[UIPath] Helpful VB expressions for date, string, and array/collection values

Here are my most commonly used VB expressions for handling date, string, and array/collection values. Will add more to these as I go along. UIPath activities essentially use VB.NET expressions so their API browser is extremely helpful in learning functions and syntax. .NET API Browser:


How to print new line on Message Box
Use vbCrLf
ie. "Hello" + vbCrLf + "World"

How to concatenate string and variable values
Use + operator
ie. "My name is " + var_name

How to split string value based on delimiter
Use the Split method to split a line of text into array values based on a delimiter
ie. Split("apple~bear~cat~dog","~") will return an array with 4 values.

To access them, you can loop through the array or for smaller and more defined formats you can simply retrieve the value based on its index number.

Split("apple~bear~cat~dog","~")(0) returns "apple"
Split("apple~bear~cat~dog","~")(1) returns "bear"
Split("apple~bear~cat~dog","~")(2) returns "cat"
Split("apple~bear~cat~dog","~")(3) returns "dog"

How to trim leading and trailing spaces from a text
Use the Trim method
ie. Trim("     This is a sentence    with lots of spaces.    ")
Note that Trim() removes only the spaces at the front and back, not the inside of the string.

How to replace certain characters in a string
Use the Replace method
ie. "apple~bear~cat~dog".Replace("~","!")
Replaces all instances of ~ with !, so that leaves me with "apple!bear!cat!dog"


How to format date value
Use ToString method
ie. Now.Date.ToString("MMMM yyyy")
will give to the current date displayed in this format: January 2018

For other custom date and time formats:

How to convert string value to DateTime format
Use Convert class
ie. Convert.ToDateTime("January 31, 2019")

For more details about the Convert class:

How to get first day of the month
Use the Date function and just format the day value as 1
ie. Now.Date.ToString("MMMM 1, yyyy")
will get you January 1, 2019

How to get last day of the month
Use AddMonths method to get the first day of the next month, then subtract 1 day using the AddDays method. 
ie. Convert.ToDateTime(Now.Date.ToString("MMMM 1, yyyy")).AddMonths(1).AddDays(-1).ToString("MMMM d, yyyy")
Will give you January 31, 2019 (relative to date today)

Note that you have to convert the first day of the month back to DateTime in order for the AddDays and AddMonths method to work.


How to get all files in a folder
Use Directory.GetFiles method
ie. Directory.GetFiles("C:\Data\UIPath","*.*",SearchOption.AllDirectories) 
returns a String array of all the files inside the UIPath\ folder, including its subfolders, that matches the search pattern indicated in the 2nd argument.

"*.*" basically takes all types of files. "*.pdf " will get only files with the .pdf extension.
SearchOption.AllDirectories searches even the subdirectories under UIpath\

Because this method returns a String array, use a For loop to run through the collection.

For more info: