How to fill out forms online with a bot

Entering data and filling out lengthy forms rank among the most tedious tasks on the web. Transferring data from a Google Sheet into an input field can be monotonous. It's easy to become distracted or tired, leading to mistakes. Surely, I'm not the only one who has accidentally copied and pasted data from the wrong row.

Instead of enduring this dull routine of filling out forms, why not learn a new skill by creating a bot to automatically fill web forms? Let me show you how using our template as a starting point.

# What is a form-filling bot?

A form-filling bot isn't some high-tech robot equipped with arms, legs, and lasers, poised to take on the world of paperwork. Instead, it's clever software designed to tackle the mundane task of filling out online forms. Rather than having a human tediously type in data, a bot can swoop in, saving you from the time-consuming and soul-sucking drudgery of form-filling. And let's not forget that form-filling bots significantly boost efficiency. Since they never yawn, feel sleepy, or get bored, they're prone to making far fewer mistakes.

# How do bots fill forms?

Bots, unlike humans, do not use keyboards to input data or mice to click 'submit.' Yet, they manage to fill in forms in a similar manner. Bots load web forms into the browser and interact with input fields to enter text. To submit a form, bots 'click' submit just like humans, but they achieve this through direct interaction with the browser's interface. They can mimic mouse actions by clicking on buttons, radio buttons, dropdown lists, and entering text. Furthermore, bots replicate keyboard behavior, navigating through form elements using tabbing or submitting forms with the return key.

# What type of forms could bots automate?

Not all forms are the same, that is true. Some have just a couple of fields, others have pages to complete. But the underlying structure is all the same; form elements are made up of the same HTML elements and tend to follow a standard pattern. So the answer is yes, you can automate any type of form, from inputting social media posts into Amazon or Facebook to filling tax forms, a bot can do it.

# What if my data is in a Google Sheet or Excel Sheet?

That simplifies the process; Axiom.ai (opens new window) offers no-code options for reading, writing, filtering, and deleting data in Google Sheets. Just choose your sheet. For Excel users, while we're developing similar features, you can convert Excel sheets to Google Sheets in the interim.

# How to make a form-filling bot without code?

No coding skills or magic required! If you can use a mouse, you can build a bot using Axiom.ai (opens new window)'s form filling software. Even better, I'll show you how to use our template for filling out forms online. This method allows you to quickly create a proof of concept in seconds, with the bot guiding you. Effortlessly, you can have a full bot built in minutes.

# Install Axiom

If you haven't installed Axiom yet, it consists of two components: a Chrome extension for building bots and a desktop app that allows you to run bots locally. To install Axiom, go to the Chrome Web Store, create your account, and then you'll be all set to use the template.

# Set up your Google Sheet

You will need to prepare a Google Sheet with some test data. Below is an example of how your data should be organized in rows. Obviously, tailor the data to fit the type of form you are automating.

# Our starting point will be a template

template for data entry and form filling

The starting point for this bot build will be a core template. Core templates are design patterns for bot builds that can be applied to any website or, in this case, any web form. Using a template gives beginners an idea of how to create an Axiom.

combine steps shown in diagram to automate forms

This is the online data entry bot design pattern we will start with, and it can be installed from this template page. (opens new window)

# The bot will guide you on how to set it up

Have your Google Sheet ready; let's get this bot-building started! If you have not already installed the template for form-filling, please do so now. Once installed, the bot will guide you through the setup process outlined below. Just follow the instructions—it's as simple as that.

Axiom.ai will help you set up you data entry bot

The first goal is to select a couple of 'Enter Text' fields and the 'Submit' button so we can do a quick test run before building the complete bot.

  1. Step 1: 'Read Data from Google Sheet' - Add your Google Sheet and then set your sheet name.
  2. Step 2.1: ‘Go to page’ - Enter URL, Add the site's URL for data entry.
  3. Step 2.2: ‘Enter Text’ - Click 'Select' to choose the text field where the bot should enter text. Then, for 'Enter Text', either manually add data or select '[google-sheet-data]' to choose a data column.
  4. Step 2.3: ‘Enter Text’ - Click 'Select' to choose the text field where the bot should enter text. Then, for 'Enter Text', either manually add data or select '[google-sheet-data]' to choose a data column.
  5. Step 2.4: ‘Click element’ - Click 'Select' and choose the form submit button to test the bot.
  6. Step 2.5: ‘Delete rows’ from Google Sheet - This step deletes a row from the Google Sheet, ensuring the bot iterates over the subsequent row on its next loop. Please add your Google Sheet and specify its name.

You are probably thinking this bot does not have enough 'Enter Text' steps. Remember, we are testing first.

# Your MVP bot for web form filling is ready to test

So the idea behind making an MVP is to test first, then when we know it works with your web form, we use Axiom’s bot builder to add the additional fields.

It's best this way. Always test, then build.

# Completing the bot

Ready to complete the bot, but it seems dauntingly hard? Well, it's not at all. Using the step finder, you can take additional steps to complete the job. It’s as simple as stacking the steps to replicate the form one-for-one. We have steps for all the form elements, from clicking to selecting lists, date pickers, and entering text.

# Using the bot builder

If this is your first time using Axiom.ai, rest assured. Our user interface is incredibly intuitive—just point and click. Let's start with the fundamentals. The first thing you'll want to grasp is how to select and add steps using the step finder.

# Steps to use when automating forms

The steps you will most likely want to use are the 'Interact' steps. These steps automate website actions such as clicking buttons, entering text, selecting lists, and uploading files.

Axiom.ai add interact steps with the step finder

# Adding steps

To start adding steps, simply click 'add-sub-step' or click between the steps to open the step finder. Then, simply type 'Interact' into the search field of the step finder. We recommend running test runs as you build. Add some steps, test, add some more, test—you get the idea.

If you are interested in learning more about the steps available for building bots, follow this link.

# Moving and deleting steps

You may want to move and duplicate steps; this is pretty simple. See the image below: click on the tick box inside any step on the left to enter 'Move and Duplicate' mode. In this mode you can:

  1. Highlight a step or steps with a tick, click between steps to duplicate or move the selected steps.
  2. Delete, enable, or disable selected steps.
  3. Move selected steps in a loop.
Axiom.ai move steps to change the order

# Looping the bot to automatically fill web forms

You may have noticed that the bots' interact steps, which handle text entry, are all inside the 'Loop through data.' This is because, by default, this bot is set up to loop through rows of data, one row at a time.

Axiom.ai loop your bot

To control the loop, don’t change any settings in the 'Delete rows from Google Sheet' step. We want to delete a single row with each loop.

To control the number of rows processed in each run, in step 1 'Read data from a Google Sheet', set the first row and last row to control the number of rows processed in a single run.

# Test and Run your automate web form filling bot

For testing, we always urge users to first run bots on the desktop. This is because issues are best resolved by observing runs, which helps inform you about what the issue is. Once your bot is ready, you can run it in the cloud. You may need to add steps to log in or set the cookies to be shared in the cloud.

# Quick note on Iframes

When selecting elements, you'll see a cyan selector instead of an orange one. This means the elements you wish to interact with are in an iframe. Not to worry, you just need to turn on iframe support. See how here.

# Wrapping up

First up, core templates are an excellent starting point for creating bots to automate web form filling. They allow us to quickly develop a proof of concept without investing a lot of time in a new tool. We have also learned that we can use the step finder to add additional steps to the proof of concept; our initial bot can be fully customized to meet our needs. I have also learned that when selecting form elements on the page, if I see a blue selector, it's an iframe and I need to turn iframe support on. And yes, always test as steps are added.

Here’s a list of other core templates:

  1. Web scraping (opens new window)
  2. Data entry from Zap (opens new window)
  3. ChatGPT web scraper (opens new window)
  4. How to automate downloads (opens new window)
  5. How to automate screenshots (opens new window)
  6. How to automate data entry from Google Sheet (opens new window)

# Do you have your idea for a bot?

If this guide only partially meets your needs and you have an idea for a bot you'd like to build, apply the skills you've learned and try it. If you need assistance, don't hesitate to contact our customer support team. (opens new window)

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