Reading a comma delimited file

Skip Montanaro montanaro at
Thu Nov 8 19:18:05 CET 2001

    Kristen> Does the %f work just like in C?
    Kristen> %.2f,var

Close.  Try this:

    >>> val = 1.1
    >>> val
    >>> "%.2f" % val

In the common case (the one most like C), it takes a string containing
typical %-format stuff on the left and a tuple of strings on the

    >>> "%.2f %.3f %.4f" % (val, val, val)
    '1.10 1.100 1.1000'

The one-element case can be reduced to a string on the right as in my
first example.

The cooler case takes a dict on the right and slightly different
format characters on the left:

    >>> "%(val).2f %(val).3f %(val).4f" % {"val": val}
    '1.10 1.100 1.1000'

This is generally helpful where you are interpolating a large string
with many %-expressions and would find it difficult to match up the
%-format elements with the index positions of the tuple.

Normally, the values you want to interpolate are local variables, so
you see it often spelled as

    >>> "%(val).2f %(val).3f %(val).4f" % locals()
    '1.10 1.100 1.1000'

People have also developed tricks for interpolating with multiple
dictionaries at once and interpolating expressions on-the-fly.  Search
the recent archives of the list (last two months or so) for
"interpolat" to find example code.


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