Regions

Overview

A region is a uniquely named section of a task that can be hidden from view as required. This allows areas of a task to be organized into separate segments, thus, making it less cluttered and more manageable. When a region is collapsed, contents are hidden from view and the region appears as a single step in the task. When a task runs from Task Builder, collapsed regions expand automatically so the developer can view each step as it executes. Upon task completion, regions are re-collapsed to their former state. AutoMate supports nested regions (region within a region) to further expand their capabilities.

Regions have no effect on the final, developed task nor does it influence its execution. They only affect the manner in which task steps are visually displayed in Task Builder. Regions can be created to categorize blocks of steps in a task based on common functionality or actions. A unique name can be entered for a region as a way to ascertain its contents when it is collapsed. If a particular step inside a region needs to be viewed or modified, simply expand the region that contains that step while the rest of the regions remain hidden from view. 

The Regions debug panel lists existing regions within a task, including the name of the region, its starting step and ending step. It also allows you to jump to a particular region, clear a specific region or clear all regions that exist in the task.

Creating and Populating Regions

You create a region by selecting one or more existing steps and clicking the Create Region command on the ribbon or context menu. When a region is created, its default name is always 'New Region.' It is important that you enter a unique name for newly created regions in order to avoid confusion. A collapsed region is designated by a down arrow symbol in the margin near the region. The down arrow symbol can be clicked to expand the region. Once expanded, the down arrow is replaced with an up arrow and a line terminating at the end of the region. The up arrow can be clicked to re-collapse the region. The image below displays an example of a collapsed and expanded region.

To create a region :

  1. Highlight the step(s) in the Steps panel you wish to place in a region. To highlight multiple steps, hold down CTRL during selection (selected steps must be sequential).

  2. Do one of the following:

  1. A new region is added to the Steps panel populated with the step(s) you initially selected with the default name supplied for the region highlighted. Simply type over the default name of the region to give it a unique name.

To add a new action/activity to an existing region:

  1. Expand the region you wish to add an action to by double-clicking the region name or clicking the expand symbol to the left of the region name.

  2. Drag the desired action/activity from the Actions panel onto the desired area of the region. A blue line appears in the Steps panel signifying the section in which the action/activity will be placed.

  3. Release the mouse button when the blue line arrives at the section of the region you wish to drop the action/activity.

To move existing steps onto a region:

  1. Expand the region you wish to move existing steps to by double-clicking the region name or clicking the expand symbol to the left of the region name.

  2. Highlight the step(s) that are currently outside of the region you wish to include. To highlight multiple steps, hold down CTRL during selection (selected steps must be sequential in order).

  3. Drag the step(s) to the desired part of the region. A blue line will appear signifying the section of the region in which the step(s) will be placed.

  4. Release the mouse button when the blue line arrives at the section of the region you wish to drop the step(s).

To create a nested region (region within a region):

  1. Expand the region you wish to add a sub-region to.

  2. Highlight the steps within that region that you would like to place in the sub-region.

  3. Click the Create Region button from the Task Builder Ribbon's Step command group or right-click and select Create Region. A new sub-region is added inside the parent region.

  4. Click the newly created sub-region to rename it.

Managing Regions

Existing regions can be expanded, collapsed, renamed, modified or cleared. For example, when you are finished constructing your task, you may opt to remove all existing regions with the Clear All Regions command. All region related commands are located on the ribbon's Home tab in the Step command group (circled below) or via a context menu that appears when you right-click a region inside the Steps panel.

To expand all regions simultaneously:

  1. Select Expand All Regions from the Ribbon's Step command group or right-click menu.

Or

  1. Press SHIFT + E on your keyboard.

To collapse all regions simultaneously:

  1. Select Collapse All Regions from the Ribbon's Step command group or right-click menu.

Or

  1. Press SHIFT + C on your keyboard.

To clear one or more regions:

  1. Right-click the step that contains the region's name and select Clear Region.

  2. To clear all existing regions, right-click any step that contains a region's title and select Clear All Regions.