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My work uses a custom database with addresses and other personal information. In my role I only have access to an html version.

I frequently need to make letters based on this information, but currently I'm expected to manually copy the information.

The information I need is spread through multiple pages, but fortunately the URLs are page specific and not record specific, meaning that I am dealing with the same five or so URLs for each record.

I'm sure I could use a scraping tool to achieve this task in a few clicks. What would people recommend that would not require installation onto my work machine (although browser extensions are acceptable)?

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If you are able to run software from a USB stick then take a look at WinPython.

  • Free, Gratis & Open Source (MIT Licence)
  • 64 or 32 bit Windows
  • non-invasive: WinPython lives entirely in its own directory, without any OS installation
  • customizable: add your missing packages,
  • do your own version: a winpython-creator kit is made available for you
  • Runs out of the box(*) on any Windows 8+ with 2GB Ram (Jupyter Notebook will require a recent browser)
  • Requests is included in all but the Zero edition so your web fetching is taken care of
  • If you add scrapy you can write spiders to do web scraping.
  • You can start from the Zero edition (<28 MB download, 100 MB installed on USB key) and add requests or use one of the full featured editions (431-450 MB download, 2.7 GB installed on USB Key).

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