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iMacros LogoA Firefox extension called iMacros will save you some time by recording a group of routine tasks in Firefox and letting you repeat them whenever you want, with absolutely no programming required!

Once you get the hang of it, you can do more than just repeat a set of steps, and start scripting some very complex tasks in Firefox. You can call your mini-program from a library which goes in the sidebar on the left side of the screen. Or you can bookmark your macro: it behaves just like any other bookmark in your list (it can be organized and tagged, put in the bookmarks toolbar, etc.) but calls your macro instead of a web page.

Just click the ‘Record’ button on the ‘Rec’ tab of the iMacros pane, do some things in Firefox, click ‘Stop’, and you’ve got a macro. Then, find your macro in the list, hit the play tab and click ‘Play’ to do the task in the macro.

Of course, once you’ve made a macro in the visual interface, you can go to the ‘Edit’ tab in the iMacros side bar, select your macro from the list and click the ‘Edit Macro’ button to view and edit the code it generated. It’s easy to pick up the basics of the scripting language iMacros uses just by recording a macro and viewing its code, but there’s a more detailed reference of all the commands and how to use them here.

If you decide to code some macros from scratch, write code in the text editor of your choice, save it as a plain text file, then go to the ‘Rec’ tab in the iMacros side bar, choose ‘Load’, and find the file with your code in it.

Here’s a screencast demonstration of iMacros and how it works:

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This extension is one of those tools that can do wonderful things, and is only limited by your imagination.

Do you use macros or a similar tool to automate your tasks? If so, what has it done for you? Share them in the comments!

  1. Rick Michaud
    December 30, 2008 at 12:08 am

    OMG!! This saved me countless hours of doing T9 input to my father-in-law's cellphone to recover the contacts from his old phone. I used it fill in a web form for Verizon's backup service.

  2. Brainiac
    August 23, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Nice one, For some reason I thought Macros are hard to implement but looking at your video I realized just how easy it is. Thanks for the vid, very helpful.

  3. Mike Lee
    August 22, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Very useful, and works very well with Chinese websites and characters!

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