I had been having a problem trying to select an item in a dropdown. I have checked resources online but I still couldn't get it working. My HTML is this:

<div id="dropdownID">
<ul class="ulList">
<li class="liItem"> Number 1 </li>
<li class="liItem"> Number 2 </li>

while my selenium C# is:

    var drop = Driver.FindElement(By.Id("dropdownId")).FindElement(By.Xpath("//ul/li[(@class='liItem') and contains(text(),'{0}')]")).click();

Where {value} is a string that I would like to input on sendkeys. The error would be:

no such element: Unable to locate element: {"method":"xpath","selector":"//ul/li[(@class='liItem') and contains(text(),'{0}')]"}

2 Answers 2


Your problem is with the selector indeed.

Issue 1

When using XPath in the context of another element (as you are doing), always start the XPath with a dot (which represent the element you are starting from). For example, .//ul/li

Issue 2 You haven't formatted your variable text into your XPath, it says {0}. So first do a string.Format on your XPath, then pass that as the locator value.

var xpath = string.Format(".//li[contains(text(),'{0}')]", "Number 1");
var drop = Driver.FindElement(By.Id("dropdownId")).FindElement(By.Xpath(xpath)).click();
  • Ok, sorry. I have added a thread.sleep before the var xpath. thanks so much @FDM! I have added .//ul//li too though to avoid the invalid xpath expression
    – Marj
    Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 19:47

Note: in this answer, DivElement represents Driver.FindElement(By.Id("dropdownID")).

You can locate the first unordered list item by XPath with the following:
a. DivElement.FindElement(By.XPath(".//li"))
b. DivElement.FindElements(By.XPath(".//li")).ElementAt(0)

Moreover, you can find this item by:

1. Class Name
a. DivElement.FindElement(By.ClassName("liItem"))
b. DivElement.FindElements(By.ClassName("liItem")).ElementAt(0)

2. Tag Name
a. DivElement.FindElement(By.TagName("li"))
b. DivElement.FindElements(By.TagName("li")).ElementAt(0)

3. CSS Selector
a. DivElement.FindElement(By.CssSelector(".liItem"))
b. DivElement.FindElements(By.CssSelector(".liItem")).ElementAt(0)

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