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Using xPath to reach parent of an element

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I prefer css locator over xPath but there are times when css locators don't fit requirement. One such requirement is when you want to navigate to parent element of an element and may be parent of parent and even more. Unfortunately css locators don't provide any mechanism to navigate to parent of an element. See this for more.

Of late I came across a scenario when I wanted to click on a link depending upon the text in a text box. Herein parent of text box and parent of link were at the same location. More over there could have been many such combinations in application. Fortunately I just need to pick first such instance and Web Driver any way considers only first instance when multiple locators are found matching an element. Element in question is in following html -















Here I need to click on highlighted anchor on the basis of input element (which is also highlighted in image)

Herein first I need to reach div parent (class = 'left couponmainarea 2) of input element.
This can be reached using parent axes twice from input element -


//input[contains(@value,'.')]/parent::div/parent::div

Now I need to reach previous sibling of div which is another div (class= 'left votes'), which could be achieved using preceding-sibling axes -

//input[contains(@value,'.')]/parent::div/parent::div/preceding-sibling::div

And now I can easily select the anchor tag -


//input[contains(@value,'.')]/parent::div/parent::div/preceding-sibling::div/a[2]


I had posted this question on Web Driver Google group and Luke suggested to use following xPath (basically it avoids using parent word though does the same thing) -

//input[contains(@value, '.')]/../../preceding-sibling::div/a[2]


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Looks like I can not have only css locators in my tests, at least till there is no Parent selector available in css locator.


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