When Alteryx highlights an error in your workflow it is often not very helpful in describing what is going wrong. It will however usually tell you where it is going wrong. If the error is occuring in your currently visible workflow it will typically mark the tool that is creating an issue with a red exclamation mark. However, if it is happening within a macro it will apply that exclamation mark to the macro itself and tell you something like

Error: Macro (12): Tool #52: Missing Incoming Connection

How do we find Tool #52 to fix this issue? Looking at my macro there are actually only about 20 tools, so where is number 52?

The first thing worth knowing is that Alteryx numbers your tools in the order that you have created them rather than in the order in which they appear in the workflow. So if you bring in an Input tool for your file this will be #1, then add a filter that will be #2. If you then decide to insert a select tool between these two that will still be #3. So now your tool order is #1, #3, #2. The numbers will stay even when you delete other tools, which is why I can have a tool #52 even though the workflow only contains 20 tools. It just means that I have probably made a lot of changes to the workflow in the process.

There are several ways to find out where tool #52 is

  • The tool number is denoted in the tool name. You can see this by hovering over the tool. If you select the tool by clicking it, the name and number will also appear at the top of the configuration pane and the results pane. This method still requires you to go through every single tool until you find the one you need, and as we now know they could be in any order.
  • Left click your canvas to bring up the workflow configurations. Under the canvas tab go to the annotations option and select “Show w/ Tool Names”. This will display your tool numbers in the annotation for each tool, meaning you don’t have to select each tool individually to find a number.
  • Right click an empty space on the canvas. Select the third option “Find tool…”. You now get an ordered list of your tool numbers and the option of searching this list. By selecting a tool from that list it will also be highlighted in your workflow.
  • The tool searcher (introduced in the previous step) can also be accessed through the command ctr+f .

Now you can easily identify a tool in order to work our what your error message is telling you.