How to Use Firebug for Creating Selenium Scripts – Selenium Tutorial #4

In the previous tutorial, we learned how to create automated test scripts using Selenium IDE and its recording feature. We also flipped through populous features of Selenium IDE. We aimed at harbingering the reader with the most vital features and commands of Selenium IDE.

Just a reminder – this is our 4th tutorial in free Selenium training series.

Now that you are accustomed and capable of creating automated scripts using recording mode of Selenium IDE, let us move ahead with another tool which plays a very important role in assisting us to create effective test scripts known as “Firebug”. Firebug helps us in inspecting the properties of web elements and web pages.

Thus, this tutorial is comprised of installation of Firebug and its usability.

Selenium script using Firebug

Take a note that the content of this tutorial is not only applicable in context of Selenium IDE; rather it can be applied to each and every tool of Selenium suite. Thus I would preferably be using term Selenium instead of Selenium IDE.

In this tutorial lets learn how to use Firebug add-on for creating Selenium scripts. In the process we will also learn how to install Firebug.

Introduction to Firebug

Firebug is a Mozilla Firefox add-on. This tool helps us in identifying or to be more particular inspecting HTML, CSS and JavaScript elements on a web page. It helps us identifying the elements uniquely on a webpage. The elements can be found uniquely based on their locator types which we would be discussing later in this tutorial.

How to Install Firebug?

For the ease of understanding, we would bifurcate the installation process into the following steps.

Step -1: Launch the Mozilla Firefox browser and navigate to this Firebug add-on download page. The URL takes us to Firefox add-ons section.

Step -2: Click on the “Add to Firefox” button present on the webpage. Refer the following figure for the same.

install firebug

Step-3: As soon as we click on the “Add to Firefox” button, a security alert box would appear, click on the “Allow” button now.

Step-4: Now Firefox downloads the add-on in the backdrop and a progress bar is displayed.

Step-5: As soon as the process completes, software installation window appears. Now click on the “Install Now” button.

install firebug 1

Step-6: As soon as the installation completes, a pop up appears saying that the firebug has been installed successfully. Now choose to close this pop up.

Note: Unlike Selenium IDE, we are not required to restart the Firefox to reflect the firebug installation, rather it comes readily.

Step-7: Now to launch firebug, we can opt either of the following ways:

  • Press F12
  • Click on the firebug icon present in the extreme top-right corner of the Firefox window.
  • install firebug 2
  • Click on Firefox menu bar -> Web Developer -> firebug -> Open Firebug.

Step-8: Now the firebug can be seen at the bottom of the Firefox window.

Now that we have downloaded and installed firebug, let’s move ahead with the types of locators that we would be creating using firebug.

Creating Selenium Script using Firebug

Unlike Selenium IDE, In Firebug, we create automated test scripts manually by adding multiple test steps to form a logical and consistent test script.

Let us follow a progressive approach and understand the process step by step.

Scenario:

  • Open “https://accounts.google.com”.
  • Assert Title of the application
  • Enter an invalid username and invalid password and submit the details to login.

Step 1 – Launch the Firefox and open Selenium IDE from the menu bar.

Step 2 – Enter the address of application under test (“https://accounts.google.com”) inside the Base URL textbox.

Selenium Script using Firebug 1

Step 3 – By default, the Record button is in ON state. Remember to tune it OFF state so as to disable the recording mode. Notice if the recording mode is in ON state, it may result in recording our interactions with the web browser.

Selenium Script using Firebug 2

Selenium Script using Firebug 3

Step 4 – Open the application under test (https://accounts.google.com) in the Firefox.

Step 5 – Launch Firebug in the web browser.

Selenium Script using Firebug 4

Step 6 – Select the empty test step within the Editor.

Selenium Script using Firebug 5

Step 7 – Type “open” in the command text box present in the Editor Pane. The “open” command opens the specified URL in the web browser.

Selenium Script using Firebug 6

Recommendation: While typing commands in the command text box, user can leverage the feature of auto selection. Thus, as soon as the user types a sequence of characters, the matching suggestions would be auto populated.

User can also click on the dropdown available within the command text box to look at all the commands provided by Selenium IDE.

Step 8 – Now, motion towards the Firebug section within the web browser, expand “head” section of the HTML code. Notice the HTML tag <title>. Thus to assert the title of the webpage, we would require the value of the <title> tag.

Selenium Script using Firebug 7

Copy the title of the webpage which is “Sign in – Google Accounts” in our case.

Step 9 – Select the second empty test step within the Editor.

Step 10 – Type “assertTitle” in the command text box present in the Editor Pane. The “assertTitle” command returns the current page title and compares it with the specified title.

Selenium Script using Firebug 8

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Step 11 – Paste the title copied in step 8 into the Target field of the second.

Selenium Script using Firebug 9

Step 12 – Now select the third empty test step in the Editor Pane

Step 13 Type “type” command within the command text box. The “type” command enters a value in the specified web element on to the GUI.

Selenium Script using Firebug 10

Step 14 – Now switch to the web browser, bring the mouse cursor to the “Email” textbox within the login form and press a right click.

Selenium Script using Firebug 11

Choose “Inspect Element with Firebug”option. Notice that the Firebug automatically highlights the corresponding HTML code for the web element i.e. “Email Textbox”.

Selenium Script using Firebug 12

Step 15 – The HTML code in the above illustration manifests the distinct property attributes belonging to the “Email” text box. Notice that there are four properties (ID, type, placeholder and name) that uniquely identify the web element on the web page. Thus it’s up to the user to choose one or more than one property to identify the web element.

Thus, in this case, we choose ID as the locator. Copy the ID value and paste it in the Target field of the third test step prefixed with “id=” to indicate Selenium IDE to locate a web element having ID as “Email”.

(Click to view enlarged image)

Selenium Script using Firebug 13

Make a note that Selenium IDE is case sensitive, thus type the attribute value carefully and precisely the same as it is displayed in the HTML code.

Step 16 – Click on the Find button to verify if the locator selected finds and locates the designated UI element on the web page.

Step 17 – Now, the next step is to enter the test data in the Value textbox of the third test step within the Editor Pane. Enter “InvalidEmailID” in the Value textbox. User can alter the test data as and when it is desired.

Selenium Script using Firebug 14

Step 18 Now select the fourth empty test step in the Editor Pane

Step 19 Type “type” command within the command text box.

Step 20 – Now switch to the web browser, bring the mouse cursor to the “Password” textbox within the login form and press a right click.

Choose “Inspect Element with Firebug”option.

Selenium Script using Firebug 15

Step 21 – The HTML code below manifests the distinct property attributes belonging to the “Password” text box. Notice that there are four properties (ID, type, placeholder and name) that uniquely identify the web element on the web page. Thus it’s up to the user to choose one or more than one property to identify the web element.

Thus, in this case, we choose ID as the locator. Copy the ID value and paste it in the Target field of the third test step prefixed with “id=”.

(Click to view enlarged image)

Selenium Script using Firebug 16

Step 22 – Click on the Find button to verify if the locator tabbed finds and locates the designated UI element on the web page.

Step 23 – Now, the next step is to enter the test data in the Value textbox of the fourth test step within the Editor Pane. Enter “InvalidPassword” in the Value textbox. User can alter the test data as and when it is desired.

Selenium Script using Firebug 17

Step 24 Now select the fifth empty test step in the Editor Pane

Step 25 Type “click” command within the command text box. The “click” command clicks on a specified web element within the web page.

Step 26 – Now switch to the web browser, bring the mouse cursor to the “Sign in” button within the login form and press a right click.

Choose “Inspect Element with Firebug”option.

Selenium Script using Firebug 18

Step 27 – The HTML code below manifests the distinct property attributes belonging to the “Sign in” button.

Choose ID as the locator. Copy the ID value and paste it in the Target field of the third test step prefixed with “id=”.

(Click to view enlarged image)

Selenium Script using Firebug 19

Step 28 – Click on the Find button to verify if the locator picked finds and locates the designated UI element on the web page.

The test script is completed now. Refer the following illustration to view the finished test script.

Selenium Script using Firebug 20

Step 29 – Play back the created test script and Save it in the same way we did in the previous tutorial.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we introduced yet another script creation tool or rather a tool that aids to script creation.

Firebug surprisingly has a great potential to locate web elements on a web page. Thus the user can leverage the tool’s capabilities in creating effective and efficient automation test scripts manually.

Next Tutorial #5: Moving ahead in the next tutorial, we would have a look at the various types of locators in Selenium and their accessibility technique to build test scripts. In the meantime reader can start building his/her automation test scripts using Firebug.

Have you used Firebug for inspecting HTML elements or for creating scripts? Do you find it useful? Please share your experience in comments

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28 comments ↓

#1 Ankur Shevale

firebug also used in webdriver scripts?

#2 Shruti Shrivastava

@Ankur

Yes we do use firebug for identifying web elements while creating WebDriver scripts.

#3 Jayshri

Yes i am able to success in identify object in firebug and my script is also run successfully, and take different site for scripts

Thanks for share this valuable tutorial

#4 Shruti Shrivastava

@Jayashri

Thank you for your kind words.
Keep practicing…..

#5 Kameshwar

Which version of Firefox , firebug addon and firepath are need to install. Any body says me firefox 29.0 above version do not support for web driver.! Please confirm.

#6 Harsha

Hi,
Thank you very much for sharing such valuable tutorials.
Could you please tell me how can we automate, click on a Google search result?
Thanks.

#7 Bharadwaj

Hi Shruthi,

Came across a situation where a bit confused with identifying objects on web page

For example follow the below steps.

-> logon to facebook using ‘https://www.facebook.com’
-> You can identify the object properties of ‘Email’ and ‘Password’ text boxes uniquely using ‘Inspect Element with Firebug’ option
->But right below the textboxes of ‘Email’ and ‘Password’ there is an title header ‘Sign Up’
Below ‘Sign Up’ header there are some text boxes named ‘First Name’, ‘Last Name’ and so on..If I am trying to identify there properties using ‘Inspect Element with Firebug’ option but it is displaying the same for all the text boxes.

How can I identify them uniquly?

Even I am able to identiy a text box property for example ‘Email’ it is overriding the already existing text how can I come over that.

Please advise.

#8 Bharadwaj

How to select a value from dropdown using selenium IDE tool.

#9 Bharadwaj

How to select radio buttons in selenium ide tool

#10 Tanushri

Ur tutorials are great for a beginner like me. Thanks so much.

#11 sathishkumar BM

Hi,
Thank you very much for sharing such a valuable tutorials.
I have implement this concept in my E-Commerce real time project (Like Flipkart) and found an error. Could you please clarify my doubt.

Simple intro about my project:
Its an e commerce project. It has a Login page and after login it has a homepage including Menu and Submenu for the products (Example – Flipkart –> (Menu – Electronics, Book, Media), (Submenu for Electronics –> Mobiles, –> Samsung).
List of products are displayed under sub menu (10 products per page).

Any few products will be displayed in homepage. I gonna choose a product from home page (This product is dynamic and it will not display in the home page when we refresh the page and it may display after 3 or 4 refreshes of the home page)

The scenarios are
1. Enter URL
2. Give username and Password
3. Click Login button
4. Select Add to cart button for the product which is in homepage.
5. Click View cart button (Add to Cart label is replaced as “View Cart” (Same button in the same place for the same product)
6. It should move to Checkout page.

Issues:
It was executed successfully till No.3. But shown an error for the 4th step. (Because the product is not displayed in the home page when I execute my test case (But its there in the submenu under menu).
I have given the proper firebug id for all the fields. But its shown an error.

My question is, How to execute my test case successfully if the product is not in the home page (But its in submenu under menu).

#12 Poorni

Very useful Add in… Thanks for the info.

#13 Nisha

Hi,

Could you please let me know why are we adding value as ‘Invalid’ for email/password? Is it just an example?
InvalidPassword/InvalidID

Thanks,
Nisha.

#14 sunilkumar.M.K.

How to use more than one property to identify the object?
In the above example “id” is used. If i need to use id and type then what would be the syntax?

#15 Hitesh Gupta

Thanks for such a fabulous guide, keep tuning.

#16 Sudhindra SK

Thank you so much for this!!

#17 sridhar

Hello sir,
My doubt is how to test a site which having captcha in the login screen,

#18 Gayatri

Thanks a lot for these tutorial. Really helpful. :) loving it!! :D

#19 Uzair

@Bharadwaj #7
Apparently the properties look same because controls are of same type (Text boxes) but look closely and you will find the IDs and names are unique.
Still if you face problem, reloading the page might be helpful.

#20 Uzair

@Bharadwaj #8
Drop downs store multiple values as options. These options have “value” and label properties. You can use either of them by using click command over the drop down. Below is an example
1. Enter “click” in Command box
2. Enter “id=id of your drop down” in Target box
3. Enter “value=1” in Value box.
This will select the First value in the drop down. Alternatively you can enter “label = your required text from combo list” into the value box and it will select the given text.

#21 Abhay Pawar

Awsome

#22 Abhay Pawar

Awesome

#23 Selam

Thank you so much for the best tutorial ever.

#24 trung

userfull
thanks

#25 rafik

awesome nice tutorial

#26 Rakesh

Hi,

I tried the above all steps for creating script and used valid user name and password, but my test case fails at password level by giving a valid password too.

Please help !!

#27 Sruthi

Hi Sruthi,

I am able to sign in to redbus application.but i dont know how to search for buses.In the onward date field there will be a calendar icon and a textbox.can you please tell me how to select the date?

I directly mentioned as type id=textbox,value =02-Feb-2017. but the calendar image is not closing which is stopping me from search.please help me with the code for selecting the date of journey

#28 Ajith

I’m not able to identify the id links etc….
ple help me

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