TL;DR – Python print() can be used to show a message in the Python terminal or to write a series of characters into an external file.
What the Python print() function does
Printing in Python normally involves displaying a message or outputting a result in the Python terminal. You can use
print() with one parameter:
print() operations work with up to four parameters:
print(object(s), sep = 'separator', end = '\n', file = sys.dout, flush = False)
objects(s) are the objects which will be printed. The Python
print() function can take more than one of these. If multiple objects are present, then the
separator tells Python what delimiter should be inserted between each.
end parameter allows you to insert a statement to be printed at the end of the output.
file lets you write the output to a file. Finally,
flush can forcibly output the stream following the
flush are all keywords. Therefore, if you want to include these parameters while printing in Python, you need to pay attention to their standard use.
Here's an example of using Python print() with several parameters:
print('x', '2', sep = ' is ')
How to print in Python
It’s easy to use the
print() function in Python to print a string directly:
It’s equally easy to use
print() to display the value of an object, as shown below:
a = 2 print('a', a, sep = ' is ')
Note: print() in Python 3 was updated significantly. This guide uses print() statements for Python 3.x rather than print commands of Python 2.x.
Printing to a file in Python
If you don’t specify the
file parameter when you call the
print() command, Python will display text in the terminal.
However, if you use the
open command to load a file in write mode prior to calling the Python
print() function, characters and values can be written directly into it:
fl = open('file.txt', 'w') print('This text will be written in the file', file = fl) fl.close()
Theory is great, but we recommend digging deeper!
Python 3 print() with a formatted output
A variety of characters can be used to output specially formatted text in Python. One frequently used example is
%s which will tell Python to display a numeric value as a string:
pi = 3.1416 print('2 x Pi = %s' % (2 * pi))
Specifying end parameters when printing in Python
You may wish to position the printed information with extra text using the
end keyword. You can also add extra strings or spaces, like in the example below where the
\n (newline) character is used:
print('This line will be three line breaks above...', end = '\n\n\n') print('... this line of text')
The previous example code will create the output below:
This line will be three line breaks above...this line of text
Python print(): useful tips
+operator, which can concatenate strings in Python, also works within