Home arrow Python arrow File Management in Python

File Management in Python

File management is a basic function, and an important part of many applications. Python makes file management surprisingly easy, especially when compared to other languages. Peyton McCullough explains the basics.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. File Management in Python
  2. Getting Information on Existing Files
  3. Directories
  4. Pickling Data
  5. Creating In-memory Files
By: Peyton McCullough
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 108
January 31, 2005

print this article
SEARCH DEV SHED

TOOLS YOU CAN USE

advertisement

 

Introduction

 

The game you played yesterday uses files to store game saves. The order you placed yesterday was saved in a file. That report you typed up this morning was, obviously, stored in a file as well.

 

File management is an important part of many applications written in nearly every language. Python is no exception to this. In this article, we will explore the task of manipulating files using several modules. We'll read, write to, append and do other strange things to files. Let's get started.

 

Reading and Writing

 

The most basic tasks involved in file manipulation are reading data from files and writing data to files. This is a very simple task to learn. Let's open a file for writing: 

fileHandle = open ( 'test.txt', 'w' ) 

The "w" indicates that we will be writing to the file, and the rest is pretty simple to understand. The next step is to write data to the file: 

fileHandle.write ( 'This is a test.\nReally, it is.' ) 

This will write the string "This is a test." to the file's first line and "Really, it is." to the file's second line. Finally, we need to clean up after ourselves and close the file: 

fileHandle.close() 

As you can see, it's very easy, especially with Python's object orientation. Note that when you use the "w" mode to write to the file again, all its contents will be deleted. To get past this, use the "a" mode to append data to a file, adding data to the bottom: 

fileHandle = open ( 'test.txt', 'a' )

fileHandle.write ( '\n\n\nBottom line.' )

fileHandle.close() 

Now let's read our file and display the contents: 

fileHandle = open ( 'test.txt' )

print fileHandle.read()

fileHandle.close() 

This will read the entire file and print the data within it. We can also read a single line in the file: 

fileHandle = open ( 'test.txt' )

print fileHandle.readline() # "This is a test."

fileHandle.close() 

It is also possible to store the lines of a file into a list: 

fileHandle = open ( 'test.txt' )

fileList = fileHandle.readlines()

for fileLine in fileList:

   print '>>', fileLine

fileHandle.close() 

When reading a file, Python's place in the file will be remembered, illustrated in this example: 

fileHandle = open ( 'test.txt' )

garbage = fileHandle.readline()

fileHandle.readline() # "Really, it is."

fileHandle.close() 

Only the second line is displayed. We can, however, get past this by telling Python to resume reading from a different position: 

fileHandle = open ( 'test.txt' )

garbage = fileHandle.readline()

fileHandle.seek ( 0 )

print fileHandle.readline() # "This is a test."

fileHandle.close() 

In the above example, we tell Python to continue reading from the first byte in the file. Thus, the first line is printed. We can also request Python's place within the file: 

fileHandle = open ( 'test.txt' )

print fileHandle.readline() # "This is a test."

print fileHandle.tell() # "17"

print fileHandle.readline() # "Really, it is." 

It is also possible to read the file a few bytes at a time: 

fileHandle = open ( 'test.txt' )

print fileHandle.read ( 1 ) # "T"

fileHandle.seek ( 4 )

print FileHandle.read ( 1 ) # "T" 

When working with Windows and Macintosh, sometimes you are required to read and write files in binary mode, such as images or executional files. To do this, simply append "b" to the file mode: 

fileHandle = open ( 'testBinary.txt', 'wb' )

fileHandle.write ( 'There is no spoon.' )

fileHandle.close()

 

fileHandle = open ( 'testBinary.txt', 'rb' )

print fileHandle.read()

fileHandle.close() 



 
 
>>> More Python Articles          >>> More By Peyton McCullough
 

blog comments powered by Disqus
escort Bursa Bursa escort Antalya eskort
   

PYTHON ARTICLES

- Python Big Data Company Gets DARPA Funding
- Python 32 Now Available
- Final Alpha for Python 3.2 is Released
- Python 3.1: String Formatting
- Python 3.1: Strings and Quotes
- Python 3.1: Programming Basics and Strings
- Tuples and Other Python Object Types
- The Dictionary Python Object Type
- String and List Python Object Types
- Introducing Python Object Types
- Mobile Programming using PyS60: Advanced UI ...
- Nested Functions in Python
- Python Parameters, Functions and Arguments
- Python Statements and Functions
- Statements and Iterators in Python

Developer Shed Affiliates

 


Dev Shed Tutorial Topics: