Action Chains in Selenium Python

Selenium’s Python Module is built to perform automated testing with Python. ActionChains are a way to automate low-level interactions such as mouse movements, mouse button actions, keypress, and context menu interactions. This is useful for doing more complex actions like hover over and drag and drop. Action chain methods are used by advanced scripts where we need to drag an element, click an element, This article revolves around how to manipulate DOM using Action Chains in Selenium. We have covered all the methods with examples int detail.

ActionChains are implemented with the help of a action chain object which stores the actions in a queue and when perform() is called, performs the queued operations.

How to create an Action Chain Object ?

To create object of Action Chain, import ACtion chain class from docs and pass driver as the key argument. After this one can use this object to perform all the operations of action chains.

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# import webdriver
from selenium import webdriver
   
# import Action chains 
from selenium.webdriver.common.action_chains import ActionChains
   
# create webdriver object
driver = webdriver.Firefox()
   
# create action chain object
action = ActionChains(driver)
  

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How to use Action Chains in Selenium ?

After one has created an object of Action chain, open a webpage, and perform various other methods using below syntax and examples. Action chains can be used in a chain pattern as below –

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menu = driver.find_element_by_css_selector(".nav")
hidden_submenu = driver.find_element_by_css_selector(".nav # submenu1")
  
ActionChains(driver).move_to_element(menu).click(hidden_submenu).perform()

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Or actions can be queued up one by one, then performed.:



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menu = driver.find_element_by_css_selector(".nav")
hidden_submenu = driver.find_element_by_css_selector(".nav # submenu1")
  
actions = ActionChains(driver)
actions.move_to_element(menu)
actions.click(hidden_submenu)
actions.perform()

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Project Example –

Let’s try to implement action chains using https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/ and play around with various methods of Selenium Python.

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# import webdriver
from selenium import webdriver
   
# import Action chains 
from selenium.webdriver.common.action_chains import ActionChains
   
# create webdriver object
driver = webdriver.Firefox()
   
# get geeksforgeeks.org
   
# get element 
element = driver.find_element_by_link_text("Courses")
   
# create action chain object
action = ActionChains(driver)
   
# click the item
action.click(on_element = element)
   
# perform the operation
action.perform()

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Above code, first opens https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/ and then clicks on courses button in the header, which then redirects the browser to https://practice.geeksforgeeks.org/ automatically.
Output –
First driver opens https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/,

action-chain-Selenium-Python

then redirects to https://practice.geeksforgeeks.org/

click-element-method-Selenium-Python

Action Chain Methods in Selenium Python

One can perform a huge number of operations using Action chains such as click, right-click, etc. Here is a list of important methods used in Action chains.

Method Description
click Clicks an element.
click_and_hold Holds down the left mouse button on an element.
context_click Performs a context-click (right click) on an element.
double_click Double-clicks an element.
drag_and_drop Holds down the left mouse button on the source element, then moves to the target element and releases the mouse button.
drag_and_drop_by_offset Holds down the left mouse button on the source element, then moves to the target offset and releases the mouse button.
key_down Sends a key press only, without releasing it.
key_up Releases a modifier key.
move_by_offset Moving the mouse to an offset from current mouse position.
move_to_element Moving the mouse to the middle of an element.
move_to_element_with_offset Move the mouse by an offset of the specified element, Offsets are relative to the top-left corner of the element.
perform Performs all stored actions.
pause Pause all inputs for the specified duration in seconds
release Releasing a held mouse button on an element.
reset_actions Clears actions that are already stored locally and on the remote end
send_keys Sends keys to current focused element.



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