How to Write or Create a file in Python


Summary: in this tutorial, you’ll learn how to write to text files in Python.

TL;DR

The following illustrates how to write a string to a text file:

with open('readme.txt', 'w') as f:
    f.write('readme')
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

Steps for writing to text files

To write to a text file in Python, you follow these steps:

  • First, open the text file for writing (or appending) using the open() function.
  • Second, write to the text file using the write() or writelines() method.
  • Third, close the file using the close() method.

The following shows the basic syntax of the open() function:

f = open(path_to_file, mode)

The open() function accepts many parameters. But you’ll focus on the first two:

  • The path_to_file parameter specifies the path to the text file that you want to open for writing.
  • The mode parameter specifies the mode for which you want to open the text file.

For writing to a text file, you use one of the following modes:

ModeDescription
'w'Write – will create a file if the specified file does not exist
'a'Append – will create a file if the specified file does not exist
‘x’Create – will create a file, returns an error if the file exist

The open() function returns a file object. And the file object has two useful methods for writing text to the file: write() and writelines().

The write() method writes a string to a text file and the writelines() method write a list of strings to a file at once.

In fact, the writelines() method accepts an iterable object, not just a list, so you can pass a tuple of strings, a set of strings, etc., to the writelines() method.

To write a line to a text file, you need to manually add a new line character:

f.write('\n')
f.writelines('\n')Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

And it’s up to you to add the new line characters.

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