4.0.1 • Public • Published

React Drill

React Drill is a React testing library that facilitates interacting with a DOM tree through an expressive API similar to [Capybara's]( apybara/capybara/blob/2.17_stable/ The library provides a number of abstractions for locating particular UI elements using either React component classes or DOM selectors and for interacting with them.

The name "drill" comes from the fact that the API allows you to "drill down" through a React virtual DOM tree to interact with elements in it.


  • The means to easily express the intent of an interaction instead of fiddling around with implementation details like how to trigger the select event on a combo box, or how to simulate typing into a text widget.

    Drill does this by providing a set of uniform APIs that can abstract this away:

        .typeIn('hello world')
  • The possibility of not relying on CSS classes or DOM selectors to find elements to interact with. Instead, one can use the source React component class as a selector:

      .find(Button, m.hasText('Save'))


To install the package you can get it from npm:

npm install --save-dev react-drill

It is recommended to go quickly over the [[concepts |]] before jumping into the API.


Drill's API is driven by four concepts: the scope object, selectors, matchers, and actions. This section will walk you through them.


A [[scope | Scope]] is an object that represents the current React component and a set of DOM nodes that you're able to interact with. When you [[drill]] into a tree, you get a scope back.

The scope APIs are chainable in that most of them return another scope back for you, unless they're [[actions |]] then they'd return the same scope back.

drill(component)    // => Scope.<component, [findDOMNode(component)]>
  .find(Menu)       // => Scope.<Menu, [findDOMNode(Menu)]>
    .find('button') // => Scope.<Menu, [HTMLElement.<button>]>
      .click()      // => Scope.<Menu, [HTMLElement.<button>]>
      .blur()       // => Scope.<Menu, [HTMLElement.<button>]>

Next: we can create scopes but how do we refine them to represent other components and DOM nodes down the tree?


A selector is a function that locates React components or DOM nodes inside the current scope matching criteria you specify. The most common selectors are [[Scope#find]] and [[Scope#findAll]].

  .find(Menu)        // find is a selector
    .findAll(Button) // findAll is also a selector

Next: we're now able to create scopes and select elements, but not particular ones. Can we refine our selection further?


A [[matcher | Matcher]] is a predicate function that allows you to refine your selection to locate a most particular element in your scope. All [[selectors | ./]] accept a matcher.

  .find(Button, m.hasText('Save')) // hasText is a matcher

A list of [[common matchers | Matchers]] is available for your convenience and you can [[build your own | examples/]] too.

Next: with the ability to locate particular elements using selectors and matchers, we now need a way to interact with them.


An action is a function that takes a scope and interacts with its DOM node(s) or its component, such as by clicking, blurring, or typing in.

The [[pre-made actions | Actions]] are available directly on the stock [[Scope]] object.

  .click() // click is an action

Just like with matchers, you can [[define your own actions | examples/custom-]] too.

Where to go from here

See [[drill]] for creating a scope and then the [[Scope]] itself for more possibilities. Or if you'd prefer to see examples first, browse from the sidebar to the left.


Drill isn't working with stateless components!

It cannot since they have no instance to represent them and the [[scope]] needs one otherwise it cannot tell what's a component and what's a (virtual) DOM node.

You can not use this library if you're using stateless components exclusively.

Can't find the "react test utils" package

If you're using a version of React lower than 15.5.4 then you need to inject drill with the ReactTestUtils object which can be found from the following files in different versions:

Version File

15.5.4 | react-dom/test-utils 15.4.1 | react-addons-test-utils (NPM package) < 15.4.1 | react/lib/ReactTestUtils.js

The following script shows how to provide drill with your own version of the test utils package. Make sure you call this before requiring the drill itself!


// now you can use react-drill
const { drill } = require('react-drill')

Can it be used without React or a DOM?

Maybe. See [[./examples/]] or [[./addons/react-blessed/]].

My tests are failing when drilling into an unknown component

Drill will output the tag <<unknown>> if it can't find the displayName for a component. If you are using ES6 classes for your React components, make sure you're assigning a name rather than using anonymous classes. If you're using createReactClass() from the create-react-class package, Drill should automatically infer the component name, but you can always add a displayName: "MyComponent" property to your createReactClass call.

The displayName is useful for debugging and tracing component hierarchies, so your Drill experience will be easier if you keep the above in mind.




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  • amireh