Join us on :

What is Frame ?

We can handle frames/iframes present in the webpage using browser.switchToFrame() command in WebdriverIO. Frame/iFrame is nothing but another webelement in html page, which displays another part of webpage.

If you take a look at the DOM structure of a page that contains an iframe you will never find inner content of the iframe. And you won't be able to interact with it via the DOM. We have to switch into frame to see the elements present in the frame.

Below frame page is present at : https://chercher.tech/practice/frames frames-example-selenium-webdriver

Difference between Frames and iFrames

Both Frame and iFrame are treated similar manner with WebdriverIO, WebdriverIO does not differentiate them, so we can handle both of them in same way.

Frame is a HTML tag and used to divide the same web page or same domain into various frames/windows. Used as <frame> tag, it specifies each frame within a frameset tag. Frames are used along with frameset, frameset contains the multiple frames.


<frameset rows = "10%,80%,10%">
	<frame id= "first" name = "top" src = "/html/top_frame.htm" />
	<frame name = "main" src = "/html/main_frame.htm" />
	<frame name = "side" src = "/html/side_frame.htm" />
</frameset>
						   
							


Iframe as <iframe> is also a tag used in HTML but it specifies an in-line frame which means it is used to embed not only same domain but also other webpages within the current HTML document. It is like a Television, it displays a thing which is present somewhere else.


							<iframe id="ifr" name="demo" src="demo.html" height="200" width="300"></iframe>
							
  • Frame requires a frameset, but iframes donot requires framesets.
  • Placement of Frames are bit difficult compared with iFrames
  • Adjusting the size and width of the Frame is difficult when compared with iFrame.
  • Frames cannot contain nested frames (frame inside frame) but iFrames can contain nested iFrames.
  • HTML5 doesn't support Frames, but supports iFrames.
Developers try to avoid using Iframes as these are external documents (webpages), so there is chance of Phishing.

Presence of Frame in WebdriverIO

It is important for tester to check whether an element is inside a iframe/frame or just on webpage. If element is inside a frame then we have to switch into frame to access the element.

1. Right click on the page (not on the element) which part you want to check .

2. On the right click options you can find This Frame Option, if this option is present then there is a iframe else there is no iframe frame-selenium-webdriver 3. Webpage without frame. noframe-selenium-webdriver

Handle frames in WebdriverIO

If we want to access any element inside a iframe in WebdriverIO, we must find and switch to that iframe and access the element. WebdriverIO provides two functions to handle the iframes/frames in automation.

  • switch to Frame
  • exit current frame
  • exit all the frames

switchToFrame with WebdriverIO

switchToFrame function in webdriverIO changes the focus to another frame on the page. We can find the iframe/frame using right click in manual testing, finding the iframe/frame in WebriverIO is little tricky one.

The switch the frame occurs in 4 different ways

Below are the ways to find the iframe/frame:

  • Using ID
  • Using Name (Not given in Official docs but works)
  • Using Element (widely used)
  • Using Index

Using ID and Name are looks similar in syntax as these two are overloaded methods, find the examples below.

Using ID :
We can find the frame using Id attribute present in the iframe/frame


							<iframe id="ifr" name="demo" src="demo.html" height="200" width="300"></iframe>
							
							// switching to a rame which has id as 'ifr'
							browser.switchToFrame("ifr")
							


Using Name :
We can find the frame using name attribute present in the iframe/frame


							<iframe id="ifr" name="demo" src="demo.html" height="200" width="300"></iframe>
							
							// switching to a frame which has name='demo'
							browser.switchToFrame("demo")
							


Using Element : Most of the time there will be multiple iframe/frame and few of them may share same id and name, so in such scenarios we cannot use id or name for finding the frame. So find the iframe/frame uniquely we have to find it as an element, the way we follow for normal elements.

Here we can use locators ( except id, name, as we used already) like classname, xpath css. We cannot use link text and partial link text as these two are only applicable for anchor tag <a>.

We also should refrain using tagname locator as there are multiple frame so we may not get the unique element.

Lets consider the below iframes, and xpath for this iframe would be :
Xpath for 1st iFrame : //iframe[@src='demo.html']
Xpath for 2nd iFrame : //iframe[@class='second']


							<iframe id="ifr" name="demo" src="demo.html" height="200" width="300"></iframe>
							<iframe id="ifr" name="demo" class='second' src="width.html" height="200" width="300"></iframe>
							<iframe id="ifr" name="demo" src="width.html" height="200" width="300"></iframe>
							
							// switch to 1st frame
							browser.switchToFrame($("//iframe[@src='demo.html']"))
							


Using Index : WebdriverIO assigns index to every frame present in the page, using index is the least preferred way of find the frame as in future frame position may change when development introduce another frame in between


							<iframe id="ifr" name="demo" src="demo.html" height="200" width="300"></iframe>
							<iframe id="ifr" name="demo" class='second' src="width.html" height="200" width="300"></iframe>
							<iframe id="ifr" name="demo" src="width.html" height="200" width="300"></iframe>
							
							// switch to 1st frame, index starts with 0
							browser.switchToFrame(1)
							


Handle single iFrame in webdriverIO

If we want to access any element inside a iframe in webdriverIO, we must find and switch to that iframe and access the element. WebdriverIO throws NoSuchElementFound Exception unless we switch to the iframe.

single-frame-example-selenium-webdriver

Scenario : Fetch the value from the Topic (page level) and write it to topic textbar present in iframe 1

Page Url : https://chercher.tech/practice/frames
single-frame-source-selenium-webdriver

Steps to solve scenario :
1. Open browser and navigate to : https://chercher.tech/practice/frames


								browser.url('https://chercher.tech/practice/frames')
								


2. Get the text from the Topic element and store it in a string.


								// store the text value
								var textValue = $("//label/span").getText();
								


3. Switch to the Frame1, frame have attribute id='frame1' and which is unique so we can use id way switching to the frame.


								// switch to frame1
								browser.switchToFrame("frame1")
								


4. Find the Text bar in the frame1 and enter the stored text.


								// set the value of the textbar to the value stored
								$("//input[@type='text']").setValue(textValue)
								


Complete program for handling single frame


								describe('WebdriverIO', () => {
									it('Handle iframes with WebdriverIO', () => {
										// open webpage
										browser.url('https://chercher.tech/practice/frames')
										// store the text value
										var textValue = $("//label/span").getText();
										// switch to frame1
										browser.switchToFrame("frame1")
										// set the value of the textbar to the value stored
										$("//input[@type='text']").setValue(textValue)
									});
								});
								
ssmple-iframe-example-webdriverio

Handling nested iFrame with webdriverIO

Sometimes we will have multiple and nested iframes in a webpage, if we have nested iframes we have to switch to iframe inside frame.

We can access only content of frame when we are inside a frame, we cannot access outside the frame or inside any other frame.

Scenario : Check the check box present in the iframe 3 , iframe 3 is present inside iframe 1.

Page Url : https://chercher.tech/practice/frames
nested-frame-selenium-webdriver

Solution to the scenario : Ignoring routine steps (open browser, page, wait)

  • Switch to iframe 1 using browser.switchToFrame() command
  • 
    							// switch to iframe1
    							browser.switchToFrameframe1);
    							
  • Find the iframe 3 and switch to it.
  • 
    							// find the frame 3
    							var frame3 = $("//iframe[@id='frame3']");
    							// switch to frame 3
    							browser.switchToFrame(frame3);
    							
  • Find the Check box and click it if it is not already checked.
  • 
    							// find the checkbox
    							var checkbox = $("//input[@type='checkbox']");
    							// if check box is not selected then click the checkbox
    							if(! checkbox.isSelected()){
    								checkbox.click();
    							}
    							


Complete program to handle nested frames.


							describe('WebdriverIO', () => {
								it('Handle iframes with WebdriverIO', () => {
									// open webpage
									browser.url('https://chercher.tech/practice/frames')
									// store the text value
									var textValue = $("//label/span").getText();
									// switch to frame1
									browser.switchToFrame("frame1")
									// find the frame 3
									var frame3 = $("//iframe[@id='frame3']");
									// switch to frame 3
									browser.switchToFrame(frame3);
									// find the checkbox
									var checkbox = $("//input[@type='checkbox']");
									// if check box is not selected then click the checkbox
									if(! checkbox.isSelected()){
										checkbox.click();
									}
								});
							});
							
nested-iframes-with-webdriverio

Navigate to Parent Frame with WebdriverIO


Switch to Parent Frame : switchToParentFrame() method in webdriverio switches the control to outer position(one place) in web page, the outer position could be a frame or page level.

In simple terms, switchToParentFrame() function exits the current frame.

After performing a particular task we have move out of the frame, otherwise we cannot access the elements outside the frame.

WebdriverIO provides browser.switchToParentFrame() function to move out of the current frame, once we move out of the frame we can access the elements outside that frame but we cannot access the elements inside that frame

Scenario :

  • Check the check box present in the iframe 3, iframe 3 is present inside iframe 1
  • After checking the check box, move back to iframe 1 and enter "selenium" text in the topic textbar
  • Now move back to page level and compare the topic(header) text is not equal to "selenium webdriver"

Page Url : https://chercher.tech/practice/frames
parent-frame-exampe-selenium-webdriver

Solution to Scenario : skipping few steps which were covered in previous scenario.

1. Switch to iframe 1 and switch to iframe 3, check the checkbox

2. Now we have to navigate back to frame 1 by using browser.switchToParentFrame() method


							// navigate to parent frame, which is iframe 1
							browser.switchToParentFrame();
							


3. Find the textbar and enter the "selenium" text in it.


							// set the value of the textbar to the value stored
							$("//input[@type='text']").setValue("selenium")
							


4. Now we have to navigate back to page by using browser.switchToParentFrame() method


							// navigate to parent, which is page
							browser.switchToParentFrame();
							


5. Find the topic header element and fetch the text.


							// store the text value 
							var textValue = $("label>span").getText());
							


6. Compare the topic text with expected value "selenium webdriver"


							if(textValue == "selenium webdriver"){
								console.log("Topic value is equal to 'selenium webdriver'");
							}
							


Complete program to use parent frame method


							it('Handle iframes with WebdriverIO', () => {
								browser.url("https://chercher.tech/practice/frames")
								browser.switchToFrame("frame1")
								browser.switchToFrame("frame3")
								var checkbox = $("//input[@type='checkbox']")
								if(! checkbox.isSelected()){
									checkbox.click();
								}
								// navigate to parent frame, which is frame 1
								browser.switchToParentFrame()
								 // set the value of the textbar to the value stored
								$("//input[@type='text']").setValue("selenium");
							   // navigate to parent, which is page
								browser.switchToParentFrame();
								// store the text value 
								var textValue = $("label>span").getText()
								browser.pause(5000)
								//verify the value matches or not
								expect(textValue).toBe("selenium webdriver")
							});
							

Default Content


Default Content : switchToFrame(null) method exits all the iframes and the places the webdriverio control at the page level where as switchToParentFrame() method exits the current iframe.

Once we reach page level we cannot access any elements inside the iframe unless we switch to it.

frames-example-selenium-webdriver

Scenario : Check the check box(frame 3), and select the 'Avatar' option from the Animals dropdown(frame 2).

Page Url : https://chercher.tech/practice/frames default-content-frames-selenium-webdriver

Solution to the scenario :

  • Switch to frame 1 and switch to frame 3
  • Check the checkbox
  • Now exit from all the frames using switchToFrame(null))
  • 
    										// navigate to page level
    										browser.switchToFrame(null)
    										
  • Switch to iframe 2
  • 
    										//switch to frame2
    										browser.switchToFrame("frame2");
    										
  • Select the value from Animals dropdown
  • 
    										$("select").selectByVisibleText("Avatar")
    										


Complete program for default content in WebdriverIO


										it('Handle iframes with WebdriverIO', () => {
											browser.url("https://chercher.tech/practice/frames")
											browser.switchToFrame("frame1")
											browser.switchToFrame("frame3")
											var checkbox = $("//input[@type='checkbox']")
											if(! checkbox.isSelected()){
												checkbox.click();
											}
											// navigate to page level
											browser.switchToFrame(null)
											//switch to frame2
											browser.switchToFrame("frame2");
											//find the dropdown and set value
											$("select").selectByVisibleText("Avatar")
										});
										

Possible Routes of iFrame Navigation

Below images explains the possible routes of the iFrame navigation. possible-routes-selenium-webdriver

About Author

Article is written by Pavan (a) KarthiQ. Well, I am serving notice period in an MNC, Bangalore. I thought to enrich every person knowledge a little, I always have a feeling, when we teach something, we will learn more than what you know. Knowledge is the only thing that doubles when you spend it.

I have also created the reporter for Protractor Jasmine. Use for your projects without any hesitation

Comment / Suggestion Section
Point our Mistakes and Post Your Suggestions