Ranorex Tutorial: A Powerful Desktop, Web, and Mobile Automation Testing Tool

This is Ranorex Studio Hands-on Tutorial #1 (Click here for Tutorial #2).

Ranorex Studio is a powerful test automation tool for everyone, including non-coders, to record automation tests step-by-step for desktop, web and mobile applications.

Maintaining software quality is an important goal for any software system. In today’s world, everything is expected to be fast and efficient enough. The time crunch is seen almost everywhere. In such cases, manual testing does not seem to yield sufficient results, this is where test automation comes into the picture.

Ranorex Introduction

Test automation is considered to be an important solution. And there are hundreds of tools available in the market for automating the test cases. Depending on the requirements of a software product, the tools need to be chosen accordingly. Ranorex Studio is one such automation tool.


Ranorex Studio is a very powerful tool to automate tests for web applications, standalone and mobile applications.

It is simple enough to use that even non-coders will be able to create tests without hurdles.

It supports all technologies (.Net, Java, Flex, HTML) and can be used for different browsers (IE, Chrome, Firefox) and mobile applications (Android, iOS).

The main component of this tool Ranorex Studio, which includes the Ranorex Recorder, object repository, Ranorex Spy, code editor, and debugger in a single environment.

In this tutorial, we will cover the most important topics which include Ranorex License, Studio, Recorder, Spy, Repository, Creating the First Project, Creating a Recording Module and Executing the Test.

Let’s take a look at each of them in detail.

System Settings and Ranorex License

Before starting to work with Ranorex, we need to download and install the tool on our machine. A trial version of the tool is always available on the website.

One needs to register on the official website with a business email id. The link to download and install the trial version will be sent to the registered business email id. When a business email id is not available, then you should contact the sales team and they will help you in downloading the trial version.

register on the official website with a business email id

[Figure 1]

However, in order to make use of all the features of Ranorex Studio beyond 30 days, one needs to buy the license. Ranorex offers two types of premium licenses:

  1. Node-locked
  2. Floating

Both the licenses have all the same features except that a floating license can be shared by more than one user and also be used on virtual environments (Virtual machines and terminal server).

There’s also an addition to the Premium license, called the Runtime license. It allows a user to run tests on more than one machine at a time using the same license.

The system settings for this tool are very simple and the user need not worry much about the necessary components because the Ranorex Studio package itself installs most of the software required for its working. The wizard to install the tool is very simple and easy to understand. One just has to follow the step-wise instruction in the wizard.

This tool supports almost all the Windows operating systems, both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

Ranorex Studio

When the tool is launched, the tool automatically opens the Ranorex Studio.

It looks as below:

Ranorex Studio

[Figure 2]

The studio offers three views:

  • Project View
  • Module View
  • File View

To put it in simple terms:

Project view displays all the files of a current project.

Module view displays all the modules of the current Project.

File view offers a variety of operations on the opened file.

We will see them in detail while we proceed further.

Ranorex Recorder

Like every other test automation tool, this tool allows the user to record test steps as actions on the application under test and then play it back later. The recorded steps can also be modified and fine-tuned. The recordings can be maintained with the help of Ranorex object repository.

Ranorex Recorder

[Figure 3]

The Ranorex editor

[Figure 4]

The Ranorex editor helps in fine-tuning the test steps recorded based on object recognition.

Ranorex Spy

Every test automation tool needs to have an object recognition tool. Object recognition is a process of identifying the objects (here UI elements) on the screen.

One of the prime parameter that defines how good an automation tool is based its object recognition property and how well it interacts with the object under test. For the same purpose, this tool is having has Ranorex Spy which recognizes the UI elements of the object under test. It gives a hierarchical representation of the element.

Ranorex Spy

[Figure 5]

The spy is easy to use and displays the XPath of the UI element. Ranorex XPath is similar to expressions. It has many parameters like adapters, attributes, and values. The adapter says what kind of application it is. Attribute and value identify the element type.



It is also possible to identify a specific type of control or element by changing the XPath. “or” and “and” conjunction can be used in XPath to zero down a particular element.

For Example, to identify all the buttons with text “Enter” can be done by below mentioned path.


The above path will highlight all the buttons with text “Enter” in the form “FirstForm”.

Ranorex Repository

The Ranorex repository creates a logical mapping of the UI elements. All the UI elements of the application under test can be found in this repository. The repository is automatically created for each test project. It is represented by the .rxrep file.

Ranorex Repository

[Figure 6]

The repository has two columns: Item and Path. Item is the UI element of the application and Path is the logical mapping of the UI element. These repository elements can be used within the code file and recordings also. Since each repository automatically generates a .Net source code file, the objects can be used easily for test automation code.

Creating the First Project

As we have seen about the different features that this tool offers, let’s start creating a test project. As soon as we install and launch Ranorex, the home page looks something like the below one.

Creating the First Project

[Figure 7]

All latest updates about this tool and other information will be available there.

We can start the new solution by either clicking on the “New Test Solution” under Start in the page shown above or “New test solution using wizard.” It is highly recommended that first-time users choose the “wizard” option.

New Solution Steps:

  • Click on “New test solution using wizard…”

• Click on “New test solution using wizard

[Figure 8]

  • Choose Desktop, Web, or Mobile depending on your application. Choose “Blank” for a cross-platform application.

New Solution Steps

[Figure 9]

  • Enter a name for the test solution and choose the appropriate path to save the solution files.
  • Click the arrow to display additional options. The project name defaults to the solution name.
  • Choose C# or VB.Net depending upon the test automationlanguage that you prefer.
  • Click Create directory for solution to make a directory in the folder that you entered above.
  • Click Add solution to source control if you wish to use a source control tool such as Git, Subversion or TFS.
  • Click Continue.

New Solution Steps continue

[Figure 10]

  • Choose your application under test from the list of running applications. Or, if your AUT isn’t running, choose “Browse for application” to find the executable. Notice the checkbox to launch the AUT automatically after the wizard finishes.

find the executable applications

[Figure 11]

  • Now you can configure process whitelisting. Choose “focus on single application” if you want Ranorex Studio to interact with just your AUT. Choose “focus on multiple applications” to interact with the AUT and additional processes that you select. Choose “no focus applied” Ranorex Studio to interact with all running process.
  • Click continue. Once the solution is created, the project view, module view, and file view (test suite) windows are displayed.

the project view, module view, and file view (test suite) windows

[Figure 12]

Few observations from the above snapshot:

If you observe the project view, there are many files which are already created by default.

  • A Ranorex project is identified by the extension .rxtst.
  • “Recording1.rxrec” is the recording file in which all the actions can be added.
  • “FirstProjectRepository.rxrep” is the Ranorex repository files which are a logical representation of all the UI elements of an object under test.
  • The recording file will usually have two files under it, .cs file and.UserCode.cs file.
  • User code file is usually used when the features provided by the recording module is not enough.
  • .cs file cannot be modified by the user, even if did, it will be rewritten by Ranorex in the next run
  • The test suite view already has a Recording1 module. So we can start recording by simply clicking on that module.

Creating a Recording Module

Given below are the steps involved in creating a recording module:

  • Make sure that your AUT is running!
  • Double click on the Recording1 module file
  • A new tab opens in the test suite in the test suite view.
  • Click on Record button to start recording. Ranorex Studio minimizes to the task bar and the Recorder Controls appear.

Creating a Recording Module

[Figure 13]

  • Perform the test actions by clicking on the UI elements. Once all the actions are performed, click on Stop button in the recorder.
  • Now the recording module will be populated by the actions performed.

 Recording Module

[Figure 14]

  • A range of options is available to modify each step. It can be done just by right clicking on that particular step.

 Recording Module modify options

[Figure 15]

Every step is represented in the Action table and each of them is connected to a repository item. The repository item represents a unique UI element. There is also a Comment Column in the recording module. Any comments that we want to add can be written here and that will be reflected in the Report. Comments can be added at every step.

In the recording module, there is a whole range of menu options like Cut, Copy, Delete, Undo, Redo etc. Also, if we want to reorder the steps, it can be done easily by selecting that particular step and clicking on Move up or Move down buttons in the Menu.

Move up or Move down buttons

[Figure 16]

Executing the Test

To play the test, just click on the Run button in the Test suite view. After clicking on Run, the tool will start building all the assemblies and the test solution. It is followed by the sequential execution of all the recorded steps.

Executing the Test

[Figure 17]

Note: Turbo Mode: There is a button called Turbo Mode in the test suite view. When this is enabled, it skips all the delays between test steps unless a delay is been explicitly added. This mode is there to speed up the test execution. But there are drawbacks with this mode.

Sometimes, the skipping of delays can cause problems, for instance when a test has to wait until a window is opened or if a window takes some time to pop up. In those cases, manual entry of delays may be required.

manual entry of delays

[Figure 18]


In this tutorial, all the basic components of Ranorex have been explained in detail. Once these areas are clear, then automating test cases becomes easy.

To Summarize, given below are a few points:

  • Ranorex Studio is a licensed tool for automating test cases for web applications, standalone and mobile applications.
  • This tool supports all technologies like .Net, Java, HTML etc.
  • The Ranorex Studio workspace encompasses all the other components.
  • Ranorex Spy is an object recognition tool which identifies the hierarchy of UI elements.
  • Ranorex Recorder allows recording of test steps and replaying the same.
  • The repository will have all the UI elements and their unique logical path.

Ranorex Tutorial #2: In the upcoming tutorial, we will see in detail about the usage of UserCode file, test cases & test modules, understand Ranorex Report, ways to edit XPath and integration of Ranorex with the Visual Studio.

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