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Python, read the content of a file

Published Feb 02 2021

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To read the content of a file, first you need to open it using the open() global function, which accepts 2 parameters: the file path, and the mode.

To read, use the read (r) mode:

filename = '/Users/flavio/test.txt'

file = open(filename, 'r')


file = open(filename, mode='r')

Once you have the file open, you can use the read() methods to read the entire content of the file into a string:

content = file.read()

You can also choose to read the content one line at a time:

line = file.readline()

It’s common to combine this with a loop, for example to read every line into a list entry:

filename = '/Users/flavio/test.txt'

file = open(filename, 'r')

while True:
    line = file.readline()
    if line == '': break

At the end of your file processing, remember to close the file:


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