Automate using UI elements

Actions under the UI automation group are designed to directly interact with windows and applications. To achieve this result without resorting to image recognition or absolute coordinates, Power Automate Desktop utilizes UI elements to identify windows and their elements.

UI elements

When using a UI automation action, a UI element will have to be provided as input:

UI element input

Add a new UI element either directly from the action properties, or from the UI elements pane on the right-hand side of the designer:

Add new UI element

To add an element to the flow, highlight it and press Ctrl & Left click:

Capturing UI elements

When finished, press Done. Any UI elements captured will be added to the UI elements pane.

To access the UI elements pane, select the UI elements tab on the right-hand side of the flow designer:

Access the UI elements pane

Elements can be sorted alphabetically by selecting the Sort icon. To rename or delete UI elements, right-click on an item and select the appropriate function.

To use a captured element in an action, simply select it from the drop-down list:

Add UI element as input

To find where the element is being used in the flow, right-click the element and select Find usages. The results will show the actions which use the it. Double-clicking on a result will highlight the action in the workspace.

Add UI element as input

Element Types

Captured elements are divided into two main categories, based on the type of application they were captured from: UI controls and Web controls.

Any captured elements that are part of a web page displayed in a compatible web browser (Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Google Chrome) are automatically saved as web controls, and may be used as input to Web automation actions. All other elements are considered UI controls, and may be used in the respective actions.

Element properties

Manage an element’s selectors by right-clicking any UI element and selecting Edit selector. This brings up the Selector builder, where the selector can be edited with a visual editor.

The visual selector editor

To manually enter the selector’s value, toggle off Visual editor, and the text value of the selector will become editable:

The manual selector editor


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