So far we’ve learned how to query and extract the different DOM nodes from our React components. Now, it’s time for us to learn how to mimic user interactions e.g. clicking a checkbox, typing text, etc. Once again, this entire process has been made easier for us with the help of another library in the @testing-library suite: @testing-library/user-event.

The library can be installed with the command below:

npm install --save-dev @testing-library/[email protected]

Note: There is a known issue with the userEvent.type() method that was resolved in issue 12.0.4. To avoid this issue, install version 12.0.4 of the package.

This library exports a single object, userEvent, that can imported in a test file like so:

import userEvent from '@testing-library/user-event';

The userEvent object contains many built-in methods that allow us to mimic user interactions. Typically, they follow the same syntax pattern:


Here is an example where we mimic a user filling in a text box. Note that in this case, a second argument is provided as the text to be typed into the box.

import React from 'react'; import { render, screen } from '@testing-library/react'; import userEvent from '@testing-library/user-event'; import '@testing-library/jest-dom'; const GreetingForm = () => { return( <form> <label htmlFor="greeting"> Greeting: </label> <input type="text" id="greeting" /> <input type="submit" value="Submit" /> </form> ); }; test('should show text content as Hey Mack!', () => { // Render the component to test render(<GreetingForm />); // Extract the textbox component const textbox = screen.getByRole('textbox'); // Simulate typing 'Hey Mack!' userEvent.type(textbox, 'Hey Mack!'); // Assert textbox has text content 'Hey Mack!' expect(textbox).toHaveValue('Hey Mack!'); });

In the example above, the userEvent.type() method is used which accepts a DOM node to interact with (textbox) and a string to type into that node (`’Hey Mack!’).

The userEvent object has methods for simulating clicks (userEvent.click()), hovering (userEvent.hover()), and much more. Once again, instead of memorizing all of these, it is recommended that you read the docs to find the method best suited for your needs.



Let’s now userEvent to mimic user interactions in our tests for Passing Thoughts.

First, install @testing-library/[email protected] as a developer dependency.

To verify that you have successfully added the package to your project, navigate to package.json and check that @testing-library/user-event version 12.0.4 appears in the dependencies array.


In Thought.test.js import userEvent from @testing-library/user-event.


In the first test of Thought.test.js, we would like to remove the thought with the text 'This is a place for your passing thoughts' that is added as the first thought when the application first renders (refresh the browser to see it).

We’ve started this test for you:

  1. We render the App component
  2. We then grab the first '×' button.
  3. Finally, later in the test, we check to see if that element is null.

This test will fail unless we mimic clicking on the button in between steps 2 and 3 (verify this by running npm test).

Use a method from the userEvent object to mimic a user pressing the retrieved button so that the final expect() assertion passes. Then, run npm test to see that the first test now passes!


In the second test of Thought.test.js file we’d like to mimic adding a new thought. We’ve started this test for you:

  1. At the top of the test, we render App
  2. Then we grab the input element where a user can type the thought and the submit button to add the thought.
  3. At the end of the test we assert that a thought with the text 'Did I forget my keys?' was added to the DOM.

This test will fail unless we mimic typing into the input and clicking the submit button in between steps 2 and 3.

First, use a method from the userEvent object to mimic a user typing into this input element with the text 'Did I forget my keys?'.


Now that we’ve mimicked a user typing 'Did I forget my keys', it’s time for us to post this thought by clicking the sumbit button. In the second test of Thought.test.js, simulate a user clicking the submit button by using a method from the userEvent object.


Run npm test in your terminal

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