SCO 2012 Tricks: How to copy/paste all content of a runbook, without destroying the layout in 2 simple steps!


If you have worked a little with SCO, you might have noticed that it can be quite a hassle to copy/paste content of a runbook.

When you paste it, it (often) destroys the layout and you get a result similar to this:



It is very annoying and can be a difficult fix in some runbooks that contains many activities.

Luckily one of my student in my latest run of my 3 day Mastering System Center Orchestrator 2012 Workshop (Click here for more info) discovered this trick!

The trick is Not to use right-click, in fact you should not click on the workspace at all

When you have selected the source runbook do the following:

  • Go to Edit -> Select All


  • Go to Edit -> Copy
  • Switch to new runbook, then go to Edit -> Paste


Remember NOT to use the mouse in the workspace area before you do the 2 steps!

and your result should be an exact copy of the source runbook activities!

But please notice that you do not copy the properties of the runbook (returned data etc.)



Huge thanks to Amir @ for discovering this ! 🙂

By | 2012-06-04T15:40:23+00:00 June 4th, 2012|Automation|5 Comments

About the Author:

Jakob Gottlieb Svendsen

Twitter: @JakobGSvendsen

Jakob Gottlieb Svendsen is a Microsoft Cloud and Data Center Management MVP (, Working as Global Lead Developer, Senior Consultant and Trainer at CTGlobal, where he is one of the driving forces in keeping CTGlobal a System Center Gold Partner and member of the System Center Alliance.

Since he started at Coretech in 2007, he has focused on Scripting and Development, primarily developing tools, extensions and scripts for the System Center Suite. His main area is Automation (including OMS/Azure Automation, Service Management Automation, PowerShell and Orchestrator). Another area is Windows Azure Pack / Azure Stack, where he does implementation, development, workshops and presentations. He is a world-wide renowned voice in the Automation field.

He is passionately devoted to the community, to which he contributes by being a moderator at TechNet and sharing his knowledge at

  • Co-founder: PowerShell User Group Denmark
  • Speaker at MMS 2016, Minneapolis (
  • SCU Europe 2014, 2015, 2016 (
  • Microsoft TechEd North America 2014, Houston
  • NIC 2012,2013,2014,2015, Oslo (
  • Microsoft CampusDays 2011, 2013, Copenhagen
  • Microsoft TechDays 2015, Sweden (
  • Microsoft Partner Event: New in SC2012 SP1
  • User group meetings (PSUG.DK , SCUG.DK/BE/NO, AZMUG + more)
  • Microsoft Certified Trainer.
  • Microsoft Scripting Guys Forum Moderator

Main working areas:

  • Automation (Azure Automation, SMA, SCO)
  • Windows Azure Pack / Azure Stack
  • System CenterVisual Studio Team Services / Team Foundation Server
  • Development:C#.Net, VB.NET, VBScript, PowerShell, Service Manager, OpsMgr, ConfigMgr
  • Orchestrator
  • Windows Azure Pack / Azure Stack


  • Azure Automation
  • Service Management Automation
  • System Center Orchestrator
  • PowerShell, VBScript, C#.Net, VB.Net
  • Windows Azure Pack / Azure Stack Development Workshops


  1. AGS June 5, 2012 at 5:47 - Reply

    May need to ‘Edit -> Copy’ after the first step of ‘Edit -> Select All’ to successfully paste all the activities in a new/different runbook. 😉

  2. Alex February 20, 2013 at 12:49 - Reply

    Don’t works if you select not first runbook in folder. After you use mouse all is ruined.:(

    • Jakob Gottlieb Svendsen
      Jakob Gottlieb Svendsen February 20, 2013 at 13:14 - Reply

      Hello Alex

      thanks for your response but i do not experience the same.

      I have no problems in copying from any runbook to any runbook

      have a nice day

      – jakob

  3. google authorship markup September 22, 2014 at 10:48 - Reply

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts
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