trying to automatically click items on a webpage. but how?
August 23, 2011 3:03 AM   Subscribe

trying to automatically click items on a webpage. but how?

we use a webpage as a status board that employees use to sign in and out from. it lives on a password protected server that can be reached from the macs inside our company, iphones outside and a touchscreen at the entrance. my problem is that signing in and out takes too long. you have to enter your username and password combination (IT issues, therefore long), click five or six times to finally get done what you came for. I would much prefer my iphone to be able to do this with one click - i.e. by opening a specific bookmark - and my mac to be able to log me in or out simply by clicking on an automator action or a bookmarklet. (I use safari if that matters.)

I tried to get automator to register what I am doing with my mouse but I failed in getting it to work. do you have any suggestions how I could automate this process so I can be done with it with one click only?
posted by krautland to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Check out Fake which will likely do exactly what you need on the Mac.

No ideas for the phone, though.
posted by neilbert at 3:36 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

if the app is a little bit smart, but not too smart, you might be able to fake out filling in the name/password at least using GET parameters.

go to the page and do a View Source under the View menu. find the name/password input fields. the password one will be something like and the login one (perhaps search for some of the label text in the page to narrow down where in the HTML to look). the field names are what you want ("passwordField" and "loginField" in my example, though they'll almost certainly be something different)

now append to the page URL "?loginField=yourloginidentifier&passwordField=yourseekritpassword" (without the quote marks). so assuming the page is at then load the page

and if you're lucky, and the app is poorly written, then you'll get the name and password fields pre-populated.
posted by russm at 3:51 AM on August 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

iMacros add-on for Firefox is free.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 3:52 AM on August 23, 2011

oh, OK, that ate my HTML. I meant

the password one will be something like <input type="password" name="passwordField"> and the login one <input name="loginField">
posted by russm at 3:53 AM on August 23, 2011

Whoops, missed the part about Safari.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 3:58 AM on August 23, 2011

Response by poster: oh man, I am trying to find my way through that, russm but right now I'm failing. but fake works brilliantly right now, so I'll probably buy that the second I figure out how to get past the paypal thing (don't want to use paypal because they once froze my account for no reason).

but doing this via iphone... hm.
posted by krautland at 6:55 AM on August 23, 2011

Best answer: I'm assuming part of what makes this suck is that they've set the flags on the website so Safari on your iPhone won't save your username/password, yes? iCabMobile on the iPhone does not give a damn about such things. On any given page you can key in what you need and then choose the "save forms" option. Later you can use "fill out forms" to put the info in.

It doesn't save you from that step but it keeps you from having to key in an long and complicated mixed-case password on the iphone screen. I use it on captive portals.
posted by phearlez at 7:42 AM on August 23, 2011

Response by poster: phearlez: you are right, I have to enter my full company login and password info every single time I log into the statusboard using my iphone. (same goes with any computer trying to access the page from outside the company network. it's possible but you need the access rights.) iCabMobile looks really interesting and I will check it out tonight. thanks!
posted by krautland at 4:15 AM on August 24, 2011

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