Selenium Commands

Selenium commands, often called selenese, are the set of commands that run your tests. A sequence of these commands is a test script. Here we explain those commands in detail, and we present the many choices you have in testing your web application when using Selenium.

Verifying Page Elements

Verifying UI elements on a web page is probably the most common feature of your automated tests. Selenese allows multiple ways of checking for UI elements. It is important that you understand these different methods because these methods define what you are actually testing.

For example, will you test that...

  1. an element is present somewhere on the page?
  2. specific text is somewhere on the page?
  3. specific text is at a specific location on the page?

For example, if you are testing a text heading, the text and its position at the top of the page are probably relevant for your test. If, however, you are testing for the existence of an image on the home page, and the web designers frequently change the specific image file along with its position on the page, then you only want to test that an image (as opposed to the specific image file) exists somewhere on the page.

Assertion or Verification?

Choosing between “assert” and “verify” comes down to convenience and management of failures. There’s very little point checking that the first paragraph on the page is the correct one if your test has already failed when checking that the browser is displaying the expected page. If you’re not on the correct page, you’ll probably want to abort your test case so that you can investigate the cause and fix the issue(s) promptly. On the other hand, you may want to check many attributes of a page without aborting the test case on the first failure as this will allow you to review all failures on the page and take the appropriate action. Effectively an “assert” will fail the test and abort the current test case, whereas a “verify” will fail the test and continue to run the test case.

The best use of this feature is to logically group your test commands, and start each group with an “assert” followed by one or more “verify” test commands. An example follows:

Command Target Value
open /download/  
assertTitle Downloads  
verifyText //h2 Downloads
assertTable 1.2.1 Selenium IDE
verifyTable 1.2.2 June 3, 2008
verifyTable 1.2.3 1.0 beta 2

The above example first opens a page and then “asserts” that the correct page is loaded by comparing the title with the expected value. Only if this passes will the following command run and “verify” that the text is present in the expected location. The test case then “asserts” the first column in the second row of the first table contains the expected value, and only if this passed will the remaining cells in that row be “verified”.

verifyTextPresent

The command verifyTextPresent is used to verify specific text exists somewhere on the page. It takes a single argument–the text pattern to be verified. For example:

Command Target Value
verifyTextPresent Marketing Analysis  

This would cause Selenium to search for, and verify, that the text string “Marketing Analysis” appears somewhere on the page currently being tested. Use verifyTextPresent when you are interested in only the text itself being present on the page. Do not use this when you also need to test where the text occurs on the page.

verifyElementPresent

Use this command when you must test for the presence of a specific UI element, rather then its content. This verification does not check the text, only the HTML tag. One common use is to check for the presence of an image.

Command Target Value
verifyElementPresent //div/p/img  

This command verifies that an image, specified by the existence of an <img> HTML tag, is present on the page, and that it follows a <div> tag and a <p> tag. The first (and only) parameter is a locator for telling the Selenese command how to find the element. Locators are explained in the next section.

verifyElementPresent can be used to check the existence of any HTML tag within the page. You can check the existence of links, paragraphs, divisions <div>, etc. Here are a few more examples.

Command Target Value
verifyElementPresent //div/p  
verifyElementPresent //div/a  
verifyElementPresent id=Login  
verifyElementPresent link=Go to Marketing Research  
verifyElementPresent //a[2]  
verifyElementPresent //head/title  

These examples illustrate the variety of ways a UI element may be tested. Again, locators are explained in the next section.

verifyText

Use verifyText when both the text and its UI element must be tested. verifyText must use a locator. If you choose an XPath or DOM locator, you can verify that specific text appears at a specific location on the page relative to other UI components on the page.

Command Target Value
verifyText //table/tr/td/div/p This is my text and it occurs right after the div inside the table.

Locating Elements

For many Selenium commands, a target is required. This target identifies an element in the content of the web application, and consists of the location strategy followed by the location in the format locatorType=location. The locator type can be omitted in many cases. The various locator types are explained below with examples for each.

Locating by Identifier

This is probably the most common method of locating elements and is the catch-all default when no recognised locator type is used. With this strategy, the first element with the id attribute value matching the location will be used. If no element has a matching id attribute, then the first element with a name attribute matching the location will be used.

For instance, your page source could have id and name attributes as follows:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
<html>
 <body>
  <form id="loginForm">
   <input name="username" type="text" />
   <input name="password" type="password" />
   <input name="continue" type="submit" value="Login" />
  </form>
 </body>
<html>

The following locator strategies would return the elements from the HTML snippet above indicated by line number:

  • identifier=loginForm (3)
  • identifier=username (4)
  • identifier=continue (5)
  • continue (5)

Since the identifier type of locator is the default, the identifier= in the first three examples above is not necessary.

Locating by Id

This type of locator is more limited than the identifier locator type, but also more explicit. Use this when you know an element’s id attribute.

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
 <html>
  <body>
   <form id="loginForm">
    <input name="username" type="text" />
    <input name="password" type="password" />
    <input name="continue" type="submit" value="Login" />
    <input name="continue" type="button" value="Clear" />
   </form>
  </body>
 <html>
  • id=loginForm (3)

Locating by Name

The name locator type will locate the first element with a matching name attribute. If multiple elements have the same value for a name attribute, then you can use filters to further refine your location strategy. The default filter type is value (matching the value attribute).

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
 <html>
  <body>
   <form id="loginForm">
    <input name="username" type="text" />
    <input name="password" type="password" />
    <input name="continue" type="submit" value="Login" />
    <input name="continue" type="button" value="Clear" />
   </form>
 </body>
 <html>
  • name=username (4)
  • name=continue value=Clear (7)
  • name=continue Clear (7)
  • name=continue type=button (7)

Note

Unlike some types of XPath and DOM locators, the three types of locators above allow Selenium to test a UI element independent of its location on the page. So if the page structure and organization is altered, the test will still pass. You may or may not want to also test whether the page structure changes. In the case where web designers frequently alter the page, but its functionality must be regression tested, testing via id and name attributes, or really via any HTML property, becomes very important.

Locating by XPath

XPath is the language used for locating nodes in an XML document. As HTML can be an implementation of XML (XHTML), Selenium users can leverage this powerful language to target elements in their web applications. XPath extends beyond (as well as supporting) the simple methods of locating by id or name attributes, and opens up all sorts of new possibilities such as locating the third checkbox on the page.

One of the main reasons for using XPath is when you don’t have a suitable id or name attribute for the element you wish to locate. You can use XPath to either locate the element in absolute terms (not advised), or relative to an element that does have an id or name attribute. XPath locators can also be used to specify elements via attributes other than id and name.

Absolute XPaths contain the location of all elements from the root (html) and as a result are likely to fail with only the slightest adjustment to the application. By finding a nearby element with an id or name attribute (ideally a parent element) you can locate your target element based on the relationship. This is much less likely to change and can make your tests more robust.

Since only xpath locators start with “//”, it is not necessary to include the xpath= label when specifying an XPath locator.

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
 <html>
  <body>
   <form id="loginForm">
    <input name="username" type="text" />
    <input name="password" type="password" />
    <input name="continue" type="submit" value="Login" />
    <input name="continue" type="button" value="Clear" />
   </form>
 </body>
 <html>
  • xpath=/html/body/form[1] (3) - Absolute path (would break if the HTML was changed only slightly)
  • //form[1] (3) - First form element in the HTML
  • xpath=//form[@id='loginForm'] (3) - The form element with attribute named ‘id’ and the value ‘loginForm’
  • xpath=//form[input/\@name='username'] (4) - First form element with an input child element with attribute named ‘name’ and the value ‘username’
  • //input[@name='username'] (4) - First input element with attribute named ‘name’ and the value ‘username’
  • //form[@id='loginForm']/input[1] (4) - First input child element of the form element with attribute named ‘id’ and the value ‘loginForm’
  • //input[@name='continue'][@type='button'] (7) - Input with attribute named ‘name’ and the value ‘continue’ and attribute named ‘type’ and the value ‘button’
  • //form[@id='loginForm']/input[4] (7) - Fourth input child element of the form element with attribute named ‘id’ and value ‘loginForm’

These examples cover some basics, but in order to learn more, the following references are recommended:

There are also a couple of very useful Firefox Add-ons that can assist in discovering the XPath of an element:

  • XPath Checker - suggests XPath and can be used to test XPath results.
  • Firebug - XPath suggestions are just one of the many powerful features of this very useful add-on.

Locating by DOM

The Document Object Model represents an HTML document and can be accessed using JavaScript. This location strategy takes JavaScript that evaluates to an element on the page, which can be simply the element’s location using the hierarchical dotted notation.

Since only dom locators start with “document”, it is not necessary to include the dom= label when specifying a DOM locator.

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
 <html>
  <body>
   <form id="loginForm">
    <input name="username" type="text" />
    <input name="password" type="password" />
    <input name="continue" type="submit" value="Login" />
    <input name="continue" type="button" value="Clear" />
   </form>
 </body>
 <html>
  • dom=document.getElementById('loginForm') (3)
  • dom=document.forms['loginForm'] (3)
  • dom=document.forms[0] (3)
  • document.forms[0].username (4)
  • document.forms[0].elements['username'] (4)
  • document.forms[0].elements[0] (4)
  • document.forms[0].elements[3] (7)

You can use Selenium itself as well as other sites and extensions to explore the DOM of your web application. A good reference exists on W3Schools.

Locating by CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language for describing the rendering of HTML and XML documents. CSS uses Selectors for binding style properties to elements in the document. These Selectors can be used by Selenium as another locating strategy.

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
 <html>
  <body>
   <form id="loginForm">
    <input class="required" name="username" type="text" />
    <input class="required passfield" name="password" type="password" />
    <input name="continue" type="submit" value="Login" />
    <input name="continue" type="button" value="Clear" />
   </form>
 </body>
 <html>
  • css=form#loginForm (3)
  • css=input[name="username"] (4)
  • css=input.required[type="text"] (4)
  • css=input.passfield (5)
  • css=#loginForm input[type="button"] (4)
  • css=#loginForm input:nth-child(2) (5)

For more information about CSS Selectors, the best place to go is the W3C publication. You’ll find additional references there.

Note

Most experienced Selenium users recommend CSS as their locating strategy of choice as it’s considerably faster than XPath and can find the most complicated objects in an intrinsic HTML document.

Implicit Locators

You can choose to omit the locator type in the following situations:

  • Locators without an explicitly defined locator strategy will default to using the identifier locator strategy. See Locating by Identifier.
  • Locators starting with “//” will use the XPath locator strategy. See Locating by XPath.
  • Locators starting with “document” will use the DOM locator strategy. See Locating by DOM

Matching Text Patterns

Like locators, patterns are a type of parameter frequently required by Selenese commands. Examples of commands which require patterns are verifyTextPresent, verifyTitle, verifyAlert, assertConfirmation, verifyText, and verifyPrompt. And as has been mentioned above, link locators can utilize a pattern. Patterns allow you to describe, via the use of special characters, what text is expected rather than having to specify that text exactly.

There are three types of patterns: globbing, regular expressions, and exact.

Globbing Patterns

Most people are familiar with globbing as it is utilized in filename expansion at a DOS or Unix/Linux command line such as ls *.c. In this case, globbing is used to display all the files ending with a .c extension that exist in the current directory. Globbing is fairly limited. Only two special characters are supported in the Selenium implementation:

* which translates to “match anything,” i.e., nothing, a single character, or many characters.

[ ] (character class) which translates to “match any single character found inside the square brackets.” A dash (hyphen) can be used as a shorthand to specify a range of characters (which are contiguous in the ASCII character set). A few examples will make the functionality of a character class clear:

[aeiou] matches any lowercase vowel

[0-9] matches any digit

[a-zA-Z0-9] matches any alphanumeric character

In most other contexts, globbing includes a third special character, the ?. However, Selenium globbing patterns only support the asterisk and character class.

To specify a globbing pattern parameter for a Selenese command, you can prefix the pattern with a glob: label. However, because globbing patterns are the default, you can also omit the label and specify just the pattern itself.

Below is an example of two commands that use globbing patterns. The actual link text on the page being tested was “Film/Television Department”; by using a pattern rather than the exact text, the click command will work even if the link text is changed to “Film & Television Department” or “Film and Television Department”. The glob pattern’s asterisk will match “anything or nothing” between the word “Film” and the word “Television”.

Command Target Value
click link=glob:Film*Television Department  
verifyTitle glob:*Film*Television*  

The actual title of the page reached by clicking on the link was “De Anza Film And Television Department - Menu”. By using a pattern rather than the exact text, the verifyTitle will pass as long as the two words “Film” and “Television” appear (in that order) anywhere in the page’s title. For example, if the page’s owner should shorten the title to just “Film & Television Department,” the test would still pass. Using a pattern for both a link and a simple test that the link worked (such as the verifyTitle above does) can greatly reduce the maintenance for such test cases.

Regular Expression Patterns

Regular expression patterns are the most powerful of the three types of patterns that Selenese supports. Regular expressions are also supported by most high-level programming languages, many text editors, and a host of tools, including the Linux/Unix command-line utilities grep, sed, and awk. In Selenese, regular expression patterns allow a user to perform many tasks that would be very difficult otherwise. For example, suppose your test needed to ensure that a particular table cell contained nothing but a number. regexp: [0-9]+ is a simple pattern that will match a decimal number of any length.

Whereas Selenese globbing patterns support only the * and [ ] (character class) features, Selenese regular expression patterns offer the same wide array of special characters that exist in JavaScript. Below are a subset of those special characters:

PATTERN MATCH
. any single character
[ ] character class: any single character that appears inside the brackets
* quantifier: 0 or more of the preceding character (or group)
+ quantifier: 1 or more of the preceding character (or group)
? quantifier: 0 or 1 of the preceding character (or group)
{1,5} quantifier: 1 through 5 of the preceding character (or group)
| alternation: the character/group on the left or the character/group on the right
( ) grouping: often used with alternation and/or quantifier

Regular expression patterns in Selenese need to be prefixed with either regexp: or regexpi:. The former is case-sensitive; the latter is case-insensitive.

A few examples will help clarify how regular expression patterns can be used with Selenese commands. The first one uses what is probably the most commonly used regular expression pattern–.* (“dot star”). This two-character sequence can be translated as “0 or more occurrences of any character” or more simply, “anything or nothing.” It is the equivalent of the one-character globbing pattern * (a single asterisk).

Command Target Value
click link=regexp:Film.*Television Department  
verifyTitle regexp:.*Film.*Television.*  

The example above is functionally equivalent to the earlier example that used globbing patterns for this same test. The only differences are the prefix (regexp: instead of glob:) and the “anything or nothing” pattern (.* instead of just *).

The more complex example below tests that the Yahoo! Weather page for Anchorage, Alaska contains info on the sunrise time:

Command Target Value
open http://weather.yahoo.com/forecast/USAK0012.html  
verifyTextPresent regexp:Sunrise: *[0-9]{1,2}:[0-9]{2} [ap]m  

Let’s examine the regular expression above one part at a time:

Sunrise: * The string Sunrise: followed by 0 or more spaces
[0-9]{1,2} 1 or 2 digits (for the hour of the day)
: The character : (no special characters involved)
[0-9]{2} 2 digits (for the minutes) followed by a space
[ap]m “a” or “p” followed by “m” (am or pm)

Exact Patterns

The exact type of Selenium pattern is of marginal usefulness. It uses no special characters at all. So, if you needed to look for an actual asterisk character (which is special for both globbing and regular expression patterns), the exact pattern would be one way to do that. For example, if you wanted to select an item labeled “Real *” from a dropdown, the following code might work or it might not. The asterisk in the glob:Real * pattern will match anything or nothing. So, if there was an earlier select option labeled “Real Numbers,” it would be the option selected rather than the “Real *” option.

select //select glob:Real *

In order to ensure that the “Real *” item would be selected, the exact: prefix could be used to create an exact pattern as shown below:

select //select exact:Real *

But the same effect could be achieved via escaping the asterisk in a regular expression pattern:

select //select regexp:Real \*

It’s rather unlikely that most testers will ever need to look for an asterisk or a set of square brackets with characters inside them (the character class for globbing patterns). Thus, globbing patterns and regular expression patterns are sufficient for the vast majority of us.

The “AndWait” Commands

The difference between a command and its AndWait alternative is that the regular command (e.g. click) will do the action and continue with the following command as fast as it can, while the AndWait alternative (e.g. clickAndWait) tells Selenium to wait for the page to load after the action has been done.

The AndWait alternative is always used when the action causes the browser to navigate to another page or reload the present one.

Be aware, if you use an AndWait command for an action that does not trigger a navigation/refresh, your test will fail. This happens because Selenium will reach the AndWait‘s timeout without seeing any navigation or refresh being made, causing Selenium to raise a timeout exception.

The waitFor Commands in AJAX applications

In AJAX driven web applications, data is retrieved from server without refreshing the page. Using andWait commands will not work as the page is not actually refreshed. Pausing the test execution for a certain period of time is also not a good approach as web element might appear later or earlier than the stipulated period depending on the system’s responsiveness, load or other uncontrolled factors of the moment, leading to test failures. The best approach would be to wait for the needed element in a dynamic period and then continue the execution as soon as the element is found.

This is done using waitFor commands, as waitForElementPresent or waitForVisible, which wait dynamically, checking for the desired condition every second and continuing to the next command in the script as soon as the condition is met.

Sequence of Evaluation and Flow Control

When a script runs, it simply runs in sequence, one command after another.

Selenese, by itself, does not support condition statements (if-else, etc.) or iteration (for, while, etc.). Many useful tests can be conducted without flow control. However, for a functional test of dynamic content, possibly involving multiple pages, programming logic is often needed.

When flow control is needed, there are three options:

  1. Run the script using Selenium-RC and a client library such as Java or PHP to utilize the programming language’s flow control features.
  2. Run a small JavaScript snippet from within the script using the storeEval command.
  3. Install the goto_sel_ide.js extension.

Most testers will export the test script into a programming language file that uses the Selenium-RC API (see the Selenium-IDE chapter). However, some organizations prefer to run their scripts from Selenium-IDE whenever possible (for instance, when they have many junior-level people running tests for them, or when programming skills are lacking). If this is your case, consider a JavaScript snippet or the goto_sel_ide.js extension.

Store Commands and Selenium Variables

You can use Selenium variables to store constants at the beginning of a script. Also, when combined with a data-driven test design (discussed in a later section), Selenium variables can be used to store values passed to your test program from the command-line, from another program, or from a file.

The plain store command is the most basic of the many store commands and can be used to simply store a constant value in a selenium variable. It takes two parameters, the text value to be stored and a selenium variable. Use the standard variable naming conventions of only alphanumeric characters when choosing a name for your variable.

Command Target Value
store paul@mysite.org userName

Later in your script, you’ll want to use the stored value of your variable. To access the value of a variable, enclose the variable in curly brackets ({}) and precede it with a dollar sign like this.

Command Target Value
verifyText //div/p ${userName}

A common use of variables is for storing input for an input field.

Command Target Value
type id=login ${userName}

Selenium variables can be used in either the first or second parameter and are interpreted by Selenium prior to any other operations performed by the command. A Selenium variable may also be used within a locator expression.

An equivalent store command exists for each verify and assert command. Here are a couple more commonly used store commands.

storeElementPresent

This corresponds to verifyElementPresent. It simply stores a boolean value–”true” or “false”–depending on whether the UI element is found.

storeText

StoreText corresponds to verifyText. It uses a locater to identify specific page text. The text, if found, is stored in the variable. StoreText can be used to extract text from the page being tested.

storeEval

This command takes a script as its first parameter. Embedding JavaScript within Selenese is covered in the next section. StoreEval allows the test to store the result of running the script in a variable.

JavaScript and Selenese Parameters

JavaScript can be used with two types of Selenese parameters: script and non-script (usually expressions). In most cases, you’ll want to access and/or manipulate a test case variable inside the JavaScript snippet used as a Selenese parameter. All variables created in your test case are stored in a JavaScript associative array. An associative array has string indexes rather than sequential numeric indexes. The associative array containing your test case’s variables is named storedVars. Whenever you wish to access or manipulate a variable within a JavaScript snippet, you must refer to it as storedVars[‘yourVariableName’].

JavaScript Usage with Script Parameters

Several Selenese commands specify a script parameter including assertEval, verifyEval, storeEval, and waitForEval. These parameters require no special syntax. A Selenium-IDE user would simply place a snippet of JavaScript code into the appropriate field, normally the Target field (because a script parameter is normally the first or only parameter).

The example below illustrates how a JavaScript snippet can be used to perform a simple numerical calculation:

Command Target Value
store 10 hits
storeXpathCount //blockquote blockquotes
storeEval storedVars[‘hits’]-storedVars[‘blockquotes’] paragraphs

This next example illustrates how a JavaScript snippet can include calls to methods, in this case the JavaScript String object’s toUpperCase method and toLowerCase method.

Command Target Value
store Edith Wharton name
storeEval storedVars[‘name’].toUpperCase() uc
storeEval storedVars[‘name’].toLowerCase() lc

JavaScript Usage with Non-Script Parameters

JavaScript can also be used to help generate values for parameters, even when the parameter is not specified to be of type script. However, in this case, special syntax is required–the JavaScript snippet must be enclosed inside curly braces and preceded by the label javascript, as in javascript {*yourCodeHere*}. Below is an example in which the type command’s second parameter value is generated via JavaScript code using this special syntax:

Command Target Value
store league of nations searchString
type q javascript{storedVars[‘searchString’].toUpperCase()}

echo - The Selenese Print Command

Selenese has a simple command that allows you to print text to your test’s output. This is useful for providing informational progress notes in your test which display on the console as your test is running. These notes also can be used to provide context within your test result reports, which can be useful for finding where a defect exists on a page in the event your test finds a problem. Finally, echo statements can be used to print the contents of Selenium variables.

Command Target Value
echo Testing page footer now.  
echo Username is ${userName}  

Alerts, Popups, and Multiple Windows

Suppose that you are testing a page that looks like this.

 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html>
<head>
  <script type="text/javascript">
    function output(resultText){
      document.getElementById('output').childNodes[0].nodeValue=resultText;
    }

    function show_confirm(){
      var confirmation=confirm("Chose an option.");
      if (confirmation==true){
        output("Confirmed.");
      }
      else{
        output("Rejected!");
      }
    }

    function show_alert(){
      alert("I'm blocking!");
      output("Alert is gone.");
    }
    function show_prompt(){
      var response = prompt("What's the best web QA tool?","Selenium");
      output(response);
    }
    function open_window(windowName){
      window.open("newWindow.html",windowName);
    }
    </script>
</head>
<body>

  <input type="button" id="btnConfirm" onclick="show_confirm()" value="Show confirm box" />
  <input type="button" id="btnAlert" onclick="show_alert()" value="Show alert" />
  <input type="button" id="btnPrompt" onclick="show_prompt()" value="Show prompt" />
  <a href="newWindow.html" id="lnkNewWindow" target="_blank">New Window Link</a>
  <input type="button" id="btnNewNamelessWindow" onclick="open_window()" value="Open Nameless Window" />
  <input type="button" id="btnNewNamedWindow" onclick="open_window('Mike')" value="Open Named Window" />

  <br />
  <span id="output">
  </span>
</body>
</html>

The user must respond to alert/confirm boxes, as well as moving focus to newly opened popup windows. Fortunately, Selenium can cover JavaScript pop-ups.

But before we begin covering alerts/confirms/prompts in individual detail, it is helpful to understand the commonality between them. Alerts, confirmation boxes and prompts all have variations of the following

Command Description
assertFoo(pattern) throws error if pattern doesn’t match the text of the pop-up
assertFooPresent throws error if pop-up is not available
assertFooNotPresent throws error if any pop-up is present
storeFoo(variable) stores the text of the pop-up in a variable
storeFooPresent(variable) stores the text of the pop-up in a variable and returns true or false

When running under Selenium, JavaScript pop-ups will not appear. This is because the function calls are actually being overridden at runtime by Selenium’s own JavaScript. However, just because you cannot see the pop-up doesn’t mean you don’t have do deal with it. To handle a pop-up, you must call it’s assertFoo(pattern) function. If you fail to assert the presence of a pop-up your next command will be blocked and you will get an error similar to the following [error] Error: There was an unexpected Confirmation! [Chose an option.]

Alerts

Let’s start with asserts because they are the simplest pop-up to handle. To begin, open the HTML sample above in a browser and click on the “Show alert” button. You’ll notice that after you close the alert the text “Alert is gone.” is displayed on the page. Now run through the same steps with Selenium IDE recording, and verify the text is added after you close the alert. Your test will look something like this:

Command Target Value
open /  
click btnAlert  
assertAlert I’m blocking  
verifyTextPresent Alert is gone.  

You may be thinking “Thats odd, I never tried to assert that alert.” But this is Selenium-IDE handling and closing the alert for you. If you remove that step and replay the test you will get the following error [error] Error: There was an unexpected Alert! [I'm blocking!]. You must include an assertion of the alert to acknowledge it’s presence.

If you just want to assert that an alert is present but either don’t know or don’t care what text it contains, you can use assertAlertPresent. This will return true or false, with false halting the test.

Confirmations

Confirmations behave in much the same way as alerts, with assertConfirmation and assertConfirmationPresent offering the same characteristics as their alert counterparts. However, by default Selenium will select OK when a confirmation pops up. Try recording clicking on the “Show confirm box” button in the sample page, but click on the “Cancel” button in the popup, then assert the output text. Your test may look something like this:

Command Target Value
open /  
click btnConfirm  
chooseCancelOnNextConfirmation    
assertConfirmation Choose and option.  
verifyTextPresent Rejected  

The chooseCancelOnNextConfirmation function tells Selenium that all following confirmation should return false. It can be reset by calling chooseOkOnNextConfirmation.

You may notice that you cannot replay this test, because Selenium complains that there is an unhandled confirmation. This is because the order of events Selenium-IDE records causes the click and chooseCancelOnNextConfirmation to be put in the wrong order (it makes sense if you think about it, Selenium can’t know that you’re cancelling before you open a confirmation) Simply switch these two commands and your test will run fine.