Understand Power Apps Studio

When you create a canvas app by using any method, you're taken to the canvas app builder called Power Apps Studio. You can use Power Apps Studio to design, build, and manage your canvas app.

Overview of Power Apps Studio

Screenshot of Power Apps Studio.

  1. Power Apps Studio modern command bar: Dynamic command bar that shows a different set of commands based on the control that's selected.

  2. App actions: Options to rename, share, run the app checker, add comments, preview, save, or publish the app.

  3. Properties list: List of properties for the selected object.

  4. Formula bar: Compose or edit a formula for the selected property with one or more functions.

  5. App authoring menu: Selection pane to switch between data sources and insert options.

  6. App authoring options: Details pane with options relevant to the selected menu item for authoring the app.

  7. Canvas/screen: Primary canvas for composing the app structure.

  8. Properties pane - properties list for the selected object in UI format.

  9. Virtual agent: Get help building your app from a virtual agent.

  10. Screen selector: Switch between different screens in an app.

  11. Change canvas screen size: Change the size of the canvas during an authoring experience in Power Apps Studio.

Let's understand each option in Power Apps Studio in detail.

1 – Power Apps Studio modern command bar

Power Apps Studio options are available on the command bar. The options are relevant to the current session and app-related settings.

Power Apps Studio options.

Modern command bar

The modern command bar displays the relevant set of commands depending on the control that is selected.

This image shows how the command bar changes depending on which control is selected.

The command bar changes when one of the following controls or objects is selected:

  1. App object
  2. Screen
  3. Button
  4. Shape
  5. Icon
  6. Blank form
  7. Form with data
  8. Blank gallery
  9. Gallery with data
  10. Label
  11. Text input
  12. Date picker

When more than one type of control is selected, the command bar shows the common commands between the selected controls.

Default command bar options

When you open Power Apps Studio you'll see the default command bar.

Power Apps Studio options.

Back

Takes you back to the build hub, closing the current Power Apps Studio session.

Undo and redo

Undo and redo.

  • Undo: Undo the last action.
  • Redo: Repeat the last action.

Cut, copy, and paste

Cut, copy and paste.

  • Cut: Cut the selection, and store it in the clipboard.
  • Copy: Copy the selection, and store it in the clipboard.
  • Paste: Paste the last cut or copied selection from the clipboard.

Insert

Insert controls to the screen.

The Insert menu is available from the command bar and from the app authoring menu on the left.

Insert shows all the popular objects or controls that you can add on the selected screen in your canvas app. You can also expand other choices or use the components option to insert controls from a component library.

To insert controls on the canvas, you can drag the control to the canvas or select the control.

Name Description
Text label A box that shows data such as text, numbers, dates, or currency.
Edit form Display, edit, or create a record in a data source.
Text input A box that shows text.
Vertical gallery A control that contains other controls and shows a set of data.
Rectangle A rectangular shape to configure the canvas appearance.
Date picker A control that the user can select to specify a date.
Button A control that the user can select to interact with the app.

For more information about the controls that you can insert, and their properties and definitions, go to Controls and properties in canvas apps.

Add data

Add data.

  • Select any other existing tables from the current environment.
  • Search and select a connector, such as SharePoint or SQL Server.

New screen layouts

Add new screen.

Add screens and select from the list of available screen layouts.

Scenarios

Layout scenarios.

Or, select the Scenarios and select a screen type based on the available scenarios, such as Blank, Scrollable, List, Success, Tutorial, Email, People, Meeting, Calendar, Portrait print, or Landscape print.

Background color

Screen background color.

Select a background color for a screen. You can select from the list of standard colors or select the Custom table and choose your own color.

Background image

Screen background image.

Select Upload to upload images to set as the background image.

Settings

Configure the app's general settings.

App settings.

General

Shows app name, and allows changing the app icon. To update the icon, select a new icon or background color. To add or update description, enter text in the text box. You can also upload a custom icon for the app using the Add image option.

Display

Shows the screen size and orientation. To change, select the radio buttons for Orientation and Size.

Advanced settings allow you to further customize the app screen configuration.

  • Scale to it: Scales the app to fit available space.
  • Lock aspect ratio: Locks the height and width ratio.
  • Lock orientation: Maintains app orientation when device rotates.
  • Optimize embedding appearance: Optimizes for embedded experiences by aligning the app to the top left.
  • Replace formula notification: Displays notifications to prevent replacing customized size and position properties.

To change the setting, toggle the switch.

More information: Change screen size and orientation

Upcoming features

Allows you to configure advanced settings for the app that include features under preview, experimental or retired features.

More information: Understand experimental, preview, and retired features in Power Apps

Support

Shows current Power Apps Studio session details, version, and other information useful when working with Microsoft support.

Power Automate

Create a new flow with Power Automate, or select any available flow.

Create a flow using Power Automate.

More information: Use Power Automate pane

Collections

A collection is a group of items that are similar, such as products in a product list. This section lists the collections used by the current app. More information: Collections in canvas apps used by the app.

Collections.

Variables

You can save data such as the result values from a data set into temporary storage by using variables. This section lists variables used by the current app. More information: Variables in canvas apps used by the app.

Variables.

2 – App actions

Use the options in the upper-right corner of Power Apps Studio to work with app-specific actions.

App actions.

App name editor

Select the name of the app to edit it.

App name editor.

Share

Share app.

Lets you share the app with other users and add them as co-owners of your app. You must save the app before you can share it.

App checker

Runs the App checker with available rules and shows the results.

App-checker.

Comments

Comments are notes that are associated with items in your app. Use comments to help your team review the app and provide feedback, or provide additional information on implementation details in your app.

Add comments.

Preview

This shows a preview version of the app that you can interact with.

Save

Studio save options.

Save allows you to perform the following actions:

  • Save: Saves recent and unsaved changes you made to the app in Power Apps Studio. Each time you save changes, a new version is created.
  • Save with version notes: Save and add notes about the updates you've made.
  • Save as: Duplicate the app by saving the app with a different name.
  • Save and publish: Allows you to save the app and publish it at the same time.
  • Download a copy: Downland a local copy of the app.

Publish

Publishes the app’s current version. For more information about publishing an app, go to Save and publish canvas apps.

3 – Properties list

Shows the list of available properties for the selected object on the canvas. The properties list changes based on your selection. For a complete list of all properties, go to All properties.

Properties list.

4 – Formula bar

Use the formula bar to add, edit, or remove functions relevant to the selected object and the property selected from the properties list. For example, select the screen to update the background by using the RGBA function.

Formula bar.

The formula bar is IntelliSense-enabled. When you start entering text that matches one or more functions, the formula bar shows the list of functions.

Function in the formula bar.

When you select a function, the formula bar shows inline function help and highlights help text relevant to the cursor position.

Inline help for function in the formula bar.

If a formula returns an error, tips relevant to the syntax error and mitigation steps are displayed.

Resolve errors in the formula bar.

Similarly, you'll find help when working with complex functions, nested functions, or when correcting a formula syntax.

For a quick and easy function reference, you can also select the formula dropdown menu.

Formula dropdown menu.

Select an event type from the dropdown menu at the top of the dialog box, such as Action instead of Text.

Function event selection.

Select an action that you want to add a function for. The available functions for the selected event type are dynamically updated depending on the object you select.

Change in function event selection.

For example, if you selected a button on the canvas, the available Action functions also include the function ClearCollect().

Function ClearCollect() selected.

You can read the description of the selected Action function. Double-click the function name to add it into the formula bar.

For a complete list of all canvas app functions, go to Power Fx formula reference for Power Apps.

5 – App authoring menu

Switch between various authoring options while working with the app.

App authoring menu.

Tip

You can also select the expand button to expand the list to include names instead of just icons.

  • Tree view: Shows a tree view of all screens and controls in the current app.
  • Insert: Allows you to add different controls to the screen.
  • Data: Add or remove data such as tables that the app connects to.
  • Media: Insert or remove media from the app.
  • Power Automate: Add a flow using the Power Automate pane.
  • Advanced tools: Allows you to access the Monitor and Test tools to debug and test your app.
  • Search: Select to search for media, formulas, text, and more in your app. You can also do a search and replace.

6 – App authoring options

The options for working with canvas apps change depending on the selection on the left pane.

Tree view

Select the tree view to show the screens available in the app.

Tree view.

Tip

Select App in the tree view to work with app-specific controls or to change app behavior, such as adding a formula on OnStart event of the app.

Switch to the Components tab to work with component library features. You can add new components or reuse those that were already published from published component libraries. More information: Component library

Tree view - components.

Insert

For information, see the Insert section above.

Data

Add, refresh, or remove data sources from your canvas app. You can add one or more connections by using data sources.

In addition to data stored within tables, there are many connectors available to interact with data in popular software as a service (SaaS), services, and systems.

Data.

To choose other connectors such as SharePoint, OneDrive, or SQL Server, you can enter text in the data source search box or select from the list of connectors.

Select data source.

More information: List of all Power Apps connectors

Media

Select Media to add images, video, or audio files to your app. Adding media directly to your app uploads the files to the app and uses the app storage. Each file uploaded to the app as media must be 64 MB or smaller, and the size of all media files uploaded to an app can't exceed 200 MB.

Add media.

If you want to reference more media, consider using audio and video controls with URLs, using media from Azure Media Services, or from Microsoft Stream. More information: Using multimedia files in Power Apps

7 – Canvas/screen

The canvas shows the currently selected screen from the left pane.

8 – Properties pane

The properties pane shows properties and options available for the currently selected object on the canvas. The Properties tab shows generic options such as the name, color, size, or position. The Advanced tab shows more options for advanced customization. The advanced properties might sometimes be locked for editing, such as when working with data cards. You can select Unlock to change properties in such situations.

Properties pane.

9 – Virtual agent

Real-time, in-product help is available from the documentation using the Power Platform virtual agent. The virtual agent can help answer questions about common scenarios. More information: Get help building your app from a virtual agent

10 – Screen selector

Use the screen selector to switch between screens when your canvas app has multiple screens. You can also select a screen from the left pane by selecting the tree view. If the current selection is inside a container, or inside an individual cell in a gallery, the selector shows the breadcrumbs for the parent elements at each level.

11 – Change canvas screen size

You can zoom in or out while authoring the canvas app. Select Ctrl+0 Fit to window to fit the screen size based on the current authoring window size. The zoom percentage or screen size you use while authoring a canvas app has no impact on the aspect ratio configured for the app when you preview your app or play a published app.

See also

Understand Power Apps Studio in Dataverse in a Teams environment