Reading Files – Python

Just a quickie on files and how to read them.

To read a file you can use with open(), adding then the path to the file and giving it a name.

with open('path/toMy/file.txt') as file_my_file:

Then you can read the file using either read() or readlines().


Using read() will mean that the entire file will be read and stored as a string.

>>> with open('path/toMy/file.txt') as file_my_file:

# so if we check what type of data it is..
>>> type(str_file_contents)
<type ' str'>
# there we go...a string.

So if you have a file like this

This is line 1.
This is line 2.
This is line 3.

if you use read() you will end up with something like this

'This is line 1.\nThis is line 2.\nThis is line 3.'


On the other hand, using readlines() will give you a list, where each file line is an item, like this.

>>> with open('path/toMy/file.txt') as file_my_file:
...    str_file_contents=file_my_file.readlines()

# so if we check what type of data it is..
>>> type(list_file_contents)
<type ' list'>
# there we go...a list.

So now, it looks more like this

['This is line 1.\n','This is line 2.\n','This is line 3.']

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