Does Selenium IDE v1.0.11 Support Changing Formats?

The Enable experimental features in the Options dialog

After the release of the Selenium IDE v1.0.11, I have come across a lot of queries about the missing language support in Selenium IDE. Here are a few variations of the queries:-

  • The formatters are not working as expected
  • Selenium IDE doesn’t show formats
  • Format is greyed out.
  • Unable to format the HTML code to Java

Let me lay your fears to rest. The support for the existing languages has not gone away. It is still there, but it has been disabled for your own good. Currently, the recommended way to convert your tests to another language is to use the export feature of Selenium IDE,. You can access it from the Export Test Case As menu item in the File menu. If you want to do a lot of conversion, you will find my Test Suite Batch Converter plugin very useful. If you really really really must change the format like in the earlier versions, you can. Here is how you can turn it back on. Open the Options dialog and turn on the Enable experimental features option. See the screen shot for details. Once you turn on the experimental features, you should be able to get your beloved formats working again. The Format menu item in the Options menu will no longer be greyed out.  Let me warn you once again that you should NOT be using it.

So what exactly is wrong with the formats?

Well, nothing!  There is nothing wrong with the formats themselves. Let me explain the situation some more. Selenium IDE cannot work with any language other than the HTML based Selenese. So when you change the format to another language, Selenium IDE does something clever. Behind the scene, it keeps a copy of the Selenese test case and on the fly converts it to the selected language and shows it to you. It seems that Selenium IDE is magically able to record in all supported languages. It SEEMS, but it is not true. More often than not, if you make any changes directly to the test case, they will seem to be there, but Selenium IDE cannot do much with it. Once you save the test case, and try to open the it again, tough luck, you usually cannot. If you change the format again, it will usually lose all your changes. In short, there is still a lot to work to do to make this feature stable. Until then, there is a lot of chance for losing your changes and I decided to mark this feature as experimental. If the thought of losing your hours and hours of your tests does not scare you, turn on the experimental features and ignore the warnings. But, if you want to play it safe, use the Export feature instead. The choice is in your hands.

Update: In Selenium IDE v1.0.12 onwards, you can use the Disable format change warning messages option in the options dialog to turn off (or on again) the warning message while changing formats.

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44 Responses to Does Selenium IDE v1.0.11 Support Changing Formats?

  1. Tarun says:

    I would love to see “format” enabled by default, which is use to generate “dirty” code using Selenium. Going through hassles of “options” and “export” is nothing but overhead for me.
    Thanks for making IDE available for FF4

    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Tarun,

      I understand that it is an overhead for some users, but sufficient number of users were complaining about the feature not working correctly to justify the change. You should be able to set it once and forget about it.


  2. Ruslan Strazhnyk says:

    But why this version is not backward-compatible with old Selenium RC1 ? What version of RC it is currently supporting? It is also doesn’t working on Selenium Grid 1.0.8

  3. lokesh says:

    Thanks for the help. I was really worried since I installed selenium 1.0.11,but now i find is easy to use.Your support for newbies is really appreciating.

  4. sandhya says:

    Thanks a lot for your helpful note.
    I was lost to see that disabled :-)

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  6. Sanjay says:

    Old way was very intuitive, while recording you can make the changes and see how code for rc looks like.

    Now its pain to export for every small changes to see how code looks like. It will be good to get it back how it use to be for higher productivity. It will save every ones time.


    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Sanjay,

      It will come back as soon as the bugs are fixed. You can turn it on from the options menu as explained. I have a feeling that it will be vastly improved in the future.


  7. Krishna Reddy Seelam says:


    Initially i thought there is a defect in new version. Thanks on providing a option to use the old feature.
    And also the idea of Exporting the code to needed format/language is too good. We can store the code in required language and we can play around with that.

    Thanks once again
    Krishna Reddy Seelam

  8. Pratik says:

    I agree with most posters here .. I am used to writing selenium scripts without record but ever so often I would just wonder how would Selenium record it in Java for example and the format recording was great for that. I guess once you have the bugs sorted around the formats I will be glad to have that feature back. In fact, I didn’t update my selenium on the second machine since I knew about this but one day I walked in and clicked yes by mistake on the update message :(

  9. Pratik says:

    I apologize, I was not aware I can bring back that feature in the new IDE 1.1.0. via Options menu.

    *Note to self* Read the posts more carefully next time onwards :)


    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Pratik,

      It will come back and if you look at my latest blog post, it is going to be better as well.


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  11. Uaka ama says:

    thanks for the explanation!
    I was really confused with grayed formats..

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  13. Stephanie says:

    how do I parametize a value so that it doesn’t always use the same date?



  14. Gaurav Deore says:

    I too scared when Format option gets locked … this info helps me. Thanks!

  15. Chidambaram says:

    I am using perlcode generated by Ide. The way perl code generated is changed now, I think the identification of element is changed now.

    In older version It used to identify as below

    In new version as below
    $sel->get_text(“css=#propertyCardDisplay_0 > div.card-info > h2 > a[title=Rochester Concept] > span”);

    when I run it selenium doesnt identify the later xpath form new IDE, any help?
    How to go back to older selenium Ide ?

    • Samit Badle says:


      To go back to older version of Selenium IDE, you need to download the older version and install it. Beware that it will not work on Firefox 4 or later.

      The code shows that the test was recorded again. The CSS based locator support was improved and CSS based locators are now given preference over xpath. You can change the locator for each element from the target drop down box before you export to get the old behaviour. Ask how to do this on the Selenium user discussion group on Google.


    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Chidambaram,

      The Perl code has not changed, the recording in Selenium IDE now chooses CSS selectors over xpath. You should be able to select the one you want from the target drop down before you export the test.


  16. Mike Griffin says:

    What has happened to PHP export or formats?

    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Mike,

      Adam unbundled them from Selenium IDE. Not to worry, they are not going away. I have a feeling that they will make an appearance as standalone plugins soon.


  17. mihail vasile says:

    i tried to install the php formater directly from and they gave me a sorrow feedback “not compatible with firefox 6”

    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Mihail,

      Since the plugin is not being officially supported, it has not been tested or marked compatible for new versions of Firefox. You can install the Add-on Compatibility Reporter which will allow you to run incompatible addons and allow you to use the PHP formatter.


  18. Altaqaf says:

    I was unable to export test suit after successful running of my test suite..Can anybody guide me how to export it….Following message appear in pop up window
    “Suit Export not implemented for default formator”

    Regards & Thanx


  19. Is this support PHP also?

    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Saurabh,

      PHP support is no longer bundled in Selenium IDE. You can install the PHP plugin separately.


  20. Vivienne Chen says:

    it helps a lot, especially to a beginner.

  21. Hello,

    I installed selenium 1.7 version and i would like to upgrade to 2.0, please help me how to do that since when I downloaded 2.0 I only see .jar files and i don’t see any .exec files


    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Joseph,

      The latest Selenium IDE Version is 1.7.1. If you want to use Selenium from a programming language like Ruby, Python, Java or others then you need to get the corresponding client driver from the downloads page on


  22. Nemy says:

    Hi guys,
    How can I change the color font for log in Selenium IDE? ex: I want the text for echo command to be blue so I can easily identify the steps


  23. Fayaz says:

    How can i convert the recording commands into java code plz tell me soon

    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Fayaz,

      Use File – Export from the menu.


      • Baskaran says:

        Hi Samit,

        I am a beginner. The post was very helpful.

        I exported the Test suite as c# / NUnit /Webdriver. But it is saved as html file. How can i use it as webdriver test case. Can you please explain.

        Baskaran S

        • Samit Badle says:

          Hi Baskaran,

          I have never seen that happen. Were you looking in the right place? Is the actual content html or just the file extension?

          Please open an issue on the Selenium project website if you are still facing this issue.


  24. tom says:

    Samit – this is great.

    I used these instructions to create format that adds the “pass” or “fail” classes to the TR, but when in the IDE itself, it doesn’t affect the colors.

    The problem is that the existing colors are super hard to tell apart if you’re colorblind. So I’d like to do something like make the text bold and use a radically different color for the background on fail.

    Is there a way to change it not just for export, but within the IDE itself?

    • Samit Badle says:

      Hi Tom,

      If you update to the latest version of Selenium IDE 2.8.0 you should have a few feature called visual assist. If you turn it on from the options dialog, it will change the colour scheme for some elements in the IDE. I will be happy to make further changes if it is not sufficient.

      Samit Badle

  25. Nilesh says:

    I am a beginner. The post was very helpful for me.

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