[Python-ideas] Multi-line strings that respect indentation

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Fri Nov 5 02:23:09 CET 2010

Daniel da Silva wrote:
> On several occasions I have run into code that will do something like the
> following with a multiline string:
> To me, this is rather ugly because it messes up the indentation of
> some_func(). Suppose we could have a multiline string, that when started on
> a line indented four spaces, ignores the first four spaces on each line of
> the literal when creating the actual string?
> In this example, I will use four quotes to start such a string. 

Please no. Three quotes is large enough. Also, four quotes currently is 
legal: it is a triple-quoted string that begins with a quotation mark. 
You would be changing that behaviour and likely breaking code.

I don't think we need syntax for this, but if we do, I'd prefer to add a 
prefix similar to the r"" or u"" syntax. Perhaps w"" to normalise 

But as I said, I don't think we need syntax for this. I'd be happy if 
textwrap.dedent() became a built-in string method.

def some_func():
     x, y = process_something()
     val = """
     """.dedent() % (x, y)
     return val


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