Python Files | How To Work With Python Files?

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

What is a file?

When we want to read from or write to a file we need to open it first. When we are done, it needs to be closed, so that resources that are tied with the file are freed.

Hence, in Python, a file operation:

  • Open a file

  • Read or write (perform operation)

  • Close the file

How to open a file?

Python has a built-in function open() to open a file.


f = open("file name")


f = open("file path")

By using mode:


f = open("filename",'w')


f = open("filename",'r+b')

Hence, when working with files in text mode, it is highly recommended to specify the encoding type.

How to close a file Using Python?

Closing a file will free up the resources that were tied with the file and is done using Python close() method.


f = open("test.txt",encoding = 'utf-8')

The best way to do this is using the with statement. This ensures that the file is closed when the block inside with is exited.


with open("test.txt",encoding = 'utf-8') as f:

How to write to File Using Python?

We need to open it in write 'w', append 'a'or exclusive creation 'x' mode. We need to be careful with the 'w' mode as it will overwrite into the file if it already exists. All previous data are erased.


with open("test.txt",'w',encoding = 'utf-8') as f:

f.write("my first file\n")

f.write("This file\n\n")

f.write("contains three lines\n")

How to read files in Python?

There are various methods available for this purpose. We can use the read(size) method to read in size number of data. If size parameter is not specified, it reads and returns up to the end of the file.


f = open("test.txt",'r',encoding = 'utf-8')

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