Copy/Paste Test Steps

Test steps are very important in manual testing because they provide the detailed semantics on how each test case is to be validated and ultimately completed.  That said, if you consider most manual test cases will have several steps each and most organizations will have a number of test cases, this results in a large number of steps to manage.  Copying and pasting from popular tools like Microsoft Excel and Notepad reduces the time needed to properly manage, compose, and translate steps. 

The test steps control inside the test case work item supports bulk copying and pasting of data from a variety of data sources, including other test steps, Microsoft Excel, Notepad, or any other tool that is capable of copying tab-delimited data onto the clipboard. 


Copying steps from other data sources



Copying steps from Microsoft Excel requires that you use only two columns in your table of steps: the first column will map to "Action” and the second column will map “Expected Result” in the test steps work item control.  Copy the range of two-column rows that you want to insert to the clipboard and paste them using either the context menu or keyboard (Ctrl-V):




You can also copy steps from the test steps control and paste them into either other test cases, or other data sources.  Select a range of rows in the test steps control and either copy with the keyboard (CTRL-C), or use the context menu to copy the steps.  Notice they are rendered in notepad as readable TAB-delimited rows:




Pasting the text above into a new test case provides you the same user experience as when working with Microsoft Excel:





Ryan Vogrinec

Comments (4)

  1. Neha says:


    How can i have line break in a step?


  2. Ryan says:

    Yeah, it's killing us that we can't use line breaks. I've tried everything i know to get a line break to no avail. when i copy line breaks from excel they sometimes work but then my step is in quotes making my steps not as clean. Rich-Text support would a nice have very soon as i'm stuck using this tool for at least the next year.

  3. Alexey says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Could you remind the MTM pug-in or tool which can export test cases into *.docx file with all steps? I have a sample of such *.docx file but can not find the tool created the file, All I have fount is your name mentioned as an author in file properties))))).

  4. Donal D'silva says:

    @ Neha, I think in MTM and excel you can get a line break by pressing Alt + Enter

    @Alexey Testscribe ( is the add on tool I use for exporting test cases and test summaries as a .docx file.