Automate and Record Tasks with Firefox

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 10, 2006
Updated • May 8, 2013
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

Shame on me that I did not discover this Firefox extension earlier. Selenium IDE is a Firefox extension that lets you automate, record and playback tasks in Firefox. It has therefore more than one purposes but here is a great one that you will like. If you repeat tasks regularly in the browser, say checking web mail accounts, social networking sites or logging in to a forum or on eBay, you may have wondered if there is not a way to automate those basic tasks. And that is exactly what Selenium IDE does.

Would not it be great if all this could be done with the click of a mouse button? Ok, some more clicks but still a lot less than performing all those tasks by hand one after another. You will have to record the task(s) once which simply involves starting the extension and moving, typing and writing exactly as you always do. Selenium records all action and you are able to save it afterwards.

You'll unfortunately have to load it whenever you want to replay the task. It therefore makes only sense for me to record and save tasks that involve lots of writing, moving and clicking. Maybe there is a way to store them in your Bookmarks toolbar but I have not found a way to do so. It would be awesome if this would be possible. (Bare with me, I'm using the extension for 10 minutes..)

Selenium's main purpose is web application testing. It (not the Firefox extension of course) runs in most popular browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. Instead of looking at / or testing web pages in different browsers, you can use it to record the task once and play it in every browser that is supported afterwards.

The website offers downloads for various web browsers and plugins that you may find useful as well. This includes creating screenshots when tests fail ot complete, or favorites which allow you to start tests with a single click.

Take a look at a presentation video of selenium ide that shows how to record and play tasks.


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  1. Ajay Deshpande said on July 18, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I am trying to use Selenium IDE 2.5.0. The application I am trying to test using S. IDE is developed in SharePoint 2013.

    Recording and automation works well except for below 2 fields-
    1. Date picker: There is a due date field, which contains calender symbol. Once user click on it then, calender gets opened and user can select the date of same/ next months
    2. People picker: User has to start typing the name in Email Id field, and application immediately shows the similar matches and user can select the required name.

    Can someone please suggest a solution? may be switching to another free tool will also do!


  2. Bill Steven said on September 11, 2006 at 3:29 pm

    The problem I have with IMacros is that they invented their own quirky propietary automation language. You can’t debug it. You can call it from any scripting language but the automation part is self contained, so you will have to use 2 different languages. Do they even run on Firefox? I’ve searched their website and online help and could find anything. Post the link if it exists.


  3. Francis Weider said on September 4, 2006 at 9:35 am

    I use iMacros with very good success, see


  4. GeorgeL said on July 25, 2006 at 4:03 pm

    Try Newbie,, it works great for automating Firefox using JavaScripts.

    Here’s a flash demo:

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