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HELP ME! Power Automate Desktop & Access is Killing me! Keeps losing ability to find field on Access form.

I'm simply trying to get PAD to consistently copy a field value on a form.  I don't change anything on the form, the name of the file, location, or anything else, but PAD keep losing the location of many of the elements, giving me the "Extracting value of attribute XXX (UI element wasn't found)" error.  I keep adding a "Selector with Recapture" in hopes that one of the selectors will work, but it keeps losing it.  








Any help would be appreciated!





Accepted Solutions

SOLVED!  Whenever PAD loses it with Access, I Compact & Repair the database and rerun PAD.  It's worked every time so far.  (Better question is, why does Access need this so often, and why does PAD lose it without it...)  

View solution in original post


@demaionewton  Could you please record your steps and check which part is dynamic. Multiple recordings should yield the result.

Comparing the recordings should give us an idea about the part which needs to be dynamic and if required Regex can be used to create a selector.


Hope it helps!!


Please reach out if you need any assistance. Happy to help.



Super User
Super User

Try unchecking 1 through 4 and leaving only 5 checked in your selector.

Thanks for the tip.  Question:  What logic do you/should I apply when identifying elements to keep checked versus uncheck?  For example, It makes sense to me that all should be checked Pane 'Workspace' >Pane 'Cases' > Tab 'Detail Section, TabCtl117' > UI Custom 'Overview' > Edit 'Title'  This is the hierarchy for the page and should direct PAD exactly where to find the item.  If I uncheck 1-4 and Access was in a different form, or that form was in a different tab, it wouldn't be able to find it (right?)


Also, on occasion I have tried Compact and Repairing the Access database to try to eliminate the errors. It may have helped, but I have no proof of it. Again, it doesn't make sense to me that this should affect PAD.

Is there any way to know which Selector was the one that worked, and which ones didn't without manually trying each one?  I've accumulated these 6 as a result of the errors thinking one of them will have to work.  But, I'm wondering if it's good practice to keep them all or handle it some other way...

Super User
Super User

They work as a combination of each other, so if you keep all of them checked, if any of them aren't exactly the same as when you originally created the selector (i.e. if TabCtl117 changes to TabCtl118), then it will break. That's why you try to minimize/simplify the selector to make it more dynamic, however it does still have to be specific enough to get the correct field. 


But I'm assuming there is only one "Title" on that page, so there shouldn't be much risk is only using that selector.


It does become a trial and error exercise sometimes though, especially for some applications.

You are right... There is only one Title on the page.  (Thanks for asking).

SOLVED!  Whenever PAD loses it with Access, I Compact & Repair the database and rerun PAD.  It's worked every time so far.  (Better question is, why does Access need this so often, and why does PAD lose it without it...)  

While Compacting and Repairing works, I'm wondering WHY it happens and if there's anything that can be done to prevent it.  It happens every so frequently on my split database.  I probably could create a PAD script to compact and repair every time, but I'd be curious why it fails to find the element unless the DB is C&R'd.

Super User
Super User

As others have said - learn how to make your selectors dynamic so they work in both scenarios. That's really it.


Otherwise, you can create "on error" logic that, in the event of errors while trying to execute the script will repair the file and restart the process.



Genius!  I bow down to you momlo!

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