Selenium Webdriver | Locating elements

| By Webner

Selenium Webdriver lets us locate elements in a web page in many different ways. Some of them are:

By id: If the HTML element to be located has a unique id one can use this id to locate the element in the code. Java statement for this will be as below:

driver.findElement(“id here”));

By Name: Similarly, if the element has a unique name once can use following code statement:

driver.findElement("element name here"));

In both the above cases if multiple elements have duplicate id or name then the first element will be selected.

By XPath: XPath expressions are very powerful to locate elements but there is a learning curve involved. An example: Suppose we have this HTML code:

<div name="outer">
<div id="inner1">
<span>Inner 1</span>
<span><input name="ip1" class="c1 c2 c3" /></span>
<div id="inner2">
<span>Inner 2</span>
<span><input name="ip2" class="c1 c3 c5" /></span>
<div id="inner3">
<span>Inner 3</span>
<span><input name="ip3" class="c3 c2 c6" /></span>

And we want to find 3rd input box with name “ip3” with XPath expressions. There can be multiple ways to create the expression some of which are mentioned below:

//div/div[3]/span/input >> Means inside first div, locate 3rd div, inside it locate span and inside it locate input element which is for ip3
//input[@name='ip3'] >> directly locate input box with name “ip3”
(//div[@name='outer']//input)[3] >> 3rd input box under div with name “outer”
//input[contains(@class,'c6')] >> find on the basis of unique CSS class name

Java call would look like this:


By CSS – With CSS we can locate elements, like in previous example, we can use this code statement to locate last input box:


By text to find hyperlink elements – If an ahref element is to be located then one can use find by a linkText method. For example, see this HTML code:

<a href="mypage.htm">My page</a>

This Java statement will find it:

driver.findElement(By.linkText("My page"));

If we need to find an element in a page using a portion of a text, then partialLinkText() can be used.

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