Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser

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This is the discussion page for the AWB project. It is also the place to discuss using the AWB program itself (if you need help, or have a question about AWB, etc.). Before asking questions, please read the Frequently asked questions below. Where to make specific types of reports or requests is explained in the Before you post section below...

Before you post[edit]

Do you want to ... Please use
Report a bug in AWB? Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Bugs
Report an incorrectly fixed typo? Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Typos
Request a feature for a future version of AWB? Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Feature requests
Request approval to use AWB? Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/AutoWikiBrowser
Ask a question about AWB or ask for help? This page

Frequently asked questions[edit]

  • When I start it up I get one of the following errors:
    "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application.", or
    "To run this application, you must first install one of the following versions of the .NET Framework..."
    This error means your computer does not have the .NET framework version 2 installed properly. You can choose from various versions for download here, or you can run Windows Update and select version 2 of the .Net framework from the "Optional Updates" section, if you want the choice made for you.
  • Does AWB run on Linux or Mac?
  • Does AWB work on other projects/languages?
    Many Wikimedia projects and languages are supported, see the "User and project preferences" option in the general menu. Other languages will be added on request, though at the moment the interface is always in English. You are also able to use AWB with third-party wikis: Options > Preferences > Site, you can change the wiki there. The wiki must support the Bot API required by AWB. This means that it should have latest HEAD version of MediaWiki or something close to that. The wmf-deployment branch is also recommended, as this is what is currently live on WMF sites.
  • Under Windows 7 (and newer?), AWB is using wrong font size, which results in clipped text and lost buttons and options, (see example here). How to fix it?
    Solution #1: Go to "Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display" and switch resizing of the fonts to 100%
    Solution #2: Right click on AutoWikiBrowser.exe --> Properties -> Compatibility (tab) --> enable the "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" option
  • What interwiki link order does AWB use?
    The software reads the interwiki sort order from Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser/IW, which is generally mirrored to reflect the order at m:Interwiki sorting order.
  • AWB puts stubs after categories, though categories are always rendered the last by MediaWiki?
    According to WP:STUB#Categorizing stubs, By convention they are placed at the end of the article, after the External links section, any navigation templates, and the category tags, so that the stub category will appear last. If your wiki uses another order, please let us know here.
  • I don't like or use Internet Explorer; please use Firefox instead.
    AWB does not use Internet Explorer per se. It does, however, use the same web browser control (MSHTML) as Internet Explorer; the equivalent Firefox component does not provide the needed functionality.
  • How do I open the page in another browser if I can't use the one in AWB?
    Right click on the edit box in the bottom right side of your screen. Select "Open page in browser".
  • How do I edit a page that doesn't exist?
    Uncheck "Ignore non existing pages" in the "Skip articles" box.
  • How do I skip certain articles?
    Use the "Skip if contains" and "Skip if doesn't contain" on the "Skip" tab
  • Can't you leave up a "stable" version, so I don't have to download new versions?
    It is important to keep people up to date with the latest versions, because their use of the software doesn't just affect them, but the whole of Wikipedia. As any bugs that remain will be trivial; hopefully releases won't be too frequent.
  • How can I stop AWB clicking when it changes pages?
    This is a Windows sound theme setting. This page explains how to turn off the clicking sound.
    Alternatively, delete the following key from the Windows registry:
  • AWB randomly crashes upon page load on my system, and I always use a browser other than Internet Explorer when using Wikipedia.
    You may have installed custom scripts incompatible with IE. Wrap the contents of your monobook.js into conditional:
               //Detect IE5.5+
               if (navigator.appVersion.indexOf("MSIE")==-1)
                   // Previous contents go here
  • I get Just In Time Debugger Messages when loading AWB/loading pages.
    In Internet Explorer, go to Tools → Options → Advanced. Make sure 'Disable Script Debugging (Internet Explorer)' and 'Disable Script Debugging (Other)' Are both checked. Press apply and close.
  • Why does AWB run very, very slowly if I try to make changes in the edit window on larger pages, especially pages with long lists or tables?
    If running on Windows, exit the Speech Recognition software that is built into some versions of Windows; don't just turn it 'Off', you must 'Exit' the software if you have started up Speech Recognition.
  • When I do a clean install of AutoWikiBrowser the application seems to find old setting data somewhere. I'd like to do a really clean install. Any ideas?
    Clean up your registry and remove the folder "C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Local Settings\Application Data\AutoWikiBrowser" (Windows XP) or "C:\Users\user name\AppData\Local\AutoWikiBrowser\" (Windows 7). Note that the application data folder may be hidden.
  • AWB prompts that there is a newer version but won't update
    Check the version number of your AWBUpdater.exe. The current version is If you have an older version, you have to download the latest AWB version and make a clean install.
  • Which .NET Framework version do I have?
    You can find your .NET Framework version in Help → About box.
  • Where are the default settings stored?
    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\AutoWikiBrowser
    • Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\AutoWikiBrowser\Default.xml
  • I cannot copy text from the diff window using the Control+C keyboard shortcut.
    You must have Microsoft.mshtml.dll available for AWB to use for this functionality to work. You can try downloading the file (there are a number of third-party websites offering DLL file downloads) and putting it in the same folder as AutoWikiBrowser.exe. This is reported not to work for all users, presumably due to .NET Framework problems.
  • Is there any way to set AWB to not use https? (GFW blocks 443 port)
    In preferences, set project to "custom". Set the left box to http. In the webpage box, type (English Wikipedia) or (Chinese Wikipedia). Note that leaving off the /w/ will result in a "root element missing" error.


This talk page is automatically archived by MiszaBot I. Any sections older than 7 days are automatically archived to Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Archive 28. Sections without timestamps are not archived.

External HTML scraper module example[edit]

I'm looking to update existing WP:Astronomy pages with external database information (not to create tons of useless pages). I'd like to regex-find a string at a specific location on an external page, place that string into the article, then operate on it with my AWB rules, then save. Can someone provide a simple module example that does this? Thanks.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  14:58, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

I'll settle for an example scraping a local file, too. Just something to get me started.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  05:06, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Fictitious example of getting page HTML text to find data in <volume> tags, in order to update argument to specialtemplate:
        public string ProcessArticle(string ArticleText, string ArticleTitle, int wikiNamespace, out string Summary, out bool Skip)
            Skip = false;
            Summary = "test";

            // get external HTML page text
            string externalText = Tools.GetHTML(@"");

            // define a regex to get what we want from the HTML text
            Regex myInfo = new Regex(@"<volume>([0-9]+)</volume>");

            // define a regex to find&replace wikipedia text
            Regex myFindReplace = new Regex(@"({{[Ss]pecialtemplate\|)[^{}]+}}");

            // extract data from HTML text
            string myVolume = myInfo.Match(externalText).Groups[1].Value;

            // check some data found, find & replace wikipedia text
                ArticleText = myFindReplace.Replace(ArticleText, @"$1" + myInfo + @"}}");

            return ArticleText;
Something like this? Rjwilmsi 09:02, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
That's great, thank you!   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  15:55, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Can search and replace exclude urls and Titles in refs?[edit]

I am using AWB to do some search and replace to correct a misspelled word. A couple times, I have noticed that the planned replacement is the Title of an article in a reference, which would not be a good replacement, though not a huge deal, but I also noticed a planned replacement in the url string, which, if accepted, would make the link fail.

I see a check box which would allow me to exclude templates, refs, link targets and headings, but I do not want to select that, as headings is one of the common places for the error. Is there a way to skip refs I am not seeing, or would this be a useful feature to request?--S Philbrick(Talk) 22:12, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

@S Philbrick: You could try clicking the box above to ignore external links (URLs), and then revert the changes to reference titles before saving. GoingBatty (talk) 02:34, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
@Sphilbrick: If you are using regular expressions, you could trying tacking these on to the end of the "Find" expression: (?<!https?://[\w\.\,\;\:\/\?\&\%\+\=\-\#\~\!\(\)\*_]+) will stop the rule triggering inside a URL, and (?<!\btitle\s*=[^\|\{\}]{0,99}) will usually stop the rule triggering inside any parameter labelled "title". -- John of Reading (talk) 07:00, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not using regular expressions. I still think my suggestion makes sense, but I don't have a lot of experience with AWB, so I think I should get more experience, then see if I want to more formally propose something.--S Philbrick(Talk) 14:12, 3 February 2016 (UTC)