ParseHub basics

In this tutorial we will show you how ParseHub works and the overview of the ParseHub Desktop app.

This tutorial is long and goes into detail. If you want to jump right in, check out our tutorial for creating your first project.

You can also contact us and our support team will get back to you as soon as possible.

How to use ParseHub

  1. Download the ParseHub desktop app here.
  2. Open the ParseHub desktop app.
  3. Enter a website that you want to scrape into the browser search.
  4. Build commands on the left side of the app that tell ParseHub what and how to scrape your website.
  5. View a sample of your data in CSV or JSON in the bottom part of the app, or by using the Test Run feature.
  6. Click "Get Data" and "Run" to run your project on the ParseHub servers.
  7. Wait a few minutes for ParseHub to collect your data.
  8. Download your data in a CSV or JSON file or connect to our API.

App Side Bar

When you first open the ParseHub app you will see a side bar appear to your left. Most of your interactions with the project will happen in this side bar.

The side bar is used for:

  1. Starting a new project (Check out this tutorial to build your first project step by step)
  2. Viewing a list of your projects
  3. Building and editing your project
  4. Accessing project specific settings
  5. Running your project
  6. Downloading and accessing project data in CSV or JSON
  7. Accessing your account settings and API key

Create a new project:

On the home screen of the ParseHub desktop app click "New Project". 

Enter the website you want to scrape into the "Enter the URL you'd like to extract data from" text box and click "Start project on this URL".

You are now ready to interact with your website and the side bar.

Note: For each website that you want to scrape, you will need to create a new project and a new set of commands. There is advanced functionality to connect multiple websites together within ParseHub, however the general rule is - one website equals one project.

View all of your projects:

On the home screen of the ParseHub desktop app click "My Projects".

You will see a list of all of your projects. Click on the project name to view that project and start editing it.

If you are working with a specific project, you can navigate back to your list of projects by clicking the "Projects" breadcrumb (second to the Home link) at the top of the ParseHub side bar.

Save project:

While working with the project, click on the blue menu button and select "Save". This will save your project.

When you click "Get Data" you will be able to both save and run your project at the same time, before ParseHub scrapes your website. 

Run project:

After you are done editing your project, click the green "Get Data" button.

You will be asked to "Schedule" your project or to "Run" it on our servers. Click the "Run" button. You can click on the "Advanced Options" tab if you want to edit any of the settings for this specific run.

Now, click "Save and Run". ParseHub will start scraping your website and will take you to the run screen.

You have to wait a few minutes (sometimes a few hours depending on the number of pages you want to crawl) before downloading your data.

Download your data:

To download your data wait for ParseHub to scrape your website. When ParseHub is done crawling, you can click on the "Download CSV" or "Download JSON" file. A text editor or Excel (or similar program) will prompt you to open your data. You can save the CSV or JSON file and view your data.

You can also use our API to feed the data directly into your mobile or web app.

App Sample Results

You can see a sample of data that you will get in your results as you work with ParseHub. Take a look at the adjustable bottom bar of your app. This bar contains data in JSON or CSV for preview. You can switch between the JSON and the CSV preview at anytime.

CSV sample results:

JSON sample results:

Note: Only a sample of data will be displayed to you. Do not worry if you do not see everything, or if data does not carry over when you switch between templates. Our engineering team is hard at work to make the sample results much better for you in the future.

Project Commands

When you open a new or existing project, you will be taken to the "Commands" view of the project. In this view, you can build up your project or modify it.

To build a project, you need to create a set of commands - which are essentially a list of instructions ParseHub will follow to scrape your website.

The "Select page" command will be automatically created for you at the start of every project.

To create one command, you need to press the + button on the "Select page" command. The tool box will pop-up with a list of 15 tools. You can select one of these tools to create a new command. Each tool corresponds to one command in your instructions.

You will need to click on the + button on either the "Select page" command or on any commands you already have in the project to create a set of commands (instructions).

Which + button you click will completely depend on how you want to structure your project, and how you want your data output to look in JSON or CSV. For more information on this, start looking through specific tutorials that relate to the type of page you are trying to scrape.

Project Tool Box

The power and flexibility behind ParseHub comes from the tool box and the tools you can mix and match while working on your website.

ParseHub has 15 tools. You can read more about what each tool does here.

To use the tools, click on the + button on any of the commands. The commands that are most important in the ParseHub hierarchy with have + buttons visible on a blue background, on the right hand side of the command.

Commands that are secondary in importance, will not have the + button visible. You will have to access the + button and the tool box by first holding down the SHIFT key, hovering over the right side of the command and clicking on the + button.

You can find out how to mix and match the tools to scrape any kind of website structure but reading more of our tutorials or searching directly in the search bar.

How to Get More Help

There are plenty of ways to get help using ParseHub!

  1. Look over all of our video tutorials
  2. Read over all of our written tutorials
  3. Have a look at the ParseHub API
  4. Contact our support
  5. Post on our Google Q&A Forum
  6. Schedule a demo with one of the founders or head of sales.