Along with a test runner Playwright can be used to automate user interactions to validate and test web applications. The Playwright API enables this through the following primitives.
- Browser contexts
- Pages and frames
- Node.js and browser execution contexts
- Object & element handles
Browser refers to an instance of Chromium, Firefox
or WebKit. Playwright scripts generally start with launching a browser instance
and end with closing the browser. Browser instances can be launched in headless
(without a GUI) or headful mode.
Launching a browser instance can be expensive, and Playwright is designed to maximize what a single instance can do through multiple browser contexts.
BrowserContext is an isolated incognito-alike
session within a browser instance. Browser contexts are fast and cheap to create.
Browser contexts can be used to parallelize isolated test executions.
Browser contexts can also be used to emulate multi-page scenarios involving mobile devices, permissions, locale and color scheme.
A Browser context can have multiple pages. A
refers to a single tab or a popup window within a browser context. It should be used to navigate to URLs and interact with the page content.
A page can have one or more Frame objects attached to
it. Each page has a main frame and page-level interactions (like
assumed to operate in the main frame.
A page can have additional frames attached with the
iframe HTML tag. These
frames can be accessed for interactions inside the frame.
To learn more about navigation and loading, read this document.
Playwright can search for elements using CSS selectors, XPath selectors, HTML attributes like
data-test-id and even text content.
You can explicitly specify the selector engine you are using or let Playwright detect it.
All selector engines except for XPath pierce shadow DOM by default. If you want to enforce regular DOM selection, you can use the
*:light versions of the selectors. You don't typically need to though.
Learn more about selectors and selector engines here.
Some examples below:
Selectors using the same or different engines can be combined using the
>> separator. For example,
fill auto-wait for the element to be visible and actionable. For example, click will:
- wait for an element with the given selector to appear in the DOM
- wait for it to become displayed: have non-empty bounding box and no
- wait for it to stop moving: for example, wait until css transition finishes
- scroll the element into view
- wait for it to receive pointer events at the action point: for example, wait until element becomes non-obscured by other elements
- retry if the element is detached during any of the above checks
You can explicitly wait for an element to appear in the DOM or to become visible:
... or to become hidden or detached
- page.click(selector[, options])
- page.fill(selector, value[, options])
- page.waitForSelector(selector[, options])
Playwright scripts run in your Node.js environment. You page scripts run in the page environment. Those environments don't intersect, they are running in different virtual machines in different processes and potentially on different computers.
of the web page and bring results back to the Node.js environment. Globals like
document along with the web page runtime can be used in
Evaluation parameters are serialized and sent into your web page over the wire. You can pass primitive types, JSON-alike objects and remote object handles received from the page.
Playwright has an API to create Node-side handles to the page DOM elements or any other objects inside the page. These handles live in the Node.js process, whereas the actual objects reside in browser.
There are two types of handles:
ElementHandleto reference DOM elements in the page
- Handles can we be acquired using the page methods
page.$$or their frame counterparts
- Once created, handles will retain object from garbage collection
- Handles will be automatically disposed once the page or frame they belong to navigates or closes.
- Handles can be manually disposed using
Here is how you can use these handles:
Alternatively, handles can be passed as arguments to