This tutorial will lead you through the process of creating a bot using the AutoWikiBrowser program through the example of changing a word on pages of the 'Fandubbing Wiki'.
A more in-depth user manual is available on Wikipedia.
Step 1: Create your bot account
Note: If you already have a bot account, skip this step
While you can run AWB on your primary account, if you are going to be making large amounts of edits it would be worthwhile to create a separate bot account to keep automated edits separate.
Tips for your bot account:
- Most bot account names have "bot" in them to signify they're a bot
- On the bot account's userpage, you should include who owns the account and mention that it is a bot. See here for more details.
- If you're planning on doing a lot of edits, or editing really quickly, consider discussing with your community if the account should be flagged as a bot. This allows the account's edits to be hidden from the Recent Changes by default. If your community agrees, send in a request to Special:Contact requesting the flag, including the bot account name.
Step 2: Get the program
Download AutoWikiBrowser to your computer. The basic operation of the software is:
- Launch AutoWikiBrowser
- Log in to the bot account using AutoWikiBrowser
- Specify what pages the bot should edit
- Specify what the bot is to do
Note that AutoWikiBrowser can be run in either fully automatic or in a semi-automatic mode. In semi-automatic mode, you must check each edit and manually save it. This takes out a lot of the risk when trying to edit many pages.
Step 3: Learn how to use the program
In this example, we will set up our bot and then use it to correct a misspelled artist name on many pages of our wiki.
Choosing a community
- Launch AutoWikiBrowser.
- Go to Options → Preferences → Site
- From the drop-down list choose "Fandom" and then type the first part of the URL of your community. For example, "fandubbing" should be entered for the "fandubbing.fandom.com" community.
- Even if the HTTP/HTTPS drop-down is set to HTTP, it will correct itself to HTTPS after the next step.
- When you are done, save changes with the OK button.
Your program may freeze for a few seconds. After this on the bottom bar you will see that program is synchronized with the given community:
Once you have chosen a wiki, you must log into your bot account.
- Go to File → Log in/Profiles...
- Enter the bot's username and password
- Press "Login"
Now the bot is set and ready to work!
Note: Some wikis use a check page that may limit the program to specific users as well as restrict who can edit automatically.
Choosing edit options
In this example, we will correct misspelled artist names.
First off, we will need to get a list of pages to edit. AutoWikiBrowser has many different list generators to use. In the "Make list" panel, browse the "Source" drop-down and select an appropriate option. If all the pages you're interested in are in the same category, use the "Category" option. If you're more interested in pages that use a certain template, use the "What transcludes page (all NS)" option.
TIP: To make a list of all pages in the main namespace, in the "Make List" panel choose "Special Page" as the source. When you press "Make List" an additional window should appear. Choose "All Pages", select namespace "Main:" and press OK.
Now that we have our list of pages to check, we need to tell the bot what we want to do. Next to the "Make list" panel is the main editing options section. In order to tell the bot to fix the artist's name, we'll use the "Find and replace" options. Be sure to check the checkbox to enable it, then click "Normal settings". Enter the misspelled name in the "Find" box and the correct spelling in the "Replace with" box. For this example, you can leave the other options alone, though feel free to play around with the settings. Hit "OK" to close the box and set your settings.
TIP: If you're not sure what a certain setting or toggle does, check out the user manual.
Starting the edits
When you are ready to begin, go to the "Start" tab from the middle section.
- Enter the Default Summary. This is the base of your edit summary for each edit. Depending on the options selected, it may be added to.
- Press Start
The program will start searching through the list of pages. When it finds the phrase it is looking for, it will apply all the appropriate changes and display the changes in the main box.
If the changes aren't quite what you had planned on, you can still edit the page using the edit box in the bottom right.
When you are done press "Save" to save changes. If the page doesn't need to be edited, press "Skip" to leave the page unchanged.
TIP: On the "Skip" tab, check the option "Skip if no changes are made". This will cause AutoWikiBrowser to automatically skip pages that won't have any changes.
Fully automatic bot
The example above shows how you can edit semi-automatically. It is quite fast and safe, as you can control each change being made. However, if you wish you can go to "Bots" tab and check the "Auto save" option.
AutoWikiBrowser will now save each change automatically, without any confirmation. Use this option with care, running a few semi-automatic test edits before turning auto save on to test if the bot is functioning properly is strongly recommended.