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ThatOieBoy
Regular Visitor

CSS Selector Tool or Browser Extension

After doing a brief search, I haven't found any details on this topic so I thought I'd ask but I'm sure this has been shared somewhere before.

After doing a web search for CSS selector tools, I discovered that there are a bunch of google chrome extensions available that help with determining xpath and css selectors on websites. 


I know that PAD offers the ability "record" it's own selectors, but I have found that when trying to make dynamic selectors that work with dynamic page content, the longest part of my program debugging is in trying to get the selectors correct. 

I'm curious to see if anyone has used a tool or extension with success and if so what people suggest!

Thanks! 

3 REPLIES 3
Henrik_M
Super User
Super User

Hey boy!

I use two selector tools:

  1. Add UI element manually. Never use the Recorder.
  2. Basic knowledge about HTML and CSS.
SjaakS
Frequent Visitor

Hi! I do not know if you are talking about using regular UI elements in PA Desktop.

If that is the case, I can suggest using actions found under "Browser automation" -> "Web data extraction".

In the MS learn portal, there is a module called "Web automation in Power Automate for desktop" where this page might be of interest - the use of CSS selectors is also addressed on this page.

What I'm looking for is some kind of tool outside of Power Automate. Something similar to software tools like SelectorsHub or Ranorex, where you can test out different selectors  to see if they will work dynamically. 

I have a basic understanding of CSS and can certainly make most selectors work with enough intensive trial and error. 

Let me explain a little more to help you understand where I'm coming from. 

So far, all of the many web scraping flows I've created have had some kind of dynamic UI element as part of the process. 
So for example my flows are usually something like this:


-Read text from excel file. 
-Enter that text on web page and click search button. 
-click on UI element that roughly matches the text from the excel file <(This is where I have the most problems).

   -this takes me to a web page with some kind of data on it.

-Extract the data I need and put it on the excel sheet. 

The text on my excel sheet may be something like "Jims Web Service, LLC" but the text on the actual website might be "Jim's Web-Service L.L.C." and I still need to be able to locate the text and click on it.

 

As you can see, these flows can be highly dynamic and I need a way to test clicking the UI elements that is quick and simple.
Having to run a flow over and over again in order to see if my selector "code" magically works this time is a HUGE time waster. 

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