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Taking Screenshots with CFSelenium

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In addition to doing browser behavior testing, there are four functions in CFSelenium that you can use to capture screenshots.  The first two are:

captureScreenshotToString(): captures a shot of your current monitor display in .png format and returns the image data as a base-64 encoded string. **

captureScreenshot(string filename): captures a shot of your current monitor display in .png format and writes the image data to the filename passed in as the argument.  The filename parameter must be a full path ending in a filename, like "C:\Data\Screenshots\screenshot1.png." **

 

**These two functions work for all supported browsers, but because they take an image of the entire monitor screen, the browser window launched by *CFSelenium may be obscured by other windows on your monitor, and sometimes CFSelenium (or more specifically the Selenium Server) places the browser window in the lower half of the monitor, cutting off the view of the lower half of the window.

The other two screenshot functions capture only an image of the web page in the browser launched by CFSelenium, and they capture that page in its entirety: even if the page is long enough to scroll for several screens, all of that content will be captured.  While that can make for some very elongated images, it does capture all parts of the page.  But unlike the first two functions, these can only be used with certain browsers:

 

captureEntirePageScreenshotToString(): captures the entire web page in .png format and returns the image data as a base-64 encoded string.  Only works when used with Firefox.

captureEntirePageScreenshot(string filename, string kwargs): captures the entire web page in .png format and writes the image data to the filename passed in as the first argument.  The filename parameter must be a full path ending in a filename, like "C:\Data\Screenshots\screenshot1.png." The second argument is a string that modifies the way the screenshot is captured.  At the moment, it can only be used to alter the background of the HTML document object of the page.  An empty string can be passed as the argument, like so:

selenium.captureEntirePageScreenshot("C:\Data\Screenshots\screenshot1.png","");

The captureEntirePageScreenshot works when used with Firefox.  You call also use it with Internet Explorer with a helper program called snapsIE if you do the following:

  1. Go to http://snapsie.sourceforge.net/ and click on the "snapsie-0.2" link to download the file. The file is a compressed .tar.gz file, so you will need a program that can extract the files from that package (Mac OS X can open it as if it were a .zip file).

  2. Ignore the first of the bullet points on the http://snapsie.sourceforge.net/ page but follow the rest of them to register the snapsIE .dll file.

  3. The last of the bullet points alludes to the fact that the security restrictions regarding ActiveX controls can block the use of snapsIE. In experimenting with it, I ended up making the following changes to Internet Explorer's security settings under "Internet Options":

    • Automatic prompting for ActiveX controls: Disable

    • Run ActiveX controls and plug-ins: Enable

    • Script ActiveX controls marked safe for scripting: Enable


    (Even after making those changes, the first time I had CFSelenium try to capture a acreenshot with IE, I had to watch the test run and click on the prompt at the top of the web page and tell IE to allow the snapsIE script to run on all sites.)

  4. When you instantiate the CFSelenium object to run the test that will take the screenshots, make sure you use "*iexploreproxy" as the browser string instead of the regular "*iexplore"

 

...The ability to take screenshots with CFSelenium lets you use CFSelenium to test the look of your web pages in other browsers in addition to testing how the page behave. And if you have a need to generate a portfolio of screenshots for a client, using the captureEntirePageScreenshot function could save you some time with that task.

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Published at DZone with permission of Brian Swartzfager, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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