Announcing new integrated locator tools

The new feature, locator tools, helps to create DOM locators with a mouse click.

Web UI automation has two aspects. The process of locating the elements that are supposed to be interacted with and the actual test case logic. The former requires knowledge about the structure of the HTML code of the application. When this structure over time changes test cases relying on previous structure break or rot, as it is often said.

An efficient test case development tool makes it easy to find out the locators of web elements, adjust them for maximized robustness, and also to change them afterwards.

Ideally web elements have a unique identifier. In those cases, ID as a locator is likely not to break in the future. Sometimes an ID is not available and more fragile methods must be used. These are the locator methods that assume a structure: CSS and Xpath locators.

Usetrace makes it easy to determine the best locator in all cases. You point and click the element you want to generate a locator for and a list of possible unique locators are generated directly in the code editor’s context. Typically there’re some simple ones such as ID or name, but as the last resort, there’s always an Xpath locator.

Sometimes in the more complicated situations it is best for a human to define a custom locator for maximized robustness and clarity. Our next improvement in our locator tools will address this case.

Usetrace offers the first complete end-to-end web testing solution in the cloud. You write, maintain and run tests in our web service – everything in one context. Request an invite at


Cover photo by Sylvia Bartyzel.

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