Trigger semantic actions in widget tests — Flutter

Abhay Sood
2 min readSep 29, 2021

The Semantics widget provides a number of callbacks for user actions, like onDidGainAccessibilityFocus & onDidLoseAccessibilityFocus, onTap, onLongPress and more.

To be able to test the side-effects, like showing a SnackBar when onTap is called, we need some way to trigger these actions in widget tests.

Sample App

The app is quite simple, a text which is wrapped with a Semantics widget that overrides three callbacks: onDidGainAccessibilityFocus, onDidLoseAccessibilityFocus & onTap. When any of the callback is triggered, a SnackBar is shown. Run the following code on an iOS/Android device with Voiceover/Talkback turned on.


Semantics Demo


Flutter, maintains a tree called the semantics tree. Each node in this tree, called SemanticsNode, corresponds to a widget or a group of widgets. These nodes contain information about the widgets, like it’s label, hint, etc. It’s used by the screen readers to make announcements.

Semantics OwnerThe class responsible for managing a SemanticsNode. It is responsible for relaying messages from the semantics node to the OS and vice-versa.

Semantics Action — The possible actions that can be conveyed from the operating system accessibility APIs to a SemanticsNode. Example actions are: tap, long press, scroll, accessibility focus gained, accessibility focus lost, etc.

Trigger SemanticsAction from a Test

Widget tests can access the SemanticsOwner using the tester object in the following way:

final semanticsOwner = tester.binding.pipelineOwner.semanticsOwner

Semantics owner has a performAction method which triggers a SemanticsAction as if it came from the OS. It requires a semantics node ID and the action to be performed.

We can get the semantics node ID using the following code snippet:

tester.getSemantics(find.text("Hello World!")).id;

We can trigger the accessibility focus action using:


Complete test code