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A Guide to Firefox Macros Using iMacros

written by: Chris Hoffman•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 10/19/2010

Macros automate repetitive tasks. You can create your own Firefox macros using the iMacros extension for Firefox. Creating macros is a simple process, and this article includes a tutorial for creating a simple macro to get you on your feet for those daunting repetitive tasks.

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    Installing iMacros

    Install iMacros from its page on Mozilla's official Firefox add-ons website. Click the "Add to Firefox" button, then click "Allow," "Install Now" and "Restart Firefox."

    The iMacros sidebar appears in Firefox. You can show and hide it by clicking the "iOpus iMacros" icon on the Firefox toolbar. You create and play Firefox macros directly from this sidebar.

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    Basic Macro Usage

    Macros automate repetitive tasks. Anything you can do in your web browser, including visiting websites, clicking links, typing text into forms, submitting forms, downloading files, opening tabs, and more can be automated by iMacros.

    While iMacros has an advanced syntax it uses for the macros, creating Firefox macros is easy. Basic creation of a macro involves visiting a website, pressing record, performing the actions you want the macro to perform yourself, pressing stop, and saving the macro.

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    Example: Creating a Simple Macro

    Saving a macro in the iMacros Firefox extension As an example, we'll create a simple macro that visits a web page, types text into a text field, and submits a form.

    Step 1: Open the main Bright Hub web page in Firefox.

    Step 2: Start recording the macro. Click the "Rec" tab in the iMacros sidebar and click the "Record" button. If you can't see the sidebar, click the "iMacros" button on the Firefox toolbar.

    Step 3: Type some text such as "test" into the search box at the top of the Bright Hub page.

    Step 4: Submit the text form by clicking the "Search" button.

    Step 5: Stop recording actions for the macro by clicking the "Stop" button in the iMacros sidebar.

    Step 6: Save the macro by clicking "Save" on the Rec tab, typing a name for the macro into "Name" and clicking "OK."

    Step 7: Preview the macro you created by clicking the "Play" tab in the iMacros sidebar and clicking the "Play" button. The macro goes to Bright Hub if you aren't there, types what you typed into the text box and submits the form.

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    More Information

    Macros can perform any action that you can on a web page. For example, you could use a macro to automatically submit data to a form, load a web page that you can't bookmark because it only loads once you submit form data, automatically fill in user names, and passwords or other types of forms, open multiple web pages at once in different tabs, and more.

    iMacros includes example macros that demonstrate what kind of actions you can perform. You can watch them by clicking any of the "Demo-" macros in the iMacros sidebar and clicking "Play."

    You can also include demo Firefox macros download files, fill forms, open tabs, take screenshots, watch slideshows, archive web pages, and more.

    iOpus' official iMacros support website contains detailed user guides, tutorials, and information on scripting iMacros such as Delphi, Python, Perl and Java if you need more advanced information.

    Screenshot: iMacros Firefox Extension / Chris Hoffman