Understanding Axure Actions Inside the Case Editor

Posted By Debbie on May 29, 2018

As a companion to our beloved Understanding Axure Conditions blog post, here’s one about all of the actions available inside the Axure case editor.

And remember that we have lots of Axure Training options available if you or your team need more help.

Open Link

Quite simply, this will open a page from your Axure prototype or an outside URL in the browser window. You can choose where you want that opened (such as a new tab or the current tab).

  • Use this when you are moving from page to page in your prototype.
  • Let’s say someone wants a PDF to open when someone clicks a link. You can use the local or absolute URL for that PDF and “Open Link” to it.

Close Window

I’ve never actually used this one but it will close a tab.

Open Link in Frame

If you are using the iFrame widget, you might want one of your prototype’s pages to open up inside one of your iFrames. You can also choose an external URL (or PDF, as I often get requests to make it look like PDFs are appearing in prototypes).

  • I used this once when UserZoom required that the URL change for it to track actions. We don’t want to take someone off a page just to track that they hovered, clicked, tapped, etc. So they suggested that we open something in an iFrame so their system registers and tracks the action.

Scroll to Widget (Anchor Link)

Use this when you want Axure to jump up or down the page it’s already on. Axure will ask which widget you want it to scroll to. That widget will now become the top of the page. If you want to build in some room, use an invisible HotSpot as your anchor.

Set Adaptive View

If you are using Adaptive Views, which emulate mobile responsive design by letting you do adaptive design in Axure, you can force an adaptive view.

  • You might use this if you are letting people surf your prototype from a desktop web browser but they want to easily preview tablet or mobile views without resizing.

Show/Hide

As the name implies, one or more widgets will show or hide. You will be able to choose transitions (like does this fade in/out) and some other parameters.

  • Use this when something appears or disappears based on an action or other trigger. This could be a modal, overlay, error message, toast message, and other endless elements.
  • Check out “Push/Pull Widgets” if you need things below or to the right of the appearing widget to move out of the way… or move things back after something is hidden.

Set Panel State

If you have a Dynamic Panel and you want to show a certain state of the panel as the state people can see, use Set Panel State. There are parameter choices including animations.

  • Check out the “next” and “previous” choices for your panel. Axure will go in the order in which the panels are listed under the panel name.
  • Also check out the “wrap” and “repeat” options. Wrapping means that when triggered, the “next” panel after the last one if the first one; it “wraps” around back to the top of the list. Repeat is when you have things automatically looping like a Listener or a carousel that changes scenes on a timer.

Set Text

This looks fancy but it instructs Axure to write text somewhere.

  • If you are using an icon font like FontAwesome and a trigger makes that icon change, you might try having Set Text change the icon to another character.
  • Another example for this is welcoming people by name when you have their name in a Global Variable. Set Text [on a certain widget] to FirstNameVariable.

Set Image

The cousin of Set Text. Instead of writing something somewhere, you are replacing an image on this page with another image. You’ll also be able to choose the typical Interaction Styles for this image (MouseOver, MouseDown, Selected, Disabled).

Set Selected/Checked

If you want to tell Axure that something is selected (or checked), this is the choice.

  • Checkboxes would use this one since those are selected true (“truly selected,” as I like to say) or selected false (unchecked).
  • Use selected true or selected false when you want to trigger a “selected” Interaction Style for a widget. For example, when the user clicks on a tab, that tab should look selected. Set up a “selected” Interaction Style and then use Set Selected [true] to make it look selected. You might also need to use Selection Groups to make sure “there can be only one” selected at a time (I like to quote Highlander here).
  • Be careful of using toggle here as it can often create results you didn’t mean. QA test your prototype by doing things in different orders to make sure that toggle is really what you need.

Set Selected List Option

If you are using the default Droplist widget from the Default Library, and you want to force one to be selected when triggered, this is the one to choose.

Enable/Disable

When triggered, you can enable or disable a widget.

  • Let’s say that the submit button of a form is disabled (can’t be clicked) until the user checks the checkbox that says they agree to terms and conditions. You might write actions on the checkbox, one to enable the button if the box is checked, one to disable the button if the box is unchecked.

Move

Do you need to move something? Then you need Move!

  • Be careful of move “by” and move “to.”
  • “By” will move a certain number of pixels. For the X axis, positive numbers move right, negative numbers move left. For the Y axis, positive numbers move down, negative numbers move up.
  • “To” moves to specific coordinates.

Rotate

When Axure introduced this in Axure 8, I figured I’d never use it. Within a month, some wacky project wanted me to create a heavily animated home page concept. You guessed it, I had to rotate something. I almost never use this. But if you need some realistic motion or animation, Rotate can help.

Set Size

This will set the size of a widget. Note that if you set the size of a shape that contains text, the text won’t get larger or smaller, just the shape.

  • When giving Axure the new size, notice the parameter for where you want the stable point to be when this grows or shrinks.

Set Opacity

Another one I don’t think I’ve ever used. I’d rather be able to Set a Global Widget Style on something than just its opacity, but for now, we only have changing opacity as a Case action.

Expand/Collapse Tree Node

If you’ve taken my courses, then you know I don’t teach the Axure tree widget. I’d rather teach you to hand-build everything so that you have total and fine control over everything. But if you are using the tree widget, this is the action you would use to expand or collapse part of your tree.

Set Variable Value

Variables super rock! If you’re not familiar with them, you can get an intro in our Core Skills course and then a heavy dose in our Advanced Skills course.

  • Use this to assign a value to a Global Variable.

Repeaters: Various Actions

I teach Repeaters in our Advanced Skills course.

  • Add Sort sorts the visible data in your repeater by text, number, or date. Name your sort carefully since you might need to remove it by name when you do Remove Sort.
  • Remove Sort allows you to remove all of the sorts that have been applied. Or just remove one by using its exact name.
  • Add Filter will filter the visible data in your repeater. You’ll need some fancy boolean functions here to help Axure match up which data you want included. Also name this one carefully.
  • Remove Filter will remove all filters or one by exact name.
  • Set Page has to do with pagination. If you are showing X items per “page” of search results or browsed items, you can move to another page with this action.
  • Set Items Per Page also has to do with pagination. Choose how many items people see per “page.” Or let them see all of them.

Repeaters: Datasets Actions

  • If users (or other triggers) can add a row of data to the repeater from the prototype, you will need Add Row.
  • Mark Rows will let you select all or certain rows of data. You can then Update or Delete the rows you mark. Think of this as a subset of your data.
  • Unmark Rows will remove all or some of the “marked” (selected) rows from the set.
  • Update Rows will let you change some of the data values of all or marked rows.
  • Delete Rows will delete one row, marked rows, or certain rows selected by a rule.

Wait

Wait lets you select how many milliseconds Axure should do nothing.

  • This can be used to postpone certain actions, especially if you are trying to make a set of animations happen in a certain order. You might do one, wait a drop, do another, wait a drop, etc.
  • I sometimes have to use this because once in a while, you will write so many actions (all with animations lasting X seconds) and they get funky. Adding Wait can help Axure catch up with all of these timed animations.

Other

Other is purely for documentation. People won’t see anything happen. But if you are generating Axure Word documentation, whatever you say happen in Other will be in the documentation.

Fire Event

Would you like to pretend that a widget with actions on it was “fired”? Fire Event! Choose this and Axure will ask you which event or trigger you want to fire off.

Raise Event

You’ll only see this one on Masters. This lets you set up a widget inside of a Master to have different interactivity every time you drag that Master onto the canvas. I teach this in Advanced Skills.

  • You might need to first create the event with the green plus.
  • Name it carefully since you’ll see it later when you create the interaction on each instance of the Master.