🍎Summary: The most efficient way to split a string using multiple whitespaces is to use the
split function like so
given_string.split(). An alternate approach is to use different functions of the regex package to split the string at multiple whitespaces.
import re text = "mouse\nsnake\teagle human" # Method 1 print(text.split()) # Method 2 res = re.split("\s+", text) print(res) # Method 3 res = re.sub(r'\s+', ',', text).split(',') print(res) # Method 4 print(re.findall(r'\S+', text)) # ['mouse', 'snake', 'eagle', 'human']
📜Problem: Given a string. How will you split the string using multiple whitespaces?
# Input text = "abc\nlmn\tpqr xyz\rmno" # Output ['abc', 'lmn', 'pqr', 'xyz', 'mno']
There are numerous ways of solving the given problem. So, without further ado, let us dive into the solutions.
Method 1: Using Regex
The best way to deal with multiple delimiters is to use the flexibility of the regular expressions library. There are different functions available in the regex library that you can use to split the given string. Let’s go through each one by one.
1.1 Using re.split
re.split(pattern, string) method matches all occurrences of the
pattern in the
string and divides the string along the matches resulting in a list of strings between the matches. For example,
re.split('a', 'bbabbbab') results in the list of strings
['bb', 'bbb', 'b'].
📚Recommended Read: Python Regex Split.
Approach: To split the string using multiple whitespace characters use
re.split("\s+", text) where
\s is the matching pattern and it represents a special sequence that returns a match whenever it finds any whitespace character and splits the string.
import re text = "abc\nlmn\tpqr xyz\rmno" res = re.split("\s+", text) print(res) # ['abc', 'lmn', 'pqr', 'xyz', 'mno']
1.2 Using re.findall
re.findall(pattern, string) method scans the
string from left to right, searching for all non-overlapping matches of the
pattern. It returns a list of strings in the matching order when scanning the string from left to right.
📚Recommended Read: Python re.findall() – Everything You Need to Know
import re text = "abc\nlmn\tpqr xyz\rmno" print(re.findall(r'\S+', text))
Explanation: In the expression, i.e.,
re.findall(r"\S'+", text), all occurrences of characters except whitespaces are found and stored in a list. Here,
\S+ returns a match whenever the string contains one or more occurrences of normal characters (characters from a to Z, digits from 0-9, etc. However, not the whitespaces are considered).
1.3 Using re.sub
The regex function
re.sub(P, R, S) replaces all occurrences of the pattern
P with the replacement
R in string
S. It returns a new string. For example, if you call
re.sub('a', 'b', 'aabb'), the result will be the new string
'bbbb' with all characters
'a' replaced by
Aprroach: Use the
re.sub method to replace all occurrences of whitespace characters in the given string with a comma. Thus, the string will now have commas instead of whitespace characters and you can simply split it using a normal string split method by passing comma as the delimiter.
import re text = "abc\nlmn\tpqr xyz\rmno" res = re.sub(r'\s+', ',', text).split(',') print(res) # ['abc', 'lmn', 'pqr', 'xyz', 'mno']
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Method 2: Using split()
By default the
split function splits a given string at whitespaces. Meaning, if you do not pass any delimiter to the split function then the string will be split at whitespaces. You can use this default property of the split function and successfully split the given string at multiple whitespaces just by using the
text = "abc\nlmn\tpqr xyz\rmno" print(text.split()) # ['abc', 'lmn', 'pqr', 'xyz', 'mno']
📚Recommended Digest: Python String split()
We have successfully solved the given problem using different approaches. Simply using split could do the job for you. However, feel free to explore and try out the other options mentioned above. I hope this article helped you in your Python coding journey. Please subscribe and stay tuned for more interesting articles.
Happy Pythoning! 🐍
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