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Understanding File Dealing with in Python, with Examples

Understanding File Dealing with in Python, with Examples

On this article on dealing with recordsdata with Python, you’ll learn to use the Python OS module and the right way to navigate by means of native recordsdata and directories. You’ll additionally learn to open, learn, write and shut recordsdata in Python.

File dealing with is an efficient method to persist knowledge after a program terminates. Knowledge from a pc program is saved to a file and will be accessed later. Python, like many different programming languages, offers helpful strategies to create, open, learn and write knowledge to a file.


  1. File Dealing with in Python: Information and File Paths
  2. File Dealing with in Python: Studying and Writing Knowledge

File Dealing with in Python: Information and File Paths

Information are fast alternate options for persisting knowledge from a pc program. The random-access reminiscence (RAM) can solely retailer knowledge briefly, as all of the earlier knowledge is misplaced instantly after the pc system is turned off. Information are most well-liked, as a result of they’re a extra everlasting storage level for knowledge on a pc. A file is a location on a neighborhood disk the place knowledge is saved. It has two important properties: a filename, and its path.

Utilizing the OS module

Python offers an inbuilt OS module for interacting with our laptop’s working system. The OS module has interfaces (capabilities) that assist with performing operations like navigating by means of directories and recordsdata in Python, creating folders, figuring out file paths, and so forth.

To make use of the OS module, we import it into our program as proven under:

import os

Methods to get the present working listing

We will get the present working listing (“cwd”) in Python utilizing the getcwd() technique. This technique returns the trail of the listing we’re at the moment working in as a string, as proven within the code snippet under:

import os 

listing = os.getcwd()

Absolute vs relative paths

File paths will be laid out in two methods: both by their absolute path, or by their relative path. Each paths level to the present file location.

The absolute path of a file declares its path, starting with the basis folder. An absolute path appears like this:


The basis folder (as seen within the above code) is house on a Linux OS.

The relative path of a file declares its path in relation to the present working listing. Let’s see an instance:


The code above exhibits the relative path for the Python file filehandling.py.

Methods to create a listing in Python

The OS module has a mkdir() technique for creating new folders or directories in Python. The mkdir() technique takes one argument — a reputation for the listing — to be created within the present listing as a default conduct. See the code under:

import os


Nonetheless, we will create directories in a distinct location by specifying the file path. Within the code instance under, a initiatives folder is created within the Tutorial folder:


After we examine contained in the Tutorial folder, we’ll discover the newly created initiatives folder.

Methods to change the present working listing

To modify between directories, use the chdir() technique. The brand new path is handed in as an argument to the strategy to alter from the present working listing to a different one.

After creating a brand new folder within the earlier code pattern, we will change the listing to the initiatives folder:

import os


To verify the change within the listing, use the getcwd() technique, which returns a string of the present working listing: /house/ini/Dev./Tutorial/initiatives.

Methods to delete recordsdata or directories in Python

Information and directories will be deleted in Python utilizing the OS module’s take away() and rmdir() strategies respectively.

To delete recordsdata in Python, enter the file path within the os.take away() technique. When deleting recordsdata, if the file doesn’t exist, this system will throw the FileNotFoundError.

Let’s take a code instance:

import os

os.take away("random.txt")

To delete or take away a listing, use os.rmdir(), passing within the listing path to be deleted, like so:

import os


The initiatives folder is deleted from the Tutorial folder.

Methods to checklist recordsdata and directories in Python

To get an summary of all of the content material of a listing, use the os.listdir() technique. This technique returns a listing of all the present recordsdata and directories in that specific folder:

import os

['array.py', 'unittesting.py', 'search_replace.py', '__pycache__', 'pangram.txt', '.pytest_cache', 'exception.py', 'files.py', 'regex.py', 'filehandling.py']

File Dealing with in Python: Studying and Writing Knowledge

File dealing with in Python is easy and never as sophisticated as it may be in different programming languages. There are totally different file entry modes to select from when opening a Python file for any operation:

  • r: opens a file for studying. The learn mode throws an error when the file doesn’t exist.

  • r+: opens the file to learn and write knowledge right into a file object. An error is thrown if the file doesn’t exist.

  • w: a file is opened on this mode for writing knowledge. The write mode overrides present knowledge and creates a brand new file object if it doesn’t exist.

  • w+: opens a file to learn and write knowledge. Present knowledge on file is overridden when opened on this mode.

  • a: the append mode appends to a file if the file exists. It additionally creates a brand new file if there’s no present file. It doesn’t override present knowledge.

  • a+: this mode opens a file for appending and studying knowledge.

  • x: the create mode is used to create recordsdata in Python. An error is thrown if the file exists.

Including b to any of the entry modes adjustments it from the default textual content format to a binary format (for instance, rb, rb+, wb, and so forth).

Methods to open a file in Python

To open a file in Python, the open() perform is used. It takes a minimum of two arguments — the filename, and the mode description — and returns a file object. By default, a file is opened for studying in textual content mode, however we will specify if we wish the binary mode as an alternative.

A easy syntax to open a file appears like this:

f = open('filename', 'mode')

After this step, as seen within the code above, we will start our learn–write operations on the file object. In default mode, recordsdata are at all times dealt with in textual content mode.

Methods to shut a file in Python

After a file object is opened and file processing operations are carried out, we shut the file. It’s usually the final step in studying or writing recordsdata in Python. The file object shut() technique is used to shut earlier opened recordsdata.

Closing recordsdata in Python appears like this:

f = open('filename', 'mode')
// file operations, studying, writing or appending

The with assertion

It’s a normal observe to shut recordsdata after they’ve been opened and file operations have been carried out. It’s doable to overlook out on closing some recordsdata after they’ve been opened.

The with assertion routinely closes recordsdata after the final file dealing with operation is accomplished in its scope. For instance:

with open('random.txt', 'r') as f:
Hiya world!
Hiya world!

As seen within the code snippet above, the with assertion implicitly closes the file after the print assertion.

Methods to learn a file in Python

There are a few methods to learn knowledge from a file in Python. We will learn a file’s contents utilizing the learn(), readline(), and readlines() strategies.

The learn() technique

The learn() technique returns a string of all characters on the file being learn. The pointer is positioned at the beginning of the file content material. The default mode is to learn from the start of the file to the tip of the file, besides the place the variety of characters is specified.

Check out the code snippet under:

f = open('random.txt', 'r')
This is some random textual content.
Right here is the second line.
The sky is blue.
Roses are purple. 

We will specify what number of characters to learn from the textual content file. Merely cross the variety of characters as an argument to the learn() technique:

f = open('random.txt', 'r')
This is some

As seen within the instance above, the intepreter reads solely twelve characters from your complete file.

The readline() technique

This technique reads one line from a file at a time. It reads from the start of the file and stops the place a newline character is discovered. See the code instance under:

f = open('random.txt', 'r')
This is some random textual content.

The readlines() technique

This technique returns a listing of all traces from the present file being learn. See the code snippet under:

f = open('random.txt', 'r')
['This is some random text.n', 'Here is the second line.n', 'The sky is blue.n', 'Roses are red.']

Be aware: all of the strategies for studying a file stream return an empty worth when the tip of the file is reached. The search() technique returns the file cursor to the start of the file.

Methods to write to a file in Python

The write() technique in Python is beneficial when trying to put in writing knowledge to a file. To write down to an opened file, the entry mode must be set to one of many following: w, w+, a, a+, and so forth. As soon as once more, the default is textual content mode relatively than binary.

The write() technique

Go a string argument to this technique once we wish to write knowledge to a textual content file. Keep in mind that the write mode will override present knowledge if the file exists:

f = open('random.txt', 'w')
f.write("Hiya world!")

The writelines() technique

This technique helps us insert a number of strings to a textual content file without delay. We will write a number of traces of strings to a file in a single go by passing the checklist as an argument of the strategy:

phrases = ['The sky is blue', 'nRoses are red']

f = open('random.txt', 'w')

The code above exhibits a closed file being opened and a few traces in a glossary being inserted without delay into the random.txt textual content file.


There are two necessary attributes a couple of file: the filename and its path. The OS module helps us navigate by means of directories and carry out sure operations. Python file dealing with includes utilizing a number of strategies to open, create, learn, and write knowledge on file objects.

It’s additionally necessary to grasp file dealing with in Python if we wish to work together with content material inside textual content or binary recordsdata. All the time ensure to shut recordsdata after finishing up operations on them. The with assertion makes it simpler to carry out file dealing with in Python, because it implicitly closes file objects after we’re completed.

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