Some Cross-Browser DevTools Options You Would possibly Not Know | CSS-Methods


I spend a variety of time in DevTools, and I’m positive you do too. Typically I even bounce between them, particularly once I’m debugging cross-browser points. DevTools is so much like browsers themselves — not all the options in a single browser’s DevTools would be the identical or supported in one other browser’s DevTools.

However there are fairly a number of DevTools options which are interoperable, even some lesser-known ones that I’m about to share with you.

For the sake of brevity, I take advantage of “Chromium” to confer with all Chromium-based browsers, like Chrome, Edge, and Opera, within the article. Most of the DevTools in them supply the very same options and capabilities as each other, so that is simply my shorthand for referring to all of them without delay.

Search nodes within the DOM tree

Typically the DOM tree is stuffed with nodes nested in nodes which are nested in different nodes, and so forth. That makes it fairly powerful to search out the precise one you’re in search of, however you possibly can shortly search the DOM tree utilizing Cmd + F (macOS) or Ctrl + F (Home windows).

Moreover, you may also search utilizing a legitimate CSS selector, like .crimson, or utilizing an XPath, like //div/h1.

DevTools screenshots of all three browsers.
Looking out textual content in Chrome DevTools (left), selectors in Firefox DevTools (middle), and XPath in Safari DevTools (proper)

In Chromium browsers, the main target mechanically jumps to the node that matches the search standards as you sort, which could possibly be annoying in case you are working with longer search queries or a big DOM tree. Thankfully, you possibly can disable this habits by heading to Settings (F1) → PreferencesInternationalSearch as you sortDisable.

After you could have positioned the node within the DOM tree, you possibly can scroll the web page to deliver the node throughout the viewport by right-clicking on the nod, and choosing “Scroll into view”.

Showing a highlighted node on a webpage with a contextual menu open to scroll into view

Entry nodes from the console

DevTools offers many alternative methods to entry a DOM node straight from the console.

For instance, you should utilize $0 to entry the at present chosen node within the DOM tree. Chromium browsers take this one step additional by permitting you to entry nodes chosen within the reverse chronological order of historic choice utilizing, $1, $2, $3, and so on.

Currently selected node accessed from the Console in Edge DevTools

One other factor that Chromium browsers permit you to do is copy the node path as a JavaScript expression within the type of doc.querySelector by right-clicking on the node, and choosing CopyCopy JS path, which may then be used to entry the node within the console.

Right here’s one other technique to entry a DOM node straight from the console: as a brief variable. This feature is accessible by right-clicking on the node and choosing an choice. That choice is labeled otherwise in every browser’s DevTools:

  • Chromium: Proper click on → “Retailer as international variable”
  • Firefox: Proper click on → “Use in Console”
  • Safari: Proper click on → “Log Component”
Screenshot of DevTools contextual menus in all three browsers.
Entry a node as a brief variable within the console, as proven in Chrome (left), Firefox (middle), and Safari (proper)

Visualize parts with badges

DevTools can assist visualize parts that match sure properties by displaying a badge subsequent to the node. Badges are clickable, and completely different browsers supply quite a lot of completely different badges.

In Safari, there’s a badge button within the Components panel toolbar which can be utilized to toggle the visibility of particular badges. For instance, if a node has a show: grid or show: inline-grid CSS declaration utilized to it, a grid badge is displayed subsequent to it. Clicking on the badge will spotlight grid areas, monitor sizes, line numbers, and extra, on the web page.

A grid overlay visualized on top of a three-by-three grid.
Grid overlay with badges in Safari DevTools

The badges which are at present supported in Firefox’s DevTools are listed within the Firefox supply docs. For instance, a scroll badge signifies a scrollable component. Clicking on the badge highlights the component inflicting the overflow with an overflow badge subsequent to it.

Overflow badge in Firefox DevTools located in the HTML panel

In Chromium browsers, you possibly can right-click on any node and choose “Badge settings…” to open a container that lists all the accessible badges. For instance, parts with scroll-snap-type can have a scroll-snap badge subsequent to it, which on click on, will toggle the scroll-snap overlay on that component.

Taking screenshots

We’ve been in a position to take screenshots from some DevTools for some time now, however it’s now accessible in all of them and consists of new methods to take full-page photographs.

The method begins by right-clicking on the DOM node you need to seize. Then choose the choice to seize the node, which is labeled otherwise relying on which DevTools you’re utilizing.

Screenshot of DevTools in all three browsers.
Chrome (left), Safari (center), and Firefox (proper)

Repeat the identical steps on the html node to take a full-page screenshot. If you do, although, it’s value noting that Safari retains the transparency of the component’s background colour — Chromium and Firefox will seize it as a white background.

Two screenshots of the same element, one with a background and one without.
Evaluating screenshots in Safari (left) and Chromium (proper)

There’s an alternative choice! You possibly can take a “responsive” screenshot of the web page, which lets you seize the web page at a particular viewport width. As you would possibly count on, every browser has other ways to get there.

  • Chromium: Cmd + Shift + M (macOS) or Ctrl + Shift + M (Home windows). Or click on the “Units” icon subsequent to the “Examine” icon.
  • Firefox: Instruments → Browser Instruments → “Responsive Design Mode”
  • Safari: Develop → “Enter Responsive Design Mode”
Enter responsive mode options in DevTools for all three browsers.
Launching responsive design mode in Safari (left), Firefox (proper), and Chromium (backside)

Chrome tip: Examine the highest layer

Chrome enables you to visualize and examine top-layer parts, like a dialog, alert, or modal. When a component is added to the #top-layer, it will get a top-layer badge subsequent to it, which on click on, jumps you to the top-layer container positioned simply after the </html> tag.

The order of the weather within the top-layer container follows the stacking order, which suggests the final one is on the highest. Click on the reveal badge to leap again to the node.

Firefox tip: Soar to ID

Firefox hyperlinks the component referencing the ID attribute to its goal component in the identical DOM and highlights it with an underline. Use CMD + Click on (macOS) or CTRL + Click on (Home windows) )to leap to the goal component with the identifier.

Wrapping up

Fairly a number of issues, proper? It’s superior that there are some extremely helpful DevTools options which are supported in Chromium, Firefox, and Safari alike. Are there every other lesser-known options supported by all three that you simply like?

There are a number of sources I preserve shut by to remain on high of what’s new. I believed I’d share them with right here:


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