This page last changed on Aug 08, 2007 by bret.

Methods Supported by Element

The HTML Elements that are currently supported include:

button <input> tags with type=button, submit, image or reset
radio <input> tags with the type=radio; known as radio buttons
check_box <input> tags with type=checkbox
text_field <input> tags with the type=text (single-line), type=textarea (multi-line), and type=password
hidden <input> tags with type=hidden
select_list <select> tags, known as drop-downs or drop-down lists
label <label> tags (including "for" attribute)
span <span> tags
div <div> tags
p <p> (paragraph) tags
link <a> (anchor) tags
table <table> tags, including row and cell methods for accessing nested elements
image <img> tags
form <form> tags
frame frames, including both the <frame> elements and the corresponding pages
map <map> tags
area <area> tags
li <li> tags
h1 - h6 <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, <h6> tags

The ways ("How"s) that are available to identify an html object depend upon the object type, but include:

:id Used to find an element that has an "id=" attribute. Since each id should be unique, according to the XHTML specification, this is recommended as the most reliable method to find an object. *
:name Used to find an element that has a "name=" attribute. This is useful for older versions of HTML, but "name" is deprecated in XHTML. *
:value Used to find a text field with a given default value, or a button with a given caption, or a text field
:text Used for links, spans, divs and other element that contain text.
:index Used to find the nth element of the specified type on a page. For example, button(:index, 2) finds the second button. Current versions of WATIR use 1-based indexing, but future versions will use 0-based indexing.
:class Used for an element that has a "class=" attribute.
:title Used for an element that has a "title=" attribute.
:xpath Finds the item using xpath query.
:method Used only for forms, the method attribute of a form is either GET or POST.
:action Used only for form elements, specifies the URL where the form is to be submitted.
:href Used to identify a link by its "href=" attribute.
:src Used to identify an image by its URL.

* :id and :name are the quickest of these to process, and so should be used when possible to speed up scripts.

Supported Methods by Element

  :id :name :value :text :caption :index :class :xpath :title :method :action :href :src :for multiple attribute support?
h1 - h6


  • Are there any missing element types, or element types that shouldn't be included? (What about the following methods: tableCell? file_field? ps? pre?)
  • Any missing (or extraneous) attributes?
  • Any inaccuracies? (I assume that currently there are many.)
  • Should this be folded into, or linked to from, the User Guide?
  • Can someone add descriptions for :method and :action, above?
  • Other suggestions?
Document generated by Confluence on Aug 08, 2007 23:54