Some actions alter the data of files and items within applications. To protect you against the permanent loss of data, Automator actions can post alerts warning you of potential problems and offer to insert actions that duplicate original data or files so that the duplicates are altered and the originals are left untouched.
When developers build actions, they can tell Automator whether the action changes the data that is passed to it so that Automator can automatically warn you and provide the option of making the changes to a copy of the data rather than the original.
The workflows you create with Automator are flexible. Not only can workflows be altered by adding or removing actions, but they can be made interactive by prompting you for input when you run a workflow.
When the "Show Action when Run" checkbox is selected, Automator will prompt you for the action's settings when you run the workflow letting you change the parameters for how the action's input is processed.
By making workflows interactive, you can easily re-use workflows in a variety of circumstances.
There are times when it can be useful to disable a workflow action or move it to another part of the workflow. Automator provides a control menu for each action. Just click on the number circle in the top left corner, and you get a menu of choices for enabling, disabling, or moving your action to another part of the workflow.