Common Actions

Common actions are those actions which are used in multiple work items. In each case where these actions are performed, their behavior is the same. A work item can be user story, defect, or task.

The following are common actions:

Your ability to perform any of the above common actions is dependent upon the user role and permissions you have been assigned for the workspace.

Actions button options

Summary pages in Rally have an Actions button used to perform multiple activities. The options of the Actions button may vary based on the summary page displayed. The following table lists the series of actions presented from the Actions button:

Option Description
Edit Iteration Edit the displayed iteration.
Export to CSV Export to a CSV (Comma Separated Value) file. Note: In some cases where a summary page displays a variety of work items, this option displays with a specific work item named for export such as Export Defects to CSV.
Import Import from a CSV (Comma Separated Value) file.
Inline Add Inline add a new work item directly to the summary view. See the Inline Add topic for Keyboard strokes to facilitate entry.
Multi Edit Edit the values of all displayed work items at once.
Print Report Print a summary or detail report. Where multiple work items are presented in a single view, all work items in a hierarchical display are printed for both the summary and detail report.
Schedule New Story Create a new story. The new story is automatically scheduled into the displayed iteration.
Split This menu action allows scheduled items to be split> between iterations or the backlog.

When you export, the work items exported will vary based on the work item summary view accessed.

Copy work items

As you create work items, you may find that you have an existing work item that is similar to the one you need to create. Save time and effort by copying an existing work item, then editing the copy to make necessary adjustments. Copy a work item from the related summary view or detail view.

The copied work item receives a unique ID number after you have saved the work item.

A copied work item is ranked in the page at a position directly below the work item that is the source of the copy.

Create work items

To create a new work item:

  1. Select the appropriate page, such as Backlog. Each work item summary and detail view has an Actions button in the upper-right corner of the page.
  2. From the Actions button, select New <work item>.
  3. Enter the name in the Name field (required text).
  4. Enter a description in the Description field (optional).
  5. Continue entering any necessary detail for your work item.
  6. Click Save.

    The new work item displays at the end of the summary view listing, unless you have applied filter or sort criteria.

Required fields are highlighted in red on the full screen editor.

If you expect to see a field that is not on this screen, it may have been hidden by the administrator.

Delete work items

You can delete a work item from multiple locations.

To delete a work item from the summary page:

  1. Locate your line item to be deleted on the appropriate summary page.
  2. Click the icon. You will receive a message asking you to confirm your action.
  3. Click OK to delete, or click Cancel.

To delete a work item from a detail page:

  1. Locate the individual work item to delete.
  2. Select the item to view the detail page.
  3. From the Actions button, select Delete.
  4. Click OK to delete, or click Cancel.


  • When you delete a work item that cannot be recovered from the Recycle Bin, a confirmation prompt displays.
  • When you delete a work item with tasks, its tasks are deleted.
  • When you delete a user story, defects are also dissociated.
  • When you delete a parent user story, associated children are also deleted.
  • When you delete a child user story, the association to the parent is removed.

To restore a deleted work item:

  1. From the Recycle Bin, locate the item you want to restore.
  2. Click the Restore link, and your item is restored to the original location.

Edit work items

Use the Edit action to make changes, update, or add more detail to work items that have already been defined. In general, editing a work item can be done from the detail or summary views.

From the summary view, select the Edit icon located at the end of the row to the right of the work item. In most instances, Rally also supports inline editing of work item fields available on summary views.

From a detail view, click the work item in the summary view to access the detail view. From the Actions button, select Edit.

If you expect to see a field that is not on this screen, it may have been hidden by the administrator.

Do not edit a screen that you have reached through the browser back or forward buttons. You will receive a message that the work item cannot be saved.

Discuss work items

Discussions are a collection of conversational comments regarding a specific work item. A discussion provides a collaborative forum for all team members to record input, such as issues, customer feedback, observations during development, and other information. Each Rally work item has a Discussion summary page.

Discussion link

The discussion summary page displays:

  • The username that submitted a comment
  • The date and time a comment was added
  • All comments sorted in descending order, with the most recent comment first

You may view and add comments from the Discussion page. To add a comment, use the Add Comment button.

Comments are:

  • Not threaded conversations, but rather a flat listing of time-ordered comments
  • Available for rich-text formatting
  • Limited to 4K in size (including formatting)
  • Indexed for keyword searches
  • Eligible for email notifications
  • Not recoverable from the Recycle Bin once deleted

Discussion icons

You may quickly view how many comments exist on a specific work item and add or remove comments without leaving the page or app.

Discussion icons found on cards within board-style apps change color depending on the time the last comment was posted. A discussion with a post less than four hours old displays as dark blue, while older posts display as a lighter blue or grey, so you can see which work items have new information.

You can access comments from the following pages and apps:

Method Page or app Example
Add a column
  • Backlog
Add a column
Click to play animation
Add a column to a grid app Add to grid apps
Click to play animation
Use cards on a board app Use board apps
Click to play animation

Search work items

Here are some search tips that apply to the search feature in general:

Tip Description
Press the Enter key to initiate a search. You may press the Enter key instead of the Search button to initiate the screen action.
You will be notified of deleted work items in your search results. If a work item has been deleted but is listed in your search results, the system displays a message that the work item has been deleted when you attempt to view the details of the work item.
Search is refreshed. Search results and keywords are refreshed (updated) each time you search, and the browser will refresh the page results. Your results remain displayed until you perform another search. Once the browser is closed or you have logged off, the search results are not persisted.
Work item ID searches All Summary views, with the exception of the Iteration Task Summary view, allow to search by ID number. Enter the ID number of the work item (excluding the tag or prefix) in the box under the ID column and press Enter or click the Filter button. Use the following delimiters with a specific number to refine your ID search: <= , >= , = , < , > .

Keyword searches

Search keywords are one or more alphanumeric words or numbers that define the criteria for a search. Enter search keywords into the Search field to limit the number of work items in your search results. You may also refer to search tips that apply to the search feature in general.

You can search the following:

  • Name
  • Description
  • Notes
  • Discussion posts
  • Tags
  • Custom strings
  • Text fields

Global search

You can search with a single click or keyboard shortcut on any page in Rally to find work items. Simply press the forward slash on your keyboard or click the Search icon at the upper-right corner of any page in Rally and start typing your search criteria. Press Enter on your keyboard to view search results.

search tip

Tip Description
Searches are not case sensitive. You may enter keywords in upper case or lower case characters. All letters, regardless of how you type them, are understood as lower case. Example: User is interpreted as user and will match on variations of case, such as User user UseR USER.
Note: The search box for Story Burndown and Story Cumulative ARE case sensitive.
All keywords are included as search criteria. By default, the search engine returns items that include all of your keywords. There is no need to include "and" between keywords. Example: edit defects is interpreted as edit AND defects.
Search for complete phrases by enclosing them in quotation marks. Keywords enclosed in double quotes ("like this") are treated as phrases, and will appear together in search results exactly as you have typed them. Phrase searches are especially useful when searching for work item names. There is no need to include quotation marks around single keywords, even when mixing single keywords and phrases in the same search request.
Boolean searches are supported. Use the OR and ! (not) operators between keywords to expand the possibility of search results. Example: Searching apples !oranges will return any results that contain apples but do not contain oranges.
Partial string (substring) matches are not supported. Example, if you search for arm, you will not get results for charm, army, or alarm.
Matching occurs on expanded forms of keywords. The search finds work items containing various forms of the keywords you enter in the Search field. Examples: edit returns results for edit or editing or editor, child returns results for child or children.
Use characters and numbers in your keywords. Keywords may contain any combination of letters [a-z] and numbers [0-9]. Using special characters (except for . and ") splits the keywords into phrases.
Enclosing hyphenated keywords with double quotes affects search results. If you use double quotes around a hyphenated keyword, the keyword will be interpreted as a phrase in which words must appear together in the exact order that they do in the hyphenated keyword (the hyphen is ignored). If you omit double quotes around a hyphenated keyword, the search will match the portions of the keywords before and after the hyphen. In this case, results will be returned if both words appear in the work item, but not necessarily together. Examples: e-mail returns results for e mail or e-mail; work-product returns results for work item or work-item; setup-tab returns results containing both setup and tab.
Wildcards are not supported. Using special characters returns unexpected results. Using any special characters (except for . and ") matches separately on all portions of the keyword delimited by special characters. These portions are treated as phrases. If you omit double quotes around the keyword, results will be returned providing all phrases appear in the work item, although not necessarily together in the same word. Examples: cl?ck returns results for work items that include one or more words containing cl AND one or more words containing ck.
cl?$ck*ab returns results for work items that include one or more words containing cl AND one or more words containing ck AND one or more words containing ab.
" 3*5 " returns results for work items that include the exact Phrase: 3*5 . If you include a period (.) in the keyword, the keyword will be interpreted literally for an exact match, as if you had enclosed it with double quotes. Example: returns results for work items that include the exact phrase: (such as If you include a double quote (") in the keyword, the fragment before it will be considered as search criteria but the fragment following it will be ignored. Example: cl"ck returns results for work items that include one or more words containing cl.

Inline edit work items

In most instances of summary views, Rally supports inline editing of work item fields allowing you to edit fields and values directly inline during your work process.

  1. Hover over a row. When the row changes color, it is ready for inline editing.
  2. Double-click the row to activate the inline editing capabilities.
    • Drop-down lists, state boxes, and text boxes display.
  3. When you have completed your editing, click outside the field and your changes are preserved.

Use the following keyboard strokes to facilitate inline entry:

  • Esc: Cancel your changes.
  • Ctrl+Enter: Save your inline edit.

Note: If your administrator has required a work item field after the work item was created, and the required field does not display on the inline edit row, the requirement will not be enforced with the inline edit.

Filter work items

Filtering allows you to manage your work items by displaying only those work items that meet the criteria you have defined.

To filter your work items, begin by accessing the appropriate summary view.

To customize the default filtering options:

  1. Click the drop-down box and select a value for the filter criteria. You may select one value for each field to filter, setting different value criteria for each.
  2. When you have completed your filter criteria, click Filter.
  3. The filter criteria remains applied until you remove it by selecting the ALL value for each field, or until other filter criteria is selected.

Save work items

Whenever you create, copy, or edit a work item, you have several save options:

  • Save and Close: Saves the work item and closes the window
  • Save and New: Save the changes and close the work item being created, edited, or copied and open a new page in its place
  • Save: Saves any changes and keeps the current editor open

Saving often permits you to capture a detailed revision history for changes and updates made to your work item.

Sort work items

Sorting is a powerful tool that allows you to group your work items together in a meaningful display to assist you in managing them. Sorting is done from the work item summary view.

To sort the work item summary view:

  1. Click a heading and sort the entire view by the selected heading in either ascending or descending order. An upward or downward arrow displays in the sorted column indicating which type of sort has been selected.
  2. Click the heading again to toggle between the ascending and descending order.

The initial default sort order of the summary view is ascending by the ID column.


Tagging is a way to group or identify collections of work items. It provides all team members the ability to logically group and filter user stories, defects, and tasks.

The Tag field is located directly beneath the Name field on the edit page for defects and user stories.


Use the Choose Tags drop-down field to create new tags. Search for existing tags in the search box. Searches are not case-sensitive. Select a tag's checkbox to add or remove it from your work item. You can use multiple tags.

edit tag

Tags are visible in custom views and you can filter or search for specific tags within Rally.

search tag

Tags are limited to 32 characters. Pasting characters into the Tag field with the mouse will not trigger the existing tags drop-down box.

Tag archiving and renaming can be done by your administrator, or through the WSAPI using a user name with workspace administrator permissions.

Tags are not case-sensitive, except when an archived tag is added back in the course of tagging a work item. In this case, you may inadvertently create duplicate tags. For example, Regression and regression.

If a tag does not appear in the list of tag options, the tag may have been archived by your administrator. You may re-add the tag to the work item, but you must contact your administrator if you want to have the tag appear in the list for other work items.

Bulk tagging

Bulk tagging allows you to quickly apply the same tag to multiple items.

To add or remove tags for multiple backlog items:

  1. Select the check box for the items that you want to tag or untag. The gear menu switches to bulk edit mode. bulk tag.
  2. Click the bulk edit mode gear menu and select Tag.
  3. On the Bulk Edit window, select an existing tag or create a new tag by entering the tag name in the search field, then click Create New.
  4. Click Apply to add the tag to the selected items.

You can use a double pipe (||) to separate tags when saving an artifact. This can be used to quickly add multiple tags.

You cannot delete tags, but your administrator can archive tags. You can remove tags from the work item, but not from the list itself.

Only letters and numbers are accepted characters in tags.

A tag only exists within the workspace in which it was created but can be used across defects and user stories.

Rich text format fields

A Rich Text Format (RTF) field provides you with the standard Word formatting options of Ariel, Courier New, or Times New Roman fonts; bold, italics, underline, font color, text highlight color, numbered lists, bullets, indent, outdent, hyperlinks, and graphics. Rich format text fields are present in all work items (typically the Description and Notes fields). These fields give you flexibility for formatting data.

Note: When inserting a hyperlink, some browsers may require you to highlight text to be linked before clicking the link button.

There is a 32Kb limitation on the Description and Notes RTF fields and 2Kb limitation on all other RTF fields. Note that a 32Kb entry immediately becomes larger than 32Kb once any type of formatting is applied to the text. Some formatting types extend each character to more than 1 byte.

When you press Enter in any RTF field, the spacing between the lines appears in double-line format. For single-line spacing, press Shift+Enter.

The Undo edits action using the Ctrl + Z or the main Edit menu for the Rich Text Editors will not work when using Internet Explorer. However, these actions do work in Mozilla-based browsers.


You can edit multiple values from the Backlog page using bulk edit mode.

To enter bulk edit mode:

  1. Select more than one work item by placing a check mark in the check box on each row. The gear menu will switch to bulk edit mode bulk icon.
  2. Click the bulk edit mode gear menu and select Edit.
  3. bulk edit
  4. Select the field that you want to edit and select a new value.
  5. Click Apply to edit the selected work items.

Convert a defect to a user story

Defects that are enhancement requests can be converted to a user story from the Defect detail page. This allows you to close the defect and create a user story in one action.

The defect tasks and attachments will be associated with the new user story and the defect will be closed.

From the Defect detail page:

  1. Click the Actions button and select Convert to User Story.
  2. A confirmation dialog displays.

Field conversion:

  • Resolution is changed to Converted.
  • Schedule information is included in the new user story.
  • Defect fields that don't exist in a user story are stored in the Notes field as name-value pairs.
  • Defect revision history is preserved.


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