click tab paste click tab paste...automate this please?
October 19, 2009 12:44 PM   Subscribe

Simple problem: record a macro and play it back in firefox. Hard part: recording a macro and playing it back in firefox.

Really simple problem here that's killing me.

I've got a web-based client management app that we use. I have about 161 clients. Each client has pages that must contain data---goals, disability, etc. Thankfully much of the information is duplicated from person to person.

Enter a macro. Right?

So I have a list of names, and I click a name. From that page, I want a macro that:
-moves the mouse to the "goals" tab
-clicks the "goals" tab
-clicks the "add" button
-moves cursor to date box
-fills in a date (same date for everyone)
-moves cursor to the goals box
-pastes in the goal
-moves mouse to "save" button
-presses it
-moves mouse to client list button
-presses it.

Then I load the next client, rinse/repeat. Same basic process for the other fields. I tried using iMacros for firefox, and I LOVE the speed and the recording is SPOT ON. The problem is that it looks at the url, so when I play it back it only ads goals to the consumer for whom the macro was recorded, NOT the person on the screen. I cannot figure out how to make it play the macro and ignore the url. I asked a question in their forums but no answer so far.

This is really an awfully simple thing to try to script out in autoit/autohotkey...and the autohotkey recorder didn't do such a hot job anyway.

So...I come to you for support. I'm sure someone will have my answer in 50 seconds and I will have wasted my question, but so it goes.

posted by TomMelee to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think you can achieve this with the imacros extension. You can save your macros and load them in other instances of firefox.
posted by edmz at 12:47 PM on October 19, 2009

I've recently been using AutoIT and made a script for manipulating a webpage. It sounds like it would do the job fine if you are prepared to invest some time learning it. It has a lot of built in functions for IE, and only runs on windows.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 12:51 PM on October 19, 2009

Selenium can do this I think.
posted by PenDevil at 1:23 PM on October 19, 2009

Best answer: Regarding iMacros: Have you tried deleting the line "URL GOTO..." from the Macro document? (Right-click on Macro.iim and select Edit Macro)

If you don't mind that you will have to manually click on every client name and THEN start the macro, it should work. If you asked me how to automate it so it went through every single client one after the other, I don't know.
posted by Enki at 1:31 PM on October 19, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks so far. Selenium is still remembering the entire URL instead of just clicking at x/y, even when I set the options to NOT do that.

I'm pretty sure that's how imacros/selenium are getting really good speeds, they're remembering the target url and not the click.
posted by TomMelee at 1:38 PM on October 19, 2009

Response by poster: Enki, I thought of that, and the macro just sort of flops around on the source page and doesn't do anything.
posted by TomMelee at 1:39 PM on October 19, 2009

Response by poster: Ok, so actually if I turned down the run speed Enki, that works, but it's having trouble clicking on the drop down boxes accurately. I set the clicks to x/y but for some reason it's not picking up the dropdown list. Weird.
posted by TomMelee at 1:49 PM on October 19, 2009

You might want to try Chickenfoot.

You might also read about doing this with curl, which removes a browser from the process entirely (though you might have to love the UNIX way of doing things in order to like it.)
posted by massysett at 2:09 PM on October 19, 2009

Response by poster: All right, well, I managed to make it work. For posterity, in iMacros, it works best to set click option to "auto", and then record the macro, then remove the GOTO line from the top of the script. It will work at full speed. Interestingly, it prefers mouse moves to tabs/arrows.

Definitely an ugly solution for right now, so if anyone pops into this thread to add suggestions PLEASE feel free to do so.
posted by TomMelee at 2:30 PM on October 19, 2009

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