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The CONTROL FIND feature


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Hey Everyone,

I use the "CTRL + F" then the "CTRL + ENTER" function heavily to navigate websites and documents, it works well but I was wondering if there was a more effective method of doing this?
So for example in a typical website there is a button, I would "CTRL + F" then the name of that button, then "CTRL + ENTER" then then it clicks it, I found this better then TABBING or MOUSE OVER. I was wondering if this is the best method or if there is a better method?

 

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Although not the most reliable method, it is more reliable than positioning the mouse/clicking. So it's a good technique.

 

There are refinements to the technique, e.g., in Firefox, the forward slash / initiates a search of hypertext links only.

 

I have never used Ctrl + Enter to activate a hypertext link. Enter works for me.

 

Hopefully others will chime in on programmatic approaches to activating web controls, which are inherently more reliable than manipulating the user interface.

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My first point is automating browsers with MEP is inherently problematic. I've spent literally thousands of hours trying to make browsers reliable for scraping and other automation. It is my opinion that impractical to make reliable macros for web automation. For that reason I learned to program again and now communicate directly to the web servers without a browser or even anything visible. It is reliable and fast to do it this way but if you don't know how to program then it's a big learning curve there.

 

But if you can tolerate occasional problems it can be done but it's a lot of work in MEP. And there are many ways like you're describing to navigate around. But IMHO there is no best way in general. Each web site has it's own challenges and I found that I what worked best for one failed in another. So I had a whole bevy of methods.

 

I will say however that I often tried to do methods like you mentioned that seemed shorter and easier. But in most cases I went back to tabbing. It seems that a lot of those short cuts eventually had some other kind of problem. Like the day a bit of text appears that matches your find string. Maybe you search for the "OK" button and then the first time an address appears in "Tulsa, OK" you're screwed.

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My first point is automating browsers with MEP is inherently problematic. I've spent literally thousands of hours trying to make browsers reliable for scraping and other automation. It is my opinion that impractical to make reliable macros for web automation. For that reason I learned to program again and now communicate directly to the web servers without a browser or even anything visible. It is reliable and fast to do it this way but if you don't know how to program then it's a big learning curve there.

 

But if you can tolerate occasional problems it can be done but it's a lot of work in MEP. And there are many ways like you're describing to navigate around. But IMHO there is no best way in general. Each web site has it's own challenges and I found that I what worked best for one failed in another. So I had a whole bevy of methods.

 

I will say however that I often tried to do methods like you mentioned that seemed shorter and easier. But in most cases I went back to tabbing. It seems that a lot of those short cuts eventually had some other kind of problem. Like the day a bit of text appears that matches your find string. Maybe you search for the "OK" button and then the first time an address appears in "Tulsa, OK" you're screwed.

I did play with imacro and did not really like it. I found the of failed ctrl f and tab to be tried and true. I noticed many website block the imacro stuff but not the mep.

 

So I guess if anyone can share really records tricks similar to ctrl f to navigate the Web will be much appreciated

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I messed with a few of those products but gave up on them. Now I interact by generating my own HTTP Requests and manually processing the HTTP Responses. It's sounds really complicated but it was much simpler than I thought. Think of sending a simple ASCII text file to the server and it responding with a simple ASCII traxt file. That's about it. In most cases I use my browser to manually do something like send a form result and capture it with Fiddler. Then I identify the variable part, say a name for instance, and make that a variable in my code. Then I create my own request trying to emulate it. Then capture the response and do what I need to with it. No web browsers involved and super fast and reliable. And since the code didn't run in the web page the measures they take against automation never get a chance to run. And there's no button clicking. If you're ever interested let me know. I give free half hour initial consultation calls as well. And if you take what I give you in 30 minutes and do something for your benefit and I never make any money I'm happy for it.

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I messed with a few of those products but gave up on them. Now I interact by generating my own HTTP Requests and manually processing the HTTP Responses. It's sounds really complicated but it was much simpler than I thought. Think of sending a simple ASCII text file to the server and it responding with a simple ASCII traxt file. That's about it. In most cases I use my browser to manually do something like send a form result and capture it with Fiddler. Then I identify the variable part, say a name for instance, and make that a variable in my code. Then I create my own request trying to emulate it. Then capture the response and do what I need to with it. No web browsers involved and super fast and reliable. And since the code didn't run in the web page the measures they take against automation never get a chance to run. And there's no button clicking. If you're ever interested let me know. I give free half hour initial consultation calls as well. And if you take what I give you in 30 minutes and do something for your benefit and I never make any money I'm happy for it.

Hi Cory, sure message me and perhaps we can chat.

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