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Browser & results

As explained on the introductory page to this chapter, Ranorex Spy has two working environments: the browser & results screen and the path editor. On this page, you’ll find out how the former works and what it is used for.

In this chapter

Element tree browser

The element tree browser is on the left side of the working environment by default. It’s a hierarchical representation of running applications and their UI elements. By default, it displays all applications that are running on an endpoint (i.e. machine) and whitelisted in Ranorex Studio. However, you can also display only a certain application or node.

The functions of the tree browser are explained further below.

  1. Element tree browser displaying ALL running and whitelisted applications.

  2. Element tree browser displaying only the application RxMainFrame, which is the Ranorex Studio Demo Application.

Element tree browser functions

The area above the element tree browser contains several buttons and a status indicator. The button layout differs slightly between the standalone and the integrated Spy. The difference is indicated below in the captions.

  1. Browse endpoint and Endpoints (only in standalone Spy)

  2. Refresh

  3. Load from snapshot… and Save as snapshot…

  4. Highlight elements

  5. Status indicator
    Displays the status of the element tree browser. Three statuses are possible:

  1. Live display mode
    The tree represents the applications of the currently active endpoint.

  2. Live edit mode
    You are editing an element of the currently active endpoint.

  3. Snapshot mode
    The tree was loaded from a Ranorex snapshot, which represents a static snapshot of an endpoint’s applications.

Browse endpoint and Endpoints

  • Browse endpoint displays all currently running and whitelisted applications on the active endpoint (= automation root).
  • If you’ve restricted the tree to a specific application, click Browse endpoint to display all applications again.
  • If no endpoints are defined, the automation root is the current host, i.e. the machine Spy is opened on.
  • Endpoints (only available in standalone Spy) opens the endpoints pad, from where you can select which endpoint you want to use as automation root. For the integrated Spy, you need to set the automation root in the endpoints pad in Ranorex Studio.
Ranorex Spy endpoints pad
  1. Click the Endpoints button in the toolbar.

  2. The endpoints pad opens.


Further reading

Endpoints are explained in

Web and mobile testing > ⇢ Endpoints.


  • Updates the element tree to reflect changes in the applications.

Load from snapshot… and Save as snapshot…

  • Load from snapshot lets you open an existing snapshot file.
  • Save as snapshot saves the currently selected UI element and all of its ancestors and descendants to a snapshot file.

Further reading

Ranorex snapshots are explained in

Ranorex Studio advanced > Ranorex Spy > ⇢ Snapshot files.

Highlight elements

This function is the same as the one in the repository toolbar. It highlights the selected element in the UI of the actual application with a red frame. Naturally, the application must be running for this to work.

  1. Click the Highlight elements button.

  2. The element is highlighted with a red frame in the application.

Element tree browser context menu

In addition to the toolbar buttons, right-clicking an element in the tree brings up a context menu that offers many further options.

UI-element tree browser context menu – part I
  1. Highlight element
    Highlights the element in the application. Explained in the previous topic.

  2. Update element data
    Refreshes the element. Explained in the previous topic.

  3. Set element as root
    Makes the element the root of the element tree browser.

  1. In the tree, select the UI element you want to set as root.

  2. In the context menu, click Set element as root.

  3. The tree now has the element as root.

UI-element tree browser context menu – part II
  1. Add to repository

  • Generates a repository item for the element and adds it to the repository.
  • You can either add only the selected element, or the element and all its children.
  • For the integrated Spy, the repository item is added to the repository currently active in Ranorex Studio.
  • For the standalone Spy, the repository item is added to the default Spy repository or one that you’ve loaded.
UI-element tree browser context menu – part III
  1. Save as snapshot…
    Saves the element to a snapshot file. Explained in the previous topic.

  2. Capture screenshot

  • Captures a screenshot of the element as it appears in the application. Useful for image-based automation.
  • The application containing the element must be running and the path to the element valid. Refresh the element tree beforehand if necessary.
  • After it has been captured, the screenshot is opened in the image editor.
  • Saved screenshots can also be used for image comparison in code, e.g. for finding and comparing images or image-based automation.

UI element details

The details area lists all properties and attributes of a selected UI element.

UI-element details area
  1. Primary adapter and name of element

  • Additionally, information about the size and position of the UI element on the desktop are displayed.
  • Values are in pixels and based on an x/y coordinate system.
  1. Switch between the overview and advanced details.

  2. Area where the details are displayed.


Further reading

UI elements and their details, i.e. properties and attributes, as well as the concept of adapters are explained in

Ranorex Studio advanced > ⇢ UI elements.

  1. Edit path weights…
    Opens a menu that allows you to configure the mapping of dynamic UI elements.


Further reading

Mapping dynamic UI elements is explained in

Ranorex Studio expert > ⇢ Mapping dynamic UI-elements.

Image navigation area

The image navigation area shows the UI the selected element is part of. You can navigate through the UI as if you were in the application. When you click a UI element in the image, it will be selected in the tree.

  1. Click a UI element in the image.

  2. The corresponding tree element is selected.

  • At the top of the image navigator, you can see the primary adapter type and the name of the currently selected UI element.
  • When you move the mouse over a UI element in the image, the adapter type and name will change accordingly.
  • Double-clicking outside the UI image switches to the image for the parent element.



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