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Dealing with Multi-Word Text in React Unit Tests with Jest

jest, javascript, react1 min read

When writing unit tests for React components, especially with Jest and the @testing-library/react library, you might encounter challenges when testing elements containing multi-word text. The screen.getByText() function, commonly used for finding elements by their text content, might not work as expected if the text is split across multiple nodes in the DOM.

Understanding the Issue

The screen.getByText() function searches for an element that exactly matches the provided text. If the text you're searching for is split across multiple DOM nodes, this function will fail to find it.

Using Regular Expressions

To overcome this limitation, you can utilise regular expressions with the i flag (case-insensitive) in your search. This allows screen.getByText() to match any element containing the text, regardless of case or if it's spread across nodes.

expect(screen.getByText(/date of birth/i)).toBeInTheDocument();

This code snippet will search for any element containing the text "Date of Birth" (case-insensitive) and ensure it exists in the document.

Employing findByText for Asynchronous Rendering

If the multi-word text isn't immediately available when the test runs (due to asynchronous rendering), using screen.findByText() becomes necessary. This function returns a Promise that resolves when the text is found in the DOM.

await screen.findByText(/date of birth/i);

This code snippet waits for the text "Date of Birth" to appear before proceeding with the test, ensuring the element is present before assertions are made.

By understanding how screen.getByText() works and implementing these solutions, you can effectively test elements containing multi-word text in your React applications using Jest and @testing-library/react. Remember to choose the appropriate solution based on whether the text is static or dynamically rendered

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