Skip to main content

Locators

Locators are the central piece of Playwright's auto-waiting and retry-ability. In a nutshell, locators represent a way to find element(s) on the page at any moment.

Quick Guide

These are the recommended built in locators.

page.get_by_label("User Name").fill("John")

page.get_by_label("Password").fill("secret-password")

page.get_by_role("button", name="Sign in").click()

expect(page.get_by_text("Welcome, John!")).to_be_visible()

Locating elements

Playwright comes with multiple built-in locators. To make tests resilient, we recommend prioritizing user-facing attributes and explicit contracts such as page.get_by_role().

For example, consider the following DOM structure.

http://localhost:3000
<button>Sign in</button>

Locate the element by its role of button with name "Sign in".

page.get_by_role("button", name="Sign in").click()
tip

Use the code generator to generate a locator, and then edit it as you'd like.

Every time a locator is used for an action, an up-to-date DOM element is located in the page. In the snippet below, the underlying DOM element will be located twice, once prior to every action. This means that if the DOM changes in between the calls due to re-render, the new element corresponding to the locator will be used.

locator = page.get_by_role("button", name="Sign in")

locator.hover()
locator.click()

Note that all methods that create a locator, such as page.get_by_label(), are also available on the Locator and FrameLocator classes, so you can chain them and iteratively narrow down your locator.

locator = page.frame_locator("my-frame").get_by_role("button", name="Sign in")

locator.click()

Locate by role

The page.get_by_role() locator reflects how users and assistive technology perceive the page, for example whether some element is a button or a checkbox. When locating by role, you should usually pass the accessible name as well, so that the locator pinpoints the exact element.

For example, consider the following DOM structure.

http://localhost:3000

Sign up


<h3>Sign up</h3>
<label>
<input type="checkbox" /> Subscribe
</label>
<br/>
<button>Submit</button>

You can locate each element by it's implicit role:

expect(page.get_by_role("heading", name="Sign up")).to_be_visible()

page.get_by_role("checkbox", name="Subscribe").check()

page.get_by_role("button", name=re.compile("submit", re.IGNORECASE)).click()

Role locators include buttons, checkboxes, headings, links, lists, tables, and many more and follow W3C specifications for ARIA role, ARIA attributes and accessible name. Note that many html elements like <button> have an implicitly defined role that is recognized by the role locator.

Note that role locators do not replace accessibility audits and conformance tests, but rather give early feedback about the ARIA guidelines.

When to use role locators

We recommend prioritizing role locators to locate elements, as it is the closest way to how users and assistive technology perceive the page.

Locate by label

Most form controls usually have dedicated labels that could be conveniently used to interact with the form. In this case, you can locate the control by its associated label using page.get_by_label().

For example, consider the following DOM structure.

http://localhost:3000
<label>Password <input type="password" /></label>

You can fill the input after locating it by the label text:

page.get_by_label("Password").fill("secret")
When to use label locators

Use this locator when locating form fields.

Locate by placeholder

Inputs may have a placeholder attribute to hint to the user what value should be entered. You can locate such an input using page.get_by_placeholder().

For example, consider the following DOM structure.

http://localhost:3000
<input type="email" placeholder="name@example.com" />

You can fill the input after locating it by the placeholder text:

page.get_by_placeholder("name@example.com").fill("playwright@microsoft.com")
When to use placeholder locators

Use this locator when locating form elements that do not have labels but do have placeholder texts.

Locate by text

Find an element by the text it contains. You can match by a substring, exact string, or a regular expression when using page.get_by_text().

For example, consider the following DOM structure.

http://localhost:3000
Welcome, John
<span>Welcome, John</span>

You can locate the element by the text it contains:

expect(page.get_by_text("Welcome, John")).to_be_visible()

Set an exact match:

expect(page.get_by_text("Welcome, John", exact=True)).to_be_visible()

Match with a regular expression:

expect(page
.get_by_text(re.compile("welcome, john", re.IGNORECASE)))
.to_be_visible()
note

Matching by text always normalizes whitespace, even with exact match. For example, it turns multiple spaces into one, turns line breaks into spaces and ignores leading and trailing whitespace.

When to use text locators

We recommend using text locators to find non interactive elements like div, span, p, etc. For interactive elements like button, a, input, etc. use role locators.

You can also filter by text which can be useful when trying to find a particular item in a list.

Locate by alt text

All images should have an alt attribute that describes the image. You can locate an image based on the text alternative using page.get_by_alt_text().

For example, consider the following DOM structure.

http://localhost:3000
playwright logo
<img alt="playwright logo" src="/img/playwright-logo.svg" width="100" />

You can click on the image after locating it by the text alternative:

page.get_by_alt_text("playwright logo").click()
When to use alt locators

Use this locator when your element supports alt text such as img and area elements.

Locate by title

Locate an element with a matching title attribute using page.get_by_title().

For example, consider the following DOM structure.

http://localhost:3000
25 issues
<span title='Issues count'>25 issues</span>

You can check the issues count after locating it by the title text:

expect(page.get_by_title("Issues count")).to_have_text("25 issues")
When to use title locators

Use this locator when your element has the title attribute.

Locate by test id

Testing by test ids is the most resilient way of testing as even if your text or role of the attribute changes the test will still pass. QA's and developers should define explicit test ids and query them with page.get_by_test_id(). However testing by test ids is not user facing. If the role or text value is important to you then consider using user facing locators such as role and text locators.

For example, consider the following DOM structure.

http://localhost:3000
<button data-testid="directions">Itinéraire</button>

You can locate the element by it's test id:

page.get_by_test_id("directions").click()
When to use testid locators

You can also use test ids when you choose to use the test id methodology or when you can't locate by role or text.

Set a custom test id attribute

By default, page.get_by_test_id() will locate elements based on the data-testid attribute, but you can configure it in your test config or by calling selectors.set_test_id_attribute().

Set the test id to use a custom data attribute for your tests.

playwright.selectors.set_test_id_attribute("data-pw")

In your html you can now use data-pw as your test id instead of the default data-testid.

http://localhost:3000
<button data-pw="directions">Itinéraire</button>

And then locate the element as you would normally do:

page.get_by_test_id("directions").click()

Locate by CSS or XPath

If you absolutely must use CSS or XPath locators, you can use page.locator() to create a locator that takes a selector describing how to find an element in the page. Playwright supports CSS and XPath selectors, and auto-detects them if you omit css= or xpath= prefix.

page.locator("css=button").click()
page.locator("xpath=//button").click()

page.locator("button").click()
page.locator("//button").click()

XPath and CSS selectors can be tied to the DOM structure or implementation. These selectors can break when the DOM structure changes. Long CSS or XPath chains below are an example of a bad practice that leads to unstable tests:

page.locator(
"#tsf > div:nth-child(2) > div.A8SBwf > div.RNNXgb > div > div.a4bIc > input"
).click()

page.locator('//*[@id="tsf"]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div/div[2]/input').click()
When to use this

CSS and XPath are not recommended as the DOM can often change leading to non resilient tests. Instead, try to come up with a locator that is close to how the user perceives the page such as role locators or define an explicit testing contract using test ids.

Locate in Shadow DOM

All locators in Playwright by default work with elements in Shadow DOM. The exceptions are:

Consider the following example with a custom web component:

<x-details role=button aria-expanded=true aria-controls=inner-details>
<div>Title</div>
#shadow-root
<div id=inner-details>Details</div>
</x-details>

You can locate in the same way as if the shadow root was not present at all.

To click <div>Details</div>:

page.get_by_text("Details").click()
<x-details role=button aria-expanded=true aria-controls=inner-details>
<div>Title</div>
#shadow-root
<div id=inner-details>Details</div>
</x-details>

To click <x-details>:

page.locator("x-details", has_text="Details" ).click()
<x-details role=button aria-expanded=true aria-controls=inner-details>
<div>Title</div>
#shadow-root
<div id=inner-details>Details</div>
</x-details>

To ensure that <x-details> contains the text "Details":

expect(page.locator("x-details")).to_contain_text("Details")

Filtering Locators

Consider the following DOM structure where we want to click on the buy button of the second product card. We have a few options in order to filter the locators to get the right one.

http://localhost:3000
  • Product 1

  • Product 2

<ul>
<li>
<h3>Product 1</h3>
<button>Add to cart</button>
</li>
<li>
<h3>Product 2</h3>
<button>Add to cart</button>
</li>
</ul>

Filter by text

Locators can be filtered by text with the locator.filter() method. It will search for a particular string somewhere inside the element, possibly in a descendant element, case-insensitively. You can also pass a regular expression.

page.get_by_role("listitem").filter(has_text="Product 2").get_by_role(
"button", name="Add to cart"
).click()

Use a regular expression:

page.get_by_role("listitem").filter(has_text=re.compile("Product 2")).get_by_role(
"button", name="Add to cart"
).click()

Filter by another locator

Locators support an option to only select elements that have a descendant matching another locator. You can therefore filter by any other locator such as a locator.get_by_role(), locator.get_by_test_id(), locator.get_by_text() etc.

http://localhost:3000
  • Product 1

  • Product 2

<ul>
<li>
<h3>Product 1</h3>
<button>Add to cart</button>
</li>
<li>
<h3>Product 2</h3>
<button>Add to cart</button>
</li>
</ul>
page.get_by_role("listitem").filter(
has=page.get_by_role("heading", name="Product 2")
).get_by_role("button", name="Add to cart").click()

We can also assert the product card to make sure there is only one

expect(
page.get_by_role("listitem").filter(
has=page.get_by_role("heading", name="Product 2")
)
).to_have_count(1)

Note that the inner locator is matched starting from the outer one, not from the document root.

Chaining Locators

You can chain methods that create a locator, like page.get_by_text() or locator.get_by_role(), to narrow down the search to a particular part of the page.

In this example we first create a locator called product by locating the test id. We then filter by text. We can use the product locator again to get by role of button and click it and then use an assertion to make sure there is only one product with the text "Product 2".

product = page.get_by_role("listitem").filter(has_text="Product 2")

product.get_by_role("button", name="Add to cart").click()

Lists

Count items in a list

You can assert locators in order to count the items in a list.

For example, consider the following DOM structure:

http://localhost:3000
  • apple
  • banana
  • orange
<ul>
<li>apple</li>
<li>banana</li>
<li>orange</li>
</ul>

Use the count assertion to ensure that the list has 3 items.

expect(page.get_by_role("listitem")).to_have_count(3)

Assert all text in a list

You can assert locators in order to find all the text in a list.

For example, consider the following DOM structure:

http://localhost:3000
  • apple
  • banana
  • orange
<ul>
<li>apple</li>
<li>banana</li>
<li>orange</li>
</ul>

Use expect(locator).to_have_text() to ensure that the list has the text "apple", "banana" and "orange".

expect(page.get_by_role("listitem")).to_have_text(["apple", "banana", "orange"])

Get a specific item

There are many ways to get a specific item in a list.

Get by text

Use the page.get_by_text() method to locate an element in a list by it's text content and then click on it.

For example, consider the following DOM structure:

http://localhost:3000
  • apple
  • banana
  • orange
<ul>
<li>apple</li>
<li>banana</li>
<li>orange</li>
</ul>

Locate an item by it's text content and click it.

page.get_by_text("orange").click()
http://localhost:3000
  • apple
  • banana
  • orange
<ul>
<li>apple</li>
<li>banana</li>
<li>orange</li>
</ul>

Filter by text

Use the locator.filter() to locate a specific item in a list.

For example, consider the following DOM structure:

http://localhost:3000
  • apple
  • banana
  • orange
<ul>
<li>apple</li>
<li>banana</li>
<li>orange</li>
</ul>

Locate an item by the role of "listitem" and then filter by the text of "orange" and then click it.

page.get_by_role("listitem").filter(has_text="orange").click()

Get by test id

Use the page.get_by_test_id() method to locate an element in a list. You may need to modify the html and add a test id if you don't already have a test id.

For example, consider the following DOM structure:

http://localhost:3000
  • apple
  • banana
  • orange
<ul>
<li data-testid='apple'>apple</li>
<li data-testid='banana'>banana</li>
<li data-testid='orange'>orange</li>
</ul>

Locate an item by it's test id of "orange" and then click it.

page.get_by_test_id("orange").click()

Get by nth item

If you have a list of identical elements, and the only way to distinguish between them is the order, you can choose a specific element from a list with locator.first, locator.last or locator.nth().

banana = page.get_by_role("listitem").nth(1)

However, use this method with caution. Often times, the page might change, and the locator will point to a completely different element from the one you expected. Instead, try to come up with a unique locator that will pass the strictness criteria.

Chaining filters

When you have elements with various similarities, you can use the locator.filter() method to select the right one. You can also chain multiple filters to narrow down the selection.

For example, consider the following DOM structure:

http://localhost:3000
  • John
  • Mary
  • John
  • Mary
<ul>
<li>
<div>John</div>
<div><button>Say hello</button></div>
</li>
<li>
<div>Mary</div>
<div><button>Say hello</button></div>
</li>
<li>
<div>John</div>
<div><button>Say goodbye</button></div>
</li>
<li>
<div>Mary</div>
<div><button>Say goodbye</button></div>
</li>
</ul>

To take a screenshot of the row with "Mary" and "Say goodbye":

row_locator = page.get_by_role("listitem")

row_locator
.filter(has_text="Mary")
.filter(has=page.get_by_role("button", name="Say goodbye"))
.screenshot(path="screenshot.png")

You should now have a "screenshot.png" file in your project's root directory.

Rare use cases

Do something with each element in the list

Iterate elements:

for row in page.get_by_role("listitem").all():
print(row.text_content())

Iterate using regular for loop:

rows = page.get_by_role("listitem")
count = rows.count()
for i in range(count):
print(rows.nth(i).text_content())

Evaluate in the page

The code inside locator.evaluate_all() runs in the page, you can call any DOM apis there.

rows = page.get_by_role("listitem")
texts = rows.evaluate_all("list => list.map(element => element.textContent)")

Strictness

Locators are strict. This means that all operations on locators that imply some target DOM element will throw an exception if more than one element matches. For example, the following call throws if there are several buttons in the DOM:

Throws an error if more than one

page.get_by_role("button").click()

On the other hand, Playwright understands when you perform a multiple-element operation, so the following call works perfectly fine when the locator resolves to multiple elements.

Works fine with multiple elements

page.get_by_role("button").count()

You can explicitly opt-out from strictness check by telling Playwright which element to use when multiple elements match, through locator.first, locator.last, and locator.nth(). These methods are not recommended because when your page changes, Playwright may click on an element you did not intend. Instead, follow best practices above to create a locator that uniquely identifies the target element.

More Locators

For less commonly used locators, look at the other locators guide.