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In Development Last updated: July 13, 2023
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Have you ever wondered which elements are behind a beautifully crafted website? Learn how to inspect elements in Chrome and Firefox. 

Every visually stunning webpage has complex HTML, CSS, and JavaScript codes working at the back end. Using the handy developer tool named Inspect Element, you can check out the elements of HTML webpages on popular web browsers.

Besides letting you check the elements, this tool also helps you change the website layout and take text-free screenshots. Continue reading to know how to inspect elements on popular web browsers on Windows.

What Is Inspect Elements?

Inspect Elements is a developer tool found in all popular web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Brave. Using this tool, you can view the HTML, CSS, and JSS source code of a webpage. 


Moreover, you can use it to edit the HTML and CSS code and get the changes displayed on your browser in real time. Web developers, designers, and marketers use it to preview style changes, fix bugs, or learn website architecture.

Despite being a developer tool, it does not need any additional software installation. You can do it from your web browser following the methods we will describe in this article. 

Before you use the Inspect Elements feature, remember that any changes you make to manipulate the web content are temporary. The changes are only visible to you, while the actual webpage view is the same for other users.

When Do You Use Inspect Elements?


Here are some common situations when you may need to use this feature: 

Web Designing

When you need to understand the structure of a webpage or test CSS styles, you can use this tool. It also helps with experimenting with different elements and modifying the code to check the visual results immediately.

Taking Screenshots

If you want to take a screenshot of a webpage without some particular elements like text or images, this tool will come in handy. Find the HTML code for the element you want to remove and delete that code. That element will get removed from your webpage view instantly, and you can take a screenshot.

Website Debugging


Another common situation when this tool is used is to identify a website issue or error. It enables you to examine the HTML, CSS, and JSS code. Thus, you can find out which elements are not working properly or getting displayed incorrectly.

Learning About Web Development

If you are learning about web development, Inspect Elements is a must-have tool for you. It provides you valuable insights into elements behind a particular website to understand and learn implemented features and the overall webpage architecture.

Testing Accessibility

You may also use the Inspect Element tool on your web browser to evaluate the website’s accessibility. Using it, you can ensure accurate semantic markup and verify the accessibility attributes. Moreover, it also enables you to test the website using screen readers or other technologies.

Extracting Assets

If you want to quickly extract certain content or assets from a webpage, use this tool. It allows you to find original URLs of different media elements, like images and videos. Additionally, you can use it to understand how certain data is loaded.

Benefits of Inspecting Elements on Different Web Browsers

Software developer at office

Understanding Website Structure

This tool offers a visual representation of a website’s structure through HTML markup. Thus, you can identify nested elements and find out how the elements interact. It not only helps you understand the overall architecture but lets you build similar structures.


Whenever developers need to identify issues related to layout, responsive design, JavaScript errors, and performance, they use Inspect Elements tool. It also enables them to ensure cross-browser compatibility of a website.

Analyzing CSS Styling

You can use this tool to analyze the CSS styling and understand aspects like font choices, colors, and layout properties. This knowledge of visual appearance helps developers resolve layout inconsistencies and ensure persistent branding.


Inspecting elements is also beneficial for website accessibility and compatibility assessment. It allows you to inspect HTML attributes, ARIA roles, and other styles to ensure that everyone can access the web content without difficulty.

Performing Live Experiments

Real-time experimenting and prototyping are additional benefits of using Inspect Elements tool. You can directly modify the elements to check the changes on the webpage. Those in need of quick testing and fine-tuning of website design use it for efficient development.


Above all, Inspect Elements is the perfect tool to learn from the existing websites and get inspired for your own project. It helps you analyze the website structure and layout. Use this knowledge to collaborate and make continuous improvements.

Things That Can be Done by Inspect Elements

  • It helps you perform live editing in the CSS panel and view the changes in real-time.
  • It lets you test different website layouts without re-uploading the altered HTML file.
  • Inspect Elements tool also enables you to check for any broken code for website maintenance.
  • This tool can be used for tweaking page elements without making changes to the original HTML file.

Step By Step Methods to Inspect Elements on Google Chrome

Method 1: Using Inspect Command of the Context Menu

This is the most common method of inspecting elements of a webpage on Chrome.

  1. Open the webpage you want to inspect on Google Chrome.
  2. Hover your cursor over the text, image, video, or any other element.
  3. Now, right-click to get the context menu.
  4. Click on Inspect option located at the bottom of the menu. 
  5. The HTML code of this page will open, highlighting the code for that particular element.

Method 2: Using the Keyboard Shortcut

Using this method, you can open the HTML code of the entire webpage. However, directly opening the code of a definite element is not available with it.

  1. Make sure you have the preferred website or webpage open in Chrome.
  2. Press Ctrl+ Shift + I keys together on your keyboard.
  3. The Console drawer will open with the HTML code.

Method 3: Using Function Key

This method is another easy one as it needs only one keystroke. Just open the webpage and press the F12 key to open the HTML code for it. Toggle it to open and close the Inspect Elements tool.


Method 4: Using Chrome Menu

You can also access the Developer tool from the Chrome menu and check the elements of a website.

1. Open any webpage on Google Chrome.
2. Click on the three dots icon in the top-right corner.


3. As the Chrome menu opens, hover over the More tools option.
4. Slowly move your cursor to the Developer Tool option on the submenu.


5. Inspect Elements page will open.

Note: If you use Microsoft Edge, you can follow the same methods to check the webpage elements.

Step By Step Methods to Inspect Elements on Mozilla Firefox

Method 1: Using Inspect Command on Firefox

Firefox users can check the code behind any HTML webpage element using this approach.

  1. First, you open the website on your Firefox.
  2. Right-click while putting the cursor on the element you want to inspect.
  3. A menu will appear on which you need to click on Inspect option or press the Q key.
  4. Both will make the Inspect Elements tool appear on the screen.

Method 2: Using Function Key

Similar to Chrome, Firefox also displays Inspect Element tool when you press the F12 key. To close the tool, you need to press that key again.


Method 3: Using Firefox Menu

Firefox also has a Developer tool using which you can inspect the element of any webpage.

  1. While on a webpage, click on the hamburger icon on the right corner of the menu bar.
  2. When the menu opens, click on the More tools option.
  3. Click on Web Developer Tools under Browser Tools section.
  4. This will open the HTML code on your screen.

Method 4: Using the Keyboard Shortcut

Just like Chrome, Firefox also has a keyboard shortcut for Inspect Elements tool.

  1. Open any webpage on Firefox.
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + C on your Windows keyboard.
  3. You will be able to see the complete HTML code of that webpage.


Inspect Elements is a beneficial tool not only for the developers but also for anyone who wants to modify the website design or experiment with the webpage look. Here, we have explored the benefits and use cases of Inspect Element tool.

The top methods to inspect elements in popular web browsers are also mentioned here. So, if you want to inspect the HTML elements of a web page for professional or fun use, you can try any of the approaches.

You can also read how to change user-agent on web browsers.

  • Bipasha Nath
    I am a technical and creative content writer with 10+ years of experience in the relevant industry. My degrees in English and Sociology, coupled with working experience in software development companies, help me understand how technology… read more
  • Narendra Mohan Mittal

    Narendra Mohan Mittal is a Senior Digital Branding Strategist and Content Editor with over 12 years of versatile experience. He holds an M-Tech (Gold Medalist) and B-Tech (Gold Medalist) in Computer Science & Engineering.

    read more
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