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How to: Use Shared Steps while Running a Test

If you have several different manual test cases that contain a common set of test steps, you can insert the common steps into those manual test cases by creating a shared step. For example, if you have several tests that all require the user to input a customer's address, you could use a single shared step for all of them. Another advantage in using a shared step is that you have to make changes only in the single shared step instead of editing identical steps throughout numerous tests. For more information, see How to: Share Common Test Case Steps Using Shared Steps.

After you create a shared step and insert it into a manual test, you use the shared step by expanding it and marking the result of each step as you would typical sequential steps. Shared steps can also be saved as an action recording, therefore providing automatic playback of the steps it contains. For more information, see How to: Create an Action Recording for Shared Steps.


  • Visual Studio Ultimate, Visual Studio Premium, Visual Studio Test Professional

Running shared steps in Test Runner

To use a shared step while you run a test

  1. Run a manual test that includes a shared step. For more information, see How to: Share Common Test Case Steps Using Shared Steps and How to: Run Manual Tests.

  2. When prompted with the Start Test dialog, clear Create action recording and choose Start Test.

    Note Note

    For more information about how to create an action recording and how to create action recordings for shared steps, see Recording and Playing Back Manual Tests and How to: Create an Action Recording for Shared Steps.

  3. Choose the arrow to the left of the shared step.

    The shared step is expanded.

  4. Mark the result of each test step by choosing the drop-down arrow next to the active icon to the right of the test step and then choose either Pass or Fail.

    You can use the following global shortcut keys to mark a test step without changing the input focus from the application under test:

    • Pass test step: Win+Ctrl+Q

    • Fail test step: Win+Ctrl+W

    Note Note

    If it is a validation test step and you do not mark the test step as passed or failed, the test result is automatically marked as failed. You should verify the expected results for all validation test steps and mark the test step based on the actual results.