Selenium WebElement: Components, Methods & Types

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WebElements work as the building stones of web pages. These refer to all the things that are present on the webpages whether it is an image, textbox, button, checkbox, etc. Selenium WebDriver considers every single element and then encapsulates that element as an object of WebElement. This helps the user API to find out the web elements. It then takes further steps to interact with the web elements to perform the required actions like clicking the buttons, entering text into the text boxes, etc.

Components of WebElements:

The WebElements have several components that play important roles while developing WebElements with HTML. These include:

  1. HTML Tag: Words that are present after “<” symbol work as the HTML tags.
  2. Attributes: Words present after HTML till the “>” symbol known as Attributes. The attributes include the “=” symbol. On the left side of the “=” symbol, there is “Property Name”. And the right side of the “=” symbol, there is “Property Value”.
  3. Text: The words that are present after the “>” symbol till the completion of the respective HTML tag are known as the Texts.

Methods to find WebElements:

Selenium WebDriver offers two different methods for finding elements:

  • findElement()- This finds a single web element and then returns as the WebElement object.
  • findElements()- This returns the list of WebElement objects that match the locator criteria.

Selenium offers the functionalities, which help to locate the elements on the webpage. This uses the element locators. If you want to know more about Selenium locators, you can join a professional Selenium training in Bangalore.

Now let’s have a look at how the locators assist in finding the WebElements. Locators are known as the addresses, which uniquely identify the WebElements within webpages. The locators work as commands, which tell Selenium IDE which GUI elements it has to operate such as Buttons, Text Box, and Check Boxes, etc. The use of the right locator makes sure that the tests are performed more reliably, faster, and have lower maintenance over their releases.

Types of WebElements in Selenium:

There are different types of WebElements available in Selenium. These include:

  • Edit box: It works as a basic text control, which allows the users to type a small number of texts.
  • Link: Also known as hyperlinks more appropriately, links connect a webpage to another. And this also enables the users to click their ways from one page to another.
  • Button: It represents clickable buttons that can be used in places and forms in the documents, which need standard and simple button functionality.
  • Image, image link, an image button: This helps to perform actions on the images by clicking on the image button or the image link.
  • Text area: This works as the inline element, which is used to designate plain-text editing controls including multiple lines.
  • Checkbox: It is mainly a tick box or a selection box that is a small interactive one, which can be toggled by the user for indicating a negative or affirmative choice.
  • Radio button: This works like an option button, which is mainly a graphical control element, which allows the users to select just a predefined set of mutually exclusive options.
  • Dropdown list: This is a geographical control element, quite similar to the list box that allows the users to select a single value from the list. When this list becomes inactive, this will display a single value.

How can you locate WebElements?

There are several ways through which it is possible to locate WebElements on the webpage. The most important methods include:

  1. Using name locator
  2. Using locator ID
  3. Using text/link or partial text/link
  4. Using CSS selector
  5. Using XPath

After identifying and locating a WebElement, the next step is to start performing all the desired actions. Various options are there that can be performed. Some of these include enabling, clicking, entering values, switching frames, clearing values, etc.

How to troubleshoot?

When it comes to locating WebElements, there is a chance that one can face the NoSuchElementException() error that indicates that the errors are found in the attempt of accessing specific elements on the page. So, if you encounter these errors, then here are a few steps that you can follow to solve this issue:

  • Rechecking the locator that you are using for “Inspect Element” in the Chrome browser.
  • Verify whether the value used in the code is completely different from the value used in the Firepath.
  • Not every element comes with similar properties. Some of the properties are dynamic. In those cases, you have to use CSS and Xpath Selector to get good results even if these are tough to deal with.
  • There are possibilities of causing problems because of waiting. It means that the Webdriver is too swift to execute in the input code even before the page is completely loaded.
  • Through the use of explicit and implicit wait methods, it is possible to add a new wait method. 

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