How to automate infinite scrolling? While I work in other tabs?
April 11, 2013 9:58 PM   Subscribe

I frequently find myself needing information that is somewhere down a long infinite-scroll page. Like searching for old tweets on Twitter, or old posts on Facebook. For the sake of this question, assume that I cannot just search for the content I want. I have to discover it by scrolling until I expose a certain date range. Is there a browser plugin or some other method that will let me set a given number of page-downs or seconds of scrolling and then get back to work elsewhere on my computer? Can I say "keep scrolling down in this window for 3 minutes" or "execute Page Down in this window 100 times" all while I'm working in another tab, or in Mail, or getting coffee?

I'd be happy with a free or paid solution to this problem.
posted by reeddavid to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
hmm can you script it by looking at the ajax calls made to load more data, then automate it using javascript, possibly using greasemonkey?
posted by carlodio at 10:07 PM on April 11, 2013

execute Page Down in this window 100 times

This is exactly the sort of thing you can do with AutoHotkey.
posted by grouse at 10:17 PM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

AutoIt can do this kind of thing as well, though if you're using something that runs outside the browser rather than a greasemonkey script you can attach to the the page you're working on, you'll probably need to open the page concerned in its own window.
posted by flabdablet at 10:24 PM on April 11, 2013

Paste the following line into your browser's javascript console and it will attempt to scroll down by one page, ten times each second, for 5 seconds. If you want more than 5 seconds, change the "5" near the end to some bigger number.

var i = setInterval(function(){window.scrollBy(0, window.innerHeight)}, 100); setTimeout(function(){clearInterval(i)}, 5 * 1000)

In Chrome, you can get the console for the browser by going to view > Developer > Javascript Console, and then selecting "Console". Safari and Firefox have similar methods of accessing the console.

You can continue working in other tabs while this runs, the console is only open for the particular tab you had selected when you opened it.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:30 PM on April 11, 2013 [9 favorites]

For Facebook: will be your new best friend. Use it wisely, for it is immensely powerful.
posted by estlin at 10:46 PM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

You know if you click your middle mouse button it'll give you an autoscroll arrow?
posted by Sebmojo at 11:26 PM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

My low-tech solution to this is to jam a bit of paper into the pressed-down spacebar while I go make coffee. (The other solutions above are far smarter).
posted by nevan at 2:36 AM on April 12, 2013 is a tool for just this task.
posted by jannw at 5:15 AM on April 12, 2013


Thank you! This works on my Mac and lets me continue computing while other windows scroll on and on. This is awesome.
posted by reeddavid at 2:04 PM on April 12, 2013

You're welcome, happy to help.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 2:35 PM on April 12, 2013

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