iOS Web Inspector

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iOS Web Inspector

If you are using iOS 6 and Safari 6, you can inspect web pages shown in Mobile Safari or in WebViews of applications like those created with ADF Mobile. This can either be in the iOS Simulator or on a device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) connected over USB.

In Safari 6, enable the “Develop” menu:


From that menu, your connected devices and iOS Simulator will display as submenus. Each submenu will list all of the WebViews that you are able to inspect (if you are not sure which one you want, a highlight will appear on your device or in the simulator as you hover over each menu item):


A web inspector window will open:


In the first column, the panel with a document icon (1) is where you can browse the DOM, look at scripts, style sheets, etc. When the HTML page is selected, the middle panel will show you the DOM tree (3) which you can manually browse for an element. Alternatively, you can use the hand tool (2) to click on the screen (of the actual device or the simulator) to pick an element that you want to inspect.


With an element selected, you can then use the “{}” icon (4) of the right panel to view the element’s style properties. This will show you the exact selectors that are providing each style to the element (5). This is incredibly valuable, particularly when multiple selectors are competing (a line will strike out any styles that lose due to some other more specific selector). You can also edit those values directly or add additional properties and see the change immediately take effect on the screen. Unfortunately, there’s no way to save off any changes you’ve made. If you are trying to create a custom style sheet, you’ll need to jot down elsewhere the changes you’ve made; if you leave the page or close the app, you’ll lose your changes.