How to select elements by class in XPath?

To select elements by class using XPath we can match the @class attribute using contains() function or the = operator.

For example, to select <a class="link"></a> we could use //a[@class="link"] or //a[contains(@class, "link")] selectors. See this interactive example:

<html> <a class="ignore"></a> <a class="link">website</a> <a class="blue link underline">website 2</a> </html>

Note that using contains() might match partial matches. For example, disabled-link would be matched by our contains(@class, "link") selector.
To match by a single class we can use contains(concat(" ", normalize-space(@class), " "), " match ") pattern:

<html> <a class="ignore"></a> <a class="link">website</a> <a class="blue link underline">website 2</a> <a class="disabled-link underline">ignore</a> </html>

Tip: If you're using Python's parsel package then there's an equivalent shortcut has-class(). For example, //a[has-class("link")]

Question tagged: XPath, Data Parsing

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