Python String List ExamplesCreate and use string lists in various ways. Store lines of text from files with string lists.
String lists. Python is often used to process textual data. With strings, and string lists, we store and can handle this data in an efficient way.
List info. In string lists, we use the syntax for lists and that of strings together. Literals are often used in examples, but are less useful in real programs. We read in data from files.
Initialize list
Create string lists. This program creates 2 equivalent string lists. It then performs some simple operations on the lists, such as getting the length and looping.
Part A The list initializer syntax is used. We get the length of the list with len and can use a for-loop to iterate.
Part B The second section of this code example uses the list() built-in to create an empty list. Then it calls append() to add elements.
Python program that creates string lists
# Part A: create a list of three strings. strings = ["one", "two", "THREE"] # ... Display length of list. print(len(strings)) # ... Display all string elements in list. for value in strings: print(value) # Part B: create a string list and build it with append calls. strings2 = list() strings2.append("one") strings2.append("two") strings2.append("THREE") # ... Display length and individual strings. print(len(strings2)) for value in strings2: print(value)
3 one two THREE 3 one two THREE
Combine string lists. Two string lists can be combined with the plus operator. This is simpler than trying to loop and add individual elements with append().
Python program that combines string lists
left = ["cat", "dog"] right = ["bird", "fish"] # Add two string lists together. result = left + right # The four elements are now in one list. print(result)
['cat', 'dog', 'bird', 'fish']
Read lines into list. Please add a file to your computer in an accessible location. To add each line to a string list, we can use readlines. These are some details here.
Rstrip Before we call append() on each string line, we use rstrip. This eliminates annoying trailing newlines.
Contents, gems.txt: Python
ruby sapphire diamond emerald topaz
# Open a file on the disk (please change the file path). f = open(r"C:\files\gems.txt", "r") # Create an empty list. lines = [] # Convert lines into string list. for line in f.readlines(): lines.append(line.rstrip()) # Display all elements. for element in lines: print("[" + element + "]")
[ruby] [sapphire] [diamond] [emerald] [topaz]
Loop over 2 string lists. We can use two approaches to loop over two lists at once. We can iterate over a range of indexes with the range() built-in function.
Zip We can use zip(), another built-in, to enumerate the lists together without indexes.
Python program that uses range, zip
left = ["blue", "red"] right = ["navy", "crimson"] # Loop over index range. for i in range(0, len(left)): print(left[i], "...", right[i]) print() # Loop over string lists with zip. for (left_part, right_part) in zip(left, right): print(left_part, "...", right_part)
blue ... navy red ... crimson blue ... navy red ... crimson
Join and split strings. With these methods we can handle CSV files (comma-separated values). With join, we combine a string list into a single string separated with a comma char.
Split With split we separate apart a string. We divide based on a delimiter character—here we use a single comma.
Python program that uses join, split
items = ["one", "two", "ten", "eight"] # Combine string list into a single string. string_value = ",".join(items) print(string_value) # Separate string into a string list. list_values = string_value.split(",") print(list_values)
one,two,ten,eight ['one', 'two', 'ten', 'eight']
Duplicates. Sometimes we want to remove duplicate elements from a list. If ordering is important, we may need a special method to avoid reordering elements. Here a set is useful.
Two-dimensional. A list can contain other lists. We can use this kind of data structure as a two-dimensional grid of elements. These are jagged. Sub-lists can vary in length.
2D List
A summary. Python strings, and string lists, are simple and clear to use. This is a common requirement in programs. We handle groups of textual data.
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