Let’s say we wanted the table. We could use the XPath /html/body/table to retrieve it. We can also use XPath to refer to a collection. Let’s say we wanted all the rows. We would use the XPath /html/body/table/tr. We would get a collection of three rows. Notice the XPath looks a lot like a Linux or windows folder path. That’s the idea of XPath!
I would like to point out a couple of extra points. First, XPath is case sensitive. So if I had tried to use /html/body/table/TR, I would find no nodes.
Second, you can use “short hand” in your XPath queries. //body/table/tr would get you to the same place /html/body/table/tr did.
This intro is part of a series Shannon has started on scraping data from websites.