Software Manual - Data Extraction Software

The topic below is from the Visual Web Ripper manual.

Navigating a Website

Visual Web Ripper uses templates to navigate a website. When Visual Web Ripper opens a template, it navigates to a new webpage by clicking on the associated link or web form button. If the template is a list template, Visual Web Ripper iterates through all the links in the list and thereby navigates all the links.

You can use the following templates to configure a data extraction project to navigate a website:

  • Link template: This is the most commonly used template. It clicks on a link in order to navigate to a new webpage. The template can be a list template that selects a list of links.
  • FormSubmit template: This template is used to submit a web form.
  • PageNavigation template: This template is used, for example, to navigate through pages in search results. The template clicks on all the links in a page navigation, or on the Next Page link.
  • Redirect template: This template is rarely used, but it navigates to a direct URL. 
  • Root template: This template is created automatically when you create a new data extraction project and the template navigates to the start URL.

You can turn on manual navigation in the Visual Web Ripper web browser by clicking the Navigate in Browser toolbar button, but this feature should be used only in the following two scenarios.

  • Use the Navigate in Browser toolbar button when you want to navigate and set the start URL of the data extraction project. Often this is one of the first steps performed when creating a new data extraction project.
  • Use the Navigate in Browser toolbar button when you want to test a template with a specific URL. When you open a Link list template, Visual Web Ripper navigates to the first URL in the list. Sometimes you may want to open the template with a different URL. You can do this by opening the template and using manual navigation to navigate to another URL.

As mentioned above, when you open a Link template that is associated with a list of links, Visual Web Ripper navigates to the first link in the list. If you want Visual Web Ripper to navigate to another link in the list, you can click on a specific link in the web browser before opening the template. Visual Web Ripper navigates to the selected link in the list. Make sure you select a link element in the web browser and not a different element type.

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