Firebug, Firepath, and other developer tools.

Firebug, Firepath, and other developer tools.

First thing should come to your mind, what are Firebug and firepath and why do I need to learn this? The answer is pretty simple, you should know that what you want to tell your selenium code to perform some action, and where? As a human, you exactly know that where you want to click on the screen or what kind of items you like to interact with. If you want to click on third menu item out of six on the screen, your mind will tell your hand or finger to move the cursor to that menu item and click but in case of selenium or another test tool, your test code should know that unique location before the click. Firebug and firepath help you to make your life easier by identifying your target element in your Firefox browser.

Installation Steps:

Firefox Users


Start firefox browser, open URL and search for Firebug add-on. You will see the following screen. You may notice different version of firebug based on your existing firefox version. Add this extension to your Firefox by clicking button ‘Add to Firefox’.
Firepath Addon

This action may ask to restart your firefox. Make sure you do not have any unsaved changes on any firefox instance opened on your computer. Once Firefox restarts, you will see the following icon in the browser’s add-on area. Now you can start using firebug.



Firepath is firebug extension and adds a development tool to edit and identify XPath or CSS selector of web element. To install firepath, you need to do the same as firebug in above steps and restart the browser. Once browser started, you can start using it.


Now you want to understand about an element like HTML code, XPath, and properties of that target element. Take an example, my application under test is, and I want to click on ‘Add to Cart’ button on the Nexus phone. Take your cursor to the desired button or element, do right click and choose “Inspect Element with firebug’ as below.

Firepath Addon

As soon as you click on the last option in the above dialog, you will see developer tool open where you can see all HTML code for the web page. There is no need to go into detail with other tabs which I will go in later chapters.

Firepath Addon

you can see Firepath tab on the above screen too. Now you if you want to have your script to click on this button, you have to give the locator of the button. The locator is a unique address of an element on the webpage so that your script can find and act on it. To find the locator either you can right click on the highlighted element on the above screen inside developer tool and select “Copy XPath” or “Copy CSS Path” as given below and save in your script at an appropriate place.

Firepath Addon

Firepath can better help to get CSS or XPath than getting from here. Go to FirePath tab in firebug tool and click inspect element and then point to target element on the webpage. It will highlight target element and give you the option to choose XPath/classpath as per your choice as below.

Firepath Addon

In Chrome Browser

If you are using google chrome, developer tool is already there. You do not have to worry about. Put your mouse cursor to the element where you want to perform the action, and do right click and choose “Inspect”. Developer tool will automatically open. right click on the highlighted and you can choose to copy XPath or CSS Selector as below.

Firepath Addon

There are many chrome extensions are available which can help you to find locator from chrome browser. You can play along with them and see if those are easy enough to use. There is no perfect tool but each developer in the world building something which is making our life easier. You can see various tabs above and we will talk more about that some other time.


Thanks for reading and your valuable feedback is important to make this website helpful for others. Do not hesitate to correct if you find any mistake or unclear line. I will try to improve and update periodically.


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