How to Select Sibling Elements in XPath?

In web scraping with Selenium, particularly when using Python, selecting sibling elements in a document structure is often necessary for efficient data extraction. XPath provides a flexible way to navigate through sibling nodes, making your scraping tasks more targeted and efficient.

Quick Guide on XPath Sibling Selection

To select sibling elements in XPath, you can use the following axis methods: following-sibling or preceding-sibling. These methods help in navigating to the siblings of the current node in the DOM (Document Object Model). Here’s the basic syntax to select the first following sibling:


This selects the first sibling following the current element that matches your specified conditions. Replace your-current-element with the appropriate node criteria.

Example: Selecting Siblings in XPath

Here’s a detailed example showing how to select sibling elements using XPath in Selenium:

      from selenium import webdriver

driver = webdriver.Chrome()


# Suppose you want to select the first paragraph sibling following a div with a specific id
div_id = 'unique-id'
sibling_elements = driver.find_elements_by_xpath(f"//*[@id='{div_id}']/following-sibling::p[1]")

for element in sibling_elements:


This script initializes the Selenium WebDriver, navigates to a webpage, selects the first paragraph element that is a sibling following a div with a specific ID, and prints the text of these elements. This method is very useful for navigating relationships in the DOM tree.


  • Ensure the webpage is fully loaded before attempting to select elements.
  • Use following-sibling:: to select siblings that follow and preceding-sibling:: to select siblings that precede the current element.
  • The indexing in XPath is 1-based, so [1] selects the first sibling.
  • This selection method is crucial for precise web scraping, especially when dealing with nested or adjacent data structures.

Mastering the use of sibling selectors in XPath will significantly enhance your web scraping efficiency with Selenium, enabling more structured and strategic data extraction in your Python projects.

Other XPath related questions:

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