a resource activity, the resource is only available to the activities added inside the resource activity. To make a resource available to all the activities in a project, you can add the resource globally by connecting the project to the resource. Global resources are managed from the Data Manager panel, not added as activities to the project. This means that connecting the project to a resource also helps save space in the Designer panel.

For information on how to connect a project to an Excel workbook, see Connecting a Project to an Excel File.

Iterating through Items

Iterating refers to repeating one or more activities in your automation project for each individual item in a collection of items. To iterate through items, add one of the available For Each activities in which you define the collection, and then add the activities to repeat inside the For Each. When you configure the activities to repeat, indicate that an activity should use data from each item in the iteration by selecting the current item option from the Plus plus buttonplus button menu.
StudioX comes with the following For Each activities:

  • For Each Excel Row - Repeat one or more activities for each row in an Excel table, range, or sheet.
    The current item option is CurrentRow. For some activities, you must also select which column to use from the current row.
  • For Each Excel Sheet - Repeat one or more activities for each sheet in an Excel file.
    The current item option is CurrentSheet.
  • For Each Email - Repeat one or more activities for each message in an Outlook folder, Gmail label, or in a selection of messages.
    The current item option is CurrentMail. For some activities, you must also select which field to use from the current mail: Subject, Body, Body as HTML, Bcc, Cc, To, From, or Priority.
  • For Each File in Folder - Repeat one or more activities for each file in a folder on your computer.
    The current item option is CurrentFile. You must also select which file property to use from the current file: Size, Name, Full Name (includes full path), Folder, Last modified date, Last accessed date, Created date, IsReadOnly, or Size in KB.
  • For Each Folder in Folder - Repeat one or more activities for each folder inside a specified folder on your computer.
    The current item option is CurrentFolder. For some activities, you must also select which folder property to use from the current folder: Name, Full Path, or Last modified date.

To make it easier to identify when configuring activities added inside a For Each, you can rename the current item option using a name that describes the items you are iterating through.

Configuring the Data Used by Activities

Activities can receive data as input and, upon execution, they can generate output data. You configure the data for each activity using the Plus plus buttonplus button menu available on the right side of data fields.

Depending on its purpose, an activity can have no data fields, one, or multiple data fields. The following information describes the options you can find in the Plus plus buttonplus button menu. Because the menu displays options that are relevant in the context of each field, activity, and parent activity, only a subset of the options is available for each field.

Options for Input Fields

Input fields define the data received by an activity using the following options:

  • Data from resources added to the project:
    • Excel - Data from the Project Notebook or from an Excel file added to the automation. Select named cells, named ranges, tables, or sheets directly from the Plus plus buttonplus button menu, or select Indicate in Excel to open the workbook in Excel and indicate in it. Selecting Custom Input lets you manually enter sheet names, table names, cell addresses, or range addresses. If the activity is inside an For Each Excel Row activity, you can select the current row in the iteration.
    • Outlook / Gmail / Outlook 365 - Data from an email account defined for a parent mail resource activity. You can use the message selected in the Outlook desktop app when the project is executed or, if the activity is inside a For Each Email activity, the current email in the iteration.
    • PowerPoint - Data from a PowerPoint presentation defined for a parent Use PowerPoint Presentation activity. You can select slides, placeholders, slide masters, or layouts.
    • File - If the activity is inside a For Each File in Folder activity, you can use properties of the current file in the iteration.
  • Text - Enter text using the built-in text builder. You can click Plus plus buttonplus button inside the Text Builder to add Excel data, mail data, or values you saved for later use to the text.
  • Text - Empty Value - This option gives you the ability to have an empty text as a value for cases where you want to add additional text or update it later on.
  • Number - Enter a numeric value or a formula. Formulas support the following operators and symbols: + (addition), - (subtraction), * (multiplication), / (division), ^ (exponent, for example 2^3 for 2 raised to the power of 3), ( ) (to enforce the order of operations).
    You can click Plus plus buttonplus button inside the Numeric Calculation window to add numeric values from the project. For example, select a cell in an Excel file, or a numeric value that you saved for later use.
  • Condition Builder - Add conditional statements that are used to determine what activities to execute based on whether or not the conditions are met. For example, the If activity contains a condition field, and it executes a series of activities if the condition is met and, optionally, another set of activities if the condition is not met.
    You create a conditional statement by selecting two values and comparing them using one of the available operators: greater than, greater than or equal, less than, less than or equal, equal to, not equal to, is empty, is not empty, is true, is false, starts with, ends with, contains, is numeric, is not numeric.
    You can add multiple statements and select if all of the statements or any of the statements must be true for the condition to be met.
  • True / False - Adds a conditional statement. Select either True or False for fields that support conditional statements in activities such as the If activity.
  • Use Variable - Use the output of another activity that you stored as a variable in the project for the current field. In certain cases, StudioX adapts the variable type so it matches the type the field requires. For example, you can use Text variables in fields that require a Number since the value is automatically converted from Text to Number. When a variable type is converted to another type, StudioX adds the new type at the end of the variable's name.
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  • Choose Date/Time - Select a date from the calendar or a time (hour, minute). This option is available for date and time fields.
  • Choose Duration - Select a duration (hours, minutes, and seconds). This option is available for duration fields.
  • Ask when run - Prompt for a value during project execution, This option is available for fields that accept text, numeric, date/time, or Boolean (True/False) values.
  • Paste from clipboard - Use an output value that you copied to the clipboard in another activity as input for the current field. This option is available for fields that accept text values or Excel ranges.
  • Variables - Select a variable created for use in App/Web activities selectors.
  • Arguments - Select a created argument to pass data between StudioX activities and apps.
  • Open in Advanced Editor - Enter VB expressions.
  • Clear Value - Clear the current selection in the field.

Options for Output Fields

Output fields define what to do with the data generated by an activity using the following options:

  • Excel - Save output to the Project Notebook or an Excel file defined for a parent Use Excel File activity. Select named cells, named ranges, tables, or sheets directly from the Plus plus buttonplus button menu, or select Indicate in Excel to open the workbook in Excel and indicate in it. Selecting Custom Input lets you manually enter sheet names, table names, cell addresses, or range addresses. If the activity is inside an For Each Excel Row activity, you can select the current row in the iteration.
  • Create Variable - Save the output for later use in your automation as a variable. Enter a name by which to refer to the variable in the project, select a scope, and a data type from the following options: Text, Number, True or False, Number with decimals, Date, and Duration. The created variable can then be selected as input in another activity.
  • Copy to clipboard - Save the output to the clipboard. You can then paste the value in an input field in another activity. This option is available for fields that output text, Boolean values (True/False), numbers, or Excel ranges (for example, the Destination field in the Copy Range activity). Boolean and number values are converted to text when copied to the clipboard.
  • Rename Variable - Rename a variable you created for later use.
  • Variables - Select a variable created for use in App/Web activities selectors.
  • Arguments - Select a created argument to pass data between StudioX activities and apps.
  • Open in Advanced Editor - Enter VB expressions.
  • Clear Value - Clear the current selection in the field.

Using the Output of an Activity as Input for Another Activity

Passing data from one activity to another can be very useful, even essential when trying to achieve certain workflows. StudioX enables you to save the output generated by an activity in variables, and then use them as input in other activities later in the project:

  1. To save data and use it in other activities, select the Create Variable option in the Plus plus buttonplus button menu of a field that configures the output data of an activity, and enter a name for the variable (saved value). You will use this name later to identify and select the variable as input in another activity, so make sure to use a unique name that describes the variable.

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Note:

Certain activities may require you to select the type of the data along with the name of the variable. Select from the following options: Text, Number, True or False, Number with decimals, Date, and Duration. Select Advanced options if the type of data you need to store is not found in the list.

  1. To use the variable as input for another activity later in the project, select it from the Use Variable option in the Plus plus buttonplus button menu of a field that configures the input data of an activity.

There are various scenarios in which this feature can be useful. Here are a couple of examples:

  • A Read Text File activity reads and outputs the contents of a text file which can then be used as the input for an Append Text activity to add the text to a Word file.
  • A File Exists activity checks whether a file exists and outputs the result (True or False) which can then be used in the condition of an If activity to determine specific actions to perform when the file already exists.

The Properties Panel

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The Properties panel is contextual and enables you to view and edit advanced properties for a selected activity. When selecting multiple activities, only their common properties can be modified from the Properties panel.

The Properties panel is hidden by default. In most situations, you can configure activities using the options available in the Designer panel. In projects with the cross-platform compatibility, all activity properties are available in the activity card in the Designer panel. This also applies to some activities in projects using the Windows compatibility.

Managing Variables

Variables are used to store data of different types and pass it between activities in a project. All variables used in your project can be found and managed in the Data Manager panel. To edit or rename a variable, open the Data Manager panel, right-click on a variable and select Edit Variable.

Read more about variables in the Managing Your Project Data page.

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Note:

Starting with StudioX v2022.4, Saved Values have been replaced by Variables. The core functionality is the same, however, variables allow the data type to be set when a variable is created and later it can be changed by certain activities or manually by the user. Projects created in an older version of StudioX will still use the Saved Values system when opened in StudioX v2022.4.

Managing Arguments

Arguments are used to pass data between activities in a project and can be used to integrate an workflow with other products such as UiPath Apps.

Once configured, you can use arguments in an activity similar to how you would use Variables (saved values). To edit or rename an argument, open the Data Manager panel, right click an argument and select Edit. Read more about arguments in the Managing Your Project Data page.

Running Your Automations

We recommend running your automations often during the design stage. This enables you to verify that the project works as expected and lets you identify potential errors early.

To run an automation, click Run in the StudioX ribbon or press F5 on your keyboard.

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You can stop project execution by clicking Stop in the ribbon or pressing F5 on your keyboard. After the project is executed, a message displayed at the top of the Designer panel informs you if the run was successful or not.

To run only parts of your project, right-click any activity and select:

  • Run to this Activity to execute all the activities in the project before the activity.
  • Run from this Activity to execute all the activities in the project starting with the activity.

Running in Picture-in-Picture

If you want to use your computer during project execution without interference from the Robot, you can run your automation in picture-in-picture mode. This executes the project in another session opened in a separate window, leaving you in full control of the keyboard, mouse, and screen.

To run an automation in picture-in-picture, click the arrow next to Run in the StudioX ribbon, and then select Run in PiP. Alternatively, you can press F6 on your keyboard. The Robot starts executing the activities in the project in a new window.

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Note:

Automations that use Microsoft Office resources do not run successfully in picture-in-picture if the resources are already open in the main session. Before you run an automation in picture-in-picture, close any PowerPoint, Excel, or Word file that is accessed by the automation.

Updated about a month ago


Automation Basics


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