How to Open a File in Python

How to Open a File in Python. Before the advent of databases, web services and other exotic forms of data storage, there was the file. Files will always be part of computing in one form or another. You can learn to use Python's file operations to open a file.

Open a File in Python

Step

Determine the name of the file you wish to open. If the file does not already exist, you can create the file automatically with the file name you choose.

Step

Determine whether you will be reading from the file, writing to the file or both.

Step

Check to see if you have the correction permissions to read, write or create the file. You may need to check the permissions of the directory that the file exists in to make sure that you have read/write access. Under a Windows system, you can right click on the file or folder and check the attribute tab. Under a Unix or Mac OS X system, you can type: percent ls -la myfile.txtto check your permissions, and thenpercent chmod 644 myfile.txtto make sure you have permissions to write to the file.

Step

Use the open() method to open a file and create a file object: myfile = open("myfile.txt")This will open or create myfile.txt for reading and for writing.

Step

Know that if you wish to open a file only for reading or only for writing, you can pass a second argument to open(). Pass 'r' for read only, 'w' for write only and 'rw' for explicit read-write. For example: #open a file for read only myfile = open('myfile.txt', 'r')

Step

Be sure to call the close() method to close any open file handles once you are done using the file, so that later processes can access the file: myfile.close