using variable to change the label of a node.

simple question. can you use a variable in a node (eg name of the table read, the formula for a transform) to dynamically change the commentfield that is underneath? so its easier to see at glance what is happening?

Hi @stvn_vl,

What a coincidence! AFAIK this is not supported by default in KNIME.

Anyhow and as we were missing that functionality too, we just released the Node Annotator a couple of weeks ago. The Node Annotator lets you modify its node annotation or the annotation of any other node in your workflow. Thus you can write whatever you want to the annotation/comment field of any node in your workflow (e.g. names, formulas, regexs, last execution date).

@qqilihq even provided a nice example workflow, that automagically annotates “String Manipulation” nodes in a workflow with its expression. Not 100% matching your use case, but a good component to get started with.

Best regards,


Thanks Daniel!
Great solution. you’ve earned yourself a :beer: :wink:


one more question: is the node ID then available as a variable?
Also, how is this not a standard functionality in the nodes? as ETL is commonly used just because of dataflow documenting, or for prototyping or debugging purposes (at least by me)

This is so cool! I am a heavy Column Expressions node user, so I modified one to auto label those instead. This is really going to simplify workflow annotations and editing.


Here is the component that I adjusted for auto annotating Column Expressions nodes in case I am not the only one desperate to implement this immediately! My only minor adjustments were to change the xml for the Col Exp node, filter out any nodes that don’t have a node ID, parse the 1st expression into a multi-line annotation (25 characters per line - 4 lines max) and bypasses the Node Annotator if no Column Expressions nodes are found to potential avoid errors.

The Node Annotator is a really great node addition! Another giant thanks for this extremely creative and universally useful auto annotation workflow by @qqilihq! I am blown away… Are you thinking about making a run at building a universal annotator? I noticed the “more to come”… :crossed_fingers:


Great - happy to see the idea growing …

Yes, definitely - we’re currently figuring out how to release this to make it a joint community effort. Stay tuned :slight_smile:


@iCFO, we came up with a first version of a “universal annotator” and like to get some feedback before making it globally available. Would you be willing to give it a try, see if it fits your requirements and provide some feedback? If so, please drop me a message at and I’ll send you more instructions.

Best regards,


Of course. I will shoot you an email later today!


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