July 27th, 2011, 11:00 AM
A point in the right direction
I'm an absolute beginner with no programing experience and an ambitious idea for a project. I work for a media agency writing article summaries for various newspapers. I do my work in Word and then have to upload my summary for each individual article separately on the agency's website in what essentially looks like a basic 'new thread' page on a forum. So to upload an article summary I have to chose the newspaper title from a drop down list, then type in the date of the newspaper in a separate box, then type in the page number of the article in a separate box, then copy paste from Word the title of the article, then copy paste the summary into a text box and lastly click submit. I usually do 80 -100 summaries per paper and have to repeat this process for every article so you can imagine it gets tedious and it takes 15-20 minutes. I want to develop a program that's going to do that for me. The way I type my articles in Word looks like this eg:
PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES TAX REFORM
Article discussing Prime Minister Gordon Brown who announced tax reform.
So, page number, title and summary. Firstly, how hard would it be to create a program that does this for me from beginning to end ie. opens a Firefox window, loads the agency's website, logs me in, uploads my articles and logs me out? What would be the best language to create such a program in? From some of the reading I've done I'm inclined to start with Visual Basic although I'm not sure if it would be the easiest or the quickest way to get the job done. Also, whatever suggestions people have can you please point me in the direction of some good beginners resources that will allow me to quickly progress to the level I need to write this program?
Thanks in advance!
July 27th, 2011, 11:41 AM
Is there any reason you have to use Word? It seems to me like you're only using it to type in; you could use Notepad or Excel or a chat window, it doesn't matter if you're just copying and pasting what you've typed into something else.
July 27th, 2011, 12:19 PM
It's not imperative that I use Word. I generally prefer to use it because I like the layout and because I need the spellchecker (Notepad doesn't seem to have one). But yes apart from the spellcheck there's no reason it has to be word. Would it be easier if I used a different word processor? I spoke to a programer about it a while back, he said he could make it work in Word but that at the end of each line Id have to type in like a # or some other symbol. does that help?
Originally Posted by requinix
July 27th, 2011, 01:16 PM
You can probably have the "programmer" make a simple webpage. Most browsers have spellcheck now anyways. The webpage would submit to the website just like the form you copy into does.
Not 100% sure to work, but if it does then it's a really simple solution.
July 27th, 2011, 01:56 PM
Thanks for your reply. The guy isn't really an option, he wanted over 2K for the program, way out of budget. Besides, I was kind of wanting to do it myself and maybe learn a thing or two on the way. So you think a website would be the quickest/easiest option? I guess i should be looking into html then?
Originally Posted by requinix
July 27th, 2011, 03:33 PM
If their form isn't too complex/sophisticated then an HTML page will be pretty easy.
What browser are you using?
July 28th, 2011, 01:44 AM
July 28th, 2011, 11:56 AM
Install the DOM Inspector addon.
Then go to the form you'd be filling in, right-click a textbox (or anything that's part of the form) and hit Inspect Element.
In the thing that appears there's a breadcrumb-style navigation thing. It'll say something like
Click the "form", right-click the <form in the thing it highlights, and hit Copy HTML. Fire up Notepad or something and paste it in there. Censor out anything that you wouldn't want to post in a forum (such as names or ID numbers) and then post it here: I'll take a look to see if there's anything that might prevent you from copying the form elsewhere.
input < form < body < html