how to extract all the hyperlinks on this webpage

Posted on 2012-12-29
Last Modified: 2012-12-29
on this web page if we click on expand all in the list of browse topics. How can we extract all the hyperlinks of the with titles like adoption, access to birth records etc
Question by:mmalik15
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LVL 75

Accepted Solution

käµfm³d   👽 earned 500 total points
ID: 38729997
The subsections are displayed by simply changing the display style from none to block, and the links exist in the source HTML (i.e. they are not pulled via AJAX). For this reason you should be able to just select all the links within that section.

If you're still using Html Agility Pack, then you could do:

doc.DocumentNode.SelectNodes("//span[@class='branch']//a[not(starts-with(@href, 'javascript:'))]")

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Author Comment

ID: 38730014
Many thanks again kaufmed..

how can i exclude rss link in the xpath? Apart from that its working fine.

Also could you kindly tell me any xpath tool to extract the information from html DOM or what's the best approach to write xpath for html dom?
LVL 75

Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 38730026
Oh, sorry. I meant to exclude that as well:

doc.DocumentNode.SelectNodes("//span[@class='branch']//a[not(starts-with(@href, 'javascript:')) and not(starts-with(@href, 'rss/'))]")

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Author Comment

ID: 38730035
Brilliant kaufmed. Its working perfectly.

I use Altova to test any xpath on xml documents but wonder if  there is a similar tool to test Html DOM.
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Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 38730041
I don't know of any. HTML is becoming more in line with XML with new standards that are released. Most of the frameworks people use today to build HTML do so such that the HTML is well-formed (similar to XML). As such, you should be able to use Altova on any well-formed HTML since HTML is (technically) a subset of XML (even though HTML was around first). Unless you are dealing with someone who hand-code their web page, you should be OK using Altova.
LVL 75

Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 38730044

One of the reasons HTML Agility Pack is so popular is that the team sought to make a library that could handle (as best as one can) mal-formed HTML. HAP takes some liberties in making the source HTML well-formed so that you can use XPath against the loaded document.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 38730054
Thanks kaufmed... Its worth having EE membership because of the presence of people like you!

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