Before starting execution with Selenium IDE, first you will need to learn how to operate it. In this article we will discuss about Selenium IDE features, its most useful components/fields and their functional significance. I have indicated each component separately in the below screenshot and detailed description is given below the image.

We already have gone through the Installation and Setup of Selenium IDE in previous article. If you are new to Selenium and want to understand how Selenium IDE is getting installed please click here.

These are the major sections of Selenium IDE window (also highlighted in the screenshot) :

1. Menu Bar
2. Base URL
3. Tool Bar
4. Test Suite / Test Case Section
5. Table / Source Editor
6. Log / Reference / UI-Element / Rollup Section


Now, let’s discuss about each section in detail.

Menu Bar :

Top most section on Selenium IDE window is Menu Bar. You will see File, Edit, Actions, Options and Help menus displayed.

File Menu :

Below given screen will be displayed when clicking on File option from Menu Bar.


– You can Add, Open, Save the Test Cases and Test Suites.
– There are also options available to export your Test Case / Test Suite in a format supported by Selenium RC or Selenium Webdriver.
– Currently (Selenium IDE 2.9.1) by default following formats are available :


Edit Menu :

This menu is having mainly 2 major options, Insert New Command & Insert New Comment. You can also execute these 2 actions by right clicking on Editor section.

Actions Menu :

This menu provides options to Record, Play entire Test Suite, Test Case, Toogle Break-point, Set / Clear Start Point and to set the speed. All these options are visually available under Toolbar section. Hence, we will discuss in detail once we reach Toolbar.

Options Menu :

This menu provides user the interface to access & update some basic settings of Selenium IDE. When you will click Options Menu from the toolbar, you will see below mentioned sub-options :

1. Options
2. Format
3. Clipboard Format
4. Reset IDE Window
5. Clear History
6. Schedule tests to run periodically

Options :

Under the Options menu from the toolbar, click on “options”. You will see a dialog box opened as the below figure. This window will have options to update the general settings, Formats, Selenium IDE plugins and Locator types.


General Settings :

As mentioned in the above figure these are some important features you can set in General settings.

Default timeout value of recorded command in milliseconds : You can set this parameter to tell selenium to wait for each Test command to execute before throwing the exception. Default timeout is set to 30000 milliseconds i.e. 30 seconds.

Selenium Extensions : Selenium library is very rich providing large combinations of Actions, Assertions and Locators. But sometimes due to some requirement or complexities we may need to add custom extensions to the library and they are called User Extensions.

Remember Base URL : If you have checked this option than Selenium IDE will remember your Base URL every time it is launched. Upon un-checking, Base URL will be populated only when we access the URL on Firefox browser.

Record assertTitle automatically : Checking this option enabled the feature to insert the assertTitle command every time a new web page is visited along with the
target value as the Title of that web page.

Enable experimental features : By default this option is disabled on Selenium IDE. Checking this option you will see Formats being available to export your test case.

Formats :

This tab consist of all the available formats supported by Selenium IDE. By selecting format option from the left panel, user can verify the dummy structure of the code and other parameters like : Package, Header, Footer etc. Verify below image for reference.


Locator Builders :

Locator builders can be very useful if you are dealing with a web application dealing with few of the locators only. As you can see in the figure below, you can set the priority for the locators to be captured while recording the IDE script. For example, while recording if you have on a button having ID attribute than it will be used as the locator in the Selenium IDE editor. Now if the element is not having ID associated with it than Selenium will capture the Name attribute and so on.


Base URL Bar :

As the name suggests, it stores the Base URL of the web application you are recording for automation. In addition, it also remembers all the previous URLs for your reference. You can find them by clicking on Drop-down icon.

Base URL directly talks with the First Open command of your Selenium IDE script. If you want to hit any sub-subsequent page of the application than you can mention the default path in Base URL and rest of the parameters as the Target field of Open command. See the example below.


Tool Bar :

This section gives user the control over recording and execution of the script. Let’s discuss functioning of each element separately.


  1. Execution Speed : You can set the speed of the execution. By default it is set to Fast.
  2. Play Entire Test Suite : Selecting this option, Selenium IDE will execute all the test cases available in your test suite sequentially. Before starting the execution please make sure that you have saved / exported Test Suite and all the test cases within.
  3. Play Current Test Case : Select a particular test case from the list and click this button. It will execute the selected test case.
  4. Pause / Resume : While execution is going on click this button to Pause. Click again to resume the execution.
  5. Step : This button allows user to step into each command of the Test case.
  6. Apply Rollup Rules : Using this option you can group your selenium test commands and execute them like it is the single one.
  7. Record Button : One of the key feature of Selenium IDE, Record button helps you to record the actions you are performing on the browser. Dark red ball will indicate that recording is off. To start the recording you will have to cilck on the button and it will turn into hollow red ball which is the sign of recording is on.
    – If you have marked “Start recording immediately on open” from the General Tab / Option Menu, than it will open Selenium IDE in recording mode every time.
Test Case Section :

Like your manual test case sheet Selenium IDE also provides interface to manage the Test Cases and save them as a Test Suite. This section contains list of all the test cases which are currently open.


– Right after we open selenium IDE, we see left panel titled “Test Case” and containing Untitled test case. Once you import the Test Suite, this panel will be loaded with list of test cases. Right click on the Test Case section to Create, Open or Delete the Test Case.

– Below the test case container there is a bar which showcase the execution status of the Test Case or entire Test Suite. At last you’ll see Total number of test cases executed and failures.

– After the execution, the Test cases will be color-coded where “Green” color represents the Passed Test case and “Red” represents Failed Test case.

Editor Section :

Well this one is the headquarter of Selenium IDE window. Most of the time you will be dealing with this section only. This is where IDE records all the steps of a Test Case. Editor section can be viewed as “Table” and “Source”.

Table View :


All the recorded selenese commands are displayed here in tabular format. Table contains three columns : Commands, Target and Value. You can also add, edit and delete the selenese commands. Command is where the type of action (e.g. Open, Type, Click) to be performed is defined. Target is the location of the field on which you want to perform the action defined in Command. Value can be an optional parameter, it contains the inputs to be passed for specific commands like type and wait.

Source View :


All the selenese commands are displayed in HTML format. Like table view, you can also update the script in HTML format.

– Test steps can be created manually, just start typing the command name and you’ll see the suggestion drop-down from where you can select the desired command. Next click on Select button and you will be asked to select an element by clicking on it in the browser. Once the target has been selected and you want to make sure that you have located proper element, it can be done by clicking on Find button. It will highlight the element on the browser, so please make sure that part is visible on the screen.

Log Section :

This section gives you the real time updates of the execution in form of messages. User can view the reason of the failures and thus debugging becomes easy. Logs can
be filtered in four types mentioned as below :

Info : Info log provides information about which selenese command is executing currently.
Debug : If you want to know what is happening behind the scene when Selenium is executing your test steps, this is your option. Selenium IDE does not select thisĀ option by default. Mostly technical information are captured in the debug mode.
Warn : Whenever unexpected conditions are encounter during the execution, they are captured under the Warn option.
Error : These are the actual failures captured due to verification / assertion, page not loaded or any element etc.

Reference Section :

Reference Pane provides you the brief description of currently selected Test Step (Selenese Command). Keep the Reference Pane open and select any Selenese command from Editor, you will see description about the locator and Value as well.

So, now you are all aware about most of Selenium IDE features. It’s time to start automating your first script with Selenium IDE.

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