Difference between revisions of "Form Filling"

From iMacros
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Line 61: Line 61:
===Input from Comma Separated Data (CSV) File ===
===Input from Comma Separated Data (CSV) File ===
<small>[http://wiki.imacros.net/CSV_input Short URL to this section]</small>
<small>[https://wiki.imacros.net/CSV_input Short URL to this section]</small>
Related examples: [[Demo-Loop-Csv-2-Web]], [[File-2-Web.vbs]]
Related examples: [[Demo-Loop-Csv-2-Web]], [[File-2-Web.vbs]]
Line 160: Line 160:
  ' open a webpage in the first tab  
  ' open a webpage in the first tab  
  URL GOTO=http://www.imacros.net
  URL GOTO=https://www.imacros.net
  ' open a new tab  
  ' open a new tab  
Line 166: Line 166:
  TAB T=2  
  TAB T=2  
  ' load another page  
  ' load another page  
  URL GOTO=http://www.google.com  
  URL GOTO=https://www.google.com  
  ' close the second tab  
  ' close the second tab  
Line 219: Line 219:
====Related forum posts:====
====Related forum posts:====
* [http://forum.imacros.net/viewtopic.php?t=11663 Click every button on a webpage using wildcards.]
* [https://forum.imacros.net/viewtopic.php?t=11663 Click every button on a webpage using wildcards.]

Latest revision as of 08:10, 19 April 2021


Are you tired of filling out the same form over and over again? Then let iMacros help you. Simply put all data to be input into a very straightforward and easily understandable text file and iMacros can read the data from there and submit it to the website - completely automatic, without your interaction!

Put your data in a comma separated text file (CSV format), which can be generated and edited by Microsoft Excel and many other applications, and iMacros will do the rest.

More advanced users might connect directly to databases to retrieve the data.

Related example macros: Demo-Datasource, Demo-Loop-Csv-2-Web

Related example script: File-2-Web.vbs, File-2-Web-Method2.vbs, Database-2-Web.vbs

Variables iMacros Browser IE Plug-in Firefox Chrome iMacros 2021.0

Related example macros: Demo-Datasource, Demo-Slideshow

Note: Not all iMacros editions support all variables as described below. Please refer to Features Comparison to see your iMacros edition's support of variables.

Variables are, as the name suggests, constructs that allow you to dynamically, usually during runtime, hold different values. This is very helpful when you are trying to follow links that contain changing words or when you want to use the same macro for entering different values into a search engine.

The values (content) of all variables in iMacros are accessed by putting two curly brackets around the variable name. The values of !VAR1 is thus accessed by {{!VAR1}}.

Variables can be part of anything inside the macro (except the commands themselves). For example, you can add them as part of the ATTR string in a TAG or EXTRACT command or as part of the URL statement:

URL GOTO=https://www.onlinestore.com/?shoppingcart={{!VAR1}}&item={{!VAR2}}

You can assign almost any value to a variable. However, when assigning a value to a variable with SET certain characters need to be escaped or substituted because they imply a certain behaviour to iMacros. When assigning values to variables all whitespaces in the value part must be substituted by <SP> and all newlines must be substituted by <BR>; double curly brackets must be escaped with #NOVAR# ie. #NOVAR#{{. Note this this only applies inside a macro, e. g with the TAG, SET or ADD commands. If you use the iimSet command of the Scripting Interface, it replaces " " with <SP> and newline with <BR> automatically.

There are two kinds of variables in iMacros:

Built-in variables iMacros Browser IE Plug-in Firefox Chrome iMacros 2021.0

These variables are used to define certain properties of the macro's behavior, for example the macro timeout value:


There is a set of special built-in variables, !VAR1, !VAR2, ..., !VAR9, !VAR0, which can be set to anything you like. They are also defined with the SET command

SET !VAR1 hello<SP>world 

Alternatively, you can prompt the user to input a value:

PROMPT "Please enter text" !VAR1

User-defined Variables

These variables are created during runtime ("on the fly"). There are 3 different ways of creating variables:

1. You may use the command line switch -var_MYVAR like in

imacros.exe -macro myMacro -var_ITEM 15 

which creates the variable ITEM during replay of the macro myMacro and gives it the value 15.

2. The second options is to use the iimSet function of the Scripting Interface. In a Visual Basic Script example this would look like:

iret = imacros.iimSet("ITEM", "15")

3. Or you may simply use the SET command as in


Note that the user-defined variables should not have a prefixed "!". Only the built-in ones do, like e.g. !LOOP.

Data Input

Input from Comma Separated Data (CSV) File

Short URL to this section

Related examples: Demo-Loop-Csv-2-Web, File-2-Web.vbs

iMacros allows you to specify a text file with comma separated values (CSV) to be used as input. Imagine, for example, that you want to submit a list of CD's to an online auction. Here is the list of the CD's in the comma separated format:

"Beatles", "Abbey Road", "13.49" 
"Beatles", "The Beatles 1,2,3" , "25.49" 
"Mozart" , "Symphonies No.40 & 41", "9.98" 
"Mozart", "Requiem", "7.50" 

Note: Quotation marks are optional in most cases. They are only required if the value itself contains a comma, a quotation mark, or a new line.

We now need to write in the macro where the data input file can be found. For that, we use the built-in variable !DATASOURCE

SET !DATASOURCE OnlineAuction.csv 

If you do not use any path information (like C:\myPath\) in the !DATASOURCE value the file is assumed to lie in the standard data sources directory, which can be specified in the Paths tab in iMacros Settings. The default directory is in the datasources\ directory of your iMacros personal folder (e.g. C:\Users\Me\Documents\iMacros).

Since we want to insert all datasets into the form we need to loop over the macro, each time inserting the next CD. Therefore, we need to tell iMacros in which line of the data source we currently are. We do this using the built-in variable !DATASOURCE_LINE. By cunningly using the built-in variable !LOOP we let iMacros take care of the counting. And since the first line is just the header, we would like to skip it and start counting from 2:


Now we can have the macro fill out the online form with the values from the current CD dataset. We use the built-in variables !COLn, where n represents the number of the columns to put into the form element.

Repeat macro playback

During the execution of the macro the constants in brackets {{..}} are replaced by the value specified in the data sources.

Set the maximum number of times to repeat the macro to number of the last line you want to reach in your CSV file, and press Play.

Input from Database

Related example script: File-2-Web-Method2.vbs, Database-2-Web.vbs

iMacros can read data directly from any Windows database using the Scripting Interface and a few lines of code. Not all editions of iMacros come with the Scripting Interface, please refer to the Features Comparison page to see if your iMacros support this feature.

This example code in Visual Basic Script connects to a Microsoft Access database:

' open database 
set rs = CreateObject("ADODB.Connection") 
rs.Open("DRIVER={Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb)}; DBQ=" _ 
& mypath & "IIM-TEST-SUBMIT.MDB") 

' use SQL to select information 
sql = "select * from table1" 
set rs = rs.Execute(sql) 

' start iMacros 
set iim1= CreateObject ("iMacros") 
iret = iim1.iimInit 
iret = iim1.iimDisplay("Submitting Data from MS ACCESS") 

' loop through result dataset 
do until rs.eof 
   'Set the variable 
   iret = iim1.iimSet("FNAME", rs.fields(0)) 
   iret = iim1.iimSet("LNAME", rs.fields(1)) 
   iret = iim1.iimSet("ADDRESS", rs.fields(2)) 
   iret = iim1.iimSet("CITY", rs.fields(3)) 
   iret = iim1.iimSet("ZIP", rs.fields(4)) 
   iret = iim1.iimSet("STATE-ID", rs.fields(5)) 
   iret = iim1.iimSet("COUNTRY-ID", rs.fields(6)) 
   iret = iim1.iimSet("EMAIL", rs.fields(7)) 
   'Run the macro 
   'Note: This is the SAME macro, as in the FILE-2-WEB-METHOD2.VBS example script!!! 
   iret = iim1.iimPlay("wsh-submit-2-web") 
   If iret < 0 Then 
      MsgBox iim1.iimGetLastError() 
   End If 

iret = iim1.iimDisplay("Done!") 
iret = iim1.iimExit 

Tabbed Browser iMacros Browser IE Plug-in Firefox Chrome iMacros 2021.0

Using Tabs

Related example macros: Demo-Tabs

The iMacros Browser includes a tabbed browsing interface that makes managing websites with multiple open pages a snap. When a web page opens a new window iMacros automatically opens it in a new tab in the background. If the user changes to another tab a TAB command is automatically added during recording.

You can open or close tabs while browsing by right-clicking on the tabs (not the browser window itself!). This will open up a context menu with the options to open, close the current or other tabs. While recording, the appropriate command will be added to the macro. The following example shows the basic actions you can do with the TAB command

' open a webpage in the first tab 
URL GOTO=https://www.imacros.net
' open a new tab 
' get new tab to foreground 
TAB T=2 
' load another page 
URL GOTO=https://www.google.com 
' close the second tab 

If you are using iMacros for IE, it is important that you enable IE to open popups in tabs (Internet Options in IE Tools menu) if you want to use this feature.

Frames iMacros Browser IE Plug-in Firefox Chrome iMacros 2021.0

Frame in Object Tree

iMacros handles pages with frames automatically. It inserts FRAME statements that indicate to which frame the following TAG or similar command refers. Please note that TAG will fail if it is not directed to the correct frame.

If the frame has a name, iMacros will use it in the FRAME statement, otherwise its index (the position of the frame in the page's object tree) is used.

When recording in the iMacros Browser or Internet Explorer, use Recording Mode = Expert (Complete HTML) to get the frame number as a comment in the recorded macro. Later you can edit your macro and decide which suits better to your needs. Some websites use random names but fixed indexes, in this case, it is better to refer to the frame number instead of the default frame name.

Fine Tune TAG Commands iMacros Browser IE Plug-in Firefox Chrome iMacros 2021.0

Normally the TAG commands work the way they are recorded by iMacros, but sometimes you need to manually fine tune them. If an error occurs during replaying a TAG command it might be due to one of the following problems.


Some websites are created dynamically from databases and the links contain unique numbers - the so-called session ID - each time you visit a page. While this technique helps the website owner it poses a problem to iMacros. This is because during recording the session ID, which is often part of links, was written into the macro as part of the TAG command. During replay the session ID is different, thus iMacros does not find the exact link and produces an error. The solution is to replace the changing part of a link (or extraction) with the * symbol, which is read by iMacros as a wildcard. The wildcard causes iMacros to accept any character where the * is placed.


Tag line as recorded by iMacros:

TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=ACTION:/kb/ki.dll/ke.kb.gz?kbb;532452&&2&&&&&nc ATTR=NAME:zipcode CONTENT=85250 

If you record the same macro a second time you will see that we get the same TAG line except for one number - this is the session ID the website is using.

TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=ACTION:/kb/ki.dll/ke.kb.gz?kbb;532244&&2&&&&&nc ATTR=NAME:zipcode CONTENT=85250 

Replace the session ID with *:

TAG POS=1 TYPE=INPUT:TEXT FORM=ACTION:/kb/ki.dll/ke.kb.gz?kbb;*&&2&&&&&nc ATTR=NAME:zipcode CONTENT=85250  

Actually, you could also remove most or all of the static parts of the FORM information as well. Exactly how much you can remove depends on the website. You still need enough information for iMacros to uniquely identify the page element. In our example, the result looks like:


or even



  1. iMacros Browser IE Plug-in iMacros 2021.0 Prior to v12.5, TXT: (without *) and TXT:* behave the same, meaning they will match any text value. Starting with v12.5, TXT: is no longer considered valid syntax and will raise a macro error. Note that syntax errors such as this cannot be ignored with SET !ERRORIGNORE YES.
  2. Firefox Chrome TXT:* is not the same as TXT: (without *). If only TXT: is used, this means you are looking for an element where the text attribute is "" (an empty string, i.e. no value), if you are using TXT:* this means that the text attribute can have any value (which is the same as omitting the text attribute altogether). This applies to any attribute, not just TXT.

Related forum posts: