Workspace  6.13.4
Workspace Editor Tips and Tricks

Here are a few Tips and Tricks for getting started with using the Workspace editor. The tips are divided into two sections:

Workspace's UI/UX elements are the visual elements you interact with inside the Workspace editor, these may be classified as its “look and feel” and its behaviour. The Workspace settings are found and modified through a Configure Application dialog.

Tutorial contents

Workspace's UI

When you first start Workspace you should take a few moments to find these elements:

Your screen may vary slightly to this description but these essential elements should be easy to find. A default install of Workspace would produce an initial application screen something like this:

A default install of Workspace

Revealing and hiding Docks and Toolbars

One main reason your version of the Workspace editor may vary from the image above is because different Docks and Toolbars may be visible. You can use the View menu item to make Docks and Toolbars visible and invisible. This is very useful when you accidently close a Dock or Toolbar and need to reinstate it.

Revealing and hiding Docks and Toolbars

The available docking tools are:

Zoom fit selection/all

The View menu has another useful selection option shown in the screenshot above, "Zoom fit selection/all". Essentially this option zooms the canvas to show either

Apart from activating "Zoom fit selection/all" from the View menu, you can also use the shortcut key 'F' or Right Mouse Button (RMB) click on a blank part of the canvas and select the "Zoom fit all" option from the context menu. When working with large workflows with numerous operations, these zooming options provide an easier way to navigate a complex canvas.

Using Workspace's editor to create a very simple workflow

Now it is time to perform a simple interaction with the Workspace editor.

Your screen should look something like this:

Workspace editor after selecting the ImageReader operation

Now we will setup a very simple workflow and execute it.

A simple first workflow
Depending on your current default setting the widget will be either floating or docked. We will cover how to change this setting in Enable/Disable docking of display widgets
To dock a floating widget, select the widget and type CONTROL+D
To float a docked widget, grab the widget by its title and drag it to wherever you want it

You can now run your first workflow by clicking on the "Execute" button and assuming you are connected to the internet the image will be downloaded and your Workspace editor will look something like this (again, if you are not connected to the internet you can set the input to a local file):

Executing your simple first workflow

There are many things to be aware of when running your workflow, a couple of the most important points are:

A workflow with a single operation is relatively pointless, please remember that this exercise is more of an introduction to the Workspace Editor's UI and UX. Further tutorials will should you how to build real-world workflows.

Congratulations, you have started mastering Workspace! There is a lot more to learn but at this stage you just need to understand the basic concepts, further tutorials will go into a lot more detail.

Changing Application Settings

A number of Application Settings can be set from within Workspace editor using the Settings –> Configure Application dialog.

Some of the options contained on this dialog are for Advanced Users and others for Developers. In this section we will look at some options that are applicable for beginners. Do not worry if we skip some options on the Dialog now, we will cover most of them as we work through the tutorials.

To bring up the Configure Application dialog, select "Settings" and "Configure application..." from the menu, like this:

Selecting Settings, Configure Applcation from the menu

Setting User Interface settings

There are a number of User Interface seetings you can configure. In summary:

To dock a floating widget, select the widget and type CONTROL+D
To float a docked widget, grab the widget by its title and drag it to wherever you want to place it
Setting User Interface Settings

More about Dependencies

Showing/Hiding Dependencies can be controlled via a toolbar button:

Dependencies display toolbar button

When the Dependencies toolbar button is disabled, dependencies will only be shown on operations with no other inputs/outputs.

Dependencies visible on operation with no other inputs/outputs

With Dependencies hidden, the appearance of some operations is as shown below:

Operation (Dependencies hidden)
LogText operation showing a Dependencies output in the absence of other outputs
Workspace input (Dependencies hidden)
Workspace output (Dependencies hidden)
Variable (Dependencies hidden)

When the Dependencies toolbar button is activated, all dependencies will be visible.

Dependencies visible

With Dependencies visible, the appearance of some operations is as shown below:

Operation (Dependencies visible)
LogText operation showing a Dependencies input and output
Workspace input (Dependencies visible)
Workspace output (Dependencies visible)
Variable (Dependencies visible)
Your operations and workflow may appear different to the examples and screenshots in the tutorials depending on the Dependencies setting.

Setting Auto display to User-configurable Opertions only

Generally most users will set "Auto display operation properties" to "User-configurable Operations only". Doing so will mean that if you drag a User-configurable operation, such as ComposeGroup onto the canvas its Properties dialog will appear, as shown here:

With Auto display operation properties set to User-configurable Opertions only

Enable/Disable docking of display widgets

When any widget is created it will either be Floating or Docked by default, and you set your default on the Configure Application dialog under User interface. Regardless of its initial location, any widget can be floated or docked at any time.

In the image below you should notice that:

Widgets that are currently Floating, Docked and being dragged

Setting an Auto-save frequency

Workspace allows you to enable Auto-save and set an Auto-save frequency. With Auto-save enabled a backup of your workflow will be saved periodically.

The backup copy will be saved in a special default location and therefore it will not overwrite your current workflow file.

Enable Auto-save by selecting the Auto-save dialog in the Configure Applcation dialog. You can then enable/disable Auto-save and set a frequency.

Enable and disable Auto-save and set a frequency


Mini operations

Mini operations are miniaturised inputs, outputs and variables which reduce clutter on the workflow and help you to focus on the core functionality of your workflows.

Grouping miniaturised operations

Miniature operations can be grouped together in collapsible racks using drag-and-drop.

Input rack

Fading or hiding miniaturised operations

The miniaturised inputs, outputs and variables can be faded or hidden allowing you to focus on the core of your workflow.

The fading or hiding can be achieved by using a convenient toolbar button:

WorkspaceInput/WorkspaceOutput/Variable visibility policy toolbar button


You can set the visibility of mini operations according to your preference.

Mini operations visible
Mini operations faded
Mini operations hidden

The Workspace tree

The Workspace tree is a tree-based widget that lets you see the nested structure of your workflow and search for operations by text generally, or specifically by label, global name, guid or operation type.

The Workspace tree
Expanding the workspace tree to show inputs and outputs

You can also expand the workspace tree to show more information about the workflow operations, including global names, uuids, operation types and external file paths.

Showing operation types, uuids, operation types and external file paths

By default, the search function will find items that match the line editor text in their global name, uuid, type or file path as well as their labels. You can restrict this if you are looking for something specific by changing the match filter type. In the figure below, operations are only shown if their types contain "chart"; their labels are ignored.

Looking for any operations with type containing 'chart'

This concludes our introductory tutorial on using the Workspace editor. It has barely touched the surface but has, hopefully, given you a solid starting position from where you can embark on the user tutorials.