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Get File Identify from Path for any OS in Python


One of many challenges you could encounter when working with file paths is extracting the file title from the trail, which may range relying on the working system and the format of the trail.

On this Byte, we’ll discover methods to deal with this downside utilizing Python’s built-in os.path module. We’ll additionally have a look at methods to deal with totally different path codecs utilized in Home windows and Unix-style working programs.

Utilizing the os.path Module in Python

Python’s os.path module gives a set of features to govern file paths. One in every of these features is basename(), which returns the final part of a pathname, which is often the filename.

Let’s examine the way it works:

import os

path = '/dwelling/person/paperwork/file.txt'
filename = os.path.basename(path)

On this case, the output will likely be:


The basename() operate works by splitting the trail on the final slash (/) and returning the half after it. This works no matter whether or not the trail ends with a slash.

The os.path module features are designed for use with paths within the format utilized by the working system the place your Python code is operating. Because of this if you happen to’re working with paths from a special working system, you could run into points. For instance, in case your code is operating on a Unix-like OS, it could have points parsing a Home windows path.

Coping with Home windows File Paths

Home windows file paths is usually a bit difficult as a result of they use backslashes () as an alternative of slashes (/). In the event you’re working with Home windows paths in Python, you may want to flee the backslashes through the use of double backslashes (), or through the use of uncooked strings (r'pathtofile').

This is how one can extract a file title from a Home windows path utilizing the os.path module:

import os

path = 'C:CustomerspersonPaperworkfile.txt'
filename = os.path.basename(path)

And the output will likely be:


Coping with Unix-style File Paths

Unix-style file paths, utilized by Linux and macOS, use slashes (/). This makes them a bit simpler to work with in Python.

This is an instance of methods to extract a file title from a Unix-style path:

import os

path = '/dwelling/person/paperwork/file.txt'
filename = os.path.basename(path)

And, as earlier than, the output will likely be:


Dealing with Particular Characters in File Names

Whereas working with file paths, you would possibly come throughout some particular characters in file names. These characters might be problematic if not dealt with appropriately. Luckily, Python’s os.path module gives us with the instruments we have to deal with these particular characters successfully.

To illustrate now we have a file path with particular characters like this:

path = "/dwelling/person/Paperwork/My Undertaking #1/file.txt"

On this case, the backslashes () are used to flee areas and the hash image (#). If we attempt to extract the file title from this path with out contemplating these particular characters, we’d find yourself with an incorrect consequence.

To deal with this, we are able to use the os.path.basename() operate together with the uncooked string literal (r). The r prefix earlier than the string literal converts the conventional string to a uncooked string. In a uncooked string, backslashes () are handled as literal characters and never as escape characters.

This is how you are able to do it:

import os

path = r"/dwelling/person/Paperwork/My Undertaking #1/file.txt"
filename = os.path.basename(path)

print(filename)  # Outputs: file.txt

On this instance, the basename() operate appropriately identifies file.txt because the file title, regardless of the presence of particular characters within the path.

Notice: When coping with file paths in Python, it is all the time a good suggestion to make use of uncooked strings (r) to keep away from points with escape characters.


On this Byte, we have seen methods to extract file names from file paths in Python, whatever the working system or path format. We have explored methods to use the os.path module to deal with Home windows and Unix-style file paths. We have additionally seen methods to deal with particular characters in file names to assist keep away from hard-to-find errors when working with these sorts of information.



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