Set Keyboard Focus on an Element via WebdriverIO

Sometimes you need to set the focus on a specific element when running a test in WebdriverIO. For example, I recently wanted to test that pressing the 'spacebar' would toggle a setting. To do this, I needed to focus the element, then send a 'spacebar' keypress.

This is relatively easy to do in WebdriverIO via the browser.execute command. What we'll do is run a small JavaScript snippet on the page, calling the built-in focus function available on all DOM elements (note, the element must be 'focusable').

Here's what the code looks like:

it('should toggle checkbox when spacebar pressed and focused on label', function () {
    const toggle = $('.someComplexToggleElement');
    // run javascript to put keyboard focus on checkbox label
    browser.execute(function (label) {
    }, $('label'));

    // press spacebar to toggle

    // toggle once more just to make sure

You could even add this as a WebdriverIO command:

browser.addCommand('focus', function () {
    browser.execute(function (domElement) {
    }, this);
}, true);

And then run it via:

it('should use my custom command', function () {