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Tool Mastery | Error Message

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)
Error Message.png

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 Error Message Tool on our way to mastering the Alteryx Designer:

A must-have for any app or macro, the Error Message Tooldisplays a prompt to the user based on input from Interface Tools. Using any expression that evaluates to true, along with any number of user inputs from question Q.pnganchor connected Interface Tools, the Error Message Tool can layer even the most involved applications with failsafes that ease a user’s experience through more robust interactions. Failsafes like:

  • Ensuring Interface Tool values aren’t left blank (attached in Error Message 1.yxwz):

Ensure Interface Tool values aren’t left blank.png


  • Standardizing/forcing user input to specific formats (attached in Error Message 2.yxwz):

Standardize force user input to specific formats.png


  • Enabling more complex application/macro interactions (attached in Error Message 3.yxwz):

Enable more complex application macro interactions.png


The example above uses windows environment variables to “authenticate” a user before using the app. Using the Error Message’s expression box creatively with other variables or constants from your (or your users’) working environment lends incredible breadth of functionality to the app developer!

By now, you should have expert-level proficiency with the Error Message 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 at if you’d like your creative tool uses to be featured in the Tool Mastery Series.

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6 - Meteoroid

 How can I use the error message tool to check against something in my workflow? Basically  I'm requiring the user to manually enter the code (since there are so many)  The workflow then checks against variables including the code, and if successful will write information to a table or divert it away when no match is found. My desire is that if the code manually entered doesn't match  it will give them an error message. 

Inactive User
Not applicable

How do I attach an error message tool to a list box, such that a user will receive an error message if they do not select any of the boxes? I have tried 'IsEmpty([#1])', '![#1]' and '[#1]='""'', but none of them have worked as desired. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Alteryx Alumni (Retired)

@Inactive User try outputting what the contents of [#1] look like, so you can know for sure what expression to build. For example, I made this simple test macro...


And when I don't click any list boxes, the output is 1=False,2=False...


So in this case I'd need to parse those out and check that they're all False.

Inactive User
Not applicable

Hi Neil , thank you so much for this reply. It worked perfectly! 

5 - Atom

Very good example !

7 - Meteor

Great ! Very good article, thanks @MattD . How can I use the "username" tip in order to allow the user to access and run the workflow if his ID is correct ? 


Best regards,