UiPath’s Recorder allows users to record UI mouse movements and keyboard activities to generate automation scripts.
The recorded activities are generated as a sequence and can be used to playback the recorded actions.
Although you can add these activities manually, UiPath's Recorder is a faster way to get started or create a skeleton for UI automation.
Using the Automatic Recorder
After clicking the Record button the Recording Wizard will give you 3 options. Select one of these 3 options depending on what you want to record on your screen and get started.
1. Using the Record Existing option
Use this option if the application you are trying to record is already opened.
Click the Record Existing button. Once the cursor turns blue, you can start recording on the opened application.
2. Using the Record Web option
This allows you to record actions performed on a web browser. For example, if you want to insert data on a Salesforce account, you can automate actions from logging in to inserting new data.
Click the Record Web button and follow the on-screen instructions. The URL is the address of the website you want to record actions for.
You have an option to select one out of three major browsers - Internet Explorer, Chrome.
- The Private Session, when enabled, will open the browser in Private Mode.
- Headless is an option available only for IE. It allows IE to be invisible when running the recorded session.
3. Using Record App option
This will prompt you to indicate the Windows application you want to record. Take note that this will only work on native Windows applications like Calculator.
Highlighted UI Elements
As soon as you start recording actions, after selecting one of the 3 options presented above, actions which you can be performed are highlighted.
How are Activities being generated?
Depending on the element you have selected or the actions you make onscreen, the automatic recording will insert the appropriate activity:
Click - generated when clicking a button or a link
Check - generated when a radio button or checkbox is clicked
Type Into - generated when typing into a text field or any editable element on the screen
As soon as you click an editable field, a pop-up will appear asking you to indicate the text you want to type. Press "enter" after you have entered the desired text.
Select Item - generated when the recorder clicks and selects an item in a drop-down list or combo box.
The automatic recording can recognize only the four activities listed previously: Click, Check, Type Into and Select Item.
There are cases when the default Record can’t figure out what action you want to perform on a specific UI object or you may need advanced actions, like hovering over an element that opens a menu. For these cases we provide the option of manually inserting activities during recording called Step by Step Recording.
Each action that you perform using your mouse and keyboard generates an activity. These activities are organized logically in a sequence with proper labels and informative screenshots.
How to Use the Manual Recording Feature
You can manually record screen actions if it can't be performed using the Automatic Recorder.
This will add specific activities to your workflow which you can modify later.
The manual recording feature is designed to generate activities that can't be handled by the automatic recorder.
You can combine manually recorded activities into an automatic recorded sequence by modifying its activities.
On the right side of the Recording Wizard, you have 5 different controls which can be used to perform different screen activities.
1. Using Click Actions
Click on Element and choose Mouse. This will give you mouse actions you can choose from. Select a mouse action. Once your cursor turns blue, you can start the recording. Once you are done performing the action on your screen, you can press “Escape”. This will go back to the Wizard and will enable the Save & Close button, meaning the activity is saved and ready to be added to the workflow. Click Save & Close. You're done.
2. Adding Keyboard actions and Commands
This activity allows you to add keyboard entries onto a text field or an editable area.
Click on Element-> Keyboard. You can either select a Type activity or set a Hotkey (a keyboard shortcut).
This will run the recorder. When the blue hand pointer appears, click on the text field and type in your desired text.
This will give you the pop-up where you can type a text.
If you're typing a password, you can check the Type password box. This will hide the text you're typing by using black dots.
There are cases in which the text field already has data in it. Check the on Empty field checkbox and it will automatically clear the data in the text field before entering new data.
3. Automating Image-based UI
Image-based UI are fields of text which are saved as graphics. It's not possible to highlight or copy them using a mouse cursor. Special operations are needed to capture this type of data.
In the example above, the Employee Number label is in image format, but it can be used as a reference for the text field next to it. UiPath needs to identify a reference point before clicking the right text box.
Here's how it’s done:
Click on Image->Mouse->Click. This will activate the recorder.
Highlight the Employee number. This will set it as an image reference. In the pop-up dialog, click on the indicate link. This will allow you to set where the automation will click. In this example, you can select the text field next to the label.
4. Screen Scraping
Screen scraping is the process of collecting screen display data from one application and translating it so that another application can use it.
Unlike using Image, screen scraping will capture the selected image and convert it into text first.
This is much more reliable, because in some cases the appearance of images can be distorted in other environments.
To use screen scraping:
Click on Text, select Screen Scraping.
The recorder will automatically highlight the text in image format in the application. You can select individual elements or select a region by highlighting it.