Selenium: Get Element Text Excluding Child Text

How to gettext() element in Selenium without child text ?

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Hii Jasmine,

Using splitlines(), you can identify the parent element, for example, <div id="a">, and extract its innerHTML. Then, use splitlines() to separate the content based on new lines and select the first item, which typically represents the parent element’s direct text content. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Using xpath:
  • Using css_selector:

This method is particularly useful when the text is structured predictably, allowing you to easily isolate the parent element’s text from its children by focusing on the line breaks within the HTML content.

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Using execute_script(), you can execute JavaScript synchronously in the current window or frame to directly access the text content of an element, bypassing child elements. This method is versatile and powerful, offering precise control over which part of the element’s content you wish to retrieve:

  • Using xpath and firstChild to get the very first text node directly under the parent element:
    parent_element = driver.find_element_by_xpath("//div[@id='a']")
    print(driver.execute_script('return arguments[0].firstChild.textContent;', parent_element).strip())
  • Using xpath and childNodes[n] to target a specific child node by its index (note that childNodes includes text nodes, element nodes, and comment nodes, so indexes may not directly correspond to element children in a one-to-one manner):
    parent_element = driver.find_element_by_xpath("//div[@id='a']")
    print(driver.execute_script('return arguments[0].childNodes[1].textContent;', parent_element).strip())

This approach is highly effective when you need to target text that is not the first child of the element or when dealing with complex HTML structures where text nodes and element nodes are interspersed.

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For a more nuanced approach, you can combine Selenium’s WebElement methods with execute_script() to refine your selection before extracting text. This hybrid method allows you to leverage the full power of Selenium’s DOM interaction capabilities alongside the flexibility of JavaScript execution:

  • First, use Selenium to narrow down to the parent element or a specific section of the page that contains the text of interest.

  • Then, utilize execute_script() to execute a custom JavaScript snippet that navigates the DOM starting from the identified parent element, allowing you to bypass or include specific child elements based on your requirements.

For example, if you want to exclude certain child elements by class name while retrieving the parent’s text, you could do something like this:

parent_element = driver.find_element_by_xpath("//div[@id='a']")

script = """

var parent = arguments[0];

var child = parent.querySelector('.exclude-me');

if (child) { parent.removeChild(child); }

return parent.textContent;


print(driver.execute_script(script, parent_element).strip())

This method offers a high degree of customization and precision, making it ideal for complex scraping tasks where standard methods fall short. It allows you to dynamically alter the DOM if necessary (e.g., temporarily removing elements) to access the text content in its purest form, free from unwanted child element interference.

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