How to Inspect Element in Firefox
By Jash Unadkat, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - June 28, 2021
First things first, let’s quickly understand the use of the Inspect element feature.
In this case, a user is playing around with the header title of the page (Amazing Blog Posts). Inspecting the title highlights the source code for that specific text and one can edit the text by double-clicking it.
That way, one can experiment with page components to get a sense of how a website would look if specific changes are made. QAs or Front-end developers primarily use this feature to debug a particular element or perform live CSS editing.
Given Firefox is the fourth most popular browser globally, web developers need to optimize their websites for the latest and legacy versions of Firefox. This ensures that Firefox users get a consistent and seamless surfing experience regardless of the browser version they are using.
In some cases, there may arise a situation where a website works perfectly fine on the latest versions of Firefox but encounters compatibility issues when accessed from older versions. To avoid this, QAs need to debug issues for specific Firefox versions with said compatibility issues.
Here’s where the Inspect element tool helps developers and QAs trace bugs instantly for particular Firefox versions. It is imperative for developers and QAs to master the use of the Inspect element feature in Firefox.
This article will illustrate two easy methods to inspect web elements on the Firefox browser.
Note: Individual testers seeking to inspect elements on specific Firefox versions, use the second method.
Inspecting Elements on Firefox
The steps listed below are applicable to the Firefox browser only. The steps for inspecting web elements may differ on other browsers.
Method 1: Inspect Element Using Firefox Developer Tools
Listed below are the steps to inspect elements in the Firefox browser:
- Launch Firefox and navigate to the desired web page that needs to be inspected. (Let’s consider Google’s home page in this case)
- At the top right corner, click on three horizontal lines (open menu)
- From the drop-down menu, click on Web developer -> Inspector
- Shortcuts to perform inspect element in Firefox are as follows:
macOS users can use the shortcut – command + option + C and Windows users can use Control + Shift + C
Developer tools will open up along with Debugger, Console, and a few other tools. Resize the editor box by dragging the corners for convenient viewing and debugging.
An easy way to inspect a specific web element in Firefox is to simply right-click on that particular element and select the Inspect Element option. It will directly open Developer tools including the editor, Console, Sources, and other tools as shown below.
Now, let’s move to the second method for inspecting web elements on desired versions of Firefox.
Method 2: Using BrowserStack Live To Test on Specific Firefox Versions
As mentioned earlier, developers and QAs might need to debug compatibility issues or bugs appearing for older versions of Firefox. In such cases, QAs need to downgrade their Firefox versions or use virtual environments (VM) to be able to replicate bugs appearing in older versions.
Setting up VM’s is an effort-intensive and time-consuming process as one needs to configure virtual machines and install the specific version of Firefox to debug. Moreover, it hinders the pace of testing and is generally inefficient.
A better alternative is to use BrowserStack – a cloud-based testing platform that lets developers and testers test and debug websites across multiple operating systems and browsers.
Its real device cloud comprises 2000+ real devices and browsers (multiple versions of each) for comprehensive remote testing.
One can test across popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari (latest and legacy versions), and devices from vendors like Samsung, Apple, OnePlus, etc.
Check out the complete list here.
To inspect a web element on a specific Firefox version, follow the steps below:
- Sign up for a free trial on BrowserStack Live
- Navigate to the Live dashboard
- Select the desired operating system (Windows, macOS). Let’s consider Windows 8 in this case
- Choose the desired Firefox version for testing (v.89 in this case)
- A new Live session will be initiated on a real Firefox (version 89) browser
- Navigate to the website under test and perform the steps mentioned in the first method
Firefox has been a well-established browser since 2002 and has significant brand recognition. Needless to say, web developers and QAs are likely to inspect or diagnose their websites to optimize their performance on Firefox.
Consequently, it becomes imperative for developers or QAs to understand the steps required to inspect elements on Firefox. The methods demonstrated above will help individuals easily inspect web elements on desired Firefox versions. Moreover, the second method will be useful for QAs to perform comprehensive Firefox testing.