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Alteryx Designer Desktop Ideas

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A client just asked me if there was an easy way to convert regular Containers to Control Containers - unfortunately we have to delete the old container and readd the tools into the new Control Container.


What if we could just right click on the regular Container and say "Convert to Control Container"? Or even vice versa?!


Providing detailed information about inputs, outputs, data sources and assumptions provides useful information to us that may not always be obvious within a workflow, especially one with many tools used. While the comment tool is useful, and I enjoy the customization options, I think some updates to the annotation tool would be useful.


One improvement I would like to see is the ability to summarize and download all annotations to a PDF document; color coding the annotations according to the tool used would also be helpful. Having this information readily available for presentation purposes or for enterprise-wide users of workflows would be beneficial. 


If this is already possible, please let me know!


This is a popular feature on other tools, such as Talend (now Talaxie) : the ability to export the workflow as a vectorized screenshot in svg.

Why ? it helps to build documentation, svg being vectorized, it means the picture can be zoomed in without losing quality.

Of course, that would mean before that Alteryx use svg for icons as required here

Best regards




Hi - Please delete this if it perhaps exists already in a newer version.  (I am on 2022.1 and don't see this functionality.) 


I would love to see the ability to right click a tool that isn't in a container and be able to add it to an existing container.  Currently I drag it over and drop it into the container then move it back to where it was.  Inevitably I misalign the tools and spend time getting it linear again. It would be cool if based upon the choice made in the right click, it would bring the assigned container around the tool in its existing location.




Perhaps within the config of the container you could choose tool #s to add to the container?


Anyways this isn't a huge need but it would be nice to see that additional functionality for people that spend a disproportionate amount of time aligning and distributing their tools HORIZONTALLY.  (Nobody cares about the people that do vertical workflows.)



container idea.png





We all know and love the Comment tool. It's a staple of every workflow to give users an idea of the workflow in finer details. It's a powerful tool - it helps adds context to tools and containers, and it also serves as an image placeholder for us to style our workflows as aesthetically pleasing as possible.


Now, the gensis of this idea is inspired by this post and subsequent research question here.


The Comment Tool today allows you to:

  • Write your text and provide context / documentation to your workflow
  • Style its shape
  • Style its font, colour, and background colour
  • Align the text
  • Put an image to your workflow



But it would provide way more functionality if it had the capabilities of another awesome Alteryx tool that is not so frequently mentioned... the Report Text Tool!


What's missing in the Comment tool that the Report Text tool has?

  1. The ability to add active data records from the workflow to its text
  2. Its wider range of styles which allows for more functionality such as with its Special Tags functions
  3. Its ability to hyperlink
  4. Text mode options!



Now, whilst I understand that the Report Text tool is just that, a tool that needs to be connected to the data to work, so too does the Comment tool (to a lesser extent).


It would be awesome to have the ability to connect the data to the Comment tool as it was a Control Container-like connector. It can also be just like the Report Text tool with an optional input, thereby making it like a normal Comment tool.


To visualize my point:



The benefits of doing so:

  • Greater flexibility to the user
  • Styles are endgame
  • Users can use the comment box as a checksum or even a total count / checker to ensure everything is working as intended
  • Makes the comment tool more powerful as a dynamic workflow documentation tool

I think it'll be a killer feature enhancement to the comment tool. Hoping to hear comments on this! 


Kindly like, share, and subscribe I mean comment your support. Thanks all! 😁



I usually use the comment tool by:

- dragging it on to the canvas and then

- Repositioning and expanding it to cover the tools I'd like to comment on.


What if I could select the tools I wanted to comment on and then use a key combination or double click so that the comment tool surrounds these tools for me. 


Note: Additional enhancement would be to anchor the comment to the tools selected but I see that this was dropped for consideration:


It would be very helpful to have an output of the workflow into a step by step document. so someone who does not have access to Alteryx can undestand the steps taken to create the flow hence the result or output.

I am aware that an Auto-Documenter tool is available in the Gallery, but that has not been maintained since 2020. 


It would be great if Alteryx could have that as an added feature to the Designer as an option for end-users to utilize. 


The breakdown of it can be done via XML parsing as such: 

<Nodes>: Configuration of tools

<Connections>: The tools used

<Properties>: Workflow properties


Right now, the current workaround is for users to export their XML, and the internal Alteryx development team has to build another workflow that reads the XML accordingly + parses it to fit what is needed. 


It would be better for Alteryx to build something more robust, and perhaps even include some elements of AiDIN which they are promoting now.

I try to use the Comment tool for documentation within workflows for team members (and my future self when I have to revisit it months after I built it). It would be helpful to be able to use markdown formatting inside the tool.

This might even encourage more documentation. *fingers crossed*

Documenting your Alteryx workflow is important because it allows others to understand and modify it as needed. To document your workflow effectively, you should provide detailed information about your inputs, outputs, tools used, and any assumptions or limitations.


When it comes to documentation, annotations are often more practical than the comments tool. However, the comments tool in Alteryx offers a useful feature that allows you to customize the background, font, and border colors. These customizable colors can be beneficial when reviewing workflows, as they help draw attention to specific details or notes.


In the screenshot below, you can observe that the highlighted comment attracts more attention compared to the annotation on the left side, even though they contain the same comment.


It would be great if the color customization features available in the comments tool could also be added to the annotations of any tool.






Hi there,


the Snowflake documentation only refers to connection strings which use a DSN such as this page Snowflake | Alteryx Help which refers to the connection string as odbc:DSN=Simba_Snowflake_JWT;UID=user;PRIV_KEY_FILE=G:\AlteryxDataConnectorsTeam\OAuth project\PEMkey\rsa_key.p8;PRIV_KEY_FILE_PWD=__EncPwd1__;JWT_TIMEOUT=120


However - for canvasses which need to be productionized on Alteryx Server - it is critical to use dsn-less connection strings so that the canvasses can be deployed and run on any worker node without having to set up DSNs on every worker node.


A DSN-less connection string looks like this: 



Please could you consider making an update to the help texts to provide and describe a DSN-free connection string as well as the DSN driven connections?


Many thanks




I have 2 simple ideas that would help me a little bit while working with the explorer box: 


  • I think it would be amazing if we could pick the Internet Browser while using the Explorer box. 


While opening certain websites, I am getting this information: 



I know probably the answer to it isn't so simple, but that would give us a little bit extra flexibility while using Explorer box. 


My goal is to open a word or excel file with specific documentation. If I were able to use a newer browser, I could easily open a file with a link to a webpage. 


  • Second, can we give the Explorer box a header similar to what we got in the containers? The address bar does not always give us information about what the explorer box shows and a small extra header that we can configure would add some additional clarification



Alternatively, if I could merge a comment tool with the Explorer box tool that would also work.



While I was trying to integrate Alteryx workflows into modern data catalogues got me thinking about the transformation lineage. To integrate the transformations into those applications, an understanding of what transformations are happening and in what order is needed. Why not take this one step further for documentation use?


So my suggestion is:

Create a natural language description of the transformations and sequencing of a workflow. This could be used as the default descriptions and exported as a readme file for reviewing (e.g. during workflow handover activities), adding workflows to version control or project plans. 

It might very helpful if we use the same annotation for group of tools. Now it is possible when we copy annotation from one tool to other tool, however maybe option for example "use existing" with dropdown of existing annotations will be more automated. Tool comment allows to do something similar (describing multiple tools in process) however tools must be arranged next to each other to make its use clear.

When I'm organizing my workflow, sometimes I want to move a whole tool container on the canvas. Currently, the only way to do this is to first find the header then select and drag this. When the ends of the container is off screen, it can be hard to know how much I wanted to move my container to get it where I wanted relative to the other tools around it. I feel like it would be nice to be able to select anywhere on the tool container and drag it around (possibly holding right click and dragging so that current tool selection capabilities aren't hindered).



In the (simplified) images below, you'll see that I want my tool container to vertically align just above the browse tool:




I can't currently see the top of the tool container to move it, though, so I must first navigate to that part of the workflow to select the header.



The Explorer tool looks glitchy when you initially drop it on the canvas and I think its because it is trying to access the internet.  We already have temp folders in the Alteryx programs folder and it would be cool if the initial file reference is local- so its FAST.  

Add ability to lock comment boxes size, shape, position (send to back), location on the canvas. This would allow a developer to use a template when creating workflow without accidently selecting and/or adjusting these attributes. It will also allow a user to put a tool over the top of the comment box without fear of messing up the visual display of the workflow or it getting hidden underneath the comment box.


(1) I would like to have more text formatting options available in the Comment Tool, such as:

  • set different format for selected words (color, bold, underline, size..)
  • indenting
  • bullet list or numbered list

(2) Option to remove or recolor the blue outline of the comment box. (Especially when I have a comment in a color-filled comment box, I would prefer a comment box without a dark outline.) 


(3) UX -  Add an arrow cursor to indicate resizing functionality

I wasn't able to find an existing idea for this, so here goes...


We often put URLs in Comment boxes in order to direct workflow users to different resources, but users are then required to go into the Comment and copy the string (and then paste in their browser). It would be quite handy if the Comment tool simply turned text strings with a url format into clickable links (as seen in Word, Slack, etc).


It would be even more handy if it also had basic text formatting tools (bold, italic, underline, coloring, highlighting of specified characters/words) -- or if it could just render html (like this text tool I'm typing into right now) 😎

When building a workflow with testing tools, you tend to want to be able to put these in container and then minimise this to improve readability of the workflow.

For example instead of this:


You might want to minimise the error checks like this:


However when running apart from reading through the results window, there is no immediate indicator that there is a tool inside the container that has errored:



So the feature enhancement request is to add in an exclamation marker to show the user that a tool inside has an error and you can then easily open it up and investigate further.




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