A guide to using the split method in Python

by Alex
A guide to using the split method in Python

Strings are a great tool in the hands of Python developers. In Python, a string is a sequence of characters in quotation marks. It can include numbers, letters, and characters. With Python, a string can be divided into a list of substrings by a list of strings by a specific delimiter. This is done using the split method. In this article, let’s look at how to use it.

What does split do in Python?

The split function scans the entire string and splits it if it finds a delimiter. A string must have at least one delimiter. This may include including spaces. Space is the default delimiter. If the parameter is not set, then the division will be carried out exactly by the space character space character. The syntax of the function is as follows: string.split(separator*, maxsplit*)
The separator parameter is optional, but it allows you to set the separator manually. The maxsplit parameter defines the maximum number of separations. The default value is -1, all splits will be done.

How to split a string in Python

The .split() method splits the main string by a separator and returns a list of strings.
my_st = "Example Python string."
In the example above, the string my_st was declared. It is placed in single quotes. The .split() function splits it into a list of such strings: ['Example', 'strings', 'Python']
The output contains a list of substrings. Another example of string partitioning:
my_st = "blue,orange,red"
In the above example we created a string my_st with 3 substring. In this case it is the comma that will act as the split parameter in the function. The output will be as follows: ['blue', 'orange', 'red']

Examples of line breaks in Python

Separating terms by space

If you don’t pass a separator parameter, .split() will perform a space division.
my_st = "Example Python string."
The code will return: ['Example', 'string', 'Python']. Note that we didn’t specify a delimiter to use when calling .split(), so we use a space as the delimiter.

Splitting a string by a comma

A comma (",") can act as the separator. This will return a list of strings that were originally surrounded by commas.
my_st = "For example, the Python string"
The output is ['For example', ' Python string']. The result is a comma-separated list of substrings in the original string.

Splitting strings by multiple delimiters

You can even use multiple delimiters in Python. To do this, you simply need to pass several characters as separators to the split function. Let’s take as an example a situation where : and , are separators at the same time. Let’s use the function re.split().
import re
my_st = "I\puchu; programming language\nPython"
print(re.split(";|,|\n", my_st))
Output: ['me', 'learning', 'language', 'programming', 'Python']
Here we use the re module and regular expression functions. The variable my_st has been assigned a string with several delimiters, including “\n”, “;”, and “,”. And re.split() is called for that string with the above delimiters. The output is a list of substring splits based on the original string.

How does the maxsplit parameter in the split function work?

This parameter helps to set the maximum number of splits. You may split a string by passing the value of this parameter. For example, if the separator is a space character, and maxsplit is 1, then the string will be divided into 2 substring at most.
languages = "Python,Java,Perl,PHP,Swift"
The string languages stores a string listing different languages. The split function takes a comma as a separator and a value of 1 for the maxsplit parameter. This means that the split will only be done once. ['Python', 'Java,Perl,PHP,Swift'] The following example shows how to execute the split twice. Here, the separator is a space, and the value of maxplit is 2.
languages = "Python,Java,Perl,PHP,Swift"
['Python', 'Java', 'Perl,PHP,Swift']

How to split a string in the middle

The .split() function cannot split a string into two equal parts. However, you can use slices (operator :) and the len() function to do so.
languages = "Python,Java,Perl,PHP,Swift"
mean_index = len(languages) // 2
print(f "First half: {languages[:mean_index]}")
print(f "Second half: {languages[mean_index:]}")
Output: First half: Python,Java,P
Second half: erl,PHP,Swift
The value of languages was divided into two equal parts. The integer division operator was used for the work.


Here’s what you learned:

  • The split function splits a string into substrings by a delimiter.
  • The maxsplit parameter allows you to specify the maximum number of splits.
  • If you don’t specify a separator, the default value is space.
  • Splits are used to divide strings into equal parts.

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