Text handling actions

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Use the Get Text Length action to determine the length of a text value or a list of text values. The action measures the number of characters in the text value.

Screenshot of the get text length action properties.

Note

An alternative way to retrieve the length of a text variable is to use the following syntax: %Text%.length

With the Append Line to Text action, you can add a line of text to a single text value or list of text values. The result is stored in a new text variable.

Screenshot of the append line to text action properties.

Use the Get Subtext action to retrieve a specific portion of a text or list of text values. Set the Start Index property to retrieve text starting at a character position or at the start of the text, and set the Length property to end at another position or at the end of the text. The action stores its output in a text variable.

Screenshot of the get subtext action properties.

The Pad Text action can add whitespace, a word, or a phrase before or after a text or a list so that the resulting text reaches a specified length. The text to pad, or the text that is used to pad the text, can be entered as variables. The padded text is stored in a text variable.

Screenshot of the pad text action properties.

Use the Trim Text action to remove whitespace from the beginning of a text string, at the end of a text string, or both.

Screenshot of the trim text action properties.

With the Change Text Case action, you can change the text case that is found in a single text value or list of text values. The new text will be stored in a separate text variable.

Screenshot of the change text case action properties.

Text, dates, and numbers

Four text actions are dedicated to converting text values to and from the number and DateTime data types. Certain scenarios can occur where data that includes numbers has been extracted from a source, such as a spreadsheet or webpage, and has been stored as a datatable, datarow, or even a text value, but it must be entered as a numerical value elsewhere.

For example, data is extracted from multiple columns of an Excel sheet into a DataTable type variable. Some of the columns contain text values, while others contain numbers. The numbers must be entered into multiple drop-down fields in a desktop application. The numbers must be stored as numerical values; otherwise, the data will not be processed correctly and can't be entered.

To ensure that numbers are stored as numerical values, use the Convert Text to Number action. This action requires as input single text items, text list items, datarow items, or datatable items. Regarding the list, datarow, or datatable items, the item’s index must be specified.

Screenshot of the convert text to number action properties.

Use the Convert Number to Text action to achieve the reverse conversion. Enter a number or a numeric variable to convert to a text variable. Set the number of decimal places to include, and to configure, the digit grouping options.

Use the Convert DateTime to Text action to convert a datetime value to text. This action's properties contain several options regarding the format of the datetime input. The most straightforward way to use the action is to enter a DateTime variable that was created through the platform that was created with the Get Current Date and Time action.

By using this approach, the datetime value is guaranteed to be in a recognizable format. Alternatively, a custom value can be used as input. In this case, the user must ensure that it is entered in a compatible datetime format. The action can be configured to save datetime as text by using one of the available formats or a custom format.

Screenshot of the convert datetime to text action properties.

Use the Convert Text to DateTime action to achieve the reverse conversion. Enter a text value or variable that uses a compatible datetime format. If the value that was entered uses a custom format, select the Date is represented in custom format check box in the properties and then define the custom format in the field that appears underneath.

Screenshot of the convert text to datetime action properties.

Date formatting

When displayed on their own, the following characters produce the following formats.

Format Description
d The short date (04/02/2010)
D The long date (Friday, April 02, 2010)
f The full date and time - short time (Friday, April 02, 2010 10:00 AM)
F The full date and time (Friday, April 02, 2010 10:00:46 AM)
g General date time - short time (04/02/2010 10:00 AM)
G The general date time - long time (04/02/2010 10:00:46 AM)
M The month and day of the month (April 02)
m The month and day of the month (April 02)
r A shorter full date (Fri, 02 Apr 2010 10:00:46 GMT)
R A shorter full date (Fri, 02 Apr 2010 10:00:46 GMT)
s The sortable date and time (2010-04-02T10:00:46)
t The short time (10:00 AM)
T The long time (10:00:46 AM)
y The month and year (April, 2010)

When used as a combination, the characters have the following representation.

Representation Description
d The day of the month as a number from 1 to 31 (2)
dd The day of the month as a number from 01 to 31 (02)
ddd The abbreviated day of the week (Fri)
dddd The full day of the week (Friday)
gg The period era (AD)
h The hour as a number from 1 to 12 (10)
hh The hour as a number from 01 to 12 (10)
HH The hour as a number from 00 to 23 (10)
m The minutes as a number from 0 to 59 (0)
mm The minutes as a number from 00 to 59 (00)
M The month as a number from 1 to 12 (4)
MM The month as a number from 01 to 12 (04)
MMM The abbreviated month (Apr)
MMMM The month (April)
s The seconds as a number from 0 to 59 (46)
ss The seconds as a number from 00 to 59 (46)
tt The AM/PM designator (AM)
y The last digit of the year (0)
yy The last two digits of the year (10)
yyyy The year (2010)
zz The time zone (+02)
zzz The time zone in full format (+02:00)

Additional text actions

The Create Random Text action is ideal for generating passwords because it can be configured to generate text of a certain length and include uppercase and lowercase letters, digits, and symbols.

Screenshot of the create random text action properties.

To combine a list of text values into a single text value, use the Join Text action and then enter a list variable as its input. Determine if the list items should be separated by using a delimiter, such as a space. If the list items will be separated, choose from one of the standard delimiters or specify a custom delimiter.

Screenshot of the join text action properties.

To separate a single text value into a list of items, use the Split Text action. Enter a value or a text variable as the input. Ideally, the text should include recognizable delimiters that separate the items. Select one of the standard delimiters or enter a custom delimiter.

With the Parse Text action, you can search a text value for a specific string of text. Set the action to search for the first occurrence, or all occurrences, of the text string. Optionally, you can set the action to Ignore Case (thus making the search case-insensitive). The output of the action stores the position, or list of positions, as a numerical value (or list of numerical values) that indicates the position(s) where the search string was found in the text.

Screenshot of the parse text action properties.

If the search string is not known beforehand, you can search for a regular expression. Select the Is Regular Expression check box to store the matched string of a regular expression in a new variable.

Screenshot of the parse text properties regex.

The Replace Text action can find a string in a text and replace it with another string or character. The Text to Parse, Text to Find, and Replacement Text are required inputs. Similar to the Parse Text action, the search can be configured to be case-insensitive, and regular expressions can be used for the search. Escape sequences enable the user to add characters, such as a tab or a new line, into the replacement text.

Screenshot of the replace text action properties.

The Escape Text for Regular Expression action can modify a regular expression so that the characters that are used in regular expressions are escaped and are treated as literal characters in the string. This action can be useful if a regular expression contains a variable with a text value. It can be used to escape the value in the variable, ensuring that the regular expression handles all characters in the text.

Screenshot of the escape text for regular expression action properties.