Once CasperJS is properly installed, you can write your first script. You can use plain Javascript or CoffeeScript.


If you’re not too comfortable with Javascript, a dedicated FAQ entry is waiting for you.

A minimal scraping script

Fire up your favorite editor, create and save a sample.js file like below:

var casper = require('casper').create();

casper.start('http://casperjs.org/', function() {

casper.thenOpen('http://phantomjs.org', function() {


Run it:

$ casperjs sample.js

You should get something like this:

$ casperjs sample.js
CasperJS, a navigation scripting and testing utility for PhantomJS
PhantomJS: Headless WebKit with JavaScript API

What did we just do?

  1. we created a new Casper instance
  2. we started it and opened http://casperjs.org/
  3. once the page has been loaded, we asked to print the title of that webpage (the content of its <title> tag)
  4. then we opened another url, http://phantomjs.org/
  5. once the new page has been loaded, we asked to print its title too
  6. we executed the whole process

Now let’s scrape Google!

In the following example, we’ll query google for two terms consecutively, “casperjs” and “phantomjs”, aggregate the result links in a standard Array and output the result to the console.

Fire up your favorite editor and save the javascript code below in a googlelinks.js file:

var links = [];
var casper = require('casper').create();

function getLinks() {
    var links = document.querySelectorAll('h3.r a');
    return Array.prototype.map.call(links, function(e) {
        return e.getAttribute('href');

casper.start('http://google.fr/', function() {
    // search for 'casperjs' from google form
    this.fill('form[action="/search"]', { q: 'casperjs' }, true);

casper.then(function() {
    // aggregate results for the 'casperjs' search
    links = this.evaluate(getLinks);
    // now search for 'phantomjs' by filling the form again
    this.fill('form[action="/search"]', { q: 'phantomjs' }, true);

casper.then(function() {
    // aggregate results for the 'phantomjs' search
    links = links.concat(this.evaluate(getLinks));

casper.run(function() {
    // echo results in some pretty fashion
    this.echo(links.length + ' links found:');
    this.echo(' - ' + links.join('\n - ')).exit();

Run it:

$ casperjs googlelinks.js
20 links found:
 - https://github.com/n1k0/casperjs
 - https://github.com/n1k0/casperjs/issues/2
 - https://github.com/n1k0/casperjs/tree/master/samples
 - https://github.com/n1k0/casperjs/commits/master/
 - http://www.facebook.com/people/Casper-Js/100000337260665
 - http://www.facebook.com/public/Casper-Js
 - http://hashtags.org/tag/CasperJS/
 - http://www.zerotohundred.com/newforums/members/casper-js.html
 - http://www.yellowpages.com/casper-wy/j-s-enterprises
 - http://local.trib.com/casper+wy/j+s+chinese+restaurant.zq.html
 - http://www.phantomjs.org/
 - http://code.google.com/p/phantomjs/
 - http://code.google.com/p/phantomjs/wiki/QuickStart
 - http://svay.com/blog/index/post/2011/08/31/Paris-JS-10-%3A-Introduction-%C3%A0-PhantomJS
 - https://github.com/ariya/phantomjs
 - http://dailyjs.com/2011/01/28/phantoms/
 - http://css.dzone.com/articles/phantom-js-alternative
 - http://pilvee.com/blog/tag/phantom-js/
 - http://ariya.blogspot.com/2011/01/phantomjs-minimalistic-headless-webkit.html
 - http://www.readwriteweb.com/hack/2011/03/phantomjs-the-power-of-webkit.php

CoffeeScript version

You can also write Casper scripts using the CoffeeScript syntax:

getLinks = ->
  links = document.querySelectorAll "h3.r a"
  Array::map.call links, (e) -> e.getAttribute "href"

links = []
casper = require('casper').create()

casper.start "http://google.fr/", ->
  # search for 'casperjs' from google form
  @fill "form[action='/search']", q: "casperjs", true

casper.then ->
  # aggregate results for the 'casperjs' search
  links = @evaluate getLinks
  # search for 'phantomjs' from google form
  @fill "form[action='/search']", q: "phantomjs", true

casper.then ->
  # concat results for the 'phantomjs' search
  links = links.concat @evaluate(getLinks)

casper.run ->
  # display results
  @echo links.length + " links found:"
  @echo(" - " + links.join("\n - ")).exit()

Just remember to suffix your script with the .coffee extension.

A minimal testing script

CasperJS is also a testing framework; test scripts are slightly different than scraping ones, though they share most of the API.

A simplest test script:

// hello-test.js
casper.test.begin("Hello, Test!", 1, function(test) {

Run it using the casperjs test subcommand:

$ casperjs test hello-test.js
Test file: hello-test.js
# Hello, Test!
PASS Subject is strictly true
PASS 1 test executed in 0.023s, 1 passed, 0 failed, 0 dubious, 0 skipped.


As you can see, there’s no need to create a casper instance in a test script as a preconfigured one has already made available for you.

You can read more about testing in the dedicated section.