Learn Python: Files
Reading a File

Computers use file systems to store and retrieve data. Each file is an individual container of related information. If you’ve ever saved a document, downloaded a song, or even sent an email you’ve created a file on some computer somewhere. Even script.py, the Python program you’re editing in the learning environment, is a file.

So, how do we interact with files using Python? We’re going to learn how to read and write different kinds of files using code. Let’s say we had a file called real_cool_document.txt with these contents:



We could read that file like this:


with open('real_cool_document.txt') as cool_doc: cool_contents = cool_doc.read() print(cool_contents)

This opens a file object called cool_doc and creates a new indented block where you can read the contents of the opened file. We then read the contents of the file cool_doc using cool_doc.read() and save the resulting string into the variable cool_contents. Then we print cool_contents, which outputs the statement Wowsers!.



Use with to open the file welcome.txt. Save the file object as text_file.


Read the contents of text_file and save the results in text_data.


Print out text_data.

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