This is a guide showing you how to use Autofill Forms, a firefox plugin, to submit multiple forms faster again and again. The reason why Autofill Forms is a great time saver is because it allows you to set up your article information once and then push it into as many forms as you like by using keys [ALT]+j. Of cause you need to configure Autofill Forms to know the forms but this is a onetime exercise and it pays off!
Basically Autofill Forms is excellent for filling a lot of forms with the same information and really speeds up the process.
Autofill Forms use profiles to store information about forms that you want to submit and the information you want to put into the forms. You need to build up a template with rules for the forms you want to fill using Autofill Forms. Once you have your template in place you will of cause need to maintain it when forms change (believe me they do…) but you will be able to use it to fill forms fast over and over again.
Preparing Autofill Form to fill a new form
OK if you are starting from scratch you will need to set up the forms first and this way start building your template. This is how it is done.
When you submit articles there is a few fields you will almost need every time. This is fields like.
- Your Name
- Your Email
- Website/Article Title
- Website/Article URL
- Website/Article Description
- Tags (more rarely needed)
You can set this up yourself or you can start with the file I have prepared for you. autofill_template_profile.txt
This file have a lot of rules already that makes it work on many community link pages on popular design and development blogs. The file also contains a few special rules. If a form has fields that are not covered by the above list I recommend that you simply add a new field and keep the rule for it there. As the data to be filled in will always be the same it will be saved as part of your template and you will not need to enter it again (unless site is changed).
In the “Profiles” View selected at the top you will be able to use the “Import” feature to load in the file. IF you want to start over you can create each field manually in the “Main” view.
Let’s assume you want to submit an article to the community link page on tripwire magazine: http://www.tripwiremagazine.com/submit-user-link
Before you create rules for a form you should generally try out if the existing rules will cover the form you are facing just now. Why? Because all websites based an same platforms (ex. WordPress) that use the same plugins for creating forms can share rules! Don’t do this just now but keep it in the back of your head…
You simply load up the page containing the form. Once Autofill Form as been installed as a plugin for firefox you will be able to right-click a form field and create a new rule for it autmatically. You can also use the “Display Form Details feature to see the names of the form fields. It is the names that are used for creating the rules.
If you try to click the “Add complete form as profile you will notice that Autofill Form will create a new profile for you with all the data you need. This profile is needed to copy out the rules. It cannot be used for multiple forms because the “Site rule” in the top will block the profile to be used on any other site. What you will be looking for doing is creating one profile with all rules for all the forms you need to fill (you should consider building on top of the one you downloaded a few minutes ago. This is basically done by taking the rules generated by Autofill Forms and pasting them into your own profile in the “Main” view and separating the rules with a | sign. Below you can see all rules for “Website Title”. Simply add a | at the end for each rule and copy in the rules generated by Autofill Forms. Then test the rules as described below. Once your rules are all fine you should do an export in the Main view to keep the rules for future reference. Next time you have an article to promote you will load the file you just exported as it contains all your rules and then add the article information…
Using the profile template for submitting forms
Once all rules is combined in one profile you can export it and reuse it for every article you want to submit. All you have to do is import and rename to the article name and then fill the new profile with the article data. This is done this way. Click “Import” and select the file with all your rules.
Then go to the “simple” view by clicking at the top. In this view you can add all the article data quickly and then click “OK”. Now you are ready to load up each form and fill them out by pressing [ALT]+j. If a form is not filled correctly you need to evaluate your rules for that particular form. You may have to add the rules again.
Let me know if this is working for you! Also please share any tricks you use to promote your articles.