Python open() Function

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Python open() Function

The python open() function opens the file and returns a corresponding file object.


  • open(file, mode=’r’, buffering=-1, encoding=None, errors=None, newline=None, closefd=True, opener=None)


file: It is a path like object giving the pathname of the file to be opened.

mode (optional): It specifies the mode in which the file is opened. If not provided, it defaults to ‘r’ which means open for reading in text mode.

buffering (optional): It is used to set buffering policy.

encoding (optional): It is a name of the encoding to encode or decode the file.

errors (optional): A string that specify how to handle encoding/decoding errors.

newline (optional): It controls how newlines mode works (available values: None, ‘ ‘, ‘\n’, ‘r’, and ‘\r\n’

closefd (optional): It must be True (default) if given otherwise an exception will be raised.

opener (optional): a custom opener; must return an open file descriptor.


It returns a file object which can used to read, write and modify file.

Python open() Function Example 1

The below example shows how to open a file in Python.

  • # opens python.text file of the current directory
    f = open(“python.txt”)
    # specifying full path
    f = open(“C:/Python33/README.txt”)


  • Since the mode is omitted, the file is opened in ‘r’ mode; opens for reading.

Python open() Function Example 2

The below example providing mode to open().

  • # file opens for read
    f = open(“path_to_file”, mode=’r’)
    # file opens for write
    f = open(“path_to_file”, mode = ‘w’)
    # file opens for writing to the end
    f = open(“path_to_file”, mode = ‘a’)


  • f = open(“path_to_file”, mode = ‘r’, encoding=’utf-8′)

Explanation: In the above example, we specify different modes(‘r’, ‘w’, ‘a’) for opening a file.

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