PythonForAI Day 5: Strings and File I/O

Welcome to Day 5 of PythonForAI! Today, we will explore string manipulation and file input/output (I/O) in Python. Strings are fundamental in programming, and being able to read from and write to files is crucial for many applications. We will also solve some practical problems to reinforce these concepts. Let’s get started!

Topics to Cover

1. String Manipulation

Strings in Python are sequences of characters. You can manipulate strings using various methods and operations.

Common String Methods

  • len(): Returns the length of a string.
  • str.lower(): Converts a string to lowercase.
  • str.upper(): Converts a string to uppercase.
  • str.strip(): Removes leading and trailing whitespace.
  • str.replace(old, new): Replaces occurrences of a substring.
  • str.split(separator): Splits a string into a list of substrings.
  • str.join(iterable): Joins elements of an iterable with a string.


text = "  Hello, World!  "
print(len(text))  # Output: 16
print(text.lower())  # Output: "  hello, world!  "
print(text.strip())  # Output: "Hello, World!"
print(text.replace("World", "Python"))  # Output: "  Hello, Python!  "
words = text.strip().split(", ")
print(words)  # Output: ['Hello', 'World']
print(", ".join(words))  # Output: "Hello, World"

2. Reading from and Writing to Files

Python provides built-in functions for reading from and writing to files. The open() function is used to open a file, and it returns a file object. You can specify the mode in which to open the file, such as 'r' for reading, 'w' for writing, and 'a' for appending.

Example: Writing to a File

# Writing to a file
with open('example.txt', 'w') as file:
    file.write("Hello, World!\n")
    file.write("This is a new line.")

# Reading from a file
with open('example.txt', 'r') as file:
    content =

Example: Reading from a File Line by Line

with open('example.txt', 'r') as file:
    for line in file:

Potential Problems to Solve

1. Write a Program to Count the Number of Vowels in a Given String

We will write a function that takes a string as input and returns the number of vowels (a, e, i, o, u) in the string.


def count_vowels(text):
    vowels = "aeiouAEIOU"
    count = 0
    for char in text:
        if char in vowels:
            count += 1
    return count

# Test the function
input_text = "Hello, World!"
print(f"Number of vowels in '{input_text}':", count_vowels(input_text))  # Output: 3

2. Create a Script to Read a Text File and Count the Frequency of Each Word

We will write a script that reads a text file, counts the frequency of each word, and prints the results.


from collections import Counter
import string

def count_word_frequency(file_path):
    with open(file_path, 'r') as file:
        text =
        # Remove punctuation and convert to lowercase
        text = text.translate(str.maketrans('', '', string.punctuation)).lower()
        words = text.split()
        word_counts = Counter(words)
        return word_counts

# Test the function
file_path = 'example.txt'
word_counts = count_word_frequency(file_path)
for word, count in word_counts.items():
    print(f"'{word}': {count}")

# Example content of 'example.txt':
# "Hello, World! This is a new line. Hello again."
# Output:
# 'hello': 2
# 'world': 1
# 'this': 1
# 'is': 1
# 'a': 1
# 'new': 1
# 'line': 1
# 'again': 1


Today, we covered string manipulation and file I/O in Python. These are essential skills for many programming tasks, including text processing and data management. We applied these concepts by solving two practical problems: counting the number of vowels in a string and counting the frequency of each word in a text file.

String manipulation and file I/O are fundamental to working with text and data. Tomorrow, we will delve into more advanced topics such as modules and packages.

Keep practicing and experimenting with strings and file I/O to strengthen your understanding. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below, and happy coding! 🐍🚀

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is the difference between strip(), lstrip(), and rstrip()?

  • strip(): Removes leading and trailing whitespace.
  • lstrip(): Removes leading (left) whitespace.
  • rstrip(): Removes trailing (right) whitespace.

Q2: How can I read a file without loading the entire file into memory?
You can read a file line by line using a for loop to iterate over the file object, which is memory-efficient for large files.

Q3: What is the purpose of the with statement when working with files?
The with statement ensures that the file is properly closed after its suite finishes, even if an exception is raised. This is a good practice to avoid resource leaks.

Q4: How can I remove punctuation from a string?
You can use the translate() method along with str.maketrans() to remove punctuation from a string.

Q5: Can I write binary data to a file in Python?
Yes, you can write binary data to a file by opening the file in binary mode using 'wb' for writing and 'rb' for reading.


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