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Version: 1.17

Element selectors

Selectors are strings that point to the elements in the page. They are used to perform actions on those elements by means of methods such as page.click(selector, **kwargs), page.fill(selector, value, **kwargs) and alike. All those methods accept selector as their first argument.

Quick guide

  • Text selector

    page.click("text=Log in")

    Learn more about text selector.

  • CSS selector

    page.click("button")
    page.click("#nav-bar .contact-us-item")

    Learn more about css selector.

  • Select by attribute, with css selector

    page.click("[data-test=login-button]")
    page.click("[aria-label='Sign in']")

    Learn more about css selector.

  • Combine css and text selectors

    page.click("article:has-text('Playwright')")
    page.click("#nav-bar :text('Contact us')")

    Learn more about :has-text() and :text() pseudo classes.

  • Element that contains another, with css selector

    page.click(".item-description:has(.item-promo-banner)")

    Learn more about :has() pseudo class.

  • Selecting based on layout, with css selector

    page.click("input:right-of(:text('Username'))")

    Learn more about layout selectors.

  • Only visible elements, with css selector

    page.click(".login-button:visible")

    Learn more about selecting visible elements.

  • Pick n-th match

    page.click(":nth-match(:text('Buy'), 3)")

    Learn more about :nth-match() pseudo-class.

  • XPath selector

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

    Learn more about XPath selector.

  • React selector (experimental)

    page.click("_react=ListItem[text *= 'milk' i]")

    Learn more about React selectors.

  • Vue selector (experimental)

    page.click("_vue=list-item[text *= 'milk' i]")

    Learn more about Vue selectors.

Text selector

Text selector locates elements that contain passed text.

page.click("text=Log in")

Text selector has a few variations:

  • text=Log in - default matching is case-insensitive and searches for a substring. For example, text=Log matches <button>Log in</button>.

    page.click("text=Log in")
  • text="Log in" - text body can be escaped with single or double quotes to search for a text node with exact content. For example, text="Log" does not match <button>Log in</button> because <button> contains a single text node "Log in" that is not equal to "Log". However, text="Log" matches <button>Log<span>in</span></button>, because <button> contains a text node "Log".

    Quoted body follows the usual escaping rules, e.g. use \" to escape double quote in a double-quoted string: text="foo\"bar".

    page.click("text='Log in'")
  • "Log in" - selector starting and ending with a quote (either " or ') is assumed to be a text selector. For example, "Log in" is converted to text="Log in" internally.

    page.click("'Log in'")
  • /Log\s*in/i - body can be a JavaScript-like regex wrapped in / symbols. For example, text=/Log\s*in/i matches <button>Login</button> and <button>log IN</button>.

    page.click("text=/Log\s*in/i")
  • article:has-text("Playwright") - the :has-text() pseudo-class can be used inside a css selector. It matches any element containing specified text somewhere inside, possibly in a child or a descendant element. For example, article:has-text("Playwright") matches <article><div>Playwright</div></article>.

    Note that :has-text() should be used together with other css specifiers, otherwise it will match all the elements containing specified text, including the <body>.

    # Wrong, will match many elements including <body>
    page.click(':has-text("Playwright")')
    # Correct, only matches the <article> element
    page.click('article:has-text("All products")')
  • #nav-bar :text("Home") - the :text() pseudo-class can be used inside a css selector. It matches the smallest element containing specified text. This example is equivalent to text=Home, but inside the #nav-bar element.

    page.click("#nav-bar :text('Home')")
  • #nav-bar :text-is("Home") - the :text-is() pseudo-class can be used inside a css selector, for strict text node match. This example is equivalent to text="Home" (note quotes), but inside the #nav-bar element.

  • #nav-bar :text-matches("reg?ex", "i") - the :text-matches() pseudo-class can be used inside a css selector, for regex-based match. This example is equivalent to text=/reg?ex/i, but inside the #nav-bar element.
note

Matching always normalizes whitespace, for example it turns multiple spaces into one, turns line breaks into spaces and ignores leading and trailing whitespace.

note

Input elements of the type button and submit are matched by their value instead of text content. For example, text=Log in matches <input type=button value="Log in">.

CSS selector

Playwright augments standard CSS selectors in two ways:

  • css engine pierces open shadow DOM by default.
  • Playwright adds custom pseudo-classes like :visible, :text and more.
page.click("button")

Selecting visible elements

There are two ways of selecting only visible elements with Playwright:

  • :visible pseudo-class in CSS selectors
  • visible= selector engine

If you prefer your selectors to be CSS and don't want to rely on chaining selectors, use :visible pseudo class like so: input:visible. If you prefer combining selector engines, use input >> visible=true. The latter allows you combining text=, xpath= and other selector engines with the visibility filter.

For example, input matches all the inputs on the page, while input:visible and input >> visible=true only match visible inputs. This is useful to distinguish elements that are very similar but differ in visibility.

note

It's usually better to follow the best practices and find a more reliable way to uniquely identify the element.

Consider a page with two buttons, first invisible and second visible.

<button style='display: none'>Invisible</button>
<button>Visible</button>
  • This will find the first button, because it is the first one in DOM order. Then it will wait for the button to become visible before clicking, or timeout while waiting:

    page.click("button")
  • These will find a second button, because it is visible, and then click it.

    page.click("button:visible")
    page.click("button >> visible=true")

Selecting elements that contain other elements

The :has() pseudo-class is an experimental CSS pseudo-class. It returns an element if any of the selectors passed as parameters relative to the :scope of the given element match at least one element.

Following snippet returns text content of an <article> element that has a <div class=promo> inside.

page.text_content("article:has(div.promo)")

Selecting elements matching one of the conditions

CSS selector list

Comma separated list of CSS selectors will match all elements that can be selected by one of the selectors in that list.

# Clicks a <button> that has either a "Log in" or "Sign in" text.
page.click('button:has-text("Log in"), button:has-text("Sign in")')

The :is() pseudo-class is an experimental CSS pseudo-class that may be useful for specifying a list of extra conditions on an element.

XPath union

Pipe operator (|) can be used to specify multiple selectors in XPath. It will match all elements that can be selected by one of the selectors in that list.

# Waits for either confirmation dialog or load spinner.
page.click("//span[contains(@class, 'spinner__loading')]|//div[@id='confirmation']")

Selecting elements in Shadow DOM

Our css and text engines pierce the Shadow DOM by default:

  • First they search for the elements in the light DOM in the iteration order, and
  • Then they search recursively inside open shadow roots in the iteration order.

In particular, in css engine, any Descendant combinator or Child combinator pierces an arbitrary number of open shadow roots, including the implicit descendant combinator at the start of the selector. It does not search inside closed shadow roots or iframes.

If you'd like to opt-out of this behavior, you can use :light CSS extension or text:light selector engine. They do not pierce shadow roots.

page.click(":light(.article > .header)")

More advanced Shadow DOM use cases:

<article>
<div>In the light dom</div>
<div slot='myslot'>In the light dom, but goes into the shadow slot</div>
#shadow-root
<div class='in-the-shadow'>
<span class='content'>
In the shadow dom
#shadow-root
<li id='target'>Deep in the shadow</li>
</span>
</div>
<slot name='myslot'></slot>
</article>
  • Both "article div" and ":light(article div)" match the first <div>In the light dom</div>.
  • Both "article > div" and ":light(article > div)" match two div elements that are direct children of the article.
  • "article .in-the-shadow" matches the <div class='in-the-shadow'>, piercing the shadow root, while ":light(article .in-the-shadow)" does not match anything.
  • ":light(article div > span)" does not match anything, because both light-dom div elements do not contain a span.
  • "article div > span" matches the <span class='content'>, piercing the shadow root.
  • "article > .in-the-shadow" does not match anything, because <div class='in-the-shadow'> is not a direct child of article
  • ":light(article > .in-the-shadow)" does not match anything.
  • "article li#target" matches the <li id='target'>Deep in the shadow</li>, piercing two shadow roots.

Selecting elements based on layout

Playwright can select elements based on the page layout. These can be combined with regular CSS for better results, for example input:right-of(:text("Password")) matches an input field that is to the right of text "Password".

note

Layout selectors depend on the page layout and may produce unexpected results. For example, a different element could be matched when layout changes by one pixel.

Layout selectors use bounding client rect to compute distance and relative position of the elements.

  • :right-of(inner > selector) - Matches elements that are to the right of any element matching the inner selector.
  • :left-of(inner > selector) - Matches elements that are to the left of any element matching the inner selector.
  • :above(inner > selector) - Matches elements that are above any of the elements matching the inner selector.
  • :below(inner > selector) - Matches elements that are below any of the elements matching the inner selector.
  • :near(inner > selector) - Matches elements that are near (within 50 CSS pixels) any of the elements matching the inner selector.
# Fill an input to the right of "Username".
page.fill('input:right-of(:text("Username"))', 'value')

# Click a button near the promo card.
page.click('button:near(.promo-card)')

All layout selectors support optional maximum pixel distance as the last argument. For example button:near(:text("Username"), 120) matches a button that is at most 120 pixels away from the element with the text "Username".

XPath selectors

XPath selectors are equivalent to calling Document.evaluate. Example: xpath=//html/body.

Selector starting with // or .. is assumed to be an xpath selector. For example, Playwright converts '//html/body' to 'xpath=//html/body'.

note

xpath does not pierce shadow roots

N-th element selector

You can narrow down query to the n-th match using the nth= selector. Unlike CSS's nth-match, provided index is 0-based.

# Click first button
page.click("button >> nth=0")

# Click last button
page.click("button >> nth=-1")

React selectors

note

React selectors are experimental and prefixed with _. The functionality might change in future.

React selectors allow selecting elements by its component name and property values. The syntax is very similar to attribute selectors and supports all attribute selector operators.

In react selectors, component names are transcribed with CamelCase.

Selector examples:

  • match by component: _react=BookItem
  • match by component and exact property value, case-sensetive: _react=BookItem[author = "Steven King"]
  • match by property value only, case-insensetive: _react=[author = "steven king" i]
  • match by component and truthy property value: _react=MyButton[enabled]
  • match by component and boolean value: _react=MyButton[enabled = false]
  • match by property value substring: _react=[author *= "King"]
  • match by component and multiple properties: _react=BookItem[author *= "king" i][year = 1990]
  • match by nested property value: _react=[some.nested.value = 12]
  • match by component and property value prefix: _react=BookItem[author ^= "Steven"]
  • match by component and property value suffix: _react=BookItem[author $= "Steven"]

To find React element names in a tree use React DevTools.

note

React selectors support React 15 and above.

note

React selectors, as well as React DevTools, only work against unminified application builds.

Vue selectors

note

Vue selectors are experimental and prefixed with _. The functionality might change in future.

Vue selectors allow selecting elements by its component name and property values. The syntax is very similar to attribute selectors and supports all attribute selector operators.

In vue selectors, component names are transcribed with kebab-case.

Selector examples:

  • match by component: _vue=book-item
  • match by component and exact property value, case-sensetive: _vue=book-item[author = "Steven King"]
  • match by property value only, case-insensetive: _vue=[author = "steven king" i]
  • match by component and truthy property value: _vue=my-button[enabled]
  • match by component and boolean value: _vue=my-button[enabled = false]
  • match by property value substring: _vue=[author *= "King"]
  • match by component and multiple properties: _vue=book-item[author *= "king" i][year = 1990]
  • match by nested property value: _vue=[some.nested.value = 12]
  • match by component and property value prefix: _vue=book-item[author ^= "Steven"]
  • match by component and property value suffix: _vue=book-item[author $= "Steven"]

To find Vue element names in a tree use Vue DevTools.

note

Vue selectors support Vue2 and above.

note

Vue selectors, as well as Vue DevTools, only work against unminified application builds.

id, data-testid, data-test-id, data-test selectors

Playwright supports a shorthand for selecting elements using certain attributes. Currently, only the following attributes are supported:

  • id
  • data-testid
  • data-test-id
  • data-test
# Fill an input with the id "username"
page.fill('id=username', 'value')

# Click an element with data-test-id "submit"
page.click('data-test-id=submit')
note

Attribute selectors are not CSS selectors, so anything CSS-specific like :enabled is not supported. For more features, use a proper css selector, e.g. css=[data-test="login"]:enabled.

note

Attribute selectors pierce shadow DOM. To opt-out from this behavior, use :light suffix after attribute, for example `page.click('data-test-id:light=submit')

Pick n-th match from the query result

Sometimes page contains a number of similar elements, and it is hard to select a particular one. For example:

<section> <button>Buy</button> </section>
<article><div> <button>Buy</button> </div></article>
<div><div> <button>Buy</button> </div></div>

In this case, :nth-match(:text("Buy"), 3) will select the third button from the snippet above. Note that index is one-based.

# Click the third "Buy" button
page.click(":nth-match(:text('Buy'), 3)"

:nth-match() is also useful to wait until a specified number of elements appear, using locator.wait_for(**kwargs).

# Wait until all three buttons are visible
page.locator(":nth-match(:text('Buy'), 3)").wait_for()
note

Unlike :nth-child(), elements do not have to be siblings, they could be anywhere on the page. In the snippet above, all three buttons match :text("Buy") selector, and :nth-match() selects the third button.

note

It is usually possible to distinguish elements by some attribute or text content. In this case, prefer using text or css selectors over the :nth-match().

Chaining selectors

Selectors defined as engine=body or in short-form can be combined with the >> token, e.g. selector1 >> selector2 >> selectors3. When selectors are chained, next one is queried relative to the previous one's result.

For example,

css=article >> css=.bar > .baz >> css=span[attr=value]

is equivalent to

If a selector needs to include >> in the body, it should be escaped inside a string to not be confused with chaining separator, e.g. text="some >> text".

Intermediate matches

By default, chained selectors resolve to an element queried by the last selector. A selector can be prefixed with * to capture elements that are queried by an intermediate selector.

For example, css=article >> text=Hello captures the element with the text Hello, and *css=article >> text=Hello (note the *) captures the article element that contains some element with the text Hello.

Best practices

The choice of selectors determines the resiliency of automation scripts. To reduce the maintenance burden, we recommend prioritizing user-facing attributes and explicit contracts.

Prioritize user-facing attributes

Attributes like text content, input placeholder, accessibility roles and labels are user-facing attributes that change rarely. These attributes are not impacted by DOM structure changes.

The following examples use the built-in text and css selector engines.

# queries "Login" text selector
page.click('text="Login"')
page.click('"Login"') # short-form

# queries "Search GitHub" placeholder attribute
page.fill('css=[placeholder="Search GitHub"]')
page.fill('[placeholder="Search GitHub"]') # short-form

# queries "Close" accessibility label
page.click('css=[aria-label="Close"]')
page.click('[aria-label="Close"]') # short-form

# combine role and text queries
page.click('css=nav >> text=Login')

Define explicit contract

When user-facing attributes change frequently, it is recommended to use explicit test ids, like data-test-id. These data-* attributes are supported by the css and id selectors.

<button data-test-id="directions">ItinΓ©raire</button>
# queries data-test-id attribute with css
page.click('css=[data-test-id=directions]')
page.click('[data-test-id=directions]') # short-form

# queries data-test-id with id
page.click('data-test-id=directions')

Avoid selectors tied to implementation

xpath and css can be tied to the DOM structure or implementation. These selectors can break when the DOM structure changes.

# avoid long css or xpath chains
page.click('#tsf > div:nth-child(2) > div.A8SBwf > div.RNNXgb > div > div.a4bIc > input')
page.click('//*[@id="tsf"]/div[2]/div[1]/div[1]/div/div[2]/input')