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Text Files in Python

In this article , Iam going to describe about how you will create , update, view and delete the text files in Python.

So, let’s start :-


Normally, we will use libraries and modules for this in python.
But here we will do this by a creative ways.

Now, first we need Python’s built-in open function to get file objects.

The open function is use to open file in python.

When you use the open function, it returns  file objectsFile objects contain methods and attributes that will be used to collect information of the file .It can be used to modify the text file in python.

The mode attribute of a file object tells you which mode a file we want to use like ‘r’, ‘w’ etc  And the name attribute is the name of the file which we have text content’s that the file object used.

File Types

In Linux/Windows, File’swill be manipulated, updatedand created by the user/OS. files could be images, text documents and much more.

In Python, a file is categorized as either text or binary, and the difference between the two file types is important.

Text files are structured as a sequence of lines, where each line includes a sequence of characters. This is what you know as code or syntax. 

Each line is terminated with a special character, called the EOL or End of Line character. There are several types, but the most common is the comma {,} or newline character. It ends the current line and tells the interpreter a new one has begun. 

A backslash(\) character can also be used, and it tells the interpreter that the next character – following the slash – should be treated as a new line. This character is useful when you don’t want to start a new line in the text itself but in the code. 

A binary file is any type of file except text Because of their nature, binary files can only be processed by an application that know or understand the file’s structure. There will be some applications that can read and interpret binary.

Open ( ) Function

To open the file contents we have to use the  built-in open ()function.
open ( )will return a file object, so it is used with two arguments.
An argument is nothing more than a value that has been provided to a function, which is called when you call it. So, if we declare the name of a file as “File content” that name would be considered an argument.

The syntax to open a file object in Python is: -

file = open(“filename”, “mode”) where file is the variable to add the file object.
The second argument you see – mode– tells the interpreter and developer which way the file will be used.


Including a mode argument is optional but a default value of ‘r’is assumed by the python. if it is omitted. Then the‘r’ value stands for read mode, which is just one of many.

The modes are :-

·      ‘r’ – Read mode which is used when the file is only being read.
·      ‘w’ – Write mode which is used to edit and write new information to the file (any existing files with the same name will be erased when this mode is activated).
·      ‘a’ – Appending mode, which is used to add new data to the end of the file; that is new information is automatically amended to the end.
·      ‘r+’ – Special read and write mode, which is used to handle both actions when working with a file.

file = open(“file-name”,”w”)
print (file)
This opens the file named “file-name” in writing mode so that we can make changes to it. The current information stored within the file is displayed .

Create a text file

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Create a file,give it’s name and leave it blank.

We are giving this file a name “file.txt”.

To manipulate the file, write the following in your Python environment:-

file = open(“file.txt”,”w”)

file.write(“Write the file”)
file.write(“text contents add”)


In Python, we will see the text what we wrote in program previous.
$ cat file.txt

Write the file
text contents add

Reading a Text File in Python

We have many ways to read a file by program, whatever we choose for it.

If you need to extract a string that contains all characters in the file, we will use the following method: -

file = open(“file.text”, “r”) 
print (file.read())

The output of that command will display all the text inside the file.
We could  read a file is to call a certain number of characters.

For example :-

file = open(“file.txt”, “r”)

print (file.read(5))

The output will be like this :- 


If you want to read a file line by line , then you  have to use the readline() function.

We would execute the readline() function for getting the particular output.

It will return a string of characters that contains a single line of information from the file.

file = open(“file.txt”, “r”)
print (file.readline())

This would return the first line of the file, like so: -

Write the file

If we wanted to return only the third line in the file, we would use this:-

file = open(“file.txt”, “r”)
print file.readline(3)

We read all the lines in the file.You would use the same function, only in a new form. This is called the file.readlines() function.

file = open(“file.txt”, “r”) 
print (file.readlines())

The output you would get from this is: -

[‘Write the file’
,’text contents add’]

Looping over a file object

When you want to see text in again and again in python use :-

file = open(“file.txt”, “r”)

for i in file:
print (i)

Using the File Write Method

This method is used to add information or content to an existing file. To start a new line after you write data to the file, you can add an EOL character.

file = open(“file.txt”, “w”)

file.write(“text file”)


Closing a File

When we want to end file you can use the file.close()command to end things.

Apply all modes in one

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Opening a text file:-

file = open(“text.txt”, “r”)

Reading a text file: -

file= open(“text.txt”, “r”)
print (file.read())

To read a text file one line at a time:-

file = open(“text.text”, “r”)
print (file.readline())

To read a list of lines in a text file:-

file = open(“text.txt”, “r”)
print (file.readlines())

To write new content or text to a file:-

file =open(“text.txt”, “w”)

file.write(“your text”)


You can also use this to write multiple lines to a file at once:-

file = open(“text.txt”,”w”)
text = [“a”, “text”, “for you”]

To append a file:-

file = open(“text.txt”, “a”)
file.write(“Hello World”)

To close a file completely when you are done:-

file = open(“text.txt”, “r”)
print (file.read())


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