How to Inspect an Element on a Mac
If you’re a web developer, a designer, or even just someone who’s curious about how websites work, inspecting elements on a webpage is a key skill to have. Whether you want to modify the CSS, tweak the HTML, or just learn how a certain design was achieved, inspecting elements is the way to go. If you’re on a Mac, here’s how you can do it:
Step 1: Open a webpage
To inspect an element on a webpage, you first need to have a webpage open in a browser. Pick a website that you want to inspect and open it in Safari, Chrome, or Firefox.
Step 2: Open the developer tools
Once you have a page open, you need to open the developer tools. There are a few ways to do this:
– Safari: Go to Safari > Preferences > Advanced, and tick the “Show Develop menu in menu bar” checkbox. Then, go to Develop > Show Web Inspector
– Chrome: Right-click anywhere on the page and select “Inspect” from the context menu, or use the keyboard shortcut Command+Option+I (or Command+Shift+C on a Mac running macOS Catalina or later)
– Firefox: Right-click anywhere on the page and select “Inspect Element” from the context menu, or use the keyboard shortcut Command+Option+C.
Step 3: Inspect an element
Now that you have the developer tools open, you can start inspecting elements on the page. Here’s how:
– Hover over an element: Use your mouse to hover over an element on the page, such as a button, a link, an image, or a paragraph of text. As you hover, the corresponding HTML element in the developer tools will be highlighted
– Use the element picker: In most browsers, you can use an “element picker” tool to select an element directly on the page. Look for a button or icon that looks like a cursor with a small target next to it, and click on it. Then, click on the element you want to inspect. The corresponding HTML element will be highlighted in the developer tools
– Search for an element: If you know what you’re looking for, you can use the search function in the developer tools to find it. Look for a magnifying glass icon or a search bar, enter a search term (such as a class name or an ID), and press enter. The first matching element in the HTML will be highlighted.
Step 4: Inspect the element
Once you’ve selected an element to inspect, the corresponding HTML will be displayed in the developer tools. Here’s what you can do with it:
– View the CSS: Look for a “Styles” or “Computed” tab in the developer tools. This will show you all the CSS styles that apply to the element, and you can modify them in real-time to see how they affect the page
– Edit the HTML: Most browsers allow you to edit the HTML directly in the developer tools. Simply click on the HTML code and start editing. This is useful if you want to fix a broken link, add a new element, or tweak the structure of the page
– View the box model: Look for a “Layout” or “Box Model” tab in the developer tools. This will show you how the element is positioned on the page, including its margin, border, padding, and size
– Inspect child elements: If the element you’re inspecting has child elements (such as a div with multiple paragraphs inside), you can click on these child elements in the HTML tree to inspect them individually.
– Copy the CSS selector: If you want to target the element in your own CSS, you can copy the CSS selector for the element from the developer tools. Look for a button or icon that says “Copy CSS selector” or “Copy Selector”, and click on it. Then, paste the selector into your CSS file.
Inspecting elements on a webpage is a powerful skill that can help you understand how websites work, troubleshoot problems, and improve your own designs. With the developer tools built into most modern browsers, inspecting elements on a Mac is easy and intuitive. Just remember to be careful when making changes to the HTML and CSS, and to save your changes locally rather than on the live website.