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Getting started with Protractor— Locator, and Action

We talked about protractor and how to setup protractor in my previous article. Today we will gonna talk about what is Locator and Action in protractor.

Protractor exports a global function element, which takes a Locator and will return an Element Finder.

The Element Finder has a set of action methods, such as click(), getText() and sendKeys that we are discussing in the next article.

Locators from Protractor

Protractor give some extra locators that are could as a Protractor-specific locator like,

Here we go for a detail view of each locator

— Specific to element

  • By.model(): Model locator checks whether any element has ng-model values matching with a given locator if so that element will be returned
//HTML code
<span ng-model="person.name"></span>
// usage of locator
element(by.model('person.name'));
  • By.binding(): Find an element by text binding, binding locator finds the element based on a partial match of the ng-bind attribute, if the attribute has some value matching with given locator then this element will be found by our locator
//HTML code
<span ng-bind="person.email.id"></span>
// usage of locator
element(by.binding('person.email'));
  • By.exactBinding(): Finds the element with an exact value, if ng-bind is equal to the given locator value then the element will be found. It will not check for partial matches.
//HTML code
<span ng-bind="person.email.id"></span> // this will not be found as it is not exact value
<span ng-bind="person.email"></span> // this element will be found as it is exach match
// usage of locator
element(by.binding('person.email'));
  • By.buttonText(): buttonText locator will try to match with an element which as same text as the given locator, or its sub-element inside the button tag
//HTML code
<button>Save</button>
// usage of locator
element(by.buttonText('Save'));
//HTML code
<button>
<label>Save As //matches
</label>
</button>
// usage of locator
element(by.buttonText('Save As'));
  • By.partialButtonText() : partialButtonText locator tries to find element with partial match present in the button element’s text.
//HTML code
<button>Save As Text </button> //matches
// usage of locator
element(by.buttonText('Save'));
//HTML code
<button>
<label>Save As File //matches
</label>
</button>
// usage of locator
element(by.buttonText('Save As'));
  • By.cssContainingText() : cssContainingText locator tries to find elements by CSS which contain a certain string.
<ul>
<li class="pet">Dog</li> //matches
<li class="pet">Cat</li>
</ul>
// Returns the li for the dog, but not cat.
element(by.cssContainingText('.pet', 'Dog'))
  • By.repeater() : Find elements inside an ng-repeat.
<div ng-repeat="books in list">
<span>{{book.name}}</span>
<span>{{book.price}}</span>
</div>
// usage of locator
element(by.repeater('books in list')).row(0).column('book.name'));
//This is also using with element.all
element.all(by.repeater('books in list'))
  • By.exactRepeater(): by.exactRepeater will full value of the ng-repeat. The full value does not include any filters applied.
<div ng-repeat="books in list">
<span>{{book.name}}</span>
<span>{{book.price}}</span>
</div>
element(by.exactRepeater('books in list')

— Specific to element.all

  • By.deepCss() : Find an element by CSS selector within the Shadow DOM.
<div>
<span id="outerspan">
<"shadow tree">
<span id="span1"></span>
<"shadow tree">
<span id="span2"></span>
</>
</>
</div>
var spans = element.all(by.deepCss('span'));
expect(spans.count()).toEqual(3);
  • By.options():
<select ng-model="color" ng-options="c for c in colors">
<option value="0" selected="selected">red</option>
<option value="1">green</option>
</select>
var allOptions = element.all(by.options('c for c in colors'));
expect(allOptions.count()).toEqual(2);
var firstOption = allOptions.first();
expect(firstOption.getText()).toEqual('red');

For a list of Protractor-specific locators, check this out protractorBy.

Locators from webdriver

Below locators are available in protractor as inherited locators, these locators are derived from selenium.

<html>
<body>
<div id="pancakes">
<a href="https://chercher.tech" >Selenium Webdriver</a>
<button id="firstButton" type="button">
Blueberry
</button>
<button type="button" name="Ban" class="Banana">
Banana
</button>
<button type="button" name="cake" value="Strawberry">
Strawberry
</button>
</div>
</body>
</html>
  • By.id():

The Id locator looks for an element in the page having an id attribute

element(by.id("firstButton")
  • By.name():

The name locator looks for an element on the page that has a name attribute.

element(by.name("Ban")
  • By.className():

The Class name locator looks for an element on the page that has a class attribute.

element(by.className("banana")
  • By.tagName():

The tag name locator looks for an element in the page having an tag name, like <a>, <button>, <p>, <label>, <div> etc

element(by.tagname("button")
  • By.partialLinkText():

In some situations, we may need to find links by a portion of the text in a Link Text element. it contains. In such situations, we use Partial Link Text to locate elements.

element(by.partialLinkText("Selenium")
  • By.linkText():

The link text finds the element based on the text present in tag, text highlighted in the below image.

If there are multiple elements with the same link text then the first one will be selected. This Link Text locator works only on links (hyperlinks) so it is called as Link Text locator.

element(by.linkText("Selenium Webdriver")
  • By.CSS():

CSS Selector is the combination of an element selector and a selector value that identifies the web element within a web page. The composite of an element selector and selector value is known as the Selector Pattern.

When we don’t have an option to choose Id or Name, we should prefer using CSS locators as the best alternative. Read how to build CSS Selector in Protractor

element(by.css("#firstButton")
  • By.XPath():

While DOM is the recognized standard for navigation through an HTML element tree, XPath is the standard navigation tool for XML also we can use it for HTML; and an HTML document is also an XML document (XHTML).

XPath is used everywhere where there is XML.

element(by.xpath("//button[@name="Ban"]")

In my next article, we will see more about Reporters, Screenshot and Log file.

Thank you for reading, if you have anything to add please send a response or add a note!

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Prashant Bhatasana

Prashant Bhatasana

515 Followers

AWS Community Builder | Terraform Associate | Automation Engineer, Love to work with #AWS #Terraform #Jenkins #kubernetes #Docker #Ansible #Selenium