Automation Testing

QTP Secret on How to Enter Text in a WebElement

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WebElement Object Recognition Issues

Assistance with Quick Test Professional WebElement Object Recognition issues is one of the most-asked questions I receive.

It's mostly due to the reasons I list in my 6 Things to Try When QTP Does Not Recognize an Object post; other times the issue is that people are having a hard time interacting with a web element – for instance, trying to enter text into a web element without any luck.

Although it can be frustrating at times to obtain the behavior you want, you can actually use the .object method of QTP to get around most interaction issues.

WebElement Frustration

Recently I received an email from a frustrated user. They wrote:

Here is a sample problem I am running into:

  • go to
  • select Shop/Phones from the menu
  • add any phone to the cart
  • enter a zip code and click check availability

We have now arrived at a place where the problem is: How would one make that State drop down select a state?”

Using the object method along with descriptive programming will allow us to get around this issue.

How to enter text into a WebElement

  • First, start QTP up and manually follow the steps above to get to the state web element that we're going to work with in the following example.

  • Click “record” on QTP, select a state from the dropdown and stop recording.
  • Notice how only the click action is recorded, without any information on what state was selected:


Browser("Checkout Step 1 | Shipping/Bil").Page("Checkout Step 1 | Shipping/Bil").Link("State").Click
  • Next, point the QTP spy on the state field.

The “State” field is identified as a webelement. (This kind of stinks, because if you look at the help for the methods of a webelement, there are no available methods for entering or selecting text.) 

WebElement Methods

Method Name Method Desc
CaptureBitmap Saves a screen capture of the object as a .png or .bmp image, depending on the
specified file extension.
Check Checks whether the actual value of an item matches the expected value.
CheckProperty Checks whether the specified object property achieves the specified value within the specified timeout.
ChildObjects Returns the collection of child objects contained within the object.
Click Clicks the object.
Drag Performs the ‘drag' part of a drag and drop operation.
Drop Performs the ‘drop' part of a drag and drop operation.
FireEvent Triggers an event.
GetROProperty Returns the current value of the specified identification property from the object in the application.
GetTOProperties Returns the collection of properties and values used to identify the object.
GetTOProperty Returns the value of the specified identification property from the test object
MiddleClick Middle-clicks the object.
Output Retrieves the current value of an item and stores it in a specified location.
RefreshObject Instructs QuickTest to re-identify the object in the application the next time a step refers to this object.
RightClick Right-clicks the object.
SetTOProperty Sets the value of the specified identification property in the test object description.
Submit     Submits a form.
ToString Returns a string that represents the current test object.
WaitProperty Waits until the specified object property achieves the specified value or exceeds
the specified timeout before continuing to the next step.

Now what? Actually, we're in luck; we can use the webelements object method along with descriptive programming to access and interact with the native methods and properties of a webelement.

WebElement Object Property with Descriptive Programming

To select a state — Rhode Island, for instance — we can use the innertext property to select the value in the State webelement as follows:

Browser("Checkout Step 1 | Shipping/Bil").Page("Checkout Step 1 | Shipping/Bil").Link("html tag:=A","index:=1").WebElement("html tag:=SPAN").Object.innertext = "Rhode Island"


Using descriptive programming allows us to bypass the object repository and use the property/value in place of an OR name. Using the innertext property of the web element allows us to set the State name we want to use.

This should give us enough functionality to move on in our scripting.

Pretty cool!


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

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