jQuery-style syntactic sugar for highly reliable automated browser testing in Python
Clone or download
Patrick R. Schmid
Patrick R. Schmid Merge branch 'hotfix/1.1.10'
Latest commit 438d580 Nov 2, 2017




jQuery-style syntactic sugar for highly reliable automated browser testing in Python

  • Chainable methods with obvious names
  • Easy to read
  • Concise to write
  • Built-in fault tolerance

For an introduction to why you'd want to use Elementium, take a look at the following post.

Before & After

With only the Selenium Python Bindings

# From http://selenium-python.readthedocs.org/en/latest/getting-started.html

from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys

driver = webdriver.Firefox()
assert "Python" in driver.title
elem = driver.find_element_by_name("q")

With Elementium

from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.common.keys import Keys
from elementium.drivers.se import SeElements

se = SeElements(webdriver.Firefox())
se.navigate("http://www.python.org").insist(lambda e: "Python" in e.title)
se.find("q").write("selenium" + Keys.RETURN)


The easy way

pip install elementium

The developer way

git clone git@github.com:actmd/elementium.git
cd elementium
python setup.py install


Elementium has been tested for Python 2.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, and pypy using Travis CI


Elementium includes by default a wrapper for the Selenium Python Bindings. As such, all of the usage examples make use of the Selenium driver.

Wrap the browser with an Elementium object

from selenium import webdriver
from elementium.drivers.se import SeElements

se = SeElements(webdriver.Firefox())

Navigating to a web page


Finding DOM elements

Elementium simplifies most of Selenium's many find methods...

  • find_element_by_id
  • find_element_by_name
  • find_element_by_tag_name
  • find_element_by_class_name
  • find_element_by_css_selector
  • find_element_by_link_text
  • find_element_by_partial_link_text

...into two find() and find_link() methods:

# Find by ID

# Find by name

# Find by tag name

# Find by class name

# Find by link text
se.find_link("Click me")

# Find by partial link text
se.find_link("Click", exact=False)

find() and find_link() will also return multiple elements, if present, so you can forget about all the additional find_elements_... methods, too:

<div>...</div> <div>...</div> <div>...</div>
len(se.find("div")) # == 3

Under the hood, find() returns a new SeElements object containing a list of all of the items that matched. (These individual items are also of type SeElements.)

Getting specific items

The get method lets you pull out a specific item in a chainable manner.

<button>Foo</button> <button>Bar</button> <button>Baz</button>
# Get the second button

Accessing the raw object

If you would rather get the raw object (e.g. SeleniumWebElement) that is returned by the underlying driver, use items:

# Find elements on a page for a given class
buttons = se.find("button")
for button in buttons.items:
    print type(button)

The item alias will return the first raw item:


Getting values

<input value="blerg" />
se.find("input").value() # returns 'blerg'

Clicking things

<button>Click me</button>
<input type="checkbox" value="check1">
<input type="checkbox" value="check2">
<input type="checkbox" value="check3">
# Click all three checkboxes


<input type="text" />
se.find("input").write("If not now, when?")


    <option value="cb">Corned Beef</option>
    <option value="ps">Pastrami</option>
# Select by visible text
se.find("select").select(text="Corned Beef")

# Select by value

# Select by index

If manipulating a multiple select, you may use the deselect() method in a similar manner:

<select multiple>
    <option value="h">Hummus</option>
    <option value="t">Tahina</option>
    <option value="c">Chips</option>
    <option value="a">Amba</option>
# Deselect by visible text

# Deelect by value

# Deselect by index

# Deselect all


So far, we haven't taken any huge leaps from off-the-shelf Selenium, though we're certainly typing less!

One of the big issues with Selenium is waiting for pages to load completely and all of the retry logic that may have to be used to have tests that work well. A common solution is to wrap your code with "retry" functions.

For example, a naive way of retrying might have been:

browser = webdriver.Firefox()
els = None
while not els:
    els = browser.find_element_by_tag_name('button')

With Elementium, just tell find() to wait:

# Retry until we find a button on the page (up to 20 seconds by default)
se.find('button', wait=True)

Have a more complex success condition? Use until():

# Retry until we find 3 buttons on the page (up to 20 seconds by default)
se.find('button').until(lambda e: len(e) == 3)

# Retry for 60 seconds
se.find('button').until(lambda e: len(e) == 3, ttl=60)

Both of the above methods will raise a elementium.elements.TimeoutError if the element is not found in the specified period of time.

Basically all methods that are part of the SeElements object will be automatically retried for you. Under the hood, each selector (e.g. '.foo' or '#foo') is stored as a callback function (similar to something like lambda: selenium.find_element_by_id('foo')). This way, when any of the calls to any of the methods of an element has an expected error (StaleElementException, etc.) it will recall this function. If you perform chaining, this will actually propagate that refresh (called update()) up the entire chain to ensure that all parts of the call are valid. Cool!

(Look at the code for more detail.)

Making assertions

se.find('input').insist(lambda e: e.value() == 'Pilkington')

This works exactly like until() above, only it raises an AssertionError instead.

Other useful methods

See the full Elementium documentation for more details on the following methods.

  • filter()
  • scroll()
  • scroll_top()
  • scroll_bottom()

The following are simply more reliable versions of their Selenium counterparts. Some have been renamed for ease of use.

  • is_displayed()
  • is_enabled()
  • is_selected()
  • text()
  • tag_name()
  • attribute()
  • clear()
  • parent()
  • xpath()
  • source()
  • refresh()
  • current_url()
  • execute_script()
  • get_window_size()
  • set_window_size()
  • switch_to_active_element()


There are a couple examples in the aptly named examples directory. Take a look there for fully functioning source code.

Running the Tests


First, make sure to install the testing requirements

pip install -r requirements-tests.txt

Then run the tests via nose


Running the tests across multiple python versions in parallel

If you don't trust our Travis CI badge above, you can run all of the tests across multiple python versions by using pyenv and detox. A good writeup for what you need to do to set this up can be found here. If you are using OS X and installed pyenv with brew, make sure to follow these instructions as well.

# Assuming OS X with Homebrew installed
brew update
brew install pyenv
# Install tox and detox
pip install tox
pip install detox

You'll want to make sure that you have all of the different python versions are installed so that they can be tested:

# Install the pyenv versions
pyenv install 2.7.13
pyenv install 3.3.6
pyenv install 3.4.7
pyenv install 3.5.4
pyenv install 3.6.0

# Set all these to be global versions
pyenv global system 2.7.13 3.3.6 3.4.7 3.5.4 3.6.0

# Make sure that they are all there (they should all have a * next to them)
pyenv versions

Once you get everything installed, you can run the tests across the different versions as follows.


Note this assumes that you have detox installed globally.

Assuming all goes well, you should see a result akin to

py27-1.7: commands succeeded
py27-1.8: commands succeeded
py27-1.9: commands succeeded
py27-master: commands succeeded
py32-1.7: commands succeeded
py32-1.8: commands succeeded
py33-1.7: commands succeeded
py33-1.8: commands succeeded
py34-1.7: commands succeeded
py34-1.8: commands succeeded
py34-1.9: commands succeeded
py34-master: commands succeeded
py35-1.8: commands succeeded
py35-1.9: commands succeeded
py35-master: commands succeeded
congratulations :)

If you run in to an issue with running detox, make sure that you have the latest version of pip as there are some issues with pyenv and older versions of pip.

The Future

There are several features planned for the future to improve Elementium and they will be rolled out as they pass through our internal scrutiny. If you have great ideas, you can be part of Elementium's future as well!


If you would like to contribute to this project, you will need to use git flow. This way, any and all changes happen on the development branch and not on the master branch. As such, after you have git-flow-ified your elementium git repo, create a pull request for your branch, and we'll take it from there.


Elementium has been a collaborative effort of ACT.md.