Data selectors

In your =IMPORTFROMWEB( ) function, the data selectors describe the content you want to import.

Basically, there are 4 types of selectors

  • Generic selectors
  • Built-in selectors, i.e. selectors preconfigured for some specific websites
  • XPaths
  • CSS selectors

Generally, the function accepts a single selector or a reference to a range of selectors


=IMPORTFROMWEB(some_urls, "//a[@id='artist_link']")
=IMPORTFROMWEB(some_urls, A1:A5)

Generic selectors

titlethe page title
h1the main headings
h2secondary headings
tablethe first table
table/xthe x table of the page (replace x by your chosen value)
emailsall the emails contained into the page
linkUrlsthe link urls
linkAnchorsthe link anchors (i.e. the clickable text of the link)
metaTitlethe title form the <meta> tag
metaDescriptionthe descriptions in the <meta> tag
imageSourcesthe image sources (URL)
imageAlternativesthe image descriptions form the image alt attributes
metaKeywordsthe keywords in the <meta> tag
metaTwitter idthe id of the related Twitter account

Those selectors are common and will work with most websites. They describe some basic content any webpage has.


=IMPORTFROMWEB("", "title") will import the page title of your URL

With generic and built-in selectors, you can simply separate the terms by a comma. Beware of keeping the quotes around the whole set:

=IMPORTFROMWEB("", "metaTitle,metaDescription") will import both the Meta Title and Description of your URL

Built-in selectors

Additionally, NoDataNoBusiness works hard to set up some websites and provide you with a list of preset selectors. For those websites you don’t need to look at the page source code. ; all you have to do is to pick up the selectors you are interested in!

Currently available platforms:

Feel free to reach out to us to order your specific selectors for the website you want to scrape data from

Work with XPaths

XPath (XML Path Language) is a query language for selecting nodes from an XML document. They can be used to describe the location of any element on a webpage.

As XPaths are usually a long string of keys, they can look a bit scary.

However, with the help of your Web browser, it can be very easy to find the right XPath for the piece of data you are looking for.

Find out more in this article:
Find an xPath with limited HTML knowledge

Work with CSS Selectors

CSS selectors are less powerful than XPaths to find complex elements in HTML pages, but they usually do the job and are also easier to build.

Select values in attributes

Standard CSS Selectors don’t allow to load values contained in attributes. With ImportFromWeb it is possible by indicating /attributeName just after the element.
For example img/src should return the source of the image.

Select an occurence

The CSS notation :nth-of-type() that allows to select an occurence of a specific element can be written like /n
Example: table/2

Find out more in this article:
Introduction to CSS selectors