Automated testing that doesn’t hurt



Recently, we updated the Watir website to be hosted on GitHub Pages. The existing and sites will no longer be maintained, but most if not all of the information currently on them has been transferred over to the new site. Check it out at now redirects to this new site, and soon will become

If you think something is missing or have any comments or feedback, make an issue on the site’s GitHub page or join us on our Slack channel.

Watir, pronounced water, is an open-source (BSD) family of Ruby libraries for automating web browsers. It allows you to write tests that are easy to read and maintain. It is simple and flexible.

Watir drives browsers the same way people do. It clicks links, fills in forms, presses buttons. Watir also checks results, such as whether expected text appears on the page.

Watir is a family of Ruby libraries but it supports your app no matter what technology it is developed in. Whilst Watir supports only Internet Explorer on Windows, Watir-WebDriver supports Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera and also running in headless mode (HTMLUnit).

Like other programming languages, Ruby gives you the power to connect to databases, read data files and spreadsheets, export XML, and structure your code as reusable libraries. Unlike other programming languages, Ruby is concise and often a joy to read.

Why Watir?

  • It’s a free Open Source tool. There are no costs to use the tool.
  • There’s a very active and growing community behind it.
  • It uses Ruby, a full-featured modern scripting language, rather than a proprietary vendorscript.
  • It supports your web app no matter what it is developed in.
  • It supports multiple browsers on different platforms.
  • It is powerful and easy to use, yet beautifully lightweight.
  • Don’t just take our word for it, see some awesome quotes below and install Watir.


“Watir Rocks! Truly awesome!!”—Shashank Date

“Watir is the most compelling alternative [to Fit] for filling the automated acceptance testing need.”—Ward Cunningham

“I have limited scripting experience and none with Ruby, but I was able to follow your examples and be productive in short order.”—Kevin Sheehy

“I’ve been trying to find the Holy Grail of Automated Web UI Testing… And the one I’m currently enamored with is Watir.”—Scott Hanselman

“I wanted to run around my office dancing and celebrating.”—Beth Ferguson

Watir Users

Some Watir users include (sorted alphabetically):

adready altentee bell codeborne convio crestech expedia facebook gap honeywell hp Infogain onerecovery oracle qsuper sap Toptal wellsfargo yahoo zazzle

If you would like to add your company to the list send us a logo (150×51), link to the home page and (if possible) a link to the page that says you are using Watir.

54 thoughts on “Automated testing that doesn’t hurt

  1. Watir is an excellent testing too!
    LiveOps QA team uses watir for function testing and smoke testing since late 2007. We did a lot of customization for our watir end-2-end automation framework. We also use it for Daily and weekly smoke test.

  2. Man! What an Awesome tool. Was the perfect tool i was looking for to develop a script for my project.Watir with Ruby lang, truely rocks.Keep goin!

  3. We found it one of the most robust tools for web application testing. We are using it since last two year and formed our own library / framework to do data driven testing. Usually we use it to automate our sanity test suite. However, for couple of projects we are working on to automate our regression suite using Watir.
    People says selenium is one of the most reliable open source tools for functional testing. Now, I have worked on both the tools and my personal favor goes along with Watir.

  4. Girish: Yes, I have also heard from people who work at HP that there are many people there who prefer watir over qtp, despite it being free to them. Frankly I think that once people pay so much money for it, it makes them blind to evidence that they made a bad decision. The folks at HP don’t have that kind of bias.

  5. Hello,
    i am trying to run Watir on Debian (browser: icewasel). but unable to install it properly.
    [require ‘watir’ is showing following message :
    irb(main):002:0> require ‘watir’
    LoadError: no such file to load — watir
    from (irb):2:in `require’
    from (irb):2
    from :0

    please help.

    • Click the INSTALL image above on the right side of the page. At the top of the page that opens you will find links for various OS’s including windows.. click the link for windows.

      For support post on and tag your question with the WATIR or WATIR-WEBDRIVER tag.

  6. can nay one suggest me a perfect book/material or user guide for ruby/watir for automating the web testing

  7. Hi,

    I work at Infogain and would like to include our company’s logo on the Watir page.

    We have been using Watir extensively for the past 4 years and built a data driven framework on it. Also, for cross browser support (firefox, chrome), we have incorporated watir-webdriver gem, and also using this in conjunction with the cucumber framework.

    This has been working wonders for us, and we run a suite of about 350 testcases on a daily basis.

    Please let me know if you can include our company’s logo, and any specific information that you might require.

    Anukul Singhal

  8. Hi,
    I need to ask that can I use this tool for the functional testing of applications built in .Net ? Please respond so that i can start using this tool, I have heard alot about this.

  9. I am new to this and I don’t know Ruby language. Is there some turtorial to learn how to use this Watir tool

  10. does anyone know any contact information for support or the team? Or if Watir can be used for remote control of computers?

    • For support, see the Support page. The page includes a number of ways to get help from the community.

      Regarding your question about remote control of computers, it depends on what you mean by “remote control of computers”. Watir, specifically Watir-Webdriver, can be used to drive browsers on a remote computer. Watir is not designed for anything else – eg it cannot open Excel or shutdown a computer.

  11. You can even add Cisco in the companies list. Many of the Automation projects in Cisco are using WATIR Webdriver.

  12. I have been using ruby without any issue. However, I am getting a bug error from yesterday. Any one has similar issues please. You may have encountered a bug in the Ruby Interpreter or extension libraries”

    • Hi vivek,

      You are unlikely to get much help through comments. Please consider using one of the support options such as the mailing list or Stack Overflow.

      Make sure to provide as many details about the problem as possible. For example, what did you change between the day before (when you did not have issues) to the day you started having issues. What is the code you are running?

    • The answer depends on what flavour of Watir you are asking about – Webdriver or Classic.

      Watir-Webdriver is an API wrapper around Selenium-Webdriver, so in terms of performance will be quite close. The Watir syntax is easier to use, which can make writing scripts more efficient.

      From my experience, using Watir-Classic does have better performance than Selenium-Webdriver. However, the trade off is that Watir-Classic only supports Internet Explorer.

  13. I want to add our companies logo to your list of companies that use watir but I can’t find an email to send the required info. Could someone please provide me with the email?

  14. Is there any record and play back tool for this Waitr?? can we export test scripts if it able to record?? Will it support all types of UI object and webelements?

  15. Hello, we are looking for an automated test generator for HTML forms.

    We are a company that basically creates projects in HTML and we are looking for something that help us create automated test.

    Is watir suitable for this?

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