Tasker in details (Projects, Profiles, Tasks, Scenes & Variables)
Most elements in Tasker can be interacted with by tapping on them, or long pressing. This will enable additional settings and properties, import/export menu, copy and paste options etc. You can also move the profiles, tasks and actions around by tapping and dragging it at the very right side of each one. Experiment a little to get yourself comfortable with the user interface.
Then head to the tasker properties and in UI tab – disable the beginners mode!
To organise your creations, Tasker allows you to put them into folders called projects. This will contain your profiles, tasks and scenes which have been created within that project. To add, and access projects menu, long tap on home icon in the bottom left corner.
There you can also find options like import and export (please note you cannot export the default home project.) It is likely that you will come across ready-made creations in tasker, and files shared will often be listed as filename.prj.xml. The file will contain all information about the profiles, and can be imported. Importing files to Tasker has to be done via the correct import menu. If you are unable to find your file chances are, that you have imported a profile file instead, or you are accessing your import through an incorrect menu. Please be aware of this, as it is one of the most common questions asked online by beginners. In addition to the above you have options to add icons or rename your folders as well.
Profiles contain two elements: context (condition) and a task (list of actions to perform). This is how your creations are built. Conditions are divided into two types:
When you receive a text message, or at exactly 3pm your phone registers an event condition. It is short and you are unable to define its range, just the time it occurred. Tasker monitors these and uses it to trigger tasks once something happened on your phone. Your task will run once when the event condition is true. Profiles based around event conditions don’t have the option for an exit task.
When your phone has an unread text message, or it is within the 3pm-4pm range we are talking about state conditions. These define a state a phone is in, you can also clearly define the start and the end of the state (you are able to tell when your phone has a pending message, or if it’s within a time range). If the condition becomes true, tasker will run your entry task. It will do so once, and if you have assigned an exit task, this will run once as well, when the condition becomes false.
You don’t have to assign an exit task to have a complete profile, by default Tasker will enable ‘restore settings’ (see profile properties) which will revert any changed settings back to the initial values. This applies only to actions with a ‘cog’ icon, and if you assign an exit task make sure to take this option into consideration.
Each profile can have up to four conditions attached to it. Only one of them can be an event condition. Tasker will monitor conditions based on the power usage, starting with low power draw first, so you wouldn’t have to worry about the power draw too much.
When profile is activated, Tasker will perform a list of actions. These are grouped in tasks and linked to your profiles. Tasks can be linked to profiles, or you can run it by placing a shortcut on your home screen.
A Task contains a list of defined actions that are run in order. If one of the actions fails, this usually stops Tasker, unless you have selected otherwise. Tasker will wait for the action to be performed before moving onto another one. Tasker allows you to export and import files, they are stored as filename.tsk.xml and contain actions only. It is also possible to set the collision handling, should you run the same task multiple times before your initial task has been finished.
To allow user interaction tasker has a built-in GUI system. Scenes are an interface that you can create to display data or allow user input. Each scene contains general working space which can be populated with arrays of elements. These can appear dynamically, and can carry data passed over from tasker, toggles, buttons or input methods.
In addition to this, each element can contain a task to be performed when interacted with.
Scenes allow you to create an app-like look to your Tasker projects, however mastering the layouts can take a while with its fiddly interface.
To display a scene you have to call a ‘create scene’ action, then ‘show scene’ action otherwise the scene will be created but will remain invisible.
You can export and import scenes as filename.scn.xml file through the usual import/export menu. It will contain the tasks included in elements created within that scene.
If you ever had anything to do with programming – I don’t have to explain much to you. Otherwise – you may want to pay attention to this section. Variables are like buckets, they allow you to store information, or value, and refer to it by calling its name (pass me this blue bucket) and process the data without actually checking what’s inside (whether the bucket contains nails or concrete i can still refer to it as ‘blue bucket)
Variables start with % and we have 3 types available in Tasker
%SYSTEM (all upper case)
These are provided by Tasker, and their values are always set by tasker itself. Thanks to this we can use them in state conditions (ie %WIFI checks if WiFi on your device is on/off)
%Global (at least one upper case)
These are created by users and can be used to store or manipulate data. Data is stored until variable is cleared or changed. Global variables are available to use between profiles or projects.
%local (just lower case)
These are the quickest to process the data stored inside, but come with a trade-off. Only available while your task is running. Once task is complete – the variable is being wiped and data deleted unless you passed it over to a global variable.
Plugins often use local variables to allow you to capture data from the plug-in – and manipulate it when an associated task is running.
Variables take time to understand, but you can have a look on this video that explains each variable action available in Tasker.