5 Best Ways to Select a Date from a Datepicker with Selenium WebDriver Using Python

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πŸ’‘ Problem Formulation: When automating web applications for testing with Selenium WebDriver in Python, interacting with datepickers can be challenging. Users need reliable methods to select a specific date, often for input fields bound by a calendar widget. This article presents solutions to programmatically choosing a date like “04/15/2023” from a datepicker, ensuring that the chosen date is correctly inputted into the form.

Method 1: Send Keys to Input

One of the simplest methods to select a date is to use the send_keys() method on the input element that triggers the datepicker. This approach mimics typing the date directly into the form field as a user would.

Here’s an example:

from selenium import webdriver

driver = webdriver.Chrome()
driver.get('http://yourwebsite.com/datepicker')
date_input = driver.find_element_by_id('date-field-id')
date_input.send_keys('04/15/2023')

The output is the text “04/15/2023” being typed into the datepicker input field.

This snippet starts a Chrome browser session, navigates to a web page with a datepicker, locates the input field by its ID, and sends the desired date as a string. While straightforward, this method assumes the datepicker allows direct text input.

Method 2: Using JavaScript to Set Date Value

JavaScript can be executed with Selenium’s execute_script() to set the value of the datepicker input. This bypasses the UI and can be the fastest way to set a date.

Here’s an example:

from selenium import webdriver

driver = webdriver.Chrome()
driver.get('http://yourwebsite.com/datepicker')
driver.execute_script("document.getElementById('date-field-id').value = '2023-04-15'")

The output directly updates the input field’s value with the date “2023-04-15”.

This approach leverages Selenium’s ability to run JavaScript within the page context. It sets the value property of the date input element, completely bypassing the graphical datepicker.

Method 3: Selecting Date from Visible Calendar

If the datepicker displays a calendar interface, we can navigate through the calendar and select the date by clicking the appropriate day element. This simulates how a user would typically interact with the picker.

Here’s an example:

from selenium import webdriver
from selenium.webdriver.common.by import By
from selenium.webdriver.support.ui import WebDriverWait
from selenium.webdriver.support import expected_conditions as EC

driver = webdriver.Chrome()
driver.get('http://yourwebsite.com/datepicker')
driver.find_element_by_id('date-field-id').click()

wait = WebDriverWait(driver, 10)
day_to_select = wait.until(EC.element_to_be_clickable((By.XPATH, "//td[@data-day='15']")))
day_to_select.click()

The output is the date “04/15/2023” being selected in the datepicker calendar UI.

This block of code opens the datepicker widget and waits for the specific day to be clickable, then clicks on it. The use of Explicit Waits ensures that we are interacting with the element only when it is ready.

Method 4: Handling Datepickers with Multiple Months

Datepickers showing multiple months require additional steps to navigate between months. We might have to interact with ‘next’ and ‘previous’ buttons or dropdowns to find and select the correct date.

Here’s an example:

from selenium import webdriver

driver = webdriver.Chrome()
driver.get('http://yourwebsite.com/datepicker')
driver.find_element_by_id('date-field-id').click()

# Logic to navigate the months here
# ...

selected_day = driver.find_element_by_xpath("//td[@data-day='15']")
selected_day.click()

The output results in navigating through the datepicker and selecting the date “04/15/2023”.

Here we would include logic to navigate the calendar months (not shown), followed by finding and clicking the desired day. This handles more complex datepickers but increases the complexity of the script.

Bonus One-Liner Method 5: Select Date with DatePicker’s Built-in Functions

Many datepicker libraries come with built-in functions that can be triggered through JavaScript execution in Selenium. This can be a powerful one-liner if such functions are available.

Here’s an example:

driver.execute_script("$('#date-field-id').datepicker('setDate', '04/15/2023')")

The output runs the datepicker’s built-in function to set the date directly.

By executing a script that uses the datepicker’s own method 'setDate', we can set the date in one compact line. This requires knowledge of the datepicker’s API and assumes you have access to it.

Summary/Discussion

  • Method 1: Send Keys to Input. Strengths: Mimics user input closely. Weaknesses: Does not work if the input is read-only or if the datepicker overrides text inputs.
  • Method 2: Using JavaScript to Set Date Value. Strengths: Fast and unaffected by UI changes. Weaknesses: Requires JavaScript knowledge and might not trigger attached events.
  • Method 3: Selecting Date from Visible Calendar. Strengths: Interacts with the UI as a user would. Weaknesses: More complex, and slower due to UI interaction and waits.
  • Method 4: Handling Datepickers with Multiple Months. Strengths: Flexible and can handle complex widgets. Weaknesses: Can become very complex and heavily dependent on the specific datepicker implementation.
  • Bonus Method 5: Select Date with DatePicker’s Built-in Functions. Strengths: Extremely quick and elegant. Weaknesses: Dependent on specific datepicker API and jQuery availability.