Expose react internals for E2E testing

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import retractor from '';


E2E Testing for React Apps

Build Status

Retractor exposes the internals of a React application for end-to-end testing purposes. This allows you to select DOM nodes based on the name of the React Component that rendered the node as well as its state or properties.

A retractor is a surgical instrument with which a surgeon can either actively separate the edges of a surgical incision or wound, or can hold back underlying organs and tissues, so that body parts under the incision may be accessed. – Wikipedia



import webdriver from 'selenium-webdriver';
import retractor from 'retractor';
import TodoItem from './components/TodoItem';

/* @jsx retractor */

const driver = new webdriver.Builder().forBrowser('firefox').build();


// Find all TodoItems
driver.findElements(<TodoItem />);

// Find one TodoItem with a given text
driver.findElement(<TodoItem todo={{ text: /Use retractor/ }} />);


First install Retractor via npm:

$ npm install --save-dev retractor

Next include retractor in your page before React gets loaded. In a webpack based setup this can be achieved by adding 'retractor' to the beginning of the entry array:

// webpack.config.js

var config = {
  entry: [
    './index' //your application entry
  output: {},
  plugins: [],
  module: {
    loaders: []

// Add retractor if not running in production
if (process.env.NODE_ENV !== 'production') {

module.exports = config;

You can verify that Retractor is installed by typing __retractor in your Browser's console.


Once Retractor is included in your page you can use it in your Selenium tests. In order to do so, you have to add a jsx pragma to your tests:

/* @jsx retractor */

With this setting, JSX expressions will no longer translate into React.createElement() calls, but will use retractor() instead.

This in turn will create a locator function that can be passed to the WebDriver findElement() method.

Retractor uses deep-match to compare the specified props with the actual components. Props that are not mentioned in the locator are ignored. Functions and regular expressions in the locator will be run against the corresponding prop values.