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Cloned controls: the UseKeys property

Updated on November 10, 2021

When integrating applications that create multiple instances of targets with identical types, such as multiple document interface (MDI) child windows, Robot Studio creates cloned controls to match the targets. Cloning controls keeps automations running successfully by matching multiple targets.

To enable cloning controls, check the UseKeys property in the Property Grid for the highest-level control that requires cloning. Enable UseKeys for the control to specify interactions with specific instances of the control in automation logic.

Note: The UseKeys and Key properties are available on all interrogated controls. However, UseKeys is set to False by default and the Key property value is null.

When an MDI window is interrogated, a client and child controls can be identified, as in the following figure:

MDI client and child controls
Figure showing MDI client and child controls in Robot Studio.

When the UseKeys property is enabled, cloned controls are created for child controls. The number of cloned controls is shown in the eye icon in the Palette, as in the following figure:

Cloned controls
Palette showing cloned (UseKeys) controls.

As you open multiple instances of the target, such as the MDIChild window, multiple matched targets appear in the Targets section, as in the following figure:

Mutliple child windows
Application Designer showing muttiple MDI child windows.

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