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Configuring an Action

Adding an Action to the Workspace will automatically open the Action Properties Dialog box if there are any properties to be determined. If you want to open a previously created Action, double-click on it or right-click on it and click on Action Properties.Once you have an open Properties Box, you will see Action Inputs and Action Outputs:

Action Inputs require information from you, to determine what happens - text to be displayed, a Variable to be used by the Action, a file path or URL and so on.

Action Outputs will only be Variable names so that information generated or collected by the present Action can be passed on to a later Action.

Please note that the "Action Output" refers to data and is not considered to be a program run or a Message Box shown - those are effects of the Action, not Output.

To the right of a property field, you will see an "tooltipicon.png" Icon. This is a ToolTip Help that you can access by pointing the cursor over it. You may also see a gear icon "gearicon.png", a file icon "fileicon.png", or a folder icon "foldericon.png". These show where you can browse for a file, a folder, or a Variable (gear).

If there is an Error generated by one of the properties (a missing file name, improperly written Variable, etc), there will also be a blinking red Error icon "blinking error.png" the next time this Action Property Dialog Box is opened.

exclamationinaction.png

If the Action could cause an Error, you might want to look over the Exception Handling options (click on the tab at the top) to make sure you like that result.As an example, we will look at the Display Input Dialog properties. There are four different Input properties:

  1. Input Dialog Title - what you want to show at the top of the Box, for example "Enter Name"

  2. Input Dialog Message - the text or question you want to show in the box, for example "Hello user, what is your name?"

  3. Default Value - do you want to have a default setting, or an example like "<Enter Name Here>"

  4. Input Type - how do you want their input formatted? This is a drop-down menu, so choose whichever seems most appropriate to the information.

Notice that all of these fields require some information that you currently have - what you want to write, how you will format, etc. This is Input - from you, now. Notice that the Action will require input from the user when the Process is running, but that is not Action Input here - only your choices now are Action Input.

displayinputdialog.png

Also notice that the Action Output is information stored as Variables. The Output is determined by the Action as the Process is running and is used as Input in later Actions - this is the definition in WinAutomation of a Variable: a 'container' used to carry values from one Action to another.

Choose Variable names that mean something to you, so you can easily remember them later. Also, read about Variable Types so you are clear with your use later. Once you have defined Variables through Output, you can browse them using the gear Icon to use them as input in a later Action. In this case, we stored the text entered by the user (which is supposed  to be its name) in "%UserName%" and the Button pressed into "%ButtonPressed%".