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Newbie python question

  1. Jun 10, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Hi, this might be silly but I'm not sure what the syntax is for the read function...

    I'm trying to open a file on my desktop, it is a text file called testfile.txt, how do I make python know where to find it?

    I go:

    f = open('C:\Users\Truman\Desktop\testfile.txt', 'r')


    f = open('testfile.txt', 'r')

    but neither works.

    Does the file need to be in the same directory as where I installed Python?


    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Code (Text):

    f = open(filename, mode)
    should work if you specify the file path.

    Are you getting an IOError? Also, if you directly use the file() constructor, can you open the file?
  4. Jun 15, 2011 #3
    Ok I realized I couldn't open the file in IDLE.. but only with the actual program.
  5. Jun 16, 2011 #4
    Either use double backslashes, '\\', or single forward slashes, '/'. Otherwise you have characters like '\t', which is the tab character, embedded in your filename.
  6. Jun 17, 2011 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Wow...it's been so long since I've used Python on Windows that I forgot about that.
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