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Top 5 Page Inspection Tools Built into Browsers

Monday Jul 22nd 2019 by Octavia Anghel

Many web development tools are now integrated directly into browsers and have multiple functions. These tools make your life a lot easier and help you in inspecting and analyzing possible issues with the CSS, HTML, and JavaScript used in the code. Octavia Anghel explores the top five browser inspection tools.

Nowadays, many web development tools are integrated into browsers. As you surely know, they are called add-ons or extensions; these tools have multiple functions such as web development, debugging and so on. These tools make your life a lot easier and help you in inspecting and analyzing possible issues with the CSS, HTML, and JavaScript used in the code. During this article, you will discover a list containing the top five browsers inspection tools.

1. Chrome Developer Tools

Chrome Developer Tools is a toolkit for web developers built into Google Chrome. It helps developers edit pages very quickly and fix issues that occur over time, making site building faster. DevTools can be opened in several ways, so developers can quickly access different parts of the DevTools UI interface.

If you want to run JavaScript, press Ctrl + Shift + J for Windows, Chrome OS and Linux to get to the console panel. If you want to work with the CSS or DOM tree instead, then you must right-click the item on the page you want to inspect, and select Inspect (also with F12). Or, you can press Ctrl + C for Windows, Chrome OS and Linux or Command + Option + C   for Mac.

In the following sections, we will enumerate the recommended starting points to learn how DevTools can improve productivity and quality of work, such as view and change a page's Styles (CSS) , view and change the DOM, view messages and run JavaScript in the console, inspect network activity, optimize website speed and debug JavaScript. I also recommend using the DevTools UI as it can significantly increase your productivity.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with each tab because there are many tabs, but in the end, you will see how the page inspector can be useful.

2. Microsoft Edge Developer Tools

If you are a developer, then it is often necessary to view the source code of your web pages. You might also want to inspect an item to find a particular section of a web page.

Note, if you run Microsoft Edge and want to get to Inspect Element or View Source, then you should know that they are not enabled by default.

After making some changes to settings such as getting Inspect Element to appear, you can then use the shortcuts to immediately open these tools: Shift + F12 for Inspect Element and Ctrl + U for View Source. The Microsoft Edge DevTools include a console for viewing and inspecting JavaScript objects and Dom nodes, an element panel for editing HTML and CSS, inspecting accessibility properties, and setting mutation DOM breakpoints, a debugger to set breakpoints and clocks, and to inspect web storage and cookies, the performance panel to detail the system resources required by your site, a memory panel to measure the use of memory resources, an emulation panel to test your website with different screen resolutions and different browser profiles.

3. Firefox Developer Tools

Through the Firefox developer tools, you can edit and debug HTML, and JavaScript on both desktop and mobile. So, you can get to the Firefox developer tools by going into the menu and selecting Tools, Web Developer, and Toggle Tools. You can simply use Ctrl + Shift + I or F12 in Linux and Windows or Cmd + Opt + I for macOS. The ellipse menu on the right-hand side of developer tools has several options to help you perform actions or change the instrument settings.

The Firefox developer tools include a page inspector  — you can edit and view the content and layout of your web page, including animations and network layouts and a web console in which you can interact with the web page using JavaScript, JavaScript debugger. You can also review and modify the JavaScript that runs on a web page, access performance tools that can analyze the performance of your website. You also have access to responsive design mode, in which you can see how your site looks and behaves on different devices and network types and an accessibility inspector that allows you to approach the accessibility tree of the page, checking for what might be missing or needing attention.

4. Safari Web Development Tools

Safari has a Web Inspector that is a macOS and iOS development tool for the web, a tool that helps troubleshoot, modify, and optimize a website for compatibility on both platforms and for maximum performance. With Responsive Design Mode, you can preview your web pages for different screen resolutions, dimensions, and orientations. To benefit from these extremely useful tools, enable the Develop menu in the advanced Safari preferences.

Web Inspector can give you easy and fast access to the richest sets of development tools ever included in a web browser. It helps you inspect all existing resources on a web page, making it more efficient in iOS, macOS, and tvOS. Also, in macOS Sierra, you can use memory-based troubleshooting methods using TimeLine and tweak styles, using multiple CSS properties widgets. Web inspector includes elements, network, resources, timelines, debugger, storage and console.

5. Opera Developer Mode

Opera Developer Mode can be activated by going to the Opera page after Extensions and clicking on Developer Mode. The developer mode gives you more options. At the top, you can see the options Load Unpacked Extensions, Update Extensions Now, and Pack Extension.

You can create a new directory for your extension, and once you've installed all the files, you can load the extension into Developer Mode just by clicking on Load Extensions, after you select the directory of that extension. You will find the usual buttons such as Disable and Permissions buttons on the left and the Reload button on the right, along with Options.

As you make changes to your extension, the results will be instantly visible by clicking on the Reload button. You can also discover different resources in an extension in the address bar, you just need to know the Extension ID and use the chrome-extension: //. For example, typing chrome-extension // <extensionID> manifest.json in the address bar will load the file of that extension into the tab. Web inspector includes elements, resources, network, sources, timelines, profiles, audits, console.

As we have seen, developer tools give you more power when it comes to debugging because you can set interrupt points, analyze and modify different variables on the page to see what it looks like.

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