How to Automate Tasks in Google Chrome?
It can be useful to automate some tasks in Chrome when you have to do the same thing repeatedly. This not only will save time but also improve your productivity. Chrome by default offers automations like auto filling. In addition, there are also extensions that enable you to record and repeat actions on your browser without intervention. In this article, we will explore how to automate tasks in Google Chrome using default features and using extensions.
Related: How to automate tasks in Windows 10?
Default Automation Features in Chrome
Below are some of the tasks Chrome will automate without any extensions:
- Password manager – Chrome offers powerful password management which will help you to save all your browsing related passwords in one place.
- Auto filling – you can auto fill the saved password, credit card information, names and addresses.
- PDF viewer – you can directly open the PDFs without the need of going to downloads folder and open.
- Chrome will automatically offer translation when you view webpages in other languages.
- Setup multiple pages to open them on startup every time when launching the browser.
Why Do You Need Extensions?
All the default automation features in Chrome are simple in nature. However, you may be interested in recording your activities and repeat again. This kind of automation needs external tools for which you need to find suitable extensions in Chrome. Here, we will explain automating tasks in Chrome with two extensions. However, you have many extensions available for doing this stuff.
Automate Tasks Using Chromium Browser Automation (CBA)
Chromium Browser Automation, CBA in short, is an automation extension for Chrome with a simple interface. It allows to record your actions while navigating the browser including clicking, filling forms and much more. The steps are set up in code injections that can access the web page DOM as well as be exported or imported for use in other devices.
First, you need to visit the Chrome Web Store and search for and add the extension to your Chrome.
Understanding CBA Extension’s Features
Click the extension on the Chrome toolbar to open and then the plus “+” sign to add a project or select an existing one under the “Project” tab.
- Recording actions – “rec” button helps you to record simple actions like button clicking, filling of forms on your browser. The extension saves these activities and it can repeat the process on its own. Once you are done recording, click the “stop” button.
- Playing actions – “play” button helps you to repeat the recorded actions on the browser. Note that you may not see the screenplay but the extension will execute the actions in the background.
- Code Injection is a powerful feature for web developers and other expert users. It allows them to inject executable functions (scripts) to a site page for testing and debugging among other actions.
- To import/ export an injection, right-click the CBA icon and select “Options”. This will open a new interface in a new tab where you can edit your interactions, import or export scripts.
Automate Tasks in Chrome using iMacros for Chrome
iMacros is another interesting extension for Chrome which allows you to record any repetitive activities on the browser. With iMacros, you can easily navigate web pages, fill in online forms and so on. Moreover, you can save these macros for later use even on other browsers such as IE. To add and use iMacros Chrome extension, go to the Chrome Web Store, search for and add “iMacros for Chrome” to Chrome browser.
- Now click the extension’s icon on Google Chrome toolbar to access the user interface.
- The first section contains the recorded macros and iMacros demos. To record a macro for your activities, click the “Record” button and select “Record Macro” to start.
- Perform the actions you want to record and when done, click “Stop” and save the macro with the .iim file extension.
- Switch to the “Play” tab, select the file you saved on the top section and then click “Play Macro” to repeat the actions automatically.
- You may also select the option to play the macros in a loop by clicking the “Play loop” button.
- Under the “Manage” tab, you can customize the iMacros extension from the “Settings” or select a saved macro file and click “Edit Macro” to make and save changes on the file.
Interesting features of iMacros Extension
iMacros can be used to automate more advanced tasks such as testing of web apps, data extraction as well as working on multiple web pages.
- Compatibility with other tools – iMacros can be used with other extensions such as ad blocking extensions to improve the speed of the browser.
- Data Mining/ Extraction – the extension can extract information from sites and fill the data in forms or spreadsheets. You can even add data or collect data from Excel or Google Spreadsheet.
- Web Testing – This is a useful feature for web developers to save time when performing lengthy user experience tests, speed tracing and web transaction monitoring.
- Built-in Automation Templates – Another useful element is the built-in macros that you can customize to suit your needs. You can file these macros under the “Demo-Chrome” folder in the top panel of the iMacros interface.
Sharing Macros – iMacros allows you to save the macro in a file, add to your bookmarks or embed on your website to share with other users within your network.
- Right-click a macro from the top section and select “Edit” or go to the “Manage” tab and click “Edit Macro” to open the editor.
- At the bottom of the editor, click the “Save As” option.
- This takes you to another pop-up. Select to save as a file or a bookmark and then you can share this within your network.
The level of automation in Chrome really depends on your requirement. Using the default auto fill or saving passwords don’t need any special skill. Though extensions can help you to record and repeat the steps, it is still a complex task.