If you’ve ever wondered if there is a program out there that can automate some of the processes you need to do through a web browser, then iMacros from iOpus is the plug-in you need. Believe it or not, I used to program web browser macros using the Visual Basic for Applications program in Microsoft Word. It was time consuming and a pain to program, but a few hours of setting up a macro saved me days of time when I had to do data entry of thousands of records that had to be type in by hand, one at a time, through a web browser. Fortunately, I don’t have to remember Visual Basic commands like “Dim htm As IHTMLDocument2” or “TextBox1.Text = WebBrowser1.LocationURL”. Now I can use the iMacros plug-in to set up the macro for me.
So you may be thinking of why you might need to have a macro plug-in for your web browser. Let me give you a couple of examples.
- Those darn forms that have 15 text box fields (14 of which are generic, but still need to be filled in) and only one of them that is unique. Think of a UPS form, a new matter opening form, an InterLibrary Loan form, or a research request form that you have to fill out multiple times. Instead of typing in your name, address, blah, blah, blah… you can record a macro using iMacros (right in your browser), and then have it automate all those repetitive steps for you.
- Those darn websites that you need to run a search in everyday because they don’t have an ‘alert’ feature that would do it for you. This works especially well for those databases that you access through your public library. Instead of having to re-run the same search manually, set up the iMacros to go to the sight, log you in, go to the right database, run the search and then either copy or email you the results.
The iMacros plug-in is available for IE, FireFox, and now for Chrome (my favorite!!). There is also a stand alone version that does much more complex web macros, like update from Excel or Access tables (free 30-day eval, then $49.00 – $499.00 depending upon version). There is even enterprise versions that start at $699.00 and goes up to $4999.00.
iMacros are fun to play with and create, but really can save you a lot of time on certain projects if you set them up right. Go take a look at some of the demos to see some of the features that iMacros offers.