In this guide, you learn the basics of Python: How to write to a file.
In short, you can write text to a new text file called
example.txt with the following:
with open('example.txt', 'w') as f: f.write('Hello world!')
Python How to Write to a File in Detail
Let’s take a deeper look at how to write to files in Python.
The procedure is simple:
- Open a (new) text file with the
- Write text to the opened file with the
- Finally, close the file using the
close()method. Another options is to use the
withstatement that automatically closes the file for you. In this guide, I’m going to use the
The basic syntax for
open() function is this:
path_to_a_fileis the path to the file you want to open. If no file is found, a new one is created.
modespecifies in which state you want to open the file. Use the mode
'w'to write to the file and
'a‘ to append to a file (add text to the end of the possible text in the file).
open() function returns a file object. This file object has two useful methods for writing text to the file:
write()that writes a single string to the text file.
writelines()that writes a list of strings to the file (or any other iterable, such as a tuple or set of strings).
Examples of Writing to a File
Let’s see examples of how to write and append to a file in Python using both
write() and the
writelines() methods and both writing modes
How to Write to a File in Python
Let’s write a list of strings into a text file using the writing mode
'w'. As you learned, you can use the
write() method or the
Let’s take a look at using
words = ["This ", "is ", "a ", "test"] with open("example.txt", "w") as f: for word in words: f.write(word)
As a result, a file called
example.txt is created with the following content:
This is a test
Next, let’s use the
writelines() to do the same:
words = ["This ", "is ", "a ", "test"] with open("example.txt", "w") as f: f.writelines(words)
Now if you’d like each word to appear on a separate line, just write the line break character ‘\n’ after writing a string to the file. For example:
words = ["This", "is", "a", "test"] with open("example.txt", "w") as f: for word in words: f.write(word) f.write("\n")
In the example.txt file the result looks like this:
This is a test
How to Append to a File in Python
Now you know how to write text to a file in Python. But what if you want to add text to the end of an existing file with some text in it? In this case, you can use the write mode
'a' described earlier to append text to the end of the file.
# Let's first write to a file with open("example2.txt", "w") as f: f.write("This is ") # Then let's open the file and append to it: with open("example2.txt", "a") as f: f.write("just another test.")
Here the result is a file called
example2.txt with the following contents:
This is just another test.
Writing to a file in Python is a simple procedure:
- Open the file with the open() function
- Write to the file using either
- Always close the file after writing. You can do this with the
close()method. Better yet, you can use the
withstatement that automatically closes the file for you after writing.