Run a workflow: transfer tables

  • Updated

Note: We're continually improving the Benchling platform to ensure it keeps up with our customers' needs. As of September 29, 2021, we replaced Workflows with an updated version. If you are currently using this version of Workflows and want to learn more, contact your Account Manager. If you are new to Workflows, visit Workflows overview.

This tutorial covers execution of a workflow.  If you would like to configure a workflow first, please refer to the Configure a Workflow article.

What are transfer tables?

Transfer tables allow you to manage sample transfer into or between containers directly within your workflow entry.

Transfer tables are separated by individual container types, and each transfer table can only transfer into a specified container schema.
Each row in a transfer table corresponds to a transfer. A transfer may simultaneously transfer a sample to multiple containers. You may specify the barcodes to which the sample must be transferred or automatically generate barcodes.

If you can't find transfer tables in the insert menu, please use the in-app help function to contact Benchling to enable these.

Add a transfer table to your workflow entry

Adding a transfer table to your workflow entry can be done by entering your notebook via the “insert” menu on the formatting panel.

Next, you will be prompted to choose a Container schema.

You have now created a blank transfer table that will allow you to transfer samples directly within your workflow. Note that each row you add to this table represents a sample transfer. The table columns are:

  • Sample

  • Location

  • Number of containers

  • Position

  • Containers

  • Quantity

  • Concentration

  • Any additional columns for container fields specific to the container type you are working with

Fill out a transfer table

Once you have created a transfer table, the next step is to input relevant information to conduct a sample transfer.

Step 1: Add an entity to your transfer table

Click on the “+” button on the top left corner of your transfer table and click on

  1. Add row to add a registered entity

  2. Add samples if you would like to add entities created in Registration tables in your current entry

  3. Fill from worklist to add entities from an existing worklist

  4. Import from spreadsheet to import multiple samples in bulk into your transfer table, using a spreadsheet that matches your table

Step 2: Search for location

Double click in the “Location” Column to type and search for a location, box, or plate.

Step 3: Select position to fill the sample (if applicable)

To do this, you may either:

  • Manually type the well position coordinate (e.g. A4)

  • Autopopulate the next available position in the location you have specified (Across rows or down columns). This can be found in the table's toolbar next to the "Print" icon.

Step 4: Fill the quantity, concentration, and container fields (if applicable)

Click into the appropriate cells for quantity, concentration, and container fields if you have them. You are not required to have a quantity nor a concentration for a container.

Step 5: Click Transfer

Click Transfer and your sample will be transferred to your specified containers!

Considerations when utilizing the Import from Spreadsheet Option

To bulk add transfers via a spreadsheet, click the “+” button at the top right of the transfer table for the workflow step you are working on - then click on Add from Spreadsheet.

You will then see a window that will allow you to import from either a (1) spreadsheet or (2) raw text input.

For a spreadsheet upload, the first row should specify column headers, which must be unique. Each row after that should specify an input sample. Each column must represent a field in your input transfer table.
For a raw text upload, enter comma- or tab-separated text in the box that appears. Pasting from Excel is supported. The first row should specify column headers - which must be unique. Each row after that should specify a transfer. Each column must represent the column headers in the transfer table.

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