Playwright scripts work with existing debugging tools, like Node.js debuggers and browser developer tools. Playwright also introduces new debugging features for browser automation.
- Run in headful mode
- Visual Studio Code debugger (Node.JS)
- Browser Developer Tools
- Run in Debug Mode
- Verbose API logs
Playwright runs browsers in headless mode by default. To change this behavior, use
headless: false as a launch option. You can also use the
slow_mo option to slow down execution and follow along while debugging.
The VS Code debugger can be used to pause and resume execution of Playwright scripts with breakpoints. The debugger can be configured in two ways.
launch.json configuration for your Node.js project. Once configured launch the scripts with F5 and use breakpoints.
launch.json configuration. To use it:
- Set a breakpoint in VS Code
- Use the
debuggerkeyword or set a breakpoint in the VS Code UI
- Use the
- Run your Node.js script from the terminal
You can use browser developer tools in Chromium, Firefox and WebKit while running a Playwright script. Developer tools help to:
- Inspect the DOM tree and find element selectors
- See console logs during execution (or learn how to read logs via API)
- Check network activity and other developer tools features
For WebKit: Note that launching WebKit Inspector during the execution will prevent the Playwright script from executing any further.
In Chromium, you can also open developer tools through a launch option.
PWDEBUG environment variable to run your scripts in debug mode. This configures the browser for debugging.
With PWDEBUG, the following defaults are configured for you:
- Run in headful: With PWDEBUG, browsers always launch in headful mode
- Disables timeout: PWDEBUG sets timeout to 0 (= no timeout)
- Preserve DevTools preferences: When used with
devtools: true, PWDEBUG preserves the docked/undocked state of Chrome DevTools
PWDEBUG configures a
playwright object in the browser to highlight Playwright selectors. This can be used to verify text or composite selectors. To use this:
- Setup a breakpoint to pause the execution
- Open the console panel in browser developer tools
- Use the
playwright.$(selector): Highlight the first occurrence of the selector. This reflects how
page.$would see the page.
playwright.$$(selector): Highlight all occurrences of the selector. This reflects how
page.$$would see the page.
playwright.inspect(selector): Inspect the selector in the Elements panel.
playwright.clear(): Clear existing highlights.
Playwright supports verbose logging with the
DEBUG environment variable.