Sikuli: using GUI screenshots for search and automation

TitleSikuli: using GUI screenshots for search and automation
Publication TypeConference Papers
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsTom Yeh, Chang T-H, Miller RC
Conference NameProceedings of the 22nd annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology
Date Published2009///
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number978-1-60558-745-5
KeywordsAutomation, image search, online help

We present Sikuli, a visual approach to search and automation of graphical user interfaces using screenshots. Sikuli allows users to take a screenshot of a GUI element (such as a toolbar button, icon, or dialog box) and query a help system using the screenshot instead of the element's name. Sikuli also provides a visual scripting API for automating GUI interactions, using screenshot patterns to direct mouse and keyboard events. We report a web-based user study showing that searching by screenshot is easy to learn and faster to specify than keywords. We also demonstrate several automation tasks suitable for visual scripting, such as map navigation and bus tracking, and show how visual scripting can improve interactive help systems previously proposed in the literature.