Open & Read Multiple Files Simultaneously Using with Statement In Python.
4 min read
In computer terminology, a file is a container that stores some type of information in it.
We use files for future use of our data by permanently storing them on optical drives, hard drives, or other types of storage devices.
Since we store our data in the files, sometimes we need them to read, write, or see our data.
For such file operations, in Python, we have a built-in function, which can help in opening a file, performing reading and writing operations on a file, and even closing the file after the task is completed.
In this article, we gonna discuss the ways how we can open multiple files using the
with statement in Python?
Let's explore the ways and write some code.
Using open() function
Well, the first way we gonna discuss is the use of Python's in-built
If you are familiar with the
open() function, then you might know that it takes only one file path at a time.
Here's the syntax:
open(file, mode='r', buffering=- 1, encoding=None, errors=None, newline=None, closefd=True, opener=None)
Hence, we cannot pass multiple files path and if we try to do so then we get an error.
But there is a way, we can use the
with statement to open and read multiple files using the
Here's the code:
with open("first.txt") as file_1, open("second.txt") as file_2, open("third.txt") as file_3: Here, we used
open()function for each file which is wrapped within
f1 = file_1.read() f2 = file_2.read() f3 = file_3.read(): Then we used read() function and store them in the variable.
for lines in f1, f2, f3: We used the
forloop to iterate over the contents, in each file.
print(lines): Then we finally print the contents of each file.
Here's the output:
What if we have lots of files, which we have to open and read simultaneously, then we have to write more lines of code which in turn kinda gets messy, and it's not a good practice.
Well, we have another way of doing the same operation with lesser lines of code.
Using fileinput Module
First of all,
fileinput module is a built-in module in Python, so you don't need to install it explicitly.
fileinput— Iterate over lines from multiple input streams
open() function to open multiple files simultaneously can be good but it's not convenient.
Instead of using the first way, we can use
Let's dive into the code and learn the use case:
import fileinput: Since it's a module, we have to import it to get started.
with fileinput.input(files=('first.txt', 'second.txt','third.txt')) as f: We are calling here
fileinputmodule and specifying our files into it which we wrapped within
for line in f: Here we are using
forloop to iterate over the contents of our file.
print(line): Finally printing those content.
for more details about
fileinputmodule Click here.
Here's the output:
The output is the same because we used the same files which we used above.
Note: This module opens the file in
read mode only, we cannot open the files in writing mode. It must be one of
We carried out the same task but we used different approaches to handle them. Both ways are quite good.
We learned here two ways to deal with reading and opening multiple files. One is using the
open() function and another was using the
But every function and module has its own pros and cons.
We can't use Python's
open() function to open multiple files until and unless we use the
with statement with it but if we have lots of files then the code will get kinda messy.
fileinput module, we get the same task done with lesser lines of code but it can be used for only read mode.
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