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This article is part of the Tool Mastery Series, a compilation of Knowledge Base contributions to introduce diverse working examples for Designer Tools. Here we’ll delve into uses of the Check Box Tool on our way to mastering the Alteryx Designer:
For any macro or analytic app – one of the inevitable questions that you may encounter is “how do I configure this to do what I need?” For example, if you build a macro that checks if two fields are equal, but sometimes you want to ignore the case such that “A” equals “a,” and sometimes you want an exact match.
Providing a yes/no type answer to a macro/analytical app
Enabling or disabling a series of other inputs
- Note: interface tools work on any type of macro and analytical apps. However, they cannot be used on regular workflows – placing them on the Designer canvas will change your workflow into a macro.
Use Case 1: Yes/no answer (attached in the v10.0 CaseCompareMacro.yxmc):
Let’s use the example above – a macro that allows you to compare to values with or without case sensitivity. Using the Check Box Tool in a macro, we can change the case sensitivity in two ways – shown below:
- Bring the value of the check box into a field, and use in a formula - Use the check box to drive a detour (so that a different flow executes if the box is checked vs. unchecked)
o Note: there are more advanced uses of the Action Tool that can be used – see the Tool Mastery for the Action Tool
When you drop this macro onto a canvas, you can see the Check Box Tool in action in the tool parameters screen:
Tip: The output from a check box is a boolean value, so it may be easiest to use an Action Tool to update a boolean field to use later. Alternatively, you can put it directly into the boolean part of a formula (e.g. “if [#1] then …”). You can connect a check box directly to a formula with the Q input and then access the value in a special variable [#1] or you can connect to the action input (lightning bolt) and use an Action Tool.
Use Case 2: Group enabling/disabling of macro parameters:
Say your compare macro from the above could be used for strings with either numbers or letters. For numbers, then, you may not care about case sensitivity and instead removing leading zeros and whitespace. We can also use the Check Box Tool with these added configuration options to enable or disable parameters from the interface designer view.
When you drop the check box controls onto your canvas – you’ll see something like this:
The Interface Designer can then be used to move the check boxes into groups (using the up/down arrows), where they can even be used to nest more check boxes, and other interface tools, to be enabled or disabled for selection:
By now, you should have expert-level proficiency with the Check Box Tool! If you can think of a use case we left out, feel free to use the comments section below! Consider yourself a Tool Master already? Let us know firstname.lastname@example.org you’d like your creative tool uses to be featured in the Tool Mastery Series.
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