Handling Web Tables, Frames, and Dynamic Elements in Selenium Script – Selenium Tutorial #18

In last Selenium WebDriver tutorial, we learned various commonly and routinely used Selenium WebDriver commands including important topics like handling iframe and exceptions in Selenium scripts.

Moving ahead in our comprehensive series of tutorials on Selenium, in this tutorial we would discuss about handling Web tables, iframe and dynamic elements which are an essential part of any web project.

This tutorial consists of 3 different topics and their handling mechanisms in selenium script.

Handling Web Tables, Frames, and Dynamic Elements in Selenium Script

  1. Web Tables/HTML tables
  2. Frames
  3. Dynamic elements

#1) Web Tables/HTML Tables

In this module, we will learn about the web tables or HTML tables in a web page, tags available in HTML and how to handle web tables dynamically.

Web tables are basically a group of elements that are logically stored in a row and column format. It is used to organize similar information on a web page.

Below is an example of Html table:

Handling web tables in selenium

Below is the snippet of HTML structure of an HTML table:

Handling web tables in selenium 1

Below tags are generally defined in html tables:

1.’table’ tag defines HTML table.
2.’tbody’ tag defines a container for rows and columns.
3.’tr’ defines rows in an HTML table.
4.’td’/’th’ define the column of an HTML table.

Find the details of a web table:

There are many ways we can handle a web table.

Approach #1:

Below is the xpath of one of the cell in html table. Let’s say “firstname”


tr[1] defines first row and th[1] defines first column.

If a number of rows and columns are always constant, let’s say our HTML table will always have 5 rows and 3 columns.

for(int numberOfRows=1; numberOfRows<=5; numberOfRows++)
for(int numberOfCol=1; numberOfCol <=3; numberOfCol++)


Except for row and column number, each component of XPath remains the same. So you can iterate using “for loop” for each row and column as mentioned above.

Approach #2:

The first approach is best suitable for the table which doesn’t change its dimensions and always remains the same. Above approach will not be a perfect solution for dynamically changing web tables.

Let’s take above HTML table as an example:

WebElement htmltable=driver.findElement(By.xpath("//*[@id='main']/table[1]/tbody"));
List<WebElement> rows=htmltable.findElements(By.tagName("tr"));

for(int rnum=0;rnum<rows.size();rnum++)
List<WebElement> columns=rows.get(rnum).findElements(By.tagName("th"));
System.out.println("Number of columns:"+columns.size());

for(int cnum=0;cnum<columns.size();cnum++)

Step 1: First get the entire HTML table and store this in a variable ‘htmltable’ of type web element.

Step 2: Get all the rows with tag name ‘tr’ and store all the elements in a list of web elements. Now all the elements with tag ‘tr’ are stored in ‘rows’ list.

Step 3: Loop through each row and get the list of elements with tag ‘th’. ‘rows.get(0)’ will give first row and ‘findElements(By.tagName(“th”))’ will give list of columns for the row.

Step 4: Iterate using ‘columns.getsize()’ and get the details of each cell.

Note: Above approach will be best suitable if the table dimensions changes dynamically.

This concludes the topic how to handle web tables in selenium. Next, we will learn about handling an element inside a frame.

#2) Frames

In this section, we will learn about the frames in a web page and how to identify the frames. Also, we will find out how we can handle a frame in Selenium WebDriver.

Many developers like to place elements inside a frame. The frame is just like a container where few elements can be grouped.

Identification of a frame:

Different ways to know if the element is present inside a frame or not

#1. Right-click on the element. Check if “This Frame” option is available. If This frame option is available, it means that the element is inside a frame.

#2. View page source of the web page and check if any tag is available for ‘iframe’.

Handling iframes in selenium

Verify Number of frames in a webpage:

All the frames are having the tag name as “iframe”.

List<WebElement> frameList=driver.findElements(By.tagName(“iframe”));

In above example: frameList will have all the list of frames and frameList.size() will give the number of frames.

Handling an element inside the frame:

If an element is inside a frame then control has to switch to frame first and then start operating on the elements.

Step 1: To switch inside a frame:

driver.switchTo().frame(1); //pass frame number as parameter.
driver.switchTo().frame(“frame Name”); //pass frame name as parameter.
driver.switchTo().frame(“xpath of the frame”);

Step 2: After switching inside a frame selenium will be able to operate on elements.


Here, we have learned how to handle an element inside frame and next we will cover about the different ways to handle dynamic element.

#3) Dynamic Elements

In this section we will learn different ways to handle dynamic element and construct generic Xpath.

In few scenarios, element attributes change dynamically. It can be ‘id’, ’name’ etc.

Example: let’s say ‘id’ of a username field is ‘username_123’ and the XPath will be

//*[@id=’username_123′] but when you open the page again the ‘id’ of ‘username’ field might have changed and the new value may be ‘username_234’.

In this case, the test will fail because the selenium could not find the XPath you have passed earlier as the id of the field has changed to some other value.

There are many approaches depending upon the type of problem:

Problem Type 1: If part of the attribute value changes.

Example: As in the above example, id value changes but few fields remains constant.
‘username_123’ changed to ‘username_234’ but ‘username’ always remained constant.

You can construct xpath as below:


‘contains’ is a java method which checks if id contains the substring username.
starts-with() checks if any attribute starts with “user”.

Problem Type 2: If entire value of the attribute changes dynamically.

Again, in this case, there could be different approaches:

Handling Dynamic elements in selenium
For example: if id of ‘login’ field changes dynamically and there is no constant value to use contains method.

Solution: Use of sendKeys.
Selenium provides different API to use function keys. For example tab key, enter keys, F5 etc.

Step 1: Enter password

Step 2: Use key functions to navigate to element.


Web tables, frames and dynamic elements are essential part of any web project. It is always desirable to write effective code to handle web tables and dynamic elements.

Understanding the construction of generic XPath which is very helpful while handling dynamic elements. In case of a frame, your script has to switch the frame and then operate on the element.

Next tutorial #19: In next Selenium tutorial we will learn about types of exceptions and how to handle exceptions in java in Selenium scripts.

Please post your queries related to Web tables, frames and handling dynamic element if you have any.

Recommended Reading

44 thoughts on “Handling Web Tables, Frames, and Dynamic Elements in Selenium Script – Selenium Tutorial #18”

  1. Get an error “The method findElements(By) is undefined for the type Object” at line 6 while trying to run the code for dynamic web table.
    Can you help me resolve it.

  2. I am learning selenium, thanks for the post.
    I am facing one problem.
    i have one tree view control. nodes creating dynamically with context menu – insert command.
    I need get that textbox and to give node value.
    i have tried with given options in – Dynamic elements part but i didn’t get solution.
    In mycase javascript using to insert a textbox and click on anywhere in page, box should disapper.

    can you please help in this issue?

  3. In #1 Approach to find the data from web table.the xpath is not working which is as shown :

    However, I checked it, it is td[1] NOT th[1].
    In other words it should be:

  4. Table data can be fetched in another way…its quite simple for me….

    WebDriver dr=new FirefoxDriver();

    List td=dr.findElements(By.xpath(“//td”));
    String data[]=new String[td.size()];
    for(int i=0;i<td.size()-1;i++){
    WebElement wel=td.get(i);
    String x=data[i]=wel.getText();

  5. Hi,

    Please clarify by below doubt.

    I need to select a row in the table based on the value present in a particular cell. Currently, I am using xpath as driver.findElement(By.xpath(“//div//table[@id=”]/tbody[1]/tr[12]/td[1]”)); to select that particular row.

    Is it possible to select the row by giving the value present in the particular cell instead of giving row id like tr[12]?

    Please help.

    • There are ways to do this simply using xpaths, but it can get kind of long and convoluted. However, if you happen to be using the .NET version of WebDriver, I’ve just released an extension called TableDriver.NET that makes working with tables and specifically finding rows by their contents much easier. You can find the project here: https://github.com/jkindwall/TableDriver.NET. Here’s a quick example of how its used:

      Assuming we are working with the html table in section #1 of this article, and we want to look up how many points Eve Jackson has, with the TableDriver extension to WebDriver, the code would look like this:

      Table table = Table.Create(driver.FindElement(By.Id(“main”)));
      string points = table.FindCell(“Firstname=Eve&Lastname=Jackson”, “Points”).Element.Text;

  6. Hi,
    please help me in getting the cell value of a dynamic webtable.

    i am trying to automate a scenario to cancel a room in the above mention site based on the order#. These order numbers were displayed in a dynamic webtable. i want to read the each order# and compare with the order# to be cancelled. I am able to iterate the table but couldn’t get the value of the cell. Please help , thanks in advance

  7. Hi,
    Thanks a lot for the useful solutions.

    I have screen with one to many mapping, example

    I have a user group “ABC” and it is having multiple users attached it in the multiple entry block of the screen.

    Record Heading
    User ID Name Age Sex

    Data should be as below

    1001 aaaaaa 20 Male
    1002 bbbbbb 25 Female
    1003 cccccc 22 Male
    1004 dddddd 30 Female

    In this scenario, How to add these test cases to the Excel sheet and add these values to the screen while running the automation script.

    your help will be highly appreciated

    Kind Regards

  8. Excellent, the way of explanation is very nice.

    I appreciate the efforts but i also suggest to add few more real time problems.

  9. @Monisha

    I have find the solution to the problem you are facing
    please use the two for loop to generate the xpath dynamically and it should work .It worked for me

  10. In dynamic webtable, data is presented number of times.Now i want to count the repeated values in table.
    How can i get repeated data ??

  11. HI Thanks for your tutorial, it is really helpful.I am working on webtable it contains 18 records right now , 10 records in one page and remaining in 2 nd page and so on depends on no of records. I would like to get total no of records ,how to iterate through no of pages.
    Thanks in advance.

  12. I want to get html page source , after loading all dynamic data .
    is any other way is available instead of using findelements or some hord coding div elemets ???? .. please help … !

  13. HI Thanks for your tutorial, it is really helpful.I am working on webtable it contains 18 records right now , 10 records in one page and remaining in 2 nd page and so on depends on no of records. I would like to get total no of records ,how to iterate through no of pages.
    Thanks in advance.

  14. How to get the particular cell data?in web table
    For example in a table 10 rows and 20 colms are there.I want only 9 colom and 10 row data.

  15. #saikrishna
    first needs to traverse the table row and traverse row’s column saved it list now you can play with list and can get the particular cell value
    //find the table
    Arraylist tab =table.findElements(By.tagName(“tr”));

    //store the table row’s in table_row object
    ArrayList table_row =(ArrayList) table.findElements(By.tagName(“tr”));
    //get the row count
    int rowcount=table_row.size();
    //traverse the row to get column
    for(int row=1;row<rowcount;row++)
    //store the row's colmun in row_column object

    ArrayList row_column =(ArrayList) table_row.get(row).findElements(By.tagName(“td”));
    //get the column size
    int columncount=row_column.size();
    System.out.println(row+”rows column count is”+columncount);
    //traverse row’s column’s
    //for(int col=0;col<columncount;col++)
    //get the cell value
    String cellValue=row_column.get(col).getText();


    // if you want to reduce the table row's column
    you can reduce the for loop condition statement
    for(int row=1;row<rowcount;row++)
    you can change the rowcount to actual need row_count

    same for column
    for(int col=0;col<columncount;col++)
    change the columncount to actual need columncount

  16. public void f() throws IOException, BiffException {
    int rows = driver.findElements(By.tagName(“tr”)).size();
    int columns = driver.findElements(By.xpath(“//*[@id=’leftcontainer’]/table/thead/tr[1]/th”)).size();
    List Wvalues = new ArrayList();

    for(int m=1;m<=rows;m++)

    for(int n=1;n<=columns;n++)

    String data = driver.findElement(By.xpath("//*[@id='leftcontainer']/table/tbody/tr["+m+"]/td["+n+"]")).getText();

    how could i print the rows and columns text values in selenium. and how could i get the xlvalues from rows and columns from excel sheet.

  17. In my use case I am trying to return the .getText() of my elements tags, if there is text. If no text I need to check if my element has a child element like an tag and get that child elements .getAttribute(“title”) if there is a child element. Any Guidance on this process would be appreciated.

    • hello,
      You can use the xpath followed by /. (ex: //span[@class=’reply’]/.)
      That this in List of webelements and iterate:

      List element= driver.findElements(By.xpath(“//span[@class=’reply’]/.”));
      For(WebElement el1: element)
      String title=el1. .getAttribute(“title”);

      • hello,
        You can use the xpath followed by /. (ex: //span[@class=’reply’]/.)
        It returns child node of selected elements
        Take this in List of WebElements and iterate:

        List element= driver.findElements(By.xpath(“//span[@class=’reply’]/.”));
        For(WebElement el1: element)
        String title=el1. .getAttribute(“title”);

  18. Data Parser error is coming, cf= dataparser(filepath, sheetname) –in this line and showing null pointer exception, while trying to execute, can anyone help.

  19. How to declare all frames in method as function which could be called in other program as generic function??
    public static void Machint_Click(String LocatorType, String LocatorValue, String WaitType) throws Exception
    locator = locatorValue(LocatorType, LocatorValue);
    element = driver.findElement(locator);
    catch (NoSuchElementException e)
    System.err.format(LocatorType+ ” is invalid”);

  20. Hi,

    Can anyone advice how to write the code for example there is web table with multiple rows and columns, one of column is “NAME” and other column is “CITY” and many other columns too. So to write the code to get the CITY column text value of Robert (NAME Column) in web table, and here multiple rows of info available.


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