I am trying to get the Xpath of a label text in a web page that I am trying to automate. The application is angular based, so there are a lot of angular related stuff on the page.

However, I am trying to automate this using Selenium and Python. The element in question is the error message highlighted in the image - enter image description here

The html pertaining to the error message is highlighted in the section below. What would be suitable locator for this element?

I have tried a lot of combinations- using Xpaths and CSS, but I am coming up empty handed. The absolute xpath - which is

html/body/app-root/ng-component/div/div/div[2]/form/div[2]/div/label is the only one that works for this case, but I don't want to use it.

Some of the combinations that I have tried - using Xpath's



both of these don't work and Selenium throws a NoSuchElement exception.

Using CSS Selector, I used this -

element.find_element_by_css_selector(".login-inner.ui-g-12 div label")

Any kind of help would be appreciated.

  • //label[text()='password required'] Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 7:14

2 Answers 2


The reason the first two don't work is because you didn't include the full class value for either the form or div element in your xpath.


//form[@class='ng-untouched ng-pristine ng-valid']/div[2]/div/label



Note the use of contains() to match against a partial value. I've found this to be very useful when working against angular.

But why not simply get the label itself using the text property?

//label[text()='password required']
  • 1
    Well the first and third xpath don't work- and I have no idea why. But the second one, using the contains function work. Thanks for this btw. Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 7:10
  • I'm a little surprised the first and third didn't work. Are you using a WebDriverWait to ensure the find isn't performed before the element exists in the DOM? Commented Jan 18, 2017 at 16:06
  • Yeah, I am adding sufficient amount of waiting time for the participant to be located. In both of the failed elements, the error was element with this locater could not be found. Although I can check this using the IDE (as mentioned in another answer) to verify if the xpath is indeed correct. Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 8:13
  • A trick I use quite often (as I don't like using the IDE) is to use Chrome dev tools (F12). In the console, you can use $x("<your xpath here>"). The result will be an array of all elements that match that xpath. Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 15:39

Use selenium IDE. Record the same test steps and get the highlighted message. Right click and make a assertion on that text. Go to the code and check how selenium IDE handles it. Use the same on your code.

  • While this is certainly an option, in my brief experience with the IDE, it often spits out fragile xpaths. Example: //div[2]/table/tr[5]/td[3]/span. The problem with something like this is that if a decision is made to rearrange the UI, all tests requiring that xpath locator will break. (They may have improved the IDE since last I used it). Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 20:54

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