Text selector

Text selector is used for text selection. The text selector will extract text from the selected element and from all its child elements. HTML will be stripped and only text will be returned. Selector will ignore text within <script> and <style> tags. New line <br> tags will be replaced with newline characters. You can additionally apply a regular expression to resulting data.

Configuration options

  • selector - CSS selector for the element from which data will be extracted.
  • multiple - multiple records are being extracted. Usually should not be checked. If you want to use multiple text selectors within one page with multiple checked then you might actually need Element selector.
  • regex - regular expression to extract a substring from the result.

Regex

The regular expression attribute can be used to extract a substring of the text that the selector extracts. When a regular expression is used the whole match (group 0) will be returned as a result www.regexr.com is a great site where you can learn about regular expressions and try them out.

Here are some examples that you might find useful:

text regex result
price: 14.99$ [0-9]+\.[0-9]+ 14.99
id: H83JKDX4 [A-Z0-9]{8} H83JKDX4
date: 2014-08-20 [0-9]{4}\-[0-9]{2}\-[0-9]{2} 2014-08-20

Use cases

Extract one record per page with multiple text selectors

For example you are scraping news site that has one article per page. The page might contain the article, its title, date published and the author. A Link selector can navigate the scraper to each of these article pages. Multiple text selectors can extract the title, date, author and article. Multiple option should be left unchecked for text selectors because each page is extracting only one record.

Fig. 1: Multiple text selectors per page

Extract multiple items with multiple text selectors per page

E-commerce sites usually have multiple items per page. If you want to scrape these items you will need an Element selector that selects item wrapper elements and multiple text selectors that select data within each item wrapper element.

Fig. 2: Multiple elements with text selectors. Some arrows are skipped.

Extract multiple text records per page

For example you want to extract comments for an article. There are multiple comments in a single page and you only need the comment text (If you would need other comment attributes then see the example above). You can use Text selector to extract these comments. The Text selectors multiple attribute should be checked because you will be extracting multiple records.

Fig. 3: Text selector selects multiple comments