• Smartproxy >
  • Glossary >
  • XPath

XPath (XML Path Language)

XPath is a powerful query language used for selecting nodes from an XML document. It is a W3C standard and plays a crucial role in various web technologies, including XSLT, XQuery, and web scraping. XPath allows developers to navigate through elements and attributes in an XML document with precise syntax and expressions.

Key Features

  1. Node Selection: XPath enables the selection of nodes in an XML document, allowing for targeted retrieval of data.
  2. Syntax: Uses path expressions to navigate through elements and attributes, similar to file paths in a filesystem.
  3. Functions: Includes a rich library of built-in functions for string manipulation, numeric operations, and node handling.
  4. Axes: Provides axes to specify node relationships such as parent, child, sibling, ancestor, and descendant.
  5. Predicates: Allows filtering of nodes based on conditions using square brackets.

Use Cases

  • Web Scraping: Extracting specific data from web pages rendered in XML or HTML.
  • Data Transformation: Used in conjunction with XSLT to transform XML documents into different formats.
  • Configuration Files: Parsing and modifying XML-based configuration files in various applications.
  • Testing: Automated testing tools use XPath to navigate and verify the structure of XML documents.


<book category="cooking">
<title lang="en">Everyday Italian</title>
<author>Giada De Laurentiis</author>
<book category="children">
<title lang="en">Harry Potter</title>
<author>J K. Rowling</author>

To select the title of the first book:


XPath is an essential tool for developers working with XML data, providing a robust mechanism for querying and manipulating XML documents efficiently.

Get in touch

Follow us


© 2018-2024, All Rights Reserved