How to Inspect Elements in Chrome, Firefox and IE using Web Inspector

How to Inspect Elements in Chrome, Firefox and IE using Web Inspector

How to use inspect elements in a web browser? Inspect elements in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer.

As we know that the web applications embed the JavaScriptCSS, and other dependencies in the HTML code, which renders in the web browser to show the final look and feel of the application. As HTML code is not compiled but is directly rendered in the browser, it becomes challenging for the developers to make the needed changes in the code files and then preview the browser changes. This raises the need for web browsers capability, which can enable the users to make the JavaScript, CSS, and HTML changes directly inside the browser. Even testers finding and inspecting an element in the browser has become a key term in automation testing. A web inspector or browser inspector helps identify the locators for the available elements on the web page, which we want to automate. In other words, it helps us to inspect elements.

Don’t worry. This is not an additional software that you are required to install but comes inbuilt into the browsers. The web inspector is similar in _Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox browser_with slight changes in the names and features. Through _the web developer tools, _we can inspect elements in these browsers. In this article, we will focus on the following points to understand the usage of the web inspector in various modern browsers:

  • What is a Web Inspector?
  • _How to inspect elements in a Web Browser? _
  • How to inspect elements in Google Chrome?
  • _Similarly, how to inspect elements in Firefox? _
  • How to inspect elements in Microsoft Edge?
  • Also, how to inspect elements in Internet Explorer?
  • How to manipulate Web Elements using Web Inspector?
  • How to manipulate HTML attributes using Web Inspector?
  • Also, how to manipulate CSS attributes using Web Inspector?
  • How to manipulate JavaScript attributes using Web Inspector?

What is a Web Inspector?

As mentioned earlier, a w__eb inspector  or a browser inspector helps to identify/locate what’s inside the web page in a browser. With the web inspector beside us, we can explore and manipulate the browser’s code to see the screen’s sudden changes. This is also popularly referred to as “inspecting an element.” The inspector shows the CSS, HTML, and JavaScript of the web page so that the developer or the tester can analyze the web page and use the browser developer tools’ features to run a few checks.

A good example is checking out the color of some text on the web page. If I try to change the color code on my text editor, save the file, refresh the web page again, and again, it becomes tedious. For this, I can change the color code within the browser through the web inspector on that particular line and see live on the web page. These changes done on the web inspector are temporary and will disappear once I close the tab. This makes the debugging very easy and live, where the user can directly update the attributes within the browser only. Hence, you can go wild and experiment with anything!!

How to Inspect Elements In a web browser?

Although there are multiple ways to open up the web inspector  and inspect elements on a web page, the easiest way is to right-click on the web page and select Inspect. We can also use the following shortcuts to open the web inspector.

  • Windows: _**_CTRL+SHIFT+C**
  • Mac: _**_Command + Shift + C**

Note: We are using the Google Chrome browser here for the demonstration.

A demonstration can be seen below on the _Google Chrome browser _ as below:

web inspector in a browser

detailed guide on the inspect panel in Google chrome is worth reading to explore the inspect panel with full potential.

For the current tutorial, it is okay to know the elements we would like to inspect. Click on the below-shown icon after opening the inspect element panel.

Google Chrome Developer Tools

This icon will enable to hover inspection of the web element. Once you have clicked on it, if you hover on any element on the web page, it will be highlighted in the code Elements panel. This happens vice-versa too. Hovering over the elements in the code will highlight that particular element in the web page:

inspect element using hover

Although all the browsers contain web inspector and are more or less similar, slight changes still exist. Let’s see how to open the inspect panel in various popular web browsers.

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