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How to Inspect Element on Mac ?

By Jash Unadkat, Community Contributor -

Inspect Element is a go-to feature for almost every frontend or UI developer for debugging UI errors or making temporary edits in HTML or CSS scripts. This feature is pre-enabled for Chrome and Firefox browsers and can be viewed with a right-click. However, the same feature must first be enabled for Safari users operating on a Mac before they can inspect web elements.

  • This article will demonstrate quick steps on How to Inspect Element on Mac by enabling the Safari Inspect Element feature.
  • It will also guide users on remotely testing their website on the Safari browser installed on a real macOS.
  • Method 2 is widely used by developers and testers worldwide due to limited access to updated device labs and the latest/legacy browser versions.

How to Inspect Element on Mac?

The following sections will delve into two easy methods for inspecting elements on macOS –

Method 1 – Using Safari Inspect Element

Follow the steps below to Inspect Element on macOS using Safari:

1. The primary step is to enable the Developer menu. To do so, open the Safari browser and click Safari -> Settings.

Safari inspect element on macOS

2. Click on Advanced. Check the Show Develop menu in menu bar checkbox. Doing this also allows you to Inspect Elements on iPhones by connecting them also.

Safari inspect element - Show Developer Menu

3. The Inspect Element Safari feature is now enabled. To cross-check, one can open any URL in Safari and right-click the mouse button to check if the option is enabled.

How to inspect element on mac using Safari

Method 2 – Using a Real Device Cloud for Live Testing

Every web developer needs to ensure that their websites are optimized for different browsers installed on devices running on multiple platforms (Windows, macOS). To ensure high cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility, teams must test their websites in real user conditions across various device-browser combinations.

In such cases, teams can leverage BrowserStack’s real device cloud consisting of 3000+ real devices-browsers-OS combinations for testing.

The real device cloud enables teams to test their website or apps manually and automatically on:

  1. Devices running on actual Windows and macOS environments such as Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur.
  2. Latest flagship iOS and Android mobile devices such as iPhone 14 series, iPhone 13 series, Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, and so on.
  3. Leading web browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and others.

inspect element Safari on BrowserStack Real Device Cloud

Try Inspect Element on macOS

Besides, adopting the cloud-based testing also helps teams to eliminate the cost and effort involved in maintaining on-premise device labs. It is certainly more economically feasible for small organizations to access such a comprehensive test infrastructure on the cloud.

  • Start by logging into or signing up for a free BrowserStack account.
  • QAs must select their desired operating system (Windows or macOS) and the desired browser to test the website.
  • Depicted below is a test session on BrowserStack Live, running the lastest browser version Safari 16.3 on macOS Ventura.

Live testing Safari 16.3 on macOS Ventura

  • Teams can quickly access different settings as per their project needs along with features such screen resolution switching, local testing, location switiching, ad even screen readers.

BrowserStack Live testing Safari 16.3 on macOS Ventura

  • Now follow the steps mentioned earlier to enable the Develop menu to inspect or debug web elements.
  • Once the Develop menu is enabled Right-click the mouse button and click on Inspect element.  
  • One can now hover over the web elements in the developer console and interact with the DOM elements and observe the real-time interaction in Safari.

Safari inspect element on BrowserStackConclusion

Thus, QAs can effortlessly execute remote cross-browser testing on desired environments in real-world conditions. Teams also get access to vital features and functionalities:

  1. Integrations with popular bug-reporting tools like Jira, Trello, GitHub, and Slack
  2. Geolocation testing to test the geographical performance of a website. Test location-based scenarios like translation, currencies, and timezones across 100+ countries.
  3. Test websites hosted on internal dev and staging environments, or behind firewalls, using the local testing feature
  4. Access the latest/legacy Android and iOS devices for extensive testing.
  5. One-click access to 12 macOS versions: from Lion to Ventura
  6. Debug better with pre-installed developer tools in Chrome & Safari browsers.
  7. Access source maps for debugging, support for Lighthouse for performance testing, and a faster debugging experience that feels as good as your native browser.

Using the above methods, debugging critical errors occurring for a specific device or a browser becomes much easier. Additionally, BrowserStack speeds up test cycles resulting in the faster market release of websites and apps.

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