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Visual scraping for Scrapy
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Visual scraping for Scrapy.


Portia is a tool for visually scraping web sites without any programming knowledge. Just annotate web pages with a point and click editor to indicate what data you want to extract, and portia will learn how to scrape similar pages from the site.

Portia has a web based UI served by a Twisted server, so you can install it on almost any modern platform.


  • Python 2.7
  • Works on Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, BSD
  • Supported browsers: Latest versions of Chrome (recommended) or Firefox

Repository structure

The are two main components in this repository, slyd and slybot:


The visual editor used to create your scraping projects.


The Python web crawler that performs the actual site scraping. It's implemented on top of the Scrapy web crawling framework and the Scrapely extraction library. It uses projects created with slyd as input.

How to install portia

The recommended way to install dependencies is to use virtualenv and then do:

cd slyd
pip install -r requirements.txt

As slybot is a slyd dependency, it will also get installed.

Running portia

First, you need to start the ui and create a project. Run slyd using:

cd slyd
twistd -n slyd

and point your browser to: http://localhost:9001/static/main.html

Choose the site you want to scrape and create a project. Every project is created with a default spider named after the domain of the site you are scraping. When you are ready, you can run your project with slybot to do the actual crawling/extraction.

Projects created with slyd can be found at:


To run one of those projects use:

portiacrawl project_path spidername

Where spidername should be one of the project spiders. If you don't remember the name of the spider, just use:

portiacrawl project_path

and you will get the list of spiders for that project.

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