Browser automation using iMacros

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Browser automation using iMacros

There are many tasks that we perform on a repetitive basis in our web-browsers.  So, why do we have to manually do multiple steps over and over again???  The answer is we don't and this is exactly what we are talking about today.

I am sure there are plenty of browser automation tools available if you search Google.  Today I am working with iMacros for Firefox.  iMacros has a pretty robust language for automating browsing URLs, saving scripts, filling out forms and other web actions.  Macros created in iMacros have a file extension of .iim 

Installation of iMacros in Firefox is pretty easy.  What you need to do is:

NOTE:  I would never recommend installing any add-on unless you trust the creator.  I would also never, never recommend installing anything from *unofficial* sources.  Today we will be installing iMacros from the Mozilla Firefox Add-Ons site.  Just because Mozilla approved the extension, you still need to choose if you trust the author.

2) Click the "Add to Firefox" button.

3) Depending on your Firefox configuration, you may or may not get a pop-up near the navigation bar that looks like the image below.  Otherwise you will see the pop-up below.  Wait for the timer to count-down and press the "Install" button.

4) After successful installation of the iMacros add-on, you will be instructed to restart Firefox.  Press the "Restart Now" button

Now that iMacros for Firefox has been installed, you may want to install macro files that someone sent you.  All of the iMacros files are stored in the path <Documents>\iMacros\Macros  Please see the image below for an example.

Notice that in the left-hand navigation, Documents is selected in Libraries.  Then in the path bar at the top of the screen, I have selected iMacros --> Macros  The only file in this directory right now is "Demo-Firefox"  These are demo macros that ship with iMacros.

You can create additional folders in this directory and place any iMacros macro files anywhere under this directory to be available in your Firefox browser.

Now that you have installed the iMacros extension and added some macros, you might be wondering how to activate iMacros in Firefox.  The answer is simple - just press F8.  Then a left-hand navigation bar (as shown below)

Happy Automation with iMacros!!!