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Quickies: How to Use a Web Scraper Tool


By Bree | 12th Jan 2016 | Posted in Quickies

We’ve created a series of bite-sized blog posts just long enough to give you the downlow on all kinds of digital wizardry, because we love sharing our knowledge and know-how. Get tips for improving your social media efforts, discover powerful PR tricks, and learn all kinds of hacks to make your work life easier. Here is our super quick tip of the week.

What?

A Web Scraper tool will find and copy large amounts of data from web pages and let you download this information  into a spreadsheet.

Why?

If there is a web page with lots of information and data that you want to collect, the traditional approach is to copy and paste the information into a spreadsheet manually. This can take a lot of time. With this magical tool, the information you require is scraped/gathered from the web page into one spreadsheet for you. 

How?

  1. Visit the Google Chrome Store
  2. Search for “scraper” in extensions or download the Scraper extension here
  3. The first result in the extensions section is the “scraper” tool you need
  4. Click add to Chrome
  5. Open the web page you want to scrape
  6. Highlight the information you need, right click and select “scrape similar”
  7. A new window – the Scraper Console – will appear which will show your scraped content
  8. Click “save to Google Docs” to save your content an online google spreadsheet. Alternatively, you can save this data as a .csv file or copy and paste the information into Excel.

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2 Responses to “Quickies: How to Use a Web Scraper Tool”

  1. Rob says:

    The example you showed in the article needs both columns to be useful, can it export the term and the number as two columns?

    • Han says:

      Hey Rob, the short answer is yes! Had we highlighted both (instead of just the number) in this example, Scraper would most likely have picked up both columns – and exported them as such.

      It’s also worth knowing that with the Scraper extension shown in this example, you can get as specific as you want if you know a little bit of XPath! If you are familiar enough with HTML then it’s easy enough to pick up. You can see on the left hand side of the Scraper box there’s a box for editing the XPath selector; this can be quite a powerful way of getting exactly the data you want.

      Hope that helps!



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