DOM Inspector

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==Issues with the DOMi== ==Issues with the DOMi==
''Warning!'' Changing themes while using the DOMi may cause the program to crash. ''Warning!'' Changing themes while using the DOMi may cause the program to crash.

Revision as of 02:02, 19 December 2004


What is the DOMi?

The DOM Inspector is a Mozilla tool used to inspect, browse, and edit the Document Object Model of XML documents - usually web pages or XUL windows.

The article "Introduction to the DOM Inspector", by Ian Oeschger, provides a basic overview of the DOMi. It's a good place to orient yourself with the DOMi and learn how to use its features. The article has some Mozilla Suite-specific references, but most of the information still applies to DOMi in Firefox and other programs.'s DOM Inspector FAQ has some additional information. The "Creating Applications with Mozilla" book hosted at also has a section about the DOMi.

Getting the DOMi

The DOMi is included in Firefox builds since Nov'03, but it is an option in the Windows installer.

It was an installer option in Thunderbird builds since the end of March 2004, and in the 0.6 release, but was removed from installer for the 0.8 release "to keep download size small". There's no official XPI for Thunderbird yet as of Sept'04 (bug 254031), but Chris Neale kindly made an XPI package for Thunderbird (discussion thread). Note that since it contains binary components for different OSes, Thunderbird may complain about .so/.dll/.dylib files at startup. Just delete the files it complains about from your profile.

The DOM Inspector is available in Complete Mozilla Suite installations or by selecting the Inspector component in a Custom setup type.

Additionally, the Inspector Widget extension adds an Inspect toolbar button and the menu option Tools > Web Development > DOM Inspector. Selecting an element after clicking the Inspect button will launch the DOMi and inspect the element.

Using the DOMi

The Using the DOM Inspector section in the "Introduction to the DOM Inspector" explains what you can do once you get the DOMi. The DOM Inspector is very handy tool for theme and extension developers, as it allows you to view various properties associated with any XUL element.

  • Browse the tree structure of interface elements
  • View an element's Box Model properties like border and padding
  • Find element names, IDs, and classes to select elements in CSS
  • Find out what files (CSS, images) are used to style an element
  • See what properties and methods of given element you can call from your Javascript

Issues with the DOMi

Warning! Changing themes while using the DOMi may cause the program to crash.