InvalidSelectorException while using CSS Locator- contains in Selenium WebDriver

0 votes

I am trying to write a simple test script in Selenium WebDriver. I want to get the About Google link on Gmail page using CSS locators.

My code:-

import org.openqa.selenium.By;
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.WebElement;
import org.openqa.selenium.firefox.FirefoxDriver;

public class Google {

    public static void main(String[] args) {            
        WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver();         

        WebElement Search = driver.findElement(By.cssSelector("a:contains('About Google')"));          


I am getting the below exception:

Exception in thread "main" org.openqa.selenium.InvalidSelectorException: The given selector a:contains('About Google') is either invalid or does not result in a WebElement. The following error occurred:
InvalidSelectorError: An invalid or illegal selector was specified
Command duration or timeout: 356 milliseconds
For documentation on this error, please visit:
Build info: version: '2.45.0', revision: '32a636c', time: '2015-03-05 22:01:35'
System info: host: 'XXXXX', ip: '', 'Linux', os.arch: 'amd64', os.version: '3.13.0-49-generic', java.version: '1.7.0_79'
*** Element info: {Using=css selector, value=a:contains('Need')}
Session ID: 0f1869f8-c59a-4f61-b1c7-b34ada42573f
Driver info: org.openqa.selenium.firefox.FirefoxDriver

I was able to find the element in Selenium IDE using the same locator, but I am getting an error while executing the code.

Please help me out with this.

Apr 17, 2018 in Selenium by Martin
• 4,330 points

1 answer to this question.

0 votes

The main problem with your code is in this line:-

(By.cssSelector("a:contains('About Google')"))

For using contains() you have to use XPath

With XPath, the locator will be:-

//a[contains(text(), 'About Google')]

So, your code will become:-

driver.findElement(By.xpath("//a[contains(text(), 'About Google')]"));

answered Apr 17, 2018 by Meci Matt
• 9,460 points
String theText=driver.findElement(By.xpath("//div[@class='slds-m-left--smalllabels slds-truncate slds-media__body']/div[1]")).getText();

Please tell me what is the problem in the xpath above . I am getting "org.openqa.selenium.InvalidSelectorException: invalid selector: An invalid or illegal selector was specified " error.
Hey it's generally advised to avoid absolute xpath in such cases. try using a css selector instead.

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