Pythonic way to trim and keep leading and trailing whitespace

Emile van Sebille emile at
Tue Mar 23 23:34:48 CET 2010

On 3/23/2010 3:09 PM python at said...
> I'm looking for a pythonic way to trim and keep leading
> whitespace in a string.
> Use case: I have a bunch of text strings with various amounts of
> leading and trailing whitespace (spaces and tabs). I want to grab
> the leading and trailing whitespace, save it, surround the
> remaining text with html tags, and then add back the leading and
> trailing whitespace.

I'd do it this way:

target = '  	spam and eggs	   '
stripped = target.strip()
replaced = target.replace(stripped,"<html>%s</html>" % stripped)



> The only solution I can think of is regex, and that makes me
> think of the 2 proverbial problems that come with that :)
> Is there a 'better' solution than regex for this scenario? (Seems
> like this would be a common type of string processing).
> Thanks,
> Malcolm

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