Interactive Protractor REPL with elementExplorer

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This post is part of a ten-part series on how to write better Protractor tests. You can find the rest of the series here

One of the most painful parts of Protractor can be figuring out the right selector for locating an element. New versions of Protractor support the --elementExplorer option, which give us a REPL where we can control a running browser, interactively from the command line!

Try this:

npm install protractor
./node_modules/protractor/bin/webdriver-manager update --chrome
./node_modules/protractor/bin/webdriver-manager start
./node_modules/protractor/bin/protractor --elementExplorer

It should drop you in to a repl where you can try this:


Generally what I’ll do is after I’ve booted the elementExplorer browser instance, I’ll log in by hand (in Chrome, manually) to navigate to the page I’m interested in. Then I’ll look for elements from there.

The good: This is a super-fast way for you to try out Protractor expressions without having to write the test and then run through it

The bad: You can’t use your custom Page Objects in this REPL and if you have a syntax error it sometimes crashes which means you have to start over.

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